Finger Trips’ rise in the East European beat scene

Instrumental Hip Hop is a sub-genre of Hip Hop and it is basically beats that an MC or rapper would typically rap on. It is important to note that due to Hip Hop’s ever-increasing segmentation and categorization, more genres are born. Gone are the days where beat-based beats and the producers of those beats only served purpose of solely supplying beats to rappers or MC’s. Producers all around the globe have taken a step forward by creating and pioneering a new genre that has grown to be respected and valued in music.

One individual that is particularly championing Instrumental Hip Hop is Finger Trips, who hails from Poltava, Ukraine. Being in East Europe should prove to be quite interesting as the Instrumental Hip Hop scene is still small, connected and the ones who participate in it act as a family or brotherhood. The Nusoulhub Radio team had an opportunity to speak to Finger Trips and find more about him, his philosophy when it comes to music, his upbringing and more.

Greetings, brother. We would like to thank you for responding to our call for an interview. We recently got to know of you through connections on Soundcloud and on a music note, we have a little idea of who you are. Mind letting us in on who you are and where you’re from?

Finger Trips: Peace everyone! My name is Maksym Dudka. I’m a beatmaker from Poltava, Ukraine. Nowadays I’m releasing Instrumental Hip-Hop music under the name Finger Trips. Nusoulhub:How does your upbringing and where you come from play a role when creating the sounds that you’re known to produce? Finger Trips: My journey began in 2002 when my parents took me to music school. They did not do that in hopes that I would become a musician, they wanted their son to spend less time wandering the streets. I studied there playing trumpet for 5 years. I finished music school but music was not part of my life until 2013. This year was the time I dived deep into the history of hip-hop and exactly in its golden era that inspired me to start learning writing a beat.

Tell us more about the music scene in Ukraine, particularly when it comes to instrumental Hip hop and beat music. Is there a more dominant genre of music that is popular in Ukraine and can one, if possible, see some stylistic similarities with that particular genre and your productions?

Finger Trips: I’m not really delved into the history of Instrumental Hip Hop in Ukraine, but I think that for the most part it is seen as an individual genre, this genre has been around for sabout 10-15 years, and ofcourse back then there were benchmarks which appeared in the music in the early 90s. As for me, nowadays in Ukraine this genre has become really popular. I can distinguish most famous beatmakers that have similarities in their genre with mine for example Klim Beats, The Cancel and Smuff tha Quiz, they all have their own style.

When did your musical journey start?

Finger Trips: I started building my network and putting out my work from the beginning of 2014 under the nickname Sweet So Weed, and the first EP was entitled “Catch Funky”.It had a blast among the B-Boys with the title track “Be YOng”. An Eastern Europe music party called “More Than Dope” from the neighboring country Belarus, was inspired my track and they used it in their movie.

Every artist has a philosophy when it comes to creating, mind letting us know what yours is? This philosophy often sits as the core reason as to why artists create artwork.

Finger Trips: My view consists in dreams that I can leave my originality and a mark in the Hip-Hop music and culture in general, and bring my own style and rhythms to it. I want to collaborate with some rap artists who have been inspired by my beats and create what would turn out to be a good product.

As much as your core focus is beat production, do you have a particular message that you always try to push out in your music? The messages attached to your beats could be conveyed in maybe how you choose to title your beats?

Finger Trips: In my mind, making instrumental music making is for a person who has a passion and an ear for it and someone who, in his or her mind, understands some political history or situation, possibly inventing or remembered with real life. The name of my tracks are often taken from the name of old records from which samples are basic cut. But often I just twisted it into some words that is closer to the subject of the track.

What is your creative process? We would not want to know what your trade secrets are when it comes to creating your beats, because we respect the process. Is there a piece of equipment that has to be in your setup when making beats?

Finger Trips: It’s all just my little wonder and the buttons from a company called AKAI. Until recently, the album “Funky Weekend” I used the AKAI MPD 32, then changed the MIDI keyboard into a full-fledged AKAI MPC1000. I like playing on a drum machine samples complete live without play buttons,at the same time I play drum samples and samples that are cut from the old tracks on vinyl. So I just can get almost full track playing on buttons and thinking through all the new combinations in the sampling.

How important is collaboration to you? Have you collaborated with any artists that are beyond Ukrainian borders?

Finger Trips: So far, I’ve only worked with local artists and artists from neighbouring countries, but I am open to all of the world. Maybe some of your rap artists hear my beats and want to make a track, it will be cool.

Who are some of your major influences when it comes to music, art and life in general? We know you’ve tagged yourself as someone who primarily produces Instrumental Hip Hop and beat music and we assume that your interests in music are probably beyond those genres.

Finger Trips: I don’t limit myself to instrumental Hip-Hop or beats. I think if you listen to one style music in the style of you doing, then you will repeat for those who you listen, maybe not consciously but it’s true. I’ve always liked Reggie and Dramenbeys and Ragga Jungle I just really excited. Also, like in the old school house sound this is closer to the disco. But the most favorite for me is always Funk, its really inspires me. Jazz and Soul also be loved and I sampled its old records too.

Given a chance to perform anywhere in the world, where would you ideally want to perform?

Finger Trips: Perhaps in France, and especially Marseille, my dream is to go there. It would really be great if I have a chance to play in every city in the world, because each is individual and would have inspired me. And now I know that I should come to play in South Africa, because there are people who have heard or will hear my tracks. It’s cool.

We are currently in a time where we are probably experiencing some ground-breaking advancements in technology which have an effect on how we make and consume music and art. Think about how technology made it possible for us to connect online to carry out this interview, are you embracing the digital age and does the advancements in technology affect your creative process in a positive or negative way?

Finger Trips: Only in a positive way, because now I can quietly have my own collection of movies, audio, pictures that inspire me to collaborate with other artists from all over the world. And now it’s not necessary to have all music tools at home, you can simply download drum sounds in a drum machine, put it in your backpack and go have a great journey.

How important is it to you to stay true to yourself in a world that is constantly trying to tell you who you should be?

Finger Trips: This is an important part for every person, especially for individual who writes music in it’s authentic style, not like what the majority is enjoying.

In conclusion, where can people find you on the internet? Where can people buy your music?

Finger Trips: My lastest work can be heard on my page Soundcloud – soundcloud.com/fingertrips – and if you are interested in my early albums, you can go to BandCamp – fingertrips.bandcamep.com. Last EP will appear there later.

Are there any shout outs you would like give out, any words for your fans or potential fans?

Finger Trips: Create To Enjoy!

Finger Trips released an EP called Funky Weekend this year, which you can stream below.

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About Author

Nkululeko Nkosi Creative entrepreneur, self-starter and writer are some of the words you can use to describe me. Inspired by the grit, rawness and passion you often find in underground and alternative culture. Based in the greatest city in Africa, Johannesburg.


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