CW Music had the opportunity to catch up with Funk Volume/SMKA’s talented record producer Kato for an exclusive interview.
Originally hailing from Fairfax, Va, in 2006, he moved to Atlanta where he currently resides. In 2012, after several years of putting work into the underground Atlanta hip-hop scene, Kato joined established production group, SMKA – founded by Mike Walbert (also General Manager of A3C Hip-Hop Festival) and 808 Blake (Producer). After collaborating and releasing multiple projects under the SMKA umbrella, frequent collaborator and friend, Jarren Benton, caught a break and signed to independent label, Funk Volume (Hopsin, Dizzy Wright, SwizZz). Shortly after, in September 2013, Kato followed with his own signing to FV as an in-house producer. Read more for Kato’s interview and production credits.
CW: How long have you been producing and how did you get started in the first place?
Kato: I’ve been producing for about 7 years now, it all started in my college dorm room – I was heavily influenced by the local hip-hop scene in Philadelphia (where I was attending college) and it inspired me to start messing around in FruityLoops. Never stopped since then.
CW: Do you work solely as producer or do you engineer as well?
Kato: I’ve had to learn how to engineer over the years out of necessity. When I was too broke to afford studio time, I just learned how to record and engineer myself, so now I do both and actually prefer to engineer my own stuff.
CW: Is there an artist you want to work with that you have not yet had the opportunity to work with?
Kato: I really want to start in my own city, so anyone and everyone in Atlanta who’s on the come up is who I want to work with.
CW: Do you have any Publishing, A & R or T.V/Film relationships?
Kato: My publishing is administered by my label, Funk Volume, I generally don’t like A&R’s (let alone understand what they even do), and I’m building my TV/Film relationships… recently got my first song placement in a movie titled “Kid Cannabis”
CW: What is the best piece of advice in this business you’ve received thus far?
Kato: Work hard.
CW: What other producers, songwriters and/or artists do you see as your primary inspirations?
Kato: I’ve adopted sounds from everywhere. Dre and Premo were some of the earliest to inspire me, and then later on when down south music started poppin, the 808s fucked my whole world up.
CW: What is distinctive about a Kato production?
Kato: I think the fact that I can produce so many different styles yet still maintain a sound that people say they know is me, is something that is inherently embedded in my “sound.” I constantly challenge myself to push my own sound and do something I haven’t done before.
CW: What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t producing?
You can read the rest of this interview @ CeezWorld.com!!!