Interview with Botzy

Botzy-1

By Becca Martin

Sitting across from Botzy over coffee he laid it out for me “Creativity at the rate of consumption.” He has been climbing a mountain since January, with FOUR releases in the space of THREE months. Three months? I know, feel challenged…

Read it and weep… After leaving the band Culture Cry Wolf, Botzy got to work: Vayns (a collaboration with MunQ’s Corey Lawson), The Best Love Is Free, £¡bel, £¡belSmash Up-not to mention his solo album Buck Fotzy in July of 2013. A self-described “year of diversity”, in actuality, it wasn’t even a whole year.

He told me that 2013 had ended in a dark place with the pillars of his life crumbling all at once. Climbing out of the wreckage that included the loss of his best friend of ten years, and a broken relationship, the song “Empty Dust Bunnies” says it all. Digging in his heels, he persevered with what had always centered him, his music.

The disturbance in his universe resulted in not only a new love relationship, but in 30-40 new tracks, 18 of which have been refined. With the drive to work harder, set the bar higher, he’ll do 3 blind takes and check in later. He doesn’t want to force what it is, or define what it is before it happens. On any given track, five beats might make the cut. On April 1st he released the earlier recorded £¡belSmash Up, a song that is a great example of said process.

That brings up £¡bel, a track that was up for two weeks before Botzy received a cease and desist letter from the Hellfyre Club-an imprint of AlphaPup Records. He’d knowingly used a sample from Taurus Scott without first contacting him or the record company for permission or a gratis license. A lot of artists don’t and it slides…maybe if they someday make big money it might come back to haunt them, but a lot simply roll the die. Some artists have built careers of it (Girl Talk anyone?). In this era of disposable music there is a lot of gray area. In the case of £¡bel it had a limited quantity (2000 units) and was a free download. No money for the record company to collect from sales. Money, which is almost never paid out to the original artist unless they own the song, recording, publishing etc…

Botzy wrestled with it, talked it over with fellow hip hop artists and in the end went for it. After putting it out there, he did contact the original artist Taurus Scott, who appreciated his enthusiasm for the music but told him the publishing company wouldn’t let it exist. Hence, the aforementioned letter. Botzy took the song down, replacing it with the previously recorded £¡bel Smash Up.

Don’t worry about Botzy though…”I was happy with £¡bel, got me out of my comfort box of Buck Fotzy, Past Tense, girl songs. With £¡bel I walked to the edge and challenged people. I feel content, £¡bel doesn’t define me, I define £¡bel.”

Botzy is not one to dwell on the past, he is a man on the move, literally-he was moving homes the day we spoke. He’s climbing that mountain, unsure where he may end up, reflecting that he may not be “normal” with the amount of ideas and material that he has accumulated. “Three months, three EP’s-who does that?” Botzy does.

Empty Dust Bunnies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EehX_JohI6I

£¡bel Smash Up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EehX_JohI6I

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