Handycat is a brilliant beatmaker who has collaborated with many different artists, including Keith Murray and MCs from her native Norway. Her beats are often dreamy and on many levels bring out the beauty of nature, life and discovering new places. This Beat Bungalow interview is from 2010 when Handycat had just founded the Bonsaeity label with a group of friends.
What kind of music and which artists do you enjoy listening to?
Underground hip hop first and foremost. I like several of the artists on Rhymesayers, Strange Famous, Anticon, Def Jux etc. I also like different types of electronic music, and even some good ol’ progressive rock sometimes.
Tell us more about your record label, Bonsaeity Records: who’s involved with that?
André Jensen and myself founded Bonsaiety in the summer of 2008. The idea was to gather original artists that we like, know and/or have worked with, because its easier to promote ourselves together as a label. We help each other out in every way we can, and many of the artists work together. On board now is Chosen Fume (rapper), Delario (rapper(producer), Kjartan (rapper), Paul Bernard (rapper/producer), MesAyah (rapper), Invisible (anonymous group), Stonefish (HandyCat & Adrift), André Jensen (rapper/producer), and myself.
How did you get into making music?
I’ve always been extremely interested in music. Started up with the violin at 6, then piano and singing at 7. In 2003 I was randomly introduced to Fruity Loops, shortly after I was addicted.
Your beats are quite different from the usual diet of hip hop instrumentals. What kind of elements make a good tune?
Personally, I’m into very melodic stuff. Variation is important. The best tracks come out when you try new things, try not to get stuck in a pattern.
What do you do outside from making beats to relax?
I watch a lot of movies, listen to music, and travel when I can.
Are there any good club nights or music events going on in Oslo that you can recommend?
Well, there’s some gigs coming up that I’m really looking forward to; Keith Murray is playing in January, Talib Kweli in February and Brother Ali in March – and there´s always Goodshit Radio, live radio show from a place called Skuret every other Monday. That´s always fun!
What’s cool about the Norwegian hiphop scene?
The people in the scene are nice. Musically its still kind of underdeveloped. Hip hop is a huge trend here nowadays, and overflooded with rappers and beatmakers. So it will be interesting to see the outcome of that.
Have you got any plans to release a new record in the next year, any plans to do a tour?
I am indeed planning a new record! No plans for a tour this year, but perhaps the next!