Sitting with me today is Omari Foster better known as Pour It Up Sip, one half of The Hit Syndicate. What’s good welcome to the site how is everything on your end?
Pour It Up Sip: Man I’m just feeling so blessed. God has been working his plan out for me and giving me the opportunity to share my #1 love with others which is making music.
Tell us a little about yourself? Where you from? How long you been in the “A”?
Pour It Up Sip: Well I'm originally from Jackson Mississippi and I've only been in Atlanta a little over 2 years. I started producing when I was 17 in High School with Fruity Loops 4 but it wasn't until i moved to Columbus OH in 2004 that I really got serious about making music. While attending The Ohio State University, I linked up wit my bro Hodgie Street and really started working on perfecting my craft. Thinking outside the box and doing more than the average southern beat maker would do by using out of the ordinary sounds and learning how to sample and shit but still sticking to my southern roots. After a little over a year of college, I dropped out and found me a plug in the streets with weed. I was hustling because u know how it is when u know so many people on campus who need shit and u know where to get it its only a matter of time before u become the nigga who has it on deck for them lol. I was also working tho and doing my music as well and progressing as a producer making beats for Hodgie Street and the 1700 camp as well as other artist in OH and back home in MS.
What made you make the “A” your home?
Pour It Up Sip: Man it was a couple of things that were the deciding factors for me moving here but they all came together and made the A the best choice for progressing myself as a producer. I had a long talk with my ole lady and my nigga Hodgie and figured that relocating to the A would help with networking with more industry people since Ohio's music scene is kinda limited as well as give me better opportunities to make shit happen. I also got a lot a family here on my mom's side so I knew I had that support system here as well. I’m happy I came tho because since I touched down it’s been nothing but blessing every day.
So, tell me about the Hit Syndicate?
Pour It Up Sip: The Hit Syndicate is the production company started by me and my bro Johnny K west from Michigan. He was one of the first people I met here who was wasn’t on no Hollywood shit and just kept it 100% with me from day 1 u feel me. Johnny a real nigga tho and he made a couple of moves that I respect as far as him passing on knowledge to me and giving me the right tools to succeed. He is a Master Engineer too so we just clicked like the first day we worked together and we been working hard ever since. We still got our own separate shit going on too but we come together and make shit happen.
When it comes to making a track, is there a set formula? or is it like a natural process?
Pour It Up Sip: Man it’s really just a natural process. Music is my way of expressing my feelings because people always tell me I can be unemotional and I keep my emotions hidden. Producing is the easiest way for me to tell ya’ll how I feel without really speaking you feel me. Sometimes I have to put myself in a certain mood like an actor would tho if I want that expression of that specific feeling to come out in my music so I might just think about events or things I’ve done to bring me to that place before I go in.
With the ever change in technology how do you keep up? and what sets you aside from other producers?
Pour It Up Sip: One thing about me bruh is I’m a technology geek I ain’t even gone lie lol. I’m always reading up on the new equipment of plugins or vsts and trying new sound kits. I learned that shit from my boy Johnny but I damn near got an addiction to downloading new sounds lol. I got over 500 Gigs of sound kits alone n that ain’t even including the plugins and shit, plus on top of that I tweak vintage and stock sound to make them my own so some sounds I use none of these niggas even have.
Have you had any success with any major artists?
Pour It Up Sip: yes recently I have but these tracks haven’t been released yet. Still waiting to see if they will make the cut. I do like working with indie and upcoming artist too tho because u never know who might be next up you feel me.
What or who is your biggest accomplishment as a producer so far?
Pour It Up Sip: Honestly I gotta say my biggest accomplishment so far has been with the home team. Working with my boy Hodgie Street has featured my work on Complex and Vibe Magazine's websites and that’s a big deal to me because I was there from the start doing watching him do the performances at the step shows and shit to doing songs with Gucci Mane, Freeway, and Ginuwine, then to performing at venues at major events like SXSW. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg but it means a lot when u have been doing this shit from day one with the same person and you see the progression.
What are some of your struggles as a producer?
Pour It Up Sip: Boy niggas don’t even be understanding lol. It’s hard out here being a producer. They say overnight success really takes 10 years they ain’t never lied. The number one thing is getting your paperwork right because niggas will try to fuck you over if you don’t and you gone learn the hard way if ya shit ain’t legit. Plus you gotta work with indie artist because a lot of major artist won’t even fuck wit you until you got a good catalogue built up but sometimes you don’t wanna work with some upcoming artist cause they wack but u still feel their struggle too lol. Then u gotta give away beats sometimes in order to get a mufucka on your track so you gotta decide is this the right person to give this track to because your wondering will you see a benefit from doing it or not lol. Best thing to do is stay prayed up and keep God on ur side and he will help u make the right decisions.
What are some of the mistakes producers make why the beats aren’t heard?
Pour It Up Sip: One of the biggest mistakes producers make is not having their shit mixed and mastered. I used to hear that all the time. Niggas would say "Man that beat fire but the quality bad" or "I wanna use this but it has to be mixed" and if u not an engineer u gotta pay somebody to mix all your shit to be radio quality or else people ain’t gone fuck with it. Another thing that a lot of producers do is sit on their shit for so long that nobody hears it and it just gets out dated. you gotta get out here and network with people if u expect them to listen to your music and fuck with you. How else will you make money? it’s like a nigga sitting at home with 20 bows of OG Kush but he don’t know nobody in the city so who he gone sell it to you feel me?
What kind of marketing is involved in music production?
Pour It Up Sip: The internet is a major means of marketing for producers’ social networks like twitter, Facebook IG and all that shit. But I’d say the #1 means is network network network!!! Hit these meet and greet events up in your city and beat battles and if your city's music scene is too small use the internet to find out where the next closest event in a major city that’s going on and drive yo ass to that event and network. Get out here and build relationships with these people and I guarantee they will fuck with you. I’m a tell you what a very wise man named JG that a lot of ya’ll know as Jason Geter told me one day. It’s not always what you know it’s who you know. And guess what if u ain’t networking how you gone know that person that might one day change your life you feel me?
I see in your promo kit you got lighters, grinders, ash trays. These are some really unique marketing items, Makings for a real interesting networking session.
Pour It Up Sip: lol that actually wasn't my press kit. I got that while attending the Mixtape Show Live here in Atlanta. It was definitely very creative and as an artist that’s what you want to do. Set yourself apart from the normal so people can remember you next time they see you.
What can we expect from you/Hit Syndicate in 2014?
Pour It Up Sip: Expect great things from me and my team, we’ve been working on a lot of shit with a bunch of different artist. Planting these seeds out here so my harvests will be plentiful you feel me. Also be on the lookout for that new Hodgie Street tape called American Dreamin too featuring some really dope shit I produced. and if ya need tracks hit me up @pouritupsip on Twitter and IG.
Pour It Up Sip: #1 S/O goes to the man up above. With him anything is possible. S/O to everybody who been fuckin with me from day 1, my Mama, my brother Jay Fos, my fam, all my niggas on the Nawfside back in Jackson, my girl, Hodgie Street n 1700, my engineers Johnny Kwest and my nigga Q, my niggas Zone and Bishop of Crunk, my nigga LC aka Sweat Da Trac, my niggas 30 Roc and Lil Chris, Krankitupmag.com and s/o to anybody out there who ain’t afraid to get out there and pursue their dreams.