P Smoov Interview

I recently did an interview with P Smoov. Smoov is a Seattle Producer/Rapper who is in the groups Mad Rad and Fresh Espresso. Both groups are part of the buzz that is building in Seattle right now. Click Read More to check out the interview.

You are part of the Seattle hip hop scene that people are really starting to take notice of. What do you think is sparking so much interest about artists in you area as of lately? What do you think is unique about Seattle hip hop?

I think that the hip hop being produced in Seattle right now has a sound unlike anywhere else on the planet.It doesn’t sound like hip hop that has been created before. Some of these bands are pushing the boundries of what hip hop can be in a time when everyone else is cloning sounds that we have all heard before. I think this defiance of mainstream is what stirs up such extreme reactions from our listeners (weather good or bad).

You are in Mad Rad & Fresh Espresso (I’ll cover Mad Rad first). You guys released your first album last year White Gold and it has really lit up the scene in Seattle. Can you tell me a little about how all you guys got together and what the group is setting out to accomplish?

I met Terry Radjaw at one of his shows roughly 3 years ago. He was performing a solo act at that time and Buffalo Madonna was his backup dancer. Buffalo was rockin’ booty shorts and hightop rebooks at a backpacker show. Radjaw was rappin about throat babies and pussy when everyone else was preaching about some bullshit they didn’t really believe in. I hated “conscience rap”. I write energetic, fun, danceable music. So, I invited them over to my studio (the Robot Room) and as we began putting together tunes. We quickly realized that when we collaborated creatively, amazing things happened. We were composing songs for our album White Gold, and didn’t even know it yet. All we knew was that these songs sounded like nothing any of us had heard before. We weren’t setting out to accomplish anything in particular, but as the project grew so did our faith in our music and we started planning our first shows and debut album release.

Now I read somewhere that your company Out For Stardom plans to release a new album every 9 months. With Fresh Espresso out does that mean the next project is the new Mad Rad album. If so can you tell me a little about the recording process and where your heads will be at for this next record?

The next record has roughly 7 songs so far. It is very different from White Gold. We have seen a lot of things in the time between recording White Gold, and this new album. Our new album reflects the changes we have all experienced in our lives. I would describe it as a much more mature and melodic record with slightly less of a hip hop influence. I am listening to a lot of dance music lately (especially French/uk/east coast electro). It’s a pretty sexy record so far, with lots of climactic moments and crescendos. Lots of beat changes and grimey breakdowns on the record. I want the listener to be as entertained by what is going on in the beats as with the lyrics, and vice versa.

Also, Darwin (our dj) doesn’t write for Mad Rad (in the studio), but the tunes he plays me all the time are a HUGE influence on my new production and on the record as a whole.

Mad Rad has had some troubles in Seattle. I’ve read some issues about live shows that are too wild and posters on buildings. Are you guys past all that now or are you still having trouble with area?
Drama is like the tide. The troubles will come and go. Everyone in our group have big personalities and our live show could defiantly be described as “WILD”. Some clubs embrace this with open arms, some clubs don’t. We are going to just keep doing what we do, sharing our art, and packing out clubs.

Your other project is doing really well, on CD baby as well as internet buzz, and it’s called Fresh Espresso. Can you tell me a little about how that group came together and what sets you apart from Mad Rad?

Strangely enough, I met Rik via MySpace.com. I heard his tunes and loved his voice and lyrical style. I sent him some beats via email and he returned me verses. I was living in L.A. and he was living in Seattle. I randomly ended up moving to Seattle a year later and he and I met sometime within the first week of me being here.

I think Fresh Espresso’s sound is very different from Mad Rad’s even though I compose the beats for both groups. I really enjoy collaborating with Rik Rude because he brings something entirely different to the equation than any other artist I work with. Harnessing Rik Rude’s insane lyricism and raw emotion into a composition as complex as he is, is exciting and challenging and inspiring. The same could be said about Buffalo Madonna and Terry Radjaw, but it takes a different style of production to make the two different products shine their hardest. I think that is what separates the two bands into two very different entities.

I’ve read some interesting things in interviews about why the album is titled Glamour, but can you let our readers know how you came up with the title and why?

One of the re-occurring themes on the record is grime vs. glamour. When we were composing this album Rik and I were both well below the poverty line. I was homeless and Rik was unemployed. We definitely fit the “Starving Artist” mold. It was fun making music about how our grimey, poverteous lives were somehow glamorous. With the addition of Rabid Child Images super clean photography it seemed to sum up the whole project under one word; “glamour”.

On top of producing and being in two groups you are also working on a solo project. Do you know when that will be out and what will that project be like?

The initial idea for the record is a collaborative project with a lot of mc’s I respect and enjoy. Weather or not it will be that way when it is released, or if it will ever come out in either of our lifetimes, is the question of the hour.

I know you went to school for engineering and paid your dues in the studio. Can you tell me how you got into producing and when you really felt like your beats were starting to stand out of the crowd?

I set up my first studio when I was 14 years old in my dad’s house. I charged local bands $10 a song to record them. I recorded a lot of songs at that price. I also started making beats during this time. They sucked, but making music made me feel so good, and so energized that I couldn’t stop. After a while they sucked a little less, and a little less, until one day they stopped sucking. I just did it in every free minute I had, everyday, until I stopped sucking. I think they stopped sucking about 3 or 4 years ago… so I am still pretty new at this. Haha.

Outside of producing and performing you also are a talented artists you go under the name Ten Hundred with your art. What inspires you as an artist and do you plan to release more shirts with the designs (like the Mad Rad one) or do more custom sneakers?

Art is how I relax. I have always done it to release energy I can’t get out through music or whatever. When I do t shirts and art shows and stuff it kinda takes the relaxation out of it… so I have been taking a little bit of a break from art. But the winter is coming, and I am ready to lock myself inside and geek out on some paintings.

Also give me the scoop on the Beard Off that happened between Terry Radjaw and Sir Thomas Grey was that one of the craziest events Seattle’s has had in a while?

Um… it was a basketball game and the looser had to shave their beard. Thomas won. Radjaw shaved. There’s some videos out there you can peep.

I gotta ask because when talking about Seattle hip hop Capitol Hill comes up everywhere. Can you tell me a little about that scene and why it is so important?
It’s party mountain. It has lots of nightlife and debauchery. Us Seattle kids love us a good party.

Lastly, being from a place that is starting to get some major buzz nation wide what are some of your favorite artists from the area that are either breaking out now or you think will break out?

They Live, Champagne Champagne, and VS… and us.


  1. Seattle hiphop rules, suckas!

    Grayskul, Grynch, Goondocks, Southside, People Within, Dyslexic, Macklemore, Sadistik.....!

  2. Nice interview! The 206 hip-hop scene is buzzing these days, for real!