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17 Producers, 13 Countries, 5 Continents; Universal Master Builders' Epic Beat Album

BY STELLA WAAFRIKA




The last time we spoke to Namibian hip hop artist Brain The Tool, he mentioned a big project was in the pipeline. Well, the long wait is over.

The rapper along with fellow creative minds have been busy putting together a body of work comprising of 17 producers from 13 countries and 5 continents under his company, Universal Master Builders; a creative hub, a home for content creation, a bridge between artist from all around the world, not to mention an indie label.

Titled "Sonic Pyramid: Boom Bap Edition Volume 1", the album was officially released on 4th  October and features Yojira (U.S.A), Aproh (France), Innotic Beats (Poland), walterwarm (U.S.A), SaturnBeats (South Africa), JoDu (Germany), Octavio (Mexico), Jhal Du Paul (Australia), Maloon TheBoom (Switzerland), Jazzy Moon (South Korea), OVtxtRY (South Korea), Dominant-1 (Malawi), OGG Beats (Netherlands), Moku John (France), Swaii (Namibia), Teck-Zilla (Nigeria) and Kay Faith (South Africa).

Talk about diversity! The Master Builder himself let us in on the creative flow and inspiration behind the project among other things.

 "Sonic Pyramid: Boom Bap Edition Volume 1"... Coordination, creative process and so forth? 

Well, a lot of the project was coordinated online, via email mostly and other social media platforms, even WhatsApp at times. We used all sorts of creative methods to reach out to the producers we wanted to work with on this project – we were very specific with the people we chose. We started by headhunting producers who we felt had the right sound for the project, they were all predominantly more versed in making Boom Bap beats. Funny enough, I decided not to give them a concept – This is the exact point at which my faith in their creativity came into most. I just knew things would work out how they did. We got the producers to mix their own tracks, once they were done, we had someone from our team master them all together for that ‘icing on the cake’. We called it the first edition because we plan to have more installments for this particular sound, and other genres. 

Why a beat album? 

I felt like I wanted to bring people closer together, people from different walks of life and ethnicities. I wanted artists and other content creators to reach out to the producers for collaborations and other initiatives they may have. I really also just wanted people to vibe to really cool beats no matter where they were, whether it be at work or gym, or whilst they were just relaxing. I wanted to create something refreshing, something to cut through all the noise and chit chat. 

17 producers from 13 countries and 5 continents. How did the idea come about? 
When I first conceptualized the project, I was in a really heightened state of inspiration. It really came from my urge to do something, I really just wanted to give back to the people, to give them therapy through sound. I felt like there was too much conversation in the world and not enough action.

Was there any specific criteria you took into consideration before deciding who to feature on this project? If so what criteria? 
Not really, besides of course the fact that the album needed to be sonically cohesive. I believe strongly in good sonic progression on any project. We wanted them to stick as closely as possible to boom bap without limiting themselves as well. Their understanding of their individual crafts made this a lot easier.



So much diversity portrayed through this piece of work, how was it like working with so many different creatives from across the globe? 

 [Laughing]... Very interesting indeed. Artists are some of the most unique creatures in this world. I learnt a great deal about working with each individual on a personalised, moment to moment basis, to meet their needs, whilst still maintaining overall fair treatment of all the producers involved. Some of the producers we had contacted didn’t make it onto the album for some or other reason, some had little inspiration to create at that stage in their lives, so it was really an experience that taught me a great deal about working with artists and managing many variables. 

 Apart from being creatives, what would you say was the one unifying element for the brains behind this collaborative piece of work? 
 The love for Hip Hop and music in general. That was the ultimate driving force. We shared the same love for good music. 

 Artwork inspiration; what do the visuals symbolize?
I’ve always been inspired by ancient and esoteric knowledge about the workings of our world/universe, and the wonders of life. In totality the image represents an initiation of men and women from a chaotic state of mind, into a state of peace and harmony through sound vibration. The woman on the cover symbolizes harmonizing energy, our return into the matriarchy, and our ultimate healing. The pyramid symbolizes a healing chamber. 

Where can people get the album? 
The project is available only on our Universal Master Builders SoundCloud page HERE.

You can connect with Universal Master Builders and keep the conversation going on social media platforms – Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as “Universal Master Builders”. Keep an eye out for their website which will be up soon. For any queries, you can email the team via masterbuildershqinfo@gmail.com. 

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