Interview conducted by Isoskratch
Isoskratch: What did you grow up with hobby wise?
Kwote: I've always been into art on a serious level. I don't think I really had any real hobbies unless you count average things like playing video games, etc. For me art was just something I loved and used to express myself and escape from my problems at times. My own personal therapy so to speak. I primarily drew a lot in black and white. Mostly based around my own imagination, but in the earlier stages I would draw characters from movies and cartoons.
Isoskratch: Who's your favorite super hero character?
Kwote: I can't say I really have one, although I was into comic books when I was young and I do watch a lot of the comic hero based movies that come out these days. I'm more into martial arts, like Kung-Fu flicks. One of my favorites was 'Chinese Super Ninjas'. Partly because it was bad ass and also because of the comedy factor. Some of the fight scenes are OUTRAGEOUS!
Isoskratch: How long have you been skratchin?
Kwote: Since 1997.
Isoskratch: What's your favorite move?
Kwote: Technique wise I'd say the tear scratch (my current favorite variation being the triple tear). It's really the most expressive scratch on the planet in my eyes. There is just an endless way to flip it and it really brings a ton of color and ornamentation to any phrase you put it in. I love the tear so much and believe so strongly in its expressive potential that I wrote and released a book about it.
Isoskratch: What inspires you to be as good as you are?
Kwote: Lots of things. Outside of great artists, music, movies, etc., I'm mainly focused on being the most expressive I can possibly be. I know there is no end to advancement in life and I do my best to reach the essence of self and my true role in this world through my music.
More importantly I value the happiness that true self expression can bring, to the point where I want others to experience those same feelings. Although I speak of self, I'm really seeing myself as part of the whole, so I don't want to be selfish in the traditional sense of the word. If I can help others to open up and express what they need to, everyone benefits.
Isoskratch: Why are some dj's so egotistical? Half of em only mix and swear they can produce?
Kwote: That is something you'd have to ask others who you believe to have that mentality. Although if an individual is truly egotistical, they probably won't take well to such a question. All I can really say is unjustified ego usually exists because of insecurities and the fear to address those insecurities with change to a better mind state. It all comes down to mind state in everything that anyone will ever do.
Isoskratch: SF, Cali is the birth of skratch in my eyes. More people should be lured to wanna come here to scratch, but aren't necessarily. Why do you think this is?
Kwote: I see San Francisco and the Bay Area in general as the hub of advanced scratching. That mostly comes from a lot of the advancements and innovations that the Invisibl Skratch Piklz laid down. I think at this point though, the attraction to San Francisco solely as the scratch mecca is over because there are too many people from other areas that have taken the artform further and gained exposure from the internet. From parts of the U.S. like Chicago, New York and Texas to other countries like France, Japan and the UK, there are some pretty dope cats doing their thing.
Isoskratch: Do you eat, sleep this art?
Kwote: Yes and no. I love scratching to death. That's pretty clear. However, a lot of what has allowed me to take things in the direction I have comes from places that have practically zero to do with turntablism or hip-hop. I've worked with a variety of non tablists and trained with a virtuoso guitarist and applied a vast amount of the knowledge I gained in those environments to the tables as well as how I approach crafting the music I create.
Isoskratch: How's family and Turntablism going for you?
Kwote: Family is cool. It's really just me and the wife. Turntablism is awesome. I love to see all the people that want to improve at it no matter how much of a beginner or advanced tablist they are. This is one of the things that motivates me to keep refining and improving what I do.
Isoskratch: Are you collabing on anything with other shredders no one knows about?
Kwote: I'm currently putting together a podcast that will premiere sometime in late 2012 that may include some special guests, but nothing is set in stone as of yet.
Isoskratch: Are YOU coming out with a skratch album? And can I get a copy for free?
Kwote: Yes. Although I wouldn't classify it as a scratch album because in my mind that means everything is strictly produced with scratching. I'm currently composing a variety of things, building up my composition chops and then I will move into more serious composing for the album. I have a variety of instruments and musicians in mind for this project. Of course scratching will be at the forefront though. So in a way I guess you could classify it as a scratch album, but I prefer the term turntablism because it's less limiting. If you'd like a copy, I'd be happy to submit one to you for review when it's ready.
End of Interview
That concludes the interview. As mentioned I had plans to create a podcast loaded with scratching. That plan has come to pass and the podcast is now ready for your listening enjoyment. Check it out here: Kwotecast