Our man Pete Cannon. One of the UK’s finest producers. Pete is a real nice dude, a touch crazy as you’ll read, but as good a person as you could want to hold a conversation with. Hugely passionate about all music and takes pride in making his beats. The quality of his work speaks for itself. We hope you enjoy reading!
Rockfresh: Q1: 2013 is looking like an incredible year for you with the likes of Porsche & Toyota wanting your music for adverts. Tell us the story behind how they came about?
Pete Cannon: Yeah man, there is lots on for sure. I’ve always made different styles of music since I was a kid from techno, jungle, hip hop etc. I keep my eye on whats about in as many scenes as possible. People know Pete Cannon for making hip hop but I make all types of stuff. It just so happened these 2 companies were feeling some of the “other” types of music so you might see me driving a god dam Porsche yet shun. Oh and I forgot to add, as much as hip hop is my love it sure as hell don’t pay the bills. Check this vid to see what I mean…
Other stuff I’ve produced and coming in 2013 is Dirty Dike’s album, a high focus greatest hits remix album, A Pete Canon solo album and another beats album, shit don’t stop mate.
Even Uk hip hop producers have bills!!!!
No disrespect to anyone I’ve worked with, shouts to you all. Lets have some fun!
Rockfresh: Q2: Judging by the video you might have a career in acting up next. Can fully understand on everyone wanting something for free. There must have been times that doing something for free has helped you on the way to where you are now though?
Pete Cannon: Oh of course, don’t get it wrong I still love doing music but when the missus has a great job and you’re trying to match a real life wage then there comes a point where you either stop or keep going if you’re confident in what you do. It might be my ego but I’m still doing music haha. I work in a few ways. If the artist is established we usually break bread after the product is out, recoup and split. However if the person has no budget or following (not to say they aren’t a great artist) then I usually sell beats. Not to say that I’m anyone or better than anyone, just after 12 years of doing stuff and finally almost getting a bit of a name, working with some bigger artists and biding my time it’s time for me to try and better myself… There is only one me and only a certain amount of projects I can take on. Its just making sure that each one strikes correct and that it all helps to improve and build the profile as an artist. It can still be about catching a vibe though and being around the right people. For instance myself and Dr Syntax had a weekend in (pause) just doing in music recently, some of the cuff, some pre planned, this has now developed and after a few more sessions a new album is on the way from us. The bare bollocks of it is you work for free with people you enjoy working with and if you are both going to gain from it. But yeah if it all fucks up obviously I’m going into acting haha.
Rockfresh: Q3: You’re on our album ‘Superimposed Headphones’ with Verb T as well. Is that the moment when you thought – Yep, I’ve definitely made it now?!?!
Pete Cannon: It comes second to when Jesus asked me to sing this for him haha. The worst link ever to try and get a video in there haha. Nah Rockfresh make god dam sick garms especially for anyone into hip hop so big up for having us involved my man. Also Verbs is a bloomin lovely chap, a bad man rapper and pro as fuck to work with….
Jesus blessed Pete with this voice so there was no need for autotune hahahha… Happy Christmas people
Rockfresh: Q4: That’s a terrible way to get a link in there! Your voice is beautiful though Pete, did you have lessons to reach those high notes?!
Pete Cannon: Haha, you know what, back in school I was the lead singer in the choir and I sang this in front of the school now that is fuckin hip hop shun. These days I’m “ok” at the singing. I do sing on a fair few tracks but none of the hip hop community will have heard those. I’m a muso before a beat maker. As I mentioned before I make all types of stuff. I guess the obsessive record collecting and loving hip hop so much as a kid turned me to making hip hop. Plus to be fair my dad is a musician, he gave me my first pile of records when I was 3 and my own record player. By 5 he got me piano lessons and by 10 I had a dx7 synth and a drum machine with a 4 track so yeah, I’d blame him for all this music haha. Love ya dad! Some people may see me singing and having a laugh and think that I’m not a serious beat maker as well, trust me I am, I get serious when I’m producing. I just get bored very easily and like to have a laugh.
Rockfresh: Q5: Let’s talk about Pete the person. What are your other passions in life besides your passion for choirs & acting?
Pete Cannon: A good haircut, every episode of Seinfeld, anything the Beatles and unhealthy relationship with the megabus to London. To be fair though, and a lot of people say this, you need to obsessed with music if you plan to make anything of it which I pretty much am. It’s mostly what I want to talk about, then I want to listen to it in my spare time. There is just so much good music out there it’s unreal. My misses gets pissed off sometimes as I’ll spend money on a new synth, some new records and make a shit load of noise in the house while she has just come home from work but I’m obsessed. She understands though and hopefully if and when that big cheque comes through I’ll buy her a new synth hahaah, nah. She supports me through and through and it’s important as she is the main person in my life and at my side, bless her. She’s a musician too, trumpet grade 8 so she understands the music bug. So to sum it up, music yeah!!! Ohh wait. I have been getting into making videos. Seems like every man and their dog has a cannon slr hd cam but again it’s creating and tinkering with programs. So i’ve been on that but the main reason why I got into it again was to help my music along.
Rockfresh: Q6: You’ve not mentioned football! We’ll throw in a link for you – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXmHXIR1Cfg !! So music is your passion, if hip-hop suddenly disappeared what genre would you be most passionate about?
Pete Cannon: Hahaha DEEEEEEEEEK head. Nah, I guess I should have mentioned I’m pretty much anything Blackpool as well, it’s where I’m from, I’m a sandgrown as they call us. So I was loving the seasiders in the premiership as they beat LIVERPOOL TWICE (that one is for Robbie). I still follow them and keep an eye on what they are up to but not all the matches are on tv so I just peep that stats on bbc sport . I’ll say I’m not as obsessed with football as I am music.
If hip hop wasn’t here for real I’d still just be making music. That’s a shit answer but as I said it’s not just hip hop I make it’s just hip hop what I’m known for at the moment. (Big tings a gwan in the future though in various genres with various names, I hope ha)
Oh and Ipswich finished PRETTY much level with Blackpool this yeah so it’s all love.
Rockfresh: Q7: Pretty much level but below Ipswich! What are your top 3 albums of all time?
Pete Cannon: Top 3 albums of all time is pretty easy. Number 1 is and most probably always will be Abbey Road by the Beatles. My dad played this to me as a kid from such an early age it’s just embedded in my brain, it’s some of the first music I heard I’m pretty sure. The way the b side is as one it’s like an early mix tape or something. There are motifs throughout and the whole thing is tied together with themes it’s just fookin brilliant. The production, the instrumentation, the arrangement, the progression, the harmonies, it’s great. It will always remind me of my dad and is pretty much some of the most important music to me. In a number 2 is…NWA “efil 4 zaggin”. Christ almighty this is some hard music. The power of it just makes me jump around and go fuckin nuts. I got the tape of a mate when I was 9, I remember it so much. It had so much swearing on it I hid it at the bottom of my tape collection so my mum wouldn’t find it. Easy E’s voice and dre’s beats just before he completely coined his west coast sound, bliss! Dre’s beats still have an old skool feel but just have enough 90’s about them as well for me on this album. Back when I was kid it was all about the beats and I just couldn’t understand how the hell it was all put together in comparison to something like the Beatles. The subject matter on the album is incredible as well following up from Straight out of Compton and touching on social commentary of America at the time, there is also fantastic songs about how to suck dicks, ever thoughtfull for the ladies were NWA. Basically this album got me into hip hop so it has to go in there. 3rd would have to be not an album but a mixtape, Dj Easygroove obsession Nov92 wetpoint. Old skool hardcore isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but my god when I got this tape it blew my mind. After growing up with all types of music but now wanting to understand how they made this computer music this tape came along and felt like it was pushing the boundaries. I loved rave stuff in the charts at this time, I was about 11 but I always liked the harder stuff but it wasn’t that easy to get when your 11 like. This tape was going round school and I got a copy of it. It was techno into hardcore into jungle techno into early jungle, it was all over the place and insane, it totally suited my mind set as a kid. After listening to it over and over again I find out it’s all just played on records so I go to the local underground record shop. The shop was called bpm, bear in mind I’m 12 now and there is just loads of old dudes in there smoking fags etc, I come in and ask if they have the whole easygroove set on vinyl, I thought I could buy it on one record, hahahaha I was dead wrong. Anyway I then found out you could buy tracks off it individually and “mix” the tracks together yourself. I then went on about this shit so much My dad got me a set of decks Christmas 95, I was 12, it was flippin brilliant!!!!!!! That’s when the serious record collecting started and I’ve been hooked ever since, making mixes, mc ing. Then it all got really serious when i started sampling on the amiga, life was pretty much only on 1 track from there, music college, music university and a god dam house full of records ahhhhhhhh. Haha, bit of a long winded one that…So yeah, The Beatles, NWA and Dj Easygroove.
Rockfresh: Q8: Who is your favourite hip-hop producer and why?
Pete Cannon: It’s Dr Dre. People sometimes forget…yeah I love Jay dilla, Pete Rock, Premo, Kanye, Nottz, Kev Brown, Bink, Madlib, Oh no, Doom, pro era, bomb squad, prince paul, marly marl, buckwild, lord finesse, easy mo bee, Dj muggs…honestly the list could go on for a god dam mile, really, BUT look at what Dr Dre has done. It’s an obvious choice but for obvious reasons. The body of work and the amount he has changed the game over and over again. So much classic music on all levels from the underground to the top over so many decades, you can’t fuck with the diversity! I guess that’s not truly answering the question though as Dre music isn’t my always “go to” listening hip hop. I’m a massive bomb squad fan, its so dirty, so raw, so 90s it’s just hard hip hop music again that makes me go nuts. For that as well I’ll always bang on the Pete Rock stuff, incredible hip hop right there. His drums are that good! Sp with a 950 YES PLEASE! Dilla for the synths even though that’s not all he is known for of course. I guess it’s always down to how I feel and what mood I’m in to who I’m thinking is the best at the time, it will always change and that’s a good thing in my eyes. As much as Kanye West is obviously a bit of a wang his music is incredible. Some people don’t rate him as real, I say you’re a fuckin idiot if you don’t. His last album, that 30 min video, purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfffffff, too good! Real art from a real artist and his body of work speaks for itself. I guess the reason why all these people are what I like in a producer is because they have their stand out quality. They have at some point carved a niche not just in creating their own sound but shifting hip hop in a certain way along the years to change its course, game changers as you will. See I’m the first uk hip hop producer to Don a good haircut, after I’ve smashed it up there can be producers from now on who rock good hair and don’t have to worry about being having the piss ripped out of them, I paved the way hahahahahaha. That’s a shit thing to pave the way in, I’m good at music, you know that, let’s move on…
Rockfresh: Q9: Let’s talk about the hair (it does deserve its own question!) Do you think it’s given you a bit of a brand?
Pete Cannon: Hahaha, see I hate the stereotype that if you make hip hop some people think you should (but obviously you don’t have to) look a certain way. It’s a form of expression and I’ll dress and look how I want. I like looking crisp and the hair is part of that. I don’t care, basically there is nothing wrong with looking good, smelling good and looking after your shit. Some people would say that it’s artificial, or you know a real artist doesn’t think about these things they just do their art. Well I’m a real artist and I like to look good, I’m vain (haha you’ve struck a nerve here) If I want to wear a mincey shirt, have hair like Morrisey and don some tight jeans with some crisp nikes then I will, I still sample vinyl and make bangin hip hop. “Rap music is something you do, hip hop is something you live” , Krs 1 said that, I’m saying, “rap is something you do and hip hop is something you live but at the same time you don’t have to look like a scruffy twat” a small but important embellishment on what he said. It’s a different era as well for hip hop and music all round. So many scenes merge and blend, that has happened with the music and the fashion, I don’t mind that I just embrace it. I’m a Big L fan but I like Rick Ross, I love The Artifacts but I’ll also listen to Tyler, I love anything 90s’ hip hop but at the same time love all the new hip hop now, yes even Drake. Basically to sum it up, I might get a little grief off someone like my man leafy about looking like a “stabber” (and of course he is joking) but my music has always spoke for itself. Fliptrix introduced me at the high Focus 3rd birthday as Pete Cannon the best hair cut in UK hip hop. So yeah, I like to look after myself, including the hair but more importantly, and as we all know, it’s all about the music….
Hair tips –
Shampoo, only condition every 3rd wash.
Do a basic towel dry then use the hair dryer on half strength, take you’re time.
Use a little bit of hair serum when hair drying, it helps immensely with any dry or frizzy bits mate.
Once dry give it 5 mins before applying the wax.
Use a nice dry clay product.
Apply a little hair spray for the quiff, strength hold 4 I’ use.
After that you’re donning good hair all day!
Rockfresh: Q10: If only I wasn’t losing my own hair! Last question. If you meet someone who has never heard your music, what 3 tracks of yours would you make them listen to?
Pete Cannon: If it was for Pete Cannon I would show them the hip hop I’ve made but then I work under many names. If it were to come down to it I’d probably just show the stuff of me playing piano and singing, it’s the most natural, it has the most feeling and is the most me on a personal level, when I feel vulnerable or emotional, you know what I mean. Music is there for expressing and we are never always either up or down so naturally my music reflects that. Hip hop is made on the high for me along with crazy synth stuff where as the other stuff is made at those times where you are feeling more, well, not down but just deflated I guess, as I say we can’t always be up. It’s what music is there for, I’m bloomin terrible with words most of the time so I just make music to express my emotions really, oh and plus the fact it’s just always fun creating. Just keep writing… Not many peeps have heard this other stuff. I guess I just need to tie up some projects then I’m gonna concentrate on it under a different guise.
Enough babble though for hip hop it’s these I guess..
Lunar C – Reality Check
Jam Baxter – BarrelEyeSpookFish
Pete Cannon ft Guilty Simpson – This Year
Anyway look out for new tracks coming that i’ve produced that feature Del the funky homospaien, jehst, Rizzle Kicks, Sway, Leaf dog, Dr Syntax, Blizzard, Jman, Million dan, Maff Ragazino and even action bronson yeeeeeees sir!
Other projects coming is a full remix album for high focus of their Biggest hits, out later this year. A new album with Dr Syntax, An album produced by me on Lewis recordings, a album with a rapper called deadline and an exclusive beat tape (on actual tape) coming out on Jon Phonic’s label Honestly there is soooo much it takes the piss. Got to keep that work rate going and constantly be inspired. I thank the wicked music that comes out of this country and beyond on all levels for that. 1 love, Cannon…
Want to know more? You can catch our man Pete here: