Friday, September 14, 2007

Band of the Week

Everyone has had to read aloud in class or give a presentation to the board or give a mandatory speech. Many people dread those moments in life, and try to avoid the limelight as much as possible. As Chicagoan Daniel Kuypers (aka Copperpot) takes the stages all of these memories are filling his head and his stomach, but as soon as that needle drops all is well. The beats take over and Copperpot is aloud to focus on the records and not the crowd.

A fixture in the Chicago underground scene, Copperpot, released his second LP "WYLA?" last month through the label he manages, EV Productions. The album features KRS-One, Braintax, Masta Ace and some of the finest Chicago talent and is a great representation of what an EV album might sound like. Whether it is the latest from Earmint or a classic jam from Modill or a track from Coppershot (Copperpot with emcee Longshot) EV is one of the best hip hop labels in Chicago.

Recently, Copperpot took some time out to answer a few of our questions on his anxiety, his label, and his music.

Orange Alert (OA): What is the story behind the name Copperpot?
Daniel Kuypers (DK): The name Copperpot come from the movie ‘The Goonies’ (the last good thing Steven Spielberg did, the monger). There was a character in the movie, a dead explorer of hidden treasures, named Chester Copperpot. CC died searching for lost treasure. I chose to pilfer this moniker from the aforementioned monger because I believe it is the search that is important, not only achieving the ends.

OA: Where do you start when creating a beat? What is your favorite piece of equipment?
DK: I start in my head I suppose, right when I hear the piece of music or sound I want to sample, I start creating the song in my all powerful brain. My favorite piece of equipment… probably something I do not have. I would love to have an Avalon dual channel compressor, k-kruz has one. The jerk.

OA: Do you view hip-hop and the music industry in a different light now that you run the label EV Productions? What is your opinion of the current state of hip-hop? Mainstream vs Indie?
A different light?
DK: I view the industry as having no light. I love music and musicians. But running the business aspect of it can suck the life out of you. selling art I think, especially art that you have a vested emotional interest in can be a tough thing. You have to just push through it I suppose, possibly try and create somewhat of a detachment.

Most of the people I do business with are great, I get along with them famously, there are just a few that can spoil the whole party for everyone.

I dunno if I want to touch the current state of hip hop query. I suppose it is as it ever was, more of a cultural thing to me than a genre of music, or a classification. In that sense, it is doing lovely I believe, people are exploring different cultures and meeting new people, having fun at shows, opening their eyes to the world. That is what hip hop culture is built to do, in my opinion. As far as ‘mainstream’ v ‘indie’ I think there is good music in both areas and bad music in both areas, only difference is the amount of money in ‘mainstream’.

OA: In a recent post to your myspace blog, you talked about file sharing. Can you talk about how it has affected you as a musician, a producer, and a label head?
DK: As a musician I don’t make as much money so I can’t eat as much. As a producer I don’t make as much money so I can’t eat as much. As a label head I don’t make as much money so me and the other 10 artists on my label don’t eat as much.

Look, I understand the argument that it helps promote to people that would never have known about the new Copperpot record, or Earmint record, however; I have a promotional budget, as a record label I spend loads of money promoting. People have the opportunity to hear and read about all my artists, the problem is that it is so easy to just download a p2p client, go on there and search for music, and steal it. it is so easy to go in the blog world and find sites that offer the entire album for free, before the release date. My whole thing is this, I will give you free music, I will make tracks available for free download, and I do. But, if you want the artists to have the ability to make more music, the artist needs to be supported. Making a good record takes a lot of time, and money, studio costs, art, ect… if an artist (or label head) has to work at ups 10 hours a day to pay rent and eat, where does the money for making music come from? That’s it, on to greener pastures.

OA: You have always been open about your fear of performing in public, and I am sure there are many people out there who can relate. Will this affect any touring possibilities? Do you have any tour dates set besides your monthly gig in Soho?
DK: Uh, tour? no thank you. I am taking a hiatus from the Soho gig as well. Hopefully I will start it up again soon, but rigt now I am concentrating on getting K-kruz’ solo record prepared for release as well as Longshot’s next solo record.

OA: When you are performing do you use vinyl or have you gone digital?
DK: Vinyl.

OA: What's next for Copperpot?
DK: I am working on a new album, its going to be different than my last of course. It is tentatively called: “Who are you?” I will probably release a slew of instrumental albums in the next year as well, available only digitally, some of them for free. We’ll see, like I said, I am concentrating on Kruz and Shot.

Bonus Questions:
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite coffee spot?
DK: I have never even had a sip of coffee. No McDonalds either. or KFC. Too many good mom and pop joints in this city. I would much rather give them my money, and eat their food.

OA: How many albums (vinyl) do you own? Estimate if necessary.
DK: Hmmm. About 5,000.

Come Back Home feat. KRS One (MP3)/Let It Go feat. Truth Enola (MP3)/Demo feat. Braintax (MP3)/I Am A Banana/I Put A What feat. Valeska Jakobiwicz/Art of Rap feat. Masta Ace & EdoG and members of Tortoise/Dem Know feat. KRS One/Water The Manatee/WYLA? feat. Prince Po/Blow feat. Psalm One/Dem Know (Club Mix) feat. KRS One and members of Tortoise/Do You Really?/Modern Vampires feat. Rodney P/Clowning Arounding feat. The Time Bandits

For more information on Copperpot visit his website. To learn more about the artist ar EV Productions visit their website, and to order you copy of WYLA? go here.

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