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Friday, September 21, 2012

[Exclusive Interview] AUDESSEY

A founding member of Soundsci, one of the illest crews repping right now, Audessey has a rich and deep hip-hop history. From releasing the great "Underground Science" back in 1999 as part of MassInfluence, to dropping one of this year's dopest LP's in "Formula 99", he's proven to be a mainstay on the underground scene. The following interview touches on his work with both groups, his background, future projects and a lot of stuff in between, so don't sleep... And make sure to bookmark the new to stay in touch with what's going on with the crew.

claaa7: You made your name known with the trio MassInfluence, and now you rock as an integral part of Soundsci. How different is the experience working through these respective channels?

Audessey/Ton3: One of the biggest differences is that while I was in Mass we all lived together in a loft and with Soundsci being that some of us are in the UK, NYC and two of us here in the United States we really had to make technology “work for us”. With that said, Skype, email, and having compatible systems and ways to work on material is extra important to the process of how we make songs. Distance we thought was going to be a challenge ended up not being an issue at all. We just found out another way, another “system” to get stuff done that works for us and hopefully you all hear the good results from the hard work in the music.

c7: Around 2003 you released the 12” single “The Gusto” as Audessey the Sound Sci, which points to you being the man behind the name for your current group. What exactly does Soundsci mean?

Ton3: Soundsci is short for “Soundscience” and everything that goes with the Science of making the sound that we make.

c7: When I spoke to Oxygen, he mentioned that he recorded his stuff for “Formula 99” separately from the rest of you. What was the recording of the album like from your perspective?

Ton3: Wow…recording the F99 project was really fun and organic actually. We really wanted to try up our game musically from the DFV (Dig For Victory) project and push the envelope phonically and musically. I think that is seen in the tracks itself: “Formula 99” , “Da Livin”, “Give Thanks” were far much more than just sample running in a loop. On the song “Formula 99” we used no samples and really experimented with effects on the vocals and using a lot of the human instrument factor as we could. For example the back ground effect noises were just me making random noises and then found a analog delay that we put on them and they fit perfect in the scheme of the track and what we wanted to do with it.

c7: What’s your favorite joint off “Formula 99”, and why?

Ton3:  I think they all are for different reason as each song (to me) has their own  special thing about them (time that they were being recorded, topic of the song, etc) that makes them dope on their own merit.  They all are my favorite….ROFL!!!

c7: “Formula 99” has been getting a great response from true hip-hop heads all over, and many of us are already fiending for new music from you guys. Have you started working on anything yet, and if so what are you planning for the next project?

Ton3: Well, we have an EP soon to come out (before year end) called “The Ultimate” that will feature some remixes off the F99 project by Dj Formatt , DJ Spinna , and about 5 new Soundsci songs.

c7. How would you describe the group dynamics of Soundsci?

Ton3: Good question…Let see if I had to breakdown the dynamics of the group it be like this ..

JonnyCuba: Producer/DJ
Ollie Teeba: Producer/DJ
Together they are called “The Process” and they work on the musical (beats) of Soundsci.

Oxygen: MC/DJ/Crate Invader
UGeorge: MC/Vocalist (the dude can really, really sing some soulful stuff)
Ton3: MC/BeatG33K

c7: On Soundsci’s debut EP, “Dig for Victory”, it seems that the group just consisted of you and The Process, seeing as how even UGeorge is listed as a guest performer. Could you tell me about the original incarnation of Soundsci, and what happened between the two releases that made y’all into the 5 man unit that you are today?

Ton3: The dynamic of Soundsci was very simple at first where it was just him and myself but we always wanted to find way to expand the sound and the dynamics of the sound whether that be through another MC, live instruments, recording techniques,etc. So when I asked Geo to be in the song “The ?” and he came and did it with us we both felt that it would be a very cool and interesting dynamic to have him in the group on a full time basis. His rhyming skills along with his vocal abilities would be an interesting element and dynamic  to add to the mix that folks would enjoy. With that said, we asked Geo if he would like to actually be down with Soundsci and he totally was down to be a part of the circle. So at that point Soundsci was 4 because Ollie was already working with Jonny on some of the Soundsci beats at the time. 

 Jonny and Ollie have been working together for ages and have also known each other for a very long time so it was a natural fit with them working on beats together. In the process of us doing the F99 I met Ox on the DWG forums (Diggers with Gratitude if you don’t know best check it out) and in speaking to Jonny he had an existing friendship with them in Ox’s time in Sputnik Brown.  Jonny came to me about doing the cut with him and Ox and shucks to do a joint with Ox would be dope so cats started to build on it and Ox and I started going back forth and we finally worked out the rhymes for “F99”. After that it just seemed like a natural fit for him in the group as our chemistry was really dope on “In a Flash” and Geo and Ox had a convo and as they say the rest is history so here with are with a 5 man team.

c7: With MassInfluence you released the underground classic “The Underground Science” in 1999. But already in ’98 there was a limited LP set titled “Live from Mitchell Street”. I was curious about what exactly that was?

Tone: It’s funny you say that I saw that as well and looked for it but could never find it. I know our first major release was Underground Science, which was all of the singles (at the time) that we released plus some new joints and remixes of “L.i.f.e to the MC”. If someone out there who reads this actually has a copy of this “Live from Mitchell St.” record I really like to SEE it.

c7: My first exposure to your music actually was through the MassInfluence cut on Mr. Len’s solo debut LP. Mr. Len was also featured on your single “Analyze”. What was/is your relationship like with him?

Tone:  We first had a connection with Mr. Len when at the time with Mass went to Denmark and did a show with Company Flow, Mr. Live and other artist and the relationship flourished from there. After that  later on we recorded “Get Loose” for Mr. Len’s project “Pity the Fool”.

Nito had a friendship with him and asked him if he be down to do some cuts on the song. We later went into BullFrog  studio’s at the time  and laid down the verses one Sunday afternoon  for “Analyze” and then he already did his cuts at the loft so we just sampled his cuts and lined them up with the track and flew them in and BLAM! The cuts were in there and the song was done.

c7: Also, before MassInfluence, who really started to make noise in the late ‘90s, you have a rather deep hip-hop history that maybe not everyone is aware of. Could you break that down for us please?

Tone:  Well…. my history goes back to when I was in middle school and I started out beatboxing and break dancing with this crew in Virginia called “The Jam Masters” ( in the early 80’s)  at the time my tag was “Jet Set” and then “ Crazy Fresh”.  I was doing talent shows beatboxing and dancing and then toward the end of middle school I started writing rhymes and listening to the many different emcees at the time BDP, Kane, Biz, TLaRock, JustIce, FatBoys, RunDMC, Skinny boys and I was able to start to learn flow and cadence. My grandmother who lived in New Jersey at the time (Irvington) was huge because being able to go up north to the city and listen to the like  of 98.7 Kiss and WBLS was hiphop heaven for me. I would make tapes of the show and then come back home and listen to them for hours practicing. We had one hip hop show when I was little which was on Sunday nights with DJ Frankski and Chocolate Jam and they would play all the latest and greatest hip hop.  I kept on rhyming in high school doing talent shows and when I went to college in West VA I continued to write rhyme and got a chance to work on the college radio station while I was up there introducing kids to hip hop music that was really up to speed on it. I then came home and started being a hype man in this group called “State of Mind” which then we went our ways and started rhyming with this cat in the 90’s name B-double and we had a group called True Soul which later turned into the “Urbanytes”  (doing locals shows and releases) and I hooked up with a childhood friend of mine (DJ Red Assassin) who let me borrow his EPS 16 Plus and I learned how to make beats I would say this is around the early 90’s (say 90-93). It wasn’t until 94 when I met H on a trip to Atlanta with Nito and the birth of MassInfluence started.

c7: You’re from Atlanta, but the music you make often has that vintage boom bap sound that many would associate most with NYC. How much has the city of ATL itself and the music from there really inspired or influenced you?

Tone: When I first moved down to Atlanta in the mid 90’s I lived right smack in the middle of downtown right before the Olympics so it was a crazy time for the city ,but being in the middle of that and just taking in life at the time and even now that I’m older has really shaped my perspective and understanding say as a man, a person for which will affect my craft which is making dope hip hop music. I’ve had the chance in my time in Georgia to live all around the area  so it gave me a nice perspective to really soak it all in.

I think that living, breathing, growing, learning in the here really influenced me a lot. Being that there are so many different scenes here (jazz, R&B,blues, southern hip hop, underground hip hop) you will always come across something that catches your ear. First and foremost I love music and even though I might be put in a box to make a certain kind of music I think its only natural that being in the place for so long (since 96) would have an impact, but with the soul and jazz roots here in Atlanta and surrounding areas being in Georgia has opened up my mind and ears to all different styles of music. 

c7: So, besides the things that we have touched upon, is there anything else you’re working on or planning that we need to be on the lookout for in the near future?

Tone: Um lets see…I am also working on a project (untitled at the moment with a talented producer from France (A Cat Called Fritz) DJ Lyrik. Also,  were working on some other new Soundsci stuff that potentially might be released next year sometime but we’ll just have to see how it goes. Also, UGeorge will be having an EP/LP coming out next year as well as Ollie Tebba’s EP, and finally Oxygen and I have a project with IllTreats called “Classic Material”. On top of that were forming a label called WorldExpo Records so there is a lot going on right now…a lot to get done ,but its all such positive stuff. We are really blessed.

c7: I'll definitely keep my eyes and ears open for those projects. In conclusion many thanks for taking the time to do this interview with The Lost Tapes, it’s super appreciated. I hope to hear a lot more banging music from you as soon as possible!

Tone: Man first of it should be me THANKING YOU for the dope interview and taking the time to talk to a bro. It’s people like you and what you are doing that make making music worthwhile. THANK YOU for supporting Soundsci and hip hop!


  1. Great interview, Audessey is dope!

  2. really good stuff here. Thanks to both of you for this dope interview!