DJ and producer Statik Selektah first met Reservoir SVP of A&R and Catalog Development Faith Newman in 2014 and the following year Newman signed Statik to a publishing deal at Reservoir. As Statik, who recently signed with Roc Nation for management, gears up to release his 8th studio album, aptly titled 8, the pair sat down to talk about the makings of the record and what feeds him creatively.
Faith Newman: You recently released “Man of the Hour,” featuring 2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa, as the lead single off of your upcoming album ‘8.’ What inspired you to want to take on this project, after initially noting that Lucky 7 would be your last compilation?
Statik Selektah: I kinda look at this as a new page in my career. When I made Lucky 7, I was about to have my daughter, and I just felt like the energy that I was putting into making all these compilation albums could have been put towards working on other artists’ albums. On a success level, compilations never do what artist albums do, but I saw what DJ Khaled was doing and he really inspired me to make another album. I decided it was time. And this album is a lot different than my others. It’s really spreading a lot of flavors and I’ve got a lot of people I’ve never worked with before like G-Eazy, Run The Jewels, there’s a Wale song that’s really crazy and kind of a different speed for me. I wanted to switch it up. I think a lot of my hardcore fans were kind of surprised to see me drop a single with 2 Chainz and Wiz Khalifa—but the record is still very Hip-Hop. I didn’t step into a trap world.
Faith: It’s exciting to see you collaborating with so many different rappers who have varying styles. What do you get out of each collaboration creatively?
Statik: A lot of times I find an artist, especially someone like 2 Chainz, who just says lines that I wish I had written myself. Sometimes it’s like he’s rapping for me, because, you know, I’m not actually rapping on my records. He says things that, I’m like, “oh that’s exactly what I would say.” And the same thing with Joey Bada$$. We’re 13 years apart but we still have a lot of the same political views and musical tastes. It’s cool when you work with artists and friends that can speak for you.
Faith: How would you say your sound has evolved?
Statik: I’m starting to be a lot more musical lately, bringing in live instruments and not making it so much about myself. I like bringing in other people who are creative–a saxophone player or keyboard player or extra singers. I’m all about it. And I’m about to go almost entirely sample free.
Faith: You’ve been the host for Shade 45 Radio for over a decade now. Why is it still important to you to do the show each week?
Statik: It’s my therapy every week. I don’t have time every day to listen to new music, but the radio show gives me a reason to search for new artists and new sounds. I think I’ve broken more artists than any other radio host in the last 10 years through my show, and I’m proud of that. Mac Miller, Chance The Rapper, Joey Bada$$, Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, all got their first airplay on my show. Plus, most of the time, I end up working with them. We’re starting journeys in life, that change everybody’s lives, you know?