An interview with Static Major

This was probably done in 2004 or so...

How did you start writing songs for other artists?

I left Louisville in 1992 and I got thrown into the Jodeci camp and that was back when he had Timbland, Missy, Ginuine, Tweet and we all was starvin, workin. Then we all branched out to our own separate ways. And I was blessed to write a lot of hits. Im in a group called Playa. We put out an album in 1998. The three of us, all from Louisville. Now Im getting ready to release my solo album.

Did you get all this opportunity from just being around those folks?

Actually the Aaliyah situation came through my management. They the owners of Blackground Records and thats the label that Aaliyah was on, not to mention thats her uncle. So they manage me and they managed Timbaland and Ginuwine at the time. That was the camp. I just was showing up with the right records. Me and Aaliyah had a hell of a chemistry. She really trusted my sound and where I was going with it.

Did you work close with her? Did she have a lot to say about how she wanted the songs to be?

Me and baby girl used to stay in the studio till 4 or 5 in the morning every night. We even worked on her album in Australia when she was over there working on Queen of the damned. We was over in Australia for like 2 months.

How old was she when you first worked with her?

When I first started working with her she was like 18 or 19. If you dont remember, she was on Playas album. I did a duet with her on Playas album, so we had been working with baby girl for a good 5-6 years strong, before the tragedy.

What did you do with David Banner?

We got a young producer named Sears. He produced the majority of Lil Flips first album. Hes from Louisville and my man Neezy manages him, Swat Music. Sears and Banner got a relationship through Flip, and Sears got a relationship with Lil Jon and a lot of the guys down in the Atlanta. I happened to be in Atlanta, working on Sunshine Anderson and David Banner fell through. Sears laid a track and I put down the hook for him. Banner had already said he wanted to do a joint with me. It just came together like that in the studio. One night in the studio, we didnt put it together until like 4:30 in the morning. And it wound up being Banners first single, "Crank it Up."

What you do is probably more lucrative then just becoming a rapper or a singer right?

You gotta think the songwriting and the publishing, every time the songs gets played on TV, whether they just using the music in the background of MTV or BET or sometimes they use it in movies, or for a soundtrack or compilation. Its like the publishing game is money coming at all times when you put out quality music, cause people keep recycling it.

As the songwriter of these Aaliyah hits you collect checks every quarter? And for the big hits the checks may never end.

Right cause they still playing em overseas. And like "Romeo Must Die", they still play it on HBO and Showtime and sometimes you might hear the music behind somebody on MTV. Ill tell you another big song I wrote was that "So Addictive" from Truth Hurts.

Whats your album all about?

My album is called Suppertime on the Feddy Side. And its about its time for me to eat. Even though Ive been eating, but I put my artistry on the back burner to really focus on the songwriting and producing side of the game. But now Im all the way focused. Playa is still together but we gonna do solo projects. Suppertime, its time to eat. Im coming after R. Kelly and Usher. Im coming to take R. Kellys throne. And my resume already speaks for itself, the worlds been hearing my sound since "Pony." And a lot of those songs, my voice is still in em a whole lot. So its a variation of all different things. Im a real innovative writer. Id like to think I changed the game a whole lot, even with "Pony." Id like to think I changed the way people wrote their songs. And a lot of my hits that I wrote changed the way people wrote music. So I put all of that energy into my album. The first single is called "Stallion" and Im getting ready to go to radio with it right now.

When did you first realize that "Pony" was going to be such a big song?

Devante Swing told me it was that big the day after I did it. He told me I was going to get songwriter of the year and I got an ASCAP award for it. I sat there and watched it climb the charts and when it went to ..1 it stayed there for 7-8 weeks. "So Anxious" stayed ..1 for 13 weeks. "Try Again" was like the first pop single to come out to go ..1 that wasnt a commercial single. I just try to stay serious about my music and my craft, the money will come.

Who will you release your album with?

Ive got some offers on the table and of course I can always put it out with Blackground but I expressed my feelings with them that we might need to take mine somewhere else in another system. We been talking to Jimmy Iovine, Lyor Cohen and we got a good relationship right now. We gonna take it to radio ourselves right now and create some synergy with it and use our relationships that we got and stir up some chaos on that end.

Sounds like youre looking for a label deal rather than an artist deal.

Right, cause we already got a situation, Swat Music, already through Blackground/Universal with my man Neezy.

Are you working with any artists from Louisville?

GoodFella from Victory Park. Coming out through Universal. Track Stars produced his first single. We going to radio right now with it. Universal says it sounds like the next Nelly. Thats gonna be the first thing we drop.

What part of Louisville are you from?

Im from the West End of Louisville, but then Im from all over Louisville. My mama was a single parent; I done lived in the West End, Barrytown, I done lived in all the boroughs in Louisville with the exception of a few.

When did you start singing?

I started singing when I was 3 in the church. I never would let anybody know that I sang because I felt that you was soft if you sang, so nobody in the streets knew I could sing. Only people who knew were people in my church.

When did you come out?

I guess it was about my senior year in High School, this girl talked me into getting into a talent show with her. Then shortly after that, Playa got together and went on to get us a deal with Def Jam. We really couldnt see eye to eye with Def Jam, they couldnt understand a true r&b group like us. We was like the essence of r&b, but we was ghetto. R&B to them meant suits and ties, but r&b to us was just our vocals. We came in with t-shirts and thingyies. But they tried to clean us up and clean up our whole sound so we wound up having to walk away from Def Jam.

Has there only been one Playa album?

Yeah, that was in 98. And the words still lingering right now.

You gonna stay in Louisville?

I left Louisville in 92 and I lived in New York, New Jersey, DC, Virgina Beach, LA and after 8 years of that I came back home in 2000 and wound up getting married. I got 3 kids and its always been a job to me. Once I realized I could take care of my business at home thats what I did. Its slowed me down in some instances, but its kept me grounded in other areas. Overall Im happy. I got every producer in the game wanting me to write a song with them, from Dre to Timbaland to Kanye West to Jazze Pha to Rodney Jerkins to Scott Storch to Nephew to Hi Tek, Pharell, Noontime, any producer in the game thats selling records, Seven. These are all producers Ive worked with because they know Im gonna show up. Bink, they love working with me. I just stay busy and come home and do the family thing for a couple of weeks then I go out of town and stay busy. And I dictate my schedule, I decide who I want to go in the studio with and if it makes sense or not. A lot of times a producer will get an offer to do a big project and Ill be the first person they think of to call to get some songs together for that person. We got Sears from here though and a few others from here whos production is just as good as an
You got any other artists from out here?

Native, we been working on his album for a minute. Native is real street and grungy but hes so street its been a challenge trying to find the radio record without watering down his street. GoodFella is the first one we getting ready to come with. Universal is loving his package.

What else have you got out?

I got two songs on the Jojo album, she just did 100,000 first week and I got two songs on the Brandy album that just dropped and the Sunshine Anderson album, I got like 4 on there. Looks like I got 2 on the new Nas thats coming out, cause I do hip hop too. "Dont Change the Game", that was me on there, and also that Ginuine and Nas record, I did that too.

Will your record be straight r&b?

My record is a cool mixture. You should be able to tell from the songs that I done told you. I got rappin on there, Im rappin on there, I got GoodFella on there. But the r&b is some classic nuts. Its on R. Kellys level. Past Ushers level in my opinion. The lyrics is real slick and edgy like all my lyrics have been. So I took it even further to the edge. My album aint really r&b, but it is. The person that I am and the music that I listen to brings the street out of it, so its a real nice mixture. Its OG music. I got production from Timbaland on there, Dr. Dre on there, Ima have Scott Storch on there and also Pharrell.

Did you know Pharrell back when you were working with Ginuine and them?

Magoo used to tell me about Pharrell all the time. He used to tell me "Man, you remind me of Pharrell." At that time Pharrell was with the Teddy Riley camp. He had did "Rump Shaker", that was like his first hit. We met one time back in the day in Virginia and we never got the chance to work. I got a great deal of respect for him and Chad cause I heard about them way before that and they showing and proving today. And Magoo told me about Iverson before he did his thing. He was like wait till he go to college, this little dude he aint even that tall and he dunks on everybody. Then he went to Georgetown and did his thing there and sure enough he went to the pros and is doing his thing. They had a lot of talent in Virginia Beach and Magoo was the one telling me about it when we was out there starving. Now Pharrell is working on Slim Thug and Snoop.

Interesting how he was gonna go with "Stallion" as his first single. That's my jam. Shout out to the homie Spark.

6 comments:

Yung Major said...

where's the source of the interview?

Buddha said...

Playa's myspace (the one that Static was running)

http://www.myspace.com/staticsmokeyblack

Yung Major said...

didn't static say he was running myspace.com/staticmajor502 in Daville interview?

DJ Slam said...

What blows my mind is, if this was truly in 2004, then what happened in the years between this and 2008 that prevented him from releasing his album? I mean, it seemed like the album was already done here in 2004, same for Goodfella's album, and neither has ever been released!

Tim "Neeze" Barnett said...

I think I answered your question in our interview Slam..Also if you listen to Statics answers, it corrosponds with what I told you guys, all of it. Thats my dog.....

DJ Slam said...

Yea Tim you did, it's just crazy man.

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