featured interview

Moka Only Station Agent Daniel Denton just turned 33. He’s been in the rap game since 1988, and still the only thing he does all day, everyday, is making beats. ‘I got a carreer let me superspark it’, he raps on ‘Oh-Six’. 2006 has become a blissful year for the fans of this Vancouver-based MC/producer, with the worldwide release of the magnificent ‘Desired Effect’ ànd a new album…

Which is called ‘The Station Agent’, how should we match a hip-hop producer with a ‘station agent’?

You could say I’m providing a ticket for a trip.

So what’s the concept behind it?

Trains and hip-hop go together. They’re both dirty, loud and can sometimes stink.

Again it’s first being released in Canada, then, in the rest of the world just like with the ‘Desired Effect’ album, what’s the philosophy behind that?

No philosophy with that. It just happens sometime. I like to give different album versions for different regions. As for the ‘Desired Effect’, the US actually got part two only...the record company took off the 'Part Two' for some strange reason…

On ‘Desired Effect’ you collaborated with Doom and Dilla, how did that go down?

I just hollered at them. They was down.

Do you look at them like heroes or just fellow musicians?

I see em as both I suppose.

Did you record with Dilla in the studio?

Nah, I didn’t. It was set up for me to go to Detroit but I like to make music alone. Shit, huh!

There was a lot of singing on ‘Desired Effect’, was that on purpose or did it just grow that way?

There was? Only on the Canadian version! The label didn’t want the raw shit.

At the moment, it’s just Count Bass D or Aloe Blacc who dare or who are able to sing on their records, should more rappers/producers sing on their releases?

No they shouldn’t. Nobody should sing. Not even me.

Mr Brady mentioned to us earlier ‘Moka has more tracks recorded than anybody I know’, no wonder that you have so many albums out…

Hard to say why. I have different moods. I’d rather just make beats.

Would you be able to do an album every other three or four years by selectin more from your catalogue of songs?

I can knock out albums in a day. Done that before. Three per year is fine by me.

There seems to be an album with you and Mr Brady in the making, ‘Mr Mr’, is that project going to be released soon?

Yes! It’ll be done soon...for ‘07!

How do you remember your San Diego-period?

I barely recall. Ask Brady, maybe he can fill ya in. (laughs)

Do you think that if you lived in NY or LA and not in Canada you would’ve sold more albums by now?

Nope...I’ve lived in L.A. and it didn’t do a damn thing for my sales…Cali is dope though! But it don’t matter where I’m at, shit, I could be in Finland and still do this. I’m hood though, even if I lived in a fuckin Meadow. Langford stunk.

Is there actually really a need to sell albums or do you satisfy with makin music for the fun and only for the fun of it?

Well nobody hardly buys records no more. For those that do, thank you. Just come to the shows and pay your way in and then I can continue to eat a little.

How does an average day look like for Moka Only?

I don’t do much. Make beats. I’m boring. Boring is the new exciting.

Do you still skateboard?

Yes. 21 years on a skateboard now!

In your songs you talk about travelling a lot? What are some of your favourite destinations?

Man. I’d rather stay home and do music.

But do you still travel that much?

Jup. More than ever now.

What’s the most durable mammal on earth?

Whales, right?

Right! Now, you’re a notorious coffee drinker, how do you like it best, no cream, no sugar, moka only?

I don’t know what Doom really meant by that. I take my 'vit' two cream and two sugar.

What was your first rap record?

That I bought?

Jep.

Some rap compilation..80’s shit.. don’t recall really.

Do you still buy a lot of rap records?

Amazingly enough I buy more rap now than ever…I can afford it now I guess.

So what hip-hop albums are you listening to at the moment?

CL Smooth - American Me, Sadat X - Back October, MED - Push Comes to Shove (slept on!), Visionaries - We Are The Ones, Snoop Dogg – Rhythm & Gangstas.

What non-hip-hop artists are you listening to nowadays?

Frank Zappa, Monade, Joanna Newsom and Hi Llamas...to name a few.

Having a synth sound, do you listen to a lot of 80s music, if so which groups are your favourites?

I have a synth sound? At one point I think I did. I DO have a very large collection of vintage synths from the 70’s and 80’s but I use em sparingly in between choppin samples. I’m a digga, nigga!

You began rappin in 1988, what were your favourite rappers at that time, rappers that influenced you?

BDP, J Beez, Ice-T...to name a few.

In the song ‘92’ you reminisce about Pete Rock & CL Smooth, KMD, Del The Funkee Homosapien, were you a fan of Maestro Fresh Wes?

‘Ya’ man, for sure! Maestro is my nigga! He lives in Vancouver now!

Being a former member of Swollen Members, how would you compare workin solo to workin with a group?

Groups is fun but the freedom of being on ya own is unparalleled. Fo real!

Please comment on the following:

Nelly Furtado

She’s kinda like a bird. We used to rap in front of the mall...in the younger days.

Abyssinian Creole

My cousins.

Kirby Dominant

Funky pimp.

Brassmunk

Slept on…wake up, people!

What more upcoming releases can we expect from you?

‘Vermilion’ on Urbnet Records, January 2007, Martian X-mass part 3 on Camobear (on-line only!) and ‘Way west’ on Camobear, Spring 2007 and possibly a new ‘Codename Scorpion’, tba.

Shout-outs?

Hmm..."AAAAARRRRGGHHHHH!!!" (REAL LOUD!)

Thanks!

 

POSTED 11|01|2006
conducted by cpf

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