SwitchFlip Media recently hooked up with Sobat Music Group and Phaze, one of LA’s rising stars in the hip hop community. The young wordsmith has been blazing tracks for over 4 years already. His organic growth of fans, twitter followers, and industry prospects contstantly buzz about his EPs and YouTube video releases throughout the cybersphere. Phaze’s unique twist of new school cool, mixed with an old school musical sensibility is what strikes us as this young spitter’s formula for success. Not many 18 yr old MCs in the game have such a calm and calculated lyrical delivery, which sets Phaze apart from his peers. There seems to be a few young L.A. rappers grinding towards a national new school hip hop takeover (ie: Casey Veggies & of course Earl Sweatshirt). However, rarely do we see Phaze’s type of charismatic cool and controlled artistic vision doubled with an educated nod to “both coast” golden era hip hop roots (ala Mac Miller & young Nas). SwitchFlip had a chance to sit down with SMG’s head honcho Peter Sobat and Phaze (the leader of the new school teen MCs and young ladykiller). We will start w/ the opening act (SMG), and end w/ the headliner (Phaze). Chillax, snag some of your favorite treats and check out these videos and the detailed Q&A: SwitchFlip Media’s 10 Questions for Phaze & SMG.
Phaze & Sobat Music Group
Peter Sobat SMG Interview
SFM: When did you start SMG and Why?
SMG: I started Sobat Music Group in October 2011. I really wanted to give young artists the opportunity to express themselves creatively without needing to buy into the mainstream hip-hop sound that exists today.
SFM: Is Phaze your first and only artist?
SMG: Not only is Phaze my first and only artist, he IS SMG! My goal is to build this label around him but eventually develop and help other artists.
SFM: How did you link up w/ Phaze?
SMG: I linked up with Phaze through the attorney for Doggy Style records, Derrick Lee. Derrick let me hear ‘1994,’ Phaze’s mix tape; I instantly wanted to work with him because he encompasses something that I have not heard in a while, laid-back intelligent west coast lyrics over dope 90s-type Hip-Hop beats.
SFM: How many videos have you released for Phaze?
SMG: Phaze and I have released a total of five music videos. We work well together creatively on the entire process; I have a passion for music and he has a passion for film so it all works out really well.
SFM: What is your music and/or video and film background?
SMG: In high school and college, I was a DJ—I have always loved Hip-Hop. I decided to study film and received a scholarship at The Art Institute of Atlanta and Miami; I eventually headed back home to attend Chatham University in Pittsburgh to get my Masters in Film. During my time in Atlanta, I worked on several music videos as a PA and fell in love with the craft. I began shooting and directing my own with local artists. As I was getting my MFA in Pittsburgh, I watched the Hip Hop scene there blow up with Wiz and Mac Miller. It inspired me more to create music and videos. Unfortunately, LA is expensive as hell so I spent a lot of time shooting/producing/cutting reality TV, I even tour managed for a bit, taught film, ran a legal pot dispensary but now I’m focused on Phaze & SMG.
SFM: Who is doing the production for Phaze?
SMG: Phaze uses several producers, he has a team he refers to as TPM (True Passion Music). For his EP, we are collaborating with many well-known producers…but I can’t name them yet, you’re going to have to purchase the EP to find out!
SFM: What do you think is better…East Coast or West Coast rap music? Be honest.
SMG: Being from the East Coast and growing up listening to artists like EPMD, Gang Starr, Biggie, Nas, LL Cool J, its hard not to love the East Coast but I really enjoy the laid back lyrics and beats of California Hip-Hop.
SFM: How do you feel about East Coast entrepreneurs grinding in the West Coast?
SMG: Since I am one, more power to us! Plus the weather is great!
SFM: What are your company’s plans for 2012?
SMG: Our first step is to release Phaze’s debut EP and get him on stage as much as possible. We have obtained an electronic distribution deal to release the EP on iTunes so we are excited for that. We are also involved as a boutique label with a major agency to develop young artists.
SFM: What message would you like to get across to theSwitchFlip Media audience?
SMG: That Sobat Music Group (SMG) is about good music. Period. Phaze will not disappoint, he is an artist with a long, successful career ahead of him.
SFM: Whatitdo Phaze. Where you from and how old are you?
PHAZE: I’m From LA & I’m 18
SFM: When did you start rapping?
PHAZE: I started rapping in 8th grade, with a couple friends at my school at the time.
SFM: What else do you do (besides getting an education)?
PHAZE: Well I’m a write songs as well as poetry.
SFM: Although it’s still way early in your career, you seem multi-talented. Any other plans?
PHAZE: In addition to music I want to start directing Short films as well as my own music videos. Also to do some acting in some motion picture films.
SFM: As a young dude, family support is hella important. How do they feel about this biz?
PHAZE: My family is very supportive of my music. Their always encouraging me never to give up and if this is what I want to do it takes hard work.
SFM: I’m sure you have industry folks posting up all the time. How did you link up w/ SMG?
PHAZE: I linked up with Peter through my lawyer. At the time I had a lot of material I was sitting on without any visuals. So me and him got in contact with each other then decided we wanted to provide visuals for one of my songs (Bad Habit) just as a demo. We ended up having great chemistry and the rest is history.
SFM: Spring 2012 has sprung! ‘Tis the festivals and concert season. Are you showcasing an/or touring with anyone?
PHAZE: As of now I have a few shows lined up in April in my hometown (LA). Still working on lining up more show dates but for now just a lot of local performances.
SFM: We happen to be in the loop on your music already, but share w/ the people what you got going on. How many mixtapes? when is your debut album coming out?
PHAZE: I have two mixtapes out entitled “Nineteen Ninety Four” & “Dead Memories” . We’re working on the EP right now, we don’t have an official release date yet but ill be releasing that on twitter soon. Follow me @officialphaze_
SFM: Your doing quite well in the social media space. How do you use this platform to take your career in your own hands?
PHAZE: I use it to my advantage in the sense of reaching out to as many people as I can to hear my music and just vibe out to it. I also see it as A place to express my creativity on an infinite canvas that I can actually see peoples feed back and what their feeling.
SFM: LA definitely supports your talent, but what should the world expect from Phaze & SMG in 2012?
PHAZE: The world just expect a lot of Great Music & Big Things to Come!
Phaze & Sobat Music Group seem to have their pulse on what it takes to reach the next plateau. With over 12,000 Twitter followers and over 10,000 YouTube views of his recent videos, the sky is the limit for this young spitter. Keep your ears and eyes open for Phaze’s new EP and please check them out via Twitter @officialphaze and @mrsobat. Download Dead Memories and visit www.officialphazemusic.com. As always, support the next generation of talented artists and musicians. SwitchFlip pledges to keep you in the loop with the latest & greatest.