In a world where swagger usually triumphs over substance, beatsmith and composer eranotik is all about soul.
While growing up in the sunshine of Southern California, there was rarely a day when music wasn’t part of eranotik’s life. Whether his mom was teaching him to dance to funky disco and salsa records or his dad was blasting classic rock, eranotik was drawn to music like Coltrane to saxophone reeds.
Once eranotik was finally successful in convincing his family that he needed to be playing his own music pronto, his world was turned upside down—especially when he was introduced to jazz.
“I remember how I begged and begged my mother, and she finally let me rent a trumpet and start there,” eranotik says. “I stuck with it all throughout high school and eventually ended up joining the jazz band. That was it for me. I fell in love.”
Around the same time, eranotik’s musical education had also extended to hip-hop in a big way, too.
“Growing up, I had always listened to it, but I was really switched on during high school,” eranotik shares. “At the time, mainstream hip-hop had just moved to being really mechanical, and I wasn’t particularly impressed.”
Skipping over the bulk of hip-hop that graced the radio airwaves, eranotik found himself drawn to hip-hop’s elder statesmen, artists who weren’t interested in simply writing songs for the bump-and-grind club scene. “Interestingly enough, they were sampling these jazz artists that I was digging,” eranotik recalls. “I was really into guys like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Pete Rock, DJ Premier and everything he did. When I discovered that stuff, it was heaven because there was so much soul to it.”
eranotik’s a-ha epiphany was further solidified after hearing Common’s Like Water for Chocolate.
“When I listened to that record, it was like ‘Ok, this is the kind of music I want to create,” eranotik says. “From there I got a cheap turntable and sampler and went to work.
Before long, eranotik started putting his own creative stamp on hip-hop with a decidedly organic approach. With a profound respect for hip-hop’s heritage and an arsenal of inventive ideas on how to fuse classic influences with something new, eranotik is invested in making music that evokes emotion and keeps the listener’s head moving at the same time.
“I believe one of the core tenants in hip-hop is an appreciation for the music that’s come before you, which I think is at the heart of sampling,” eranotik continues. “I approach the music I create with that same regard by asking myself ‘What can I do with the lessons I’ve learned from Pete Rock? What about Pink Floyd? Freddie Hubbard?’ I use that as a springboard and then take things in my own direction.”
With a commitment to making honest music that’s ultimately an alternative to the more manufactured drivel played on today’s radio, eranotik is looking forward to working with anyone who shares his values, whether it’s independent hip-hop and soul artists or companies looking for creative expressions for their next marketing campaign.
But whatever you’re searching for you can count on soul being part of the package.