hipflix is not just about flix, it’s about everything hip. so it’s time for some hip hop. this is an interview with noah barer, montreal (shoutsout montreal!) hip hop producer and overall hip human being. before reading this, if you haven’t already, make sure you listen to some of his work. a) it will make the interview much more interesting b) you gotta listen to it cause it’s dope, if you love a good beat to smile and vibe to: his new EP, meRIX and some of his other releases. and now, hipflix x noah barer.
hipflix: How did you start music?
noah: I started on the drums. My parents wanted me to play all sorts of instruments (piano, guitar) but I i didn’t think those were cool enough. I played drums for 10 years playing in all sorts of bands. I got into jazz school. Spent a year there. Decided I didn’t love jazz and what I really loved was hip-hop – so started to make beats.
hipflix: How do you compare the experience of playing drums in a band to that of producing beats by yourself?
noah: By yourself you have total control. You rely on no one. That can be a good thing because when I was playing in bands, I sometimes found myself frustrated with how things were going. When I make beats, I create whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want. Makes the creative process a lot easier in that way. In terms of the music, I basically just transferred all my drumming knowledge to beatmaking. The interesting part for me is doing the sampling and other instruments because, before now, I had never spent much time working on these parts.
hipflix: This one is for all the nerds out there. What kind of equipment are you working with, particularly for meRIX?
noah: My laptop, my headphones, and a keyboard.
hipflix: Your music is fairly sample-heavy. Do you start with a beat or a sample?
noah: It is sample-heavy. I usually start with the sample. When I am finished sampling and chopping, the samples usually imply a drum beat.
hipflix: Many of your pre-EP releases were instrumental. In meRIX we heard some verses from artists such as common, wu tang clan, and black star. Was this EP a kind of ‘practice’ for future work with live emcees?
noah: Well, the truth is that nobody wants to work with you when you don’t have anything to show for yourself. So part of the reason I did the meRIX EP was just because there weren’t a lot of people I was working with. Also, working with acapellas saves a lot of time recording and editing the vocals. Another big advantage of doing remixes is that it appeals to people who like the artist I am remixing. Especially for my first release, given that nobody knows me, I thought it would be good if I put something out using acapellas from artists that people know.
hipflix: On some of your more recent releases, such as your remix of Emilie & Ogden’s Babel, you bring in some more synth sounds. Is this a direction you will explore more? Are you thinking of including more instruments into your productions?
noah: Ofcourse. I really liked making that track because it was the first time that I came up with a real keyboard part all by myself. I am listening to a lot of hip keyboard music these days so its only natural that I hear that type of stuff when I am making music.
hipflix: In what many will consider a fairly hip move, you made your EP available for free. Speak on that.
noah: In principle, I am not really into selling people music. That’s a discussion for another interview tho. The short answer is that by giving it away for free, more people download it and check it out. Share the love yo.
hipflix: You hail from the MTL, particularly from NDG. What are some of your favorite spots to chill and grab some food around town?
noah: I don’t even know. I used to be vegan so that limited my eating and drinking choices. These days I am super busy so I will eat anything and everything. I’ve been really digging this Falafel place on St. Catherine called Nilufar.
hipflix: Besides making beats we know you like to spend some time at the gym working on your fitness. What were you listening to last time you were at the gym? (if anything at all)
noah: Oooo. I usually just bump whatever I’ve downloaded recently. I find the gym a great place to get into music because you can really focus on it while doing your mindless exercise. Last time I went to the gym I was playing this remix of Rihanna by a MTL dude named J.U.D. and a bunch of Knxwledge.
hipflix: Hypothetical situation: you are casting the hippest music festival in the world, hipflix music fest, and you can choose any artists in the world alive or dead. What does the lineup look like?
noah: Ooo tough question. I am going to pass on this one.
hipflix: Seeing as we are mainly a movie blog; have you watched any movies recently that you enjoyed? Any all-time-noah-favorites?
noah: I was thinking about this. I don’t really watch a lot of movies. But the ones that come to mind are all comedies. Growing up I really liked Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. That is a huge film for me mainly because I love the absurd. More recently, I liked Carnage, and Tropic Thunder.
hipflix: What’s next for Noah, the man; and Noah, the producer?
noah: Both the man and the producer are going on exchange next year to Amsterdam. I expect a lot of interesting things will happen there musically and personally. Before I leave tho, I should be dropping at least one new tape. I just lined up a collaboration EP with a fresh MTL rapper named NANDEZ’. I also hope to get another of my own tapes out by the end of AUGUST. STAY TUNED!
noah: Man too many.
To my family – <3!!
To my boiz – I SEE U , <3!
To my gurlz – <3!
To my h8rz – COME AT ME BRAUS!
hipflix: Thank you so much for doing this, Noah. Much love for the new EP, it is most definitely a hipflix A.