Artist Feature: Pat Messy

Pat Messy | Photo by Will Urbina

Pat Messy | Photo by Will Urbina

Reflection is that mental place where you try to put an answer to why things are the way they are, why things happen the way they do. Response is what you choose to do with that understanding, how you choose to react, what you choose to give back.

– Pat Messy

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

PM: I was born and grew up in Santa Cruz, CA, been up in Oakland for some years. Right now I am in a place called Elevation.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

PM: A lot haha. I think reflection is the process of trying to make sense of what’s going on all around us. It’s that mental place where you try to put an answer to why things are the way they are, why things happen the way they do. Response is what you choose to do with that understanding, how you choose to react, what you choose to give back.

How does your music fit in with that definition?

PM: My music is my response to the frequencies of life. I try to capture what I see in the world and in the people around me, reflect it off what I hear in my head and feel in my gut, then somehow translate it into rhythm and rhyme. As far as the musical side of things, I do a lot of sampling (not just loops tho). I like to listen to music, so I listen to records for timbres and tones, little musical chops that inspire me to create. For example, on Skeleton Key, the entire melody was taken from a single 1/16th note from an old funk record. The tone of the note they hit had me bugged so I chopped it, spread it out over my keyboard and played a brand new melody and progression. To the point that you can’t recognize the original sample. I try to do that with my sample work, reflect on the music before me and respond in a way that transforms it into something new and fresh.

With The Elevation LP, I really created from a reflective place, it’s pretty much the stories and experiences that I wanted to share from my formative years. The songs I like to write are usually conceptual. I don’t really sit around brainstorming things to write about. I just write, and then what I need to write about emerges in the process. I try to focus in on that subject, communicate my learning and understanding that I get through reflection and giving these thoughts attention. All my songs go thru a lot of editing and reworking to stay on topic. I have a song about being hungover. I have a song about chasing skirts. I have a song about losing my mother after a long battle with cancer. I’m all over the place!! I tried to create a personal record that is accessible, like hey, this is what I’ve been dealing with, this is what I’ve learned, if you can learn something about yourself or the world around you by listening to my records then I’ve done my job.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

PM: I just released my first full length album, The Elevation LP. I produced, recorded, rapped, and mixed the whole damn thing. It was a gang of work and it feels great to finally get it out there. I had a bunch of amazing musicians that helped contribute which made for a really dope end result. I’m happy with it and the response and feedback has been great so far. And it’s FREE! So go get that and tell all your friends! hahah!

Next, I got an EP I’m finishing up that is just bananas. Haha, it’s kind of a tongue in cheek project but the result is some very familiar sample sources completely flipped completely on their head. It should be out in July. Not tryna blow myself up but I’ve never heard anybody do it the way I did it on this joint and I am excited to share it with everyone. It’s ridiculous haha! I’m always busy with something. I’m getting together some bonus materials for The Elevation LP, including a remix that is just incredibly produced by the all amazing Wax Roof. Just got linked up with Joob, an amazing beatmaker from San Jose, his shit is just, wow, he bangs out sonic masterpieces, so we’ve been talking about getting a remix from him too. I got a full length project with this emcee RubberLegs that I am producing, his wordplay is bonkers and the sound is coming together nicely, we’re shooting for the end of the summer. Other than that I’m just trying to build and doing more mixing projects, started mixing some joints for Marc Stretch of Foreign Legion who I’ve been a fan of since way back in the day, so that’s been awesome. Me and Wax Roof are finishing up an EP for songstress Genoa Brown which has been coming out dope! I got some other stuff in the works that I wanna keep hush about haha, so stay tuned! Oh and also I’m still working a day job in Radio at an amazing show called Snap Judgment which is dope. So basically I’ve been replacing sleep with gallons of coffee. Haha!

Pat Messy

Who or what inspires you?

PM: Everything. Mostly the people in my life and new music. I was lucky enough to grow up during the Golden Era of Hip Hop and still put a lot of those records on, big fan of De La Soul, ATCQ, pretty much everything that came out on Rawkus, all that underground shit from the early 2000’s. As far as producers, Dilla, Nottz, Hi-Tek, Mr. Porter, the list goes on but those are a few I usually keep on heavy rotation. When I’m writing or creating, I never wait for inspiration to hit me before I begin creating. I just try to continue working on my craft, even if it’s just to sharpen the axe and get my chops up. That way when I do get hit with inspiration, I got the tools to be able to more quickly and easily express myself and don’t have to sweat technical stuff. At my day job, I do a lot of sound design and mixing, I also select a lot of music to get played on the radio so I’m always listening to new shit coming out and the internet has really opened the gates up for a lotta cats who prolly wouldnt get put on otherwise. I appreciate how accessible music is and how it’s becoming more interactive. I listen to a lot of hip hop of course, but also dig into old funk, soul, jazz, and psychedelic rock. I just got my hands on a bunch of Italian prog rock and I’ve been playing a lot of that just bugging out on how incredibly weird and epic those records are. Haha!  

Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?

PM: The Elevation LP is out now and for free!!  All in all, I consider myself a sound junkie with a deep love for hip hop music. My passion for sound has given me opportunities to travel the world as a Radio Journalist, climb into dusty leaking basements looking for records, and put on stages partying with a crowd full of people, I feel blessed. I’ve been working on my craft as an emcee for a long time and finally got my sound to a point where I feel like it’s worth sharing. I make honest music, it comes from the soul. Yo also, if you are a fan of hip hop you should check this story I did about the Late great J Dilla:

Shout out to… 

PM: Shouts to LIFESTYLE for giving me a spot! Shouts to Everyone who’s been supporting The Elevation LP!! My dude Wax Roof for hooking me up with you guys. Errbody who worked on the album and who I’m working with now. DJ W1sh One, Daniel Goldsmith, Genoa Brown, Coonrad, Rishi, Dr. Long Arm Slick, Michael Summer, Jesse Engel, Adrian Gormley. Rubberlegs, LA Clinton. And everyone whos taking the time to read this. LET’S GO UP!!

Pat Messy


Reflection and Response.

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