Sonntag, 11. März 2012

Red Apple 45: Interview with Ray West

SBS: Stitch By Stitch blogspot welcomes hip-hop producer Ray West from the Bronx, NYC. What should people know about Ray West?

Ray West: I was born in the Bronx in the late 70s. I always loved music and grew up watching my mother play the piano while my grandfather would sing by her side. Music was always in my family. As hip hop grew I was surrounded by it, inspired by 2 DJs that lived on my block. They were older then me but embraced me and gave me some old turntables and a mixer. I was about 12 years old. In high school all I did was make mix tapes and practice. Spending most of my time in my basement, spent every dollar I could get on records. I was most influenced by Kid Capri and Lord Finesse mixtapes back then. They both had thier voice with the echo banging out. When I would hear that sound pumping out of some older Kats car it was crazy! Some time in the early 90s I got a 8 second Gemini sampler and started looping old records mixed with drums on 4 track tape. That's how I started producing. I eventually got an MPC and stared making my own music.

SBS: Probably most of the SBS readers may know you from the latest 7" releases on Red Apple 45. Give us an introduction to the label please!

Ray West: Myself, AG and Abdul Jabar started red apples 45 out of the desire to put out records without any interference. We had a vision and wanted to preserve our culture.

SBS: Let me list the current discography of Red Apple 45.
        RA45-002 - Ray West & AG - Pianos In The Projects - 7" - 2011
        RA45-003 - Ray West & AG - The Pianos Companions EP - 7" - 2011
        RA45-004 - Party Arty - Pianos In The Projects - 7" - 2011
        RA45-005 - Kool Keith / Ultramagnetic MC's - You'll See - 7" - 2012
The record collector in me misses the cat-no. RA45-001. Does it exist and what's it all about?

Ray West: RA45-001 is a full length LP titled "Everything's Berri" by AG. It was released threw us and FatBeats in 2010.

SBS: According to your origin you feature some dope MCees from the Bronx. Please tell us about the connection to A.G. (DITC)!

Ray West: AG is my partner in red apples 45 and a mentor . I met AG threw a mutual friend and coproducer. Me and AG had chemistry in the studio and he had faith in my sound. Together we developed into something I couldn't imagine. Growing up in the BX I was always a DITC and AG fan so it has been a really amazing ride. We make music for ourselves and share what we want with the world.

SBS: Would you also like to tell us about the work with Party Arty who sadly passed away end of 2008 and left behind a shattered hip-hop community?

Ray West: AG introduced me to Party Arty. He was an amazing musican to work with. We instantly connected and started doing songs on our own. I cherish all the songs I have with him and all the time I had before he physically left us. But spiritually he is here! In the studio I feel his energy and the faith he had in me. R.I.P 80!

SBS: R.I.P. 80! What can we expect from you and the label in 2012 and even beyond? Any further collabos with D.I.T.C. in the making?

Ray West: In April we have a project with Ascetic Records coming out called LUVNY. It's a super group type project with AG, Roc Marciano, Kurious / Bamboo Bros, Kool Keith and OC. We have a LP with OC called "Rays Cafe". Also myself, AG and John Robinson have been recording an LP. Just putting finishing touches on it.

SBS: Who or what inspires you, your music and what machinery are you working with?

Ray West: Dilla has always been a great inspiration. Also Tarach, Madlib, Showbiz and DJ Premier. As far as the gear, I use an MPC2000, 1000, and the 60. I use a lot of analog gear, (synth, moog , drum machines). I also do a lot of live percussion and have a full drum set in the lab. I am always combing different gear to stay inspired. But the most important element is the records. Diggin for vinyl is how I always start.

SBS: WORD !!! Thank you very much for taking the time. I hope to see you again on the blog and please keep us updated on your activities.

Ray West: Thanks for taking the time for me and helping keep our culture pure. Much love and blessing! Ray West,


  1. do you like the interview action by SBS ???

  2. yep, thanks for the interview. Ray West is the freshest Producer in a while!


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