There is a new frontal assault on the acceptance of Hip Hop in Alaska. For years these very talented musicians have relentlessly stood on stage (any stage that would take them) and told their personal stories. Sometimes the only complimentary sound to their words is the echo of encouragement, ” come on!, yep, yep!… you know it!” from their fans as these artists “spit” the emotional based “bars”.
Sometimes the echo of encouragement for these artists comes from the foundational mix of the beat. This is where Johnny Kohler comes in. Johnny has worked with local artists such as Madd Angler, Snarley Brown, Noisy, and Darius. We recently caught up with Johnny and asked a few questions.
How long have you been making beats and what equipment are you using these days?
I’ve been making beats since I was about 16. I’m 21 now, so about 5 years. Music in general since I was 12 or 13. I use an MPD 18, an M audio midi keyboard (nothing too fancy) and a turntable for vinyl with Reason and Pro tools. I also just got an actual piano a couple months ago so I’ve been dabbling with that in the beats also.
What was your childhood like? Your Family into music?
Born, raised and currently residing in Fairbanks, AK. Been around music my whole life – my dad is a talented musician and thespian, my mom was a dj/program director for a clearchannel station for years. Fairbanks is super cold, dark and depressing like 8 months out of the year, so growing up when I wasn’t going to school or playing hockey during the winter months I was playing video games. Eventually I wanted to do something more productive and fulfilling with my time so I started messing with beats in my parents basement. Since then I’ve been pretty much just focused on music or other creative endeavors when I’m not at the day job.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now a group project with MADTAK which is Madd Angler and Tak Havoc out of Anchorage fully produced by myself. Thats pretty much done. Also wrapping up an untitled project with Tak Havoc fully produced by myself right now. Both of those should be finished and available for consumption in the very near future.
Aside from those two I’m working with Darius out of Anchorage on another project fully produced by myself, and I’m producing Madd Angler’s first solo project “HelloFellowship” which will probably be finished up this summer at some point. A lot of stuff going on.
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