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Interview with SYNDROME: “City Life” Between the UK and The USA!

Syndrome has released the third video from the Daz Dillinger Presents Syndrome (International Paperchaser) album. Produced by Khavel-X, the West Coast summertime track, which debuted on Power 92 FM with Mr Exclusive DJ Swoope, features the talents of Daz Dillinger, Edi from The Outlawz, Khavel-X and Sin2 N Mo Dee. We recently spoke to Syndrome in an exclusive interview to get the inside story on the man and the music.

1. How long have you been in the music game and how did you get started in the first place?

SYNDROME: Dropped my 1st solo album under my label Devious Records in 96 (Devious Styles) which got me signed 2 San Diego, California based label (Deemo Records) 2gether meetin artists from Snoop, Daz, EDI of Outlawz, Puff Daddy, Master P, Big Pun, Luniz, Run DMC, Naughty By Nature, Montell Jordan,Kurtis Blow, TLC at Music conferences, promotional events while promotin releases I had on Deemo Records watchin how these guys were doin it so BIG I jus wanted the opportunity to be doin it like how they woz doin it, I learned a lot bout the business from Deemo Records and CEO Arthur Mitchell.

2. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

SYNDROME: Run DMC, 1st time I heard Rock Box I woz hooked, jus the rhyme flows, the rhythm, the beat, that joint did sumthin 2 me that no other records were doin at that time woz fresh, new n I wanted 2 be a part of it, I met Run DMC twice, once at CKLN 88.1 Radio station where I used 2 work at in Canada in early 90s while they woz down promotin their joint (Down Wit The King) and once in San Diego at BMG Music conference and I had a chance 2 tell all Run, DMC n Jam Master Jay that Rock Box one of my all time fav hiphop jointz, that meant a lot to me, to be able 2 let them know that.

3. Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?

SYNDROME: I listen 2 Kendrick, Game, Daz n WC joint album still got that on repeat, but aint no music I like better than the Golden Era G-Funk, Thats what my whole album Daz Dillinger Presents Syndrome (International Paperchaser) is based on, New Skool G-Funk, even wit the last 2 video releases from that album I had The Los Angeles Video Animation Company work on Cartoon videos for the jointz Syndrome ft CMG of Conscious Daughters, Khavel-X, Sabotawj n DJ AK (Summertime) n Syndrome ft Daz Dillinger, EDI Of Outlawz, Khavel-X, Sin2 n Mo Dee (Citylife G-Funk Remix) both prod by Khavel-X, I wanted the cartoon videos as these jointz needed sumthin real special, not jus ya average hiphop video, the creators of the animation videos went all out, both videos on youtube, I promise u these videos is sumthin that u never seen b4 or done in hiphop like how these videos were created.

4. Where would you like to see your career at the end of the day. As a critically acclaimed underground rapper or a financially successful mainstream hip hop star?

SYNDROME:Most important thing 2 me when droppin a single or album is will it git that Club, Radio Play, will the DJS be spinnin these jointz at housepartys, do the songs cater 2 both male/female, thatz why I make mostly jointz I luved growin up them Westcoast Summertime G-Funk Uptempo houseparty jointz, Jointz I got on Daz Dillinger Presents Syndrome (International Paperchaser) Album all got the potential 2 cross over to Mainstream, Im Independent and have learnt its damm near impossible wit so much competition 2 be a successful mainstream hiphop star without some form of investment, deal or help, so I do what I can, s/o The Legendary DJ Ron G who held the release party 4 my album in New York n got The Source Magazine 2 sponsor the event, Hosted by Ron G n Ron Browz, woz a real successful night.

5. Do you think video is an important vehicle for your music? And how do you go about producing your videos as indie artist?

SYNDROME: Videos 2 me is the most important part of a hiphop artist’s career as you selling your product wit visuals, Jus like you can have a HOT record but if the video wac that gonna hurt yo product, I do my best to put out the hottest video 2 every single release that I can, As a independent artist I wanted 2 do sumthin that not been done b4, A westcoast Summertime G-Funk video wit G-Funk Pioneer CMG of Conscious Daughters, I did that wit the Summertime single, nex video release I brought in Daz Dillinger, EDI of Outlawz, Khavel-X, Sin2 n Mo Dee 2 join me as cartoons 4 the Citylife G-Funk Remix video, thatz also sumthin I wanted 2 do as a kid jus see myself as a cartoon.

6. Studio work or performing live, which of these do you prefer most and why?

SYNDROME:I prefer sittin down wit the producer, throwin ideas n makin magic, no better feelin than that, But get me performin live n I will give u a show that u never 4get.

7. Tell us something about the beats and music production on your releases. Who creates them and which other producers do you work with, if any?

SYNDROME:  I worked wit International Producers from Slap Up Mill (UK) Khavel-X (Spain) Sin2 (Germany) Floww Master (USA) Alexander Henkel (Germany / Worldwide) Real Tone (UK) Mostly all the production I had them do was Feel Good Uptempo / Mid  to slow Summertime G-Funk BANGAAAZ. If the beat don’t have a HOTT rhythm I cant mess wit it, it gotta have me hooked from start 2 finish thatz how I choose what beatz I wanted 2 put on the album.

8. On which of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from an emotional and technical point of view?

SYNDROME: VIP. Myself ft Daz Dillinger. 2 verses on that song I dropped woz the 1st time Daz ever heard my rhyme and he had given a DUB CNN Interview talkin bout myself n Slap Up Mill the producer of that song shoutin me out, Jus that Interview showed me he respected my style n what Syndrome / Devious Records the style of music we woz doin, I feel I gave my best performance on that knowin it woz my 1st eva joint I woz doin wit Daz.

9. Which ingredient do you think makes your sound and style special or unique?

SYNDROME: For G-Funk Music lovers, the sound of my album has been missin in hiphop 4 too long, My vocal delivery, my voice, my rhyme flows different on every song, Beatz iz fresh, I drop videos like no other independent artist is doin right now, jus take a listen 2 Daz Dillinger Presents Syndrome (International Paperchaser) Album n you will know that there aint no music like that  that anybody in hiphop is doin right now, I went out n got the hottest producers worldwide on the beatz.

10. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?

SYNDROME: The love of music, My love of writing rhymes, performin live and goin thru the process of makin a HOT video, there jus no other better feelin.


11. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

SYNDROME: Writing, working with producers, performin live that shyt I luv more than anythang, only thang discourage me how the music industry is today, itz jus not the same no more. Free Downloads Why put in everythang yo whole life into yo product 4 someone 2 go download that 4 free, I hate that shyt more than anythang.

12. Tell us something about your songwriting process. What usually comes first the lyrics or the beats?  And how much of your lyrics come from your everyday life experiences?

SYNDROME: Wit me itz alwayz the beatz, I sit down wit the producer, throw bout ideas or talk bout what sound im lookin 4 as I already have a concept what I wanna write bout, once I got the beat the lyrics jus flow like water.

13. How involved are you in any or all of the recording, producing, mastering, and marketing processes of your music. Do you outsource any of these processes?

SYNDROME: Im involved in everythang, I own Devious Records so everythang I do I have a say in it how I want it to be.

14. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

SYNDROME: I learnt real young from Arthur Mitchell that itz 10% music 90% Business, Marketing and Promotion, best advice I followed, One I didn’t follow when woz livin in San Diego that I should have stayed in San Diego but I moved out 2 the UK, itz harder promotin a westcoast album in UK, so am tryin my best from UK 2 push the album in the states.

15. At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit the your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live gigs etc…)?

SYNDROME: More media exposure, I feel MTV is the best place 2 showcase your talent. Television performances, there no better place than TV 2 get yo product noticed.

16. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?

SYNDROME: Without the net I would not have met n been able 2 work wit all the producers involved in the makin of the album and the artists since movin 2 UK, only way 4 me to reach out 2 Daz woz the net and all other artists involved gave me the opportunity 2 back to the US several times n work wit these artists.

17. Could you tell us something about “CITY LIFE” and your collaborators on the single release?

SYNDROME: I got 3 versions of CITYLIFE on my album the original SYNDROME FT DAZ DILLINGER N SAFANAH, The G-funk remix which has the new video release which I brought in Daz, EDI, Khavel-X, Sin2 n Mo DEE, and a Club remix on which I brought In King T n Bo Roc of The Dove Shack, but The G-Funk Remix woz the one I wanted the cartoon video release 4 as the beat on that one of my fav beatz on my album.

18. Where did you get the idea to do a cartoon video? And how did you go about producing it?

SYNDROME: I alwayz wanted 2 be a cartoon ever since I was a kid watchin kids shows, I jus wanted 2 see myself as a cartoon, id been lookin into Video animation companies 4 yrs to allow me 2 make this style of video it jus so happened I found the right company when I dropped the right single for that style of video. Which 1st woz Summertime, and I had 2 do it again 4 Citylife G-Funk Remix. Nex Im lookin 2 do a all cartoon tv series about hiphop culture.

19. What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist and performer, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success?

SYNDROME: Money, every single, album needs promotion and nobody work 4 free, bein a indeoendent Money has alwayz been a barrier but I alwayz overcome that shyt to get done what I need to get done.

20. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do, EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?

SYNDROME: Wear Skin tight jeans, that seems to be the trend nowadayz wit rappers,but you wont see me never wearin that shyt.








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