Urban rocker Bizzythowed has worked with artists throughout his career, like Nicki Minaj, Fabolous and with The Weeknd on his Grammy award-winning album “Beauty Behind the Madness.” Now the Texan is taking the mic and guitar on his blend of hip-hop and hard rock on his new EP “Blank Check, Vol. 1.”
Creative Control: What got you into music initially?
Bizzythowed: [I’ve] been doing music since I was a small child. I would say around second grade I started learning music and theory. I went to a music and science academy for elementary [school], so I came out of there playing trombone. I started guitar when I was 11 and took lessons on the weekends until I got accepted into Berklee College of Music.
CC: How would you describe your sound?
BT: My sound is a bunch of musical styles combined in my own unique way to make a gumbo pot. I take from everything that I like and I interpret it in my own way, and that’s what the listener is getting. I listen to everything – all styles. [I’m] very open minded in that sense.
CC: From where do you draw inspirations for your songs?
BT: From anywhere really. It can come from being out in public or from a sign I read or something I saw on TV. It can come from a conversation and someone says something that triggers [something] in my brain. Really the possibilities are endless. Being a professional there are no excuses to [not] produce content so you learn to find it from anywhere. I can get inspired from a fortune cookie lol.
CC: What was your experience like working with The Weeknd? Did the time working with him have any impact on your music or give you any inspiration? Did he take anything from you or feel inspired in anyway?
BT: Working with The Weeknd was and is a awesome experience. A truly gifted individual. Working with him and me coming into the situation I was already [an] established producer and session player with placements under my belt. I’ve been combining and mixing rock and other musical styles and pulling inspiration from the 80s and 70s into my music for a while, so a lot of that I showed him and put him on to some bands and groups. For me just to see the meteoric rise is inspirational and knowing that I had a part in the sound means a lot. I think he got a lot from me and from a lot of other people around him that has helped shape him into a musical beast.
CC: Is there any artist who you would like to work with in the future?
BT: I love working with artists and it’s something I will always do until I can’t anymore. As far as someone in particular, Wiz would be fun. B.O.B., Lupe, Chance The Rapper, Metallica, Katy Perry. I’m down to work with whoever wants to work with me and got the money to back it up!!
CC: Since you’ve worked with artists more prominent in the hip-hop scene, how do you feel about samples?
BT: Samples aren’t really my thing as a musician. I play an instrument so even if there is something I like from a particular record, I usually replay it before I sample it. I learned the hard way some years ago about samples and having to pay the people you sampled and that was a huge, huge chunk of money where if we would have just re-played it we would have made a ton more money. I don’t knock it because it’s a huge part of hip-hop and someone who can expertly sample and do it the right way without just blatantly ripping another artist off – I respect that.
CC: Now that “Blank Check, Vol. 1” has been released, do you plan on touring?
BT: Yes, I do. I’ve been getting things in order to tour this fall. I have two more releases I want to put out this summer and then start really killing the live shows.
CC: Because the EP is called “Blank Check, Vol. 1” will there be a Vol. 2? If so will it have a similar sound to the first?
BT: There is a Volume 2 and it is similar and different. Similar because of the content and different because Volume 1 is more live drums stripped down bass guitar and drums.. Vol. 2 is more beats and at a slightly slower pace.
CC: What do you hope the future has in store for you?
BT: To just be successful and eating off of my art, to continue to build my band and my brand and also produce and create with artist the caliber of The Weeknd. That’s what I do. People are just now starting to realize who I am and that I’ve been here a while making a mark in this industry and I will continue to do that.