Sup, people? We recently caught up with NYC’s hip-hop mixtape princess, Syncity, who threw down a set at Bonbon last Saturday. We got the opportunity to interview the royal hotness and delve into issues of hip-hop, Myspace and the late, great Steve Irwin. Enjoy!
I want to start by thanking you for doing this interview with me for Shanghaiist.com. And … you’re hot. Hehe. Thank you!
Where were you born? Montreal, Canada. I went to NYC to be famous, so I shut down my life in Montreal due to issues at home to be in NYC. I got to be in Jam on the Groove and fulfill my dreams.
I know it’s rude to ask a lady this, so don’t smack me with your Technics or sic Big Tree (her 6’5″ manager) on me, but when were you born? I was born on June 17th. I’m a Gemini.
Ohh … I have to be careful. All you Geminis give us Aries people trouble. Hahaha!
How are you capable of having more friends on your Myspace.com profile than there are people in the world? Haha! Well, I was entering some codes into my profile and I tried all these templates. I thought it would be funny if I made up a ton of friends. People might think I had some alien friends or something. Honestly, people take the number of friends they have on Myspace too seriously. I’ve had friends leave me on Myspace just because I didn’t add them to my top 8! They would say to me, “Yo, I talk with you everyday! Why am I not on your top 8?”, and I’m like, “Who cares about the top 8?” Give me a break!
Heard you were a b-girl back in the day (named Kitkat One — thank you Mike for the heads up!). Can you tell me a bit about that? Breaking was my first love. Actually, dancing altogether was my first love. Honestly, I wanted to grow up faster and show up all the older kids by dancing. They thought I was too young, but I did it on the side and practiced. I did some breaking battles at the ProAm, some Monteral performances and some stuff with the New York City Breakers. I was a total street perfromer. I used to dance in Times Square. It was all I did. It made me high.
Why did you switch to DJing? Basically, becuase I wanted to live out life to the fullest. I didn’t want to become one kind of person. I wanted to experiment with hip-hop. I learned scratching and DJing by just watching other people. I kept practicing on my own and one day some people asked me if I wanted to do a block party. Nobody knew how I did it, but I did it. I soon started DJing for Uptown Comedy Club and the rest is history.
Can you explain what makes a mixtape DJ special compared to other kinds of DJs out there? We express our music well with a particular kind of crowd. Mixtape DJs can reach out to certain people that radio DJs can’t because radio DJs must follow strict programming rules. We have the capability to break in artists and we get easier access to artists.
Which artists have you worked with? Oh man.. Too many to count. Puffy, AZ, Trey Songz. I’ve worked with a lot of artists. I think part of it is because I used to be a backup dancer. I also DJ for this new R&B group for Def Jam called Black Buddafly. I DJed for Nichole Wray. I also was a backup dancer for Foxy Brown. I’ve done so many jobs in the music biz. It’s a blessing.
What do you think about when you are about to rock a set in a club? I feel hyper, excited. I know what it feels like to be on stage and I know about that exchange of energy between you and the audience. Getting people hyped. It’s like psychiatry. People work 9 to 5 and they want to go out and have fun. I listen to that and give them something that makes them feel good.
In your opinion, what is the current state of hip-hop? We need a new superstar artist. We got Jay-Z, Nas and 50 Cent, but the new generation is searching for a new artist. Down South has the new hip-hop right now, but some people are getting tired of that. Some of the old school rappers are trying to come back, but there is a need for something new. It’s hard to find another Jay-Z or Nas. I feel old when I say that. Like “There’s no Jay-Z and Nas now like ther used to be!”
… And hip-hop in China? I heard a little on TV and I don’t understand it. I like the videos, but I have no ideawhat they are talking about. I think in hip-hop, you have to understand what people are saying. But It’s kind of like Reggaeton. Nowadays, people are saying that Reggaeton is a part of hip-hop. I think it’s hard to understand, but you can just ask the person next to you what it means and then it’s all good.
What does hip-hop need to become a more acceptable artform in this place we call Earth? I like the progress hip-hop has made. There was a time where hip-hop was one in the Bronx. Now people can get Jay-Z in Shanghai! I mean, sometimes, I get mad about the way hip-hop is. Sometimes you can’t let artists do certain things and be free with their music in this world. I think the world needs a little more awareness and realize that the things that people say is just entertainment. The music can’t harm people. Rock bands do the same stuff hip-hop artists do. Sometimes worse!people need to top being ignorant and have more awareness.
How are you coping with the loss of arguably the world’s greatest modern zoologist, Steve Irwin, the Croc Hunter? Who’s that?
You know, the guy who researches animals on TV. He’s on Animal Planet. He died doing some exploration. “Crikey!”? I haven’t had a TV in four years. I was going to school studying engineering. Now I got a TV, so I can watch TV like the rest of y’all ignorant folks out there. (Laughs). I can also watch Entourage. My boy Saigon was in one of the episodes. He ask me if I saw it and I told him I don’t have a TV. He said, “What? How do you not have a TV?” Saigon is funny. I asked him why is his name is Saigon and he said that’s because his mother is from there. I said, “What do you know about Saigon?” Trying to be all Asian.
See any cool places during your first 12 hours in Shanghai? Didn’t see too much. I went for a sound check, soon we’ll see more of China. However, a lot of people been coming up to me like,”Watch, bag, purse!”, and I was like, “You wanna watch my purse? What?!” They would follow us for five or six blocks! I’m scared of crossing the street. People sound like they are cursing and yelling. Some people come up to me and speak Chinese, but I have no idea what they are saying. But i did buy some banging shoes. No one in NY got them. Wanna see?
I also had breafast with A-Vee and Punchline. (Two resident hip-hop artists in Bon-bon this month.)
Let’s wrap this up — we need to get some DVDs here. I’m going to name a topic at random and you say the first thing that pops in your head. Ready? Yes.
NewYork City: Buildings.
Being Naked: Wow.
Bullies: They suck.
Hulk Hogan: Brooke Hogan (Hulk Hogan‘s daughter, she has a new single with Paul Wall produced by Scott Storch)
MoJo: Austin Powers. YEAH BABY!
China: Can’t cross the street.
Syncity: Bad, bad girl …
Thank you for taking the time out to rock this interview with me. Let’s go get some DVDs. Break a leg tonight, and … you’re hot. Thank you!