Morgan Zarate
Morgan Zarate

INTERVIEW: Morgan Zarate

Morgan Zarate [Spacek] is playing his discography set this Sunday at CDR London Session. Mamiko Motto meet up with Morgan to chat about the past, present and future for Mr Zarate.

1.  Even though you’ve been making music over ten years, have worked with some amazing artists worldwide, released  records on major labels  – you still seem to keep really humble person within you. There are so many people who would like to be  like you. What are your thoughts on being an artist of your calibre in this day of age?

That’s a very nice question Mamiko,  but honestly I’m just working on something, on a mission so I never look at myself in that way. I’ve had ups and downs but that’s all part of life, just tried to learn  from every experience.

2. You met Tony a while back ago, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Ha Ha, Tony i’ve know for a little while now yea h.  We first met in a rehearsal room when  I was  playing drums in the house band for the Jazz Cafe and he was part of UPS [Urban Poets Society] along with Charlie Dark  and a few others. They were doing a show there so I had to learn all their tracks. We did that and when they started Attica Blues they called me again to do the shows with them. I wasn’t producing back then and I can truthfully say Tony is one of my biggest influences into getting into making music. I remember getting a four hour phone tutorial the day I got my MPC 3000 from him. Taught me pretty much everything I needed to know and he didn’t even have one.

3. What does CDR mean to you as a music lover , producer and a DJ?

CDR is a great platform for people to play out what they’re working on, get a feel on what’s working forthem and what’s not + bands have been formed from the connections made there which is great. I’ve alwaysthought encouragement is the best method to teach someone with. That’s what CDR does well, that’s what Tony has always done.

4. You’ve been living away in Los Angeles for a while. What have you been doing there? Who did you work with?

A friend Mathieu Schreyer, who now has a show on KCRW, got a load of beats that me and Steve [Spacek] made over to Raphael Saadiq ,  and instead of buying them from us he just flew us over to work with him. He just wanted to experiment musically and feel a different energy. That’s what we brought. Worked with Raphael on Sleepy Brown’s album, Musiq Soulchild, did beats for The Freestyle Fellowship, Truth Hurtz, Ty$, Amp Fiddler.

5.  How does it feel to be back?

Great, I had a great time there but this is where I’m from.

6.  How did you hook up with Kode 9? And  why did you decide to release the album with Hyperdub ?

That was over getting to know him through friends and then listening to Benji B’s show when Kode came on as a guest and where his vision for his label and music came across so on point. I just thought we should link up.

7. We are feeling your ‘Hookid’ EP (link!). Is your album finished yet? When can we expect it and can you tell us a little bit what it will sound like?

Thanks, yep, it’s gonna be a different R&B/Hip-hop album.

8. What is your production set up right now?  Also, what is your favorite piece of gear to play with at the moment?

MPC, Logic and a world of plug-ins, percussion, a few little toys. Newest thing right now is a Dave Smith Prophet 8.

9. What kind of music you’re getting inspired by these days? Who are the new names that excites you and perhaps you could name a few, we should know about.

Wiley, Oak, Terror Danjah, iLLav8r + Jessie Ware

10. What are your future plans? Releases?

Album in summer on Hyperdub + The Shining which is my other project.

11. You will be playing your Discography set  this upcoming CDR session. What can we expect?

Never done anything like this before, just gonna play thru lot’s of the music I’ve made since I started to now. Some memory lane business!

12. What would be your best advice to  the new breed of artist  who are trying to make it in the music world today?

Develop your ears. Music is a listening art. So really to open your ears to all types of music, don’t limit what you can appreciate and learn from.               


CDR March London session takes place at Plastic People club, this Sunday. 7-11PM Free Entry.