I’m actually shocked that this is the first time we’ve featured Isbjerg in a producer spotlight. As we highlight some of the producer who helped create our upcoming Mama Said Knock You Out remix album, we come to one of the original Nottinghammers. Isbjerg has been participating in our remix contest since we started our very first one 2 1/2 years ago. He’s released countless projects through our site and now we finally get the chance to hear his story. Hit the jump to get to know Isbjerg…
Mama Said Knock You Out: The 20th Anniversary Remix Album drops this Thursday!
Where you reppin?
Denmark, born on Amar, Copenhagen and lives in Taastrup.. And no, Denmark is not the capital of Sweden.. You know, you saw that weird show on Oprah..
Isbjerg, Danish MC turned producer due to amnesia. I couldn’t remember my lyrics from time to time and when it got worse, I went back to the MPC and studied the fine art of producin’ by watching others..
Where did the name Isbjerg come from?
From early on I got to be the choppy kid in class, and I ust couldn’t swim, so I pretend to and got busted. And on the same day, we had a Geography class learning about the North Atlantic and Iceberg’s when a kis in class pointed to me and called me an Iceberg (Isbjerg on Danish) because my lack of swimming abilities..
Main musical inspirations:
I grew up with a mother being into Beatles,Prince and Stevie Wonder and a dad being into Rolling Stones, and I felt in love with the music from Chaka Khan and Michael Jackson after watching a show with them on Danish Tv, back in the beginning of the 80’s. I heard ‘New York,New York’ on a radio show and shortly after ‘I feel for you’ and the energy and power in rap got to me..
When did you fall in love with hip hop?
Around 1984, when Electric Boogie/Break Dance hit the country like a typhoon. Every kid got white gloves and practiced the moves from posters and books. After a great summer where I failed as a breaker, I turned to a friend and his record collection. I spend hours listening to ‘Licensed to Ill, 3 feet high and rising’ and shortly after ‘Yo! Bum rush the show’ which blew me away because of the raw sampling..
Current projects we should be looking out for:
I hope that YC the Cynic is down with my beats so we can hook up on an album or something. Other than that, its business as usual – I’m looking for MCs to produce for, so I can channel my energy into an certain style to fit the MC/MC’s and in the meantime, I’m just doing my thing..
Previous work that we should know about:
I did a whole bunch of records in Denmark as a MC, and wanted to do something else. I wanted to start from scratch and turned to producing,and with the goal to go outside Denmark and connect and here I am. Thanx Kevin.. The projects as a producer I’m really proud of, is “Before I Sleep” with El P, been thrown back 20 years in time with your old school instruments and 808’s.. Before Kanye West even touched a Roland.. And ‘BillPrint’ with Bill Withers and Jay Z, which fitted perfectly..
What’s your equipment setup like?
Real LowKey.. I used to have more space and had my MPC connected to a miniMoog but it died on me, so I got me an ARP Odyssey but I had to minimize my setup to a laptop, headphones and a bunch of sounds, records, mp3s and ideas.. My kids takes a lot of space, so I have to create with “It’s not what you have, but what you do with it” theory..
If you had to pick one song that defines your career to date, what song would that be?
I haven’t made it yet… I think of that song almost every day and I hear pieces from it in my head, but until it’s ready to come out, it’s keeping me on the edge. And in the meantime I would say Jeru’s ‘Aint the devil happy’ – A beat preaching beauty and sorrow, a chorus simple and complex made and Jeru’s vocal tells the view of the world so true. His rhymes still stands out even now..
Why should the readers and fans give you a shot and listen to your music from here on out?
Two reasons – One, because I deliver the soundscapes so smooth and cinematic for any MC to fit to…. Ive learned from DJ Premier that you should make the beat fit the MC, but the formula to make the two fusion into a perfect match is hard… And Two, because the listener gets the feeling of something familiar and fresh at the same time, as I strive for that timeless beat that people outside my little world bob their heads to and adore… To me personally, there’s nothing more satisfying to get great response to ones work.. In Denmark, there’s a thing called ‘Jantelov’ that makes it hard for an individual to standby without getting looked down at.. So the response Ive received so far, means everything to me..
If you could only take one record on a deserted island with you, what album would that be?
I world burn a blend of ‘Paul’s Boutique’,’3 feet high and rising’ and ‘It takes a nation of millions to hold us back’.. And I would smuggle ‘Liquid Courage’ by Wax and EOM with me for variation..
What’s next for you?
My Daughter’s been born in August, so I got to make beats by the hundreds until then, so I can dedicate myself to her for some time… Hopefully YC’s got the vfibe for my beats so we can work together and if someone’s talented enough to tryout, I’m down…
Any shout outs or last words?
To all my Nottinghammers for giving me the energy to grind with y’all.. Im listening to some talented producers who should be doing more work for our favorite rappers instead.. G.C.,ST.T.R.E.S.S.,Tokyo, Flames Yall, One mic and so on.. Buck Oner, B.Q.,44th, Jim B and a whole lot more… You’re giving a lot of yourself… And any one of you makes me wanna work harder and find new ways to make beats for y’all…
Song Cry Remix[audio:http://kevinnottingham.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Song-Cry-remix.mp3]
Up all Night Remix[audio:http://kevinnottingham.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Up-all-night-rmx.mp3]