Interview: Tactmatic

Tactmatic has become one of the most-talked about MCs in Malaysia and is also known as one of the battle rap kings in KL. Soon, he’ll be representing Malaysia to battle in Australia, New Zealand and Manila. Previously from a group called Illinguists, just last year he rocked the stage at the Shout Awards and is currently featured on DJ Fuzz’s Mixology 3 mixtape. He has also garnered some major hits on Malaysia’s Tamil radio station THR Raaga while at the same time has produced hits for a handful of local acts. The Ipoh-bred rapper even has his own label Tact Records, his own recording studio called TheArkhitact Studio and recently released his own Whiskey Coke Mixtape too. JUICE gets to know the brains behind the personality.

Why the name Tactmatic?
I think being tactful is vital in today’s society, plus since I’m a battle MC, I have to offend without being offensive. I guess I couldn’t have chosen a better name. “Matic” was just an adjective.

Do you remember the 1st moments when you knew hip hop was your calling?
I like this question. I’m very passionate about hip hop for many reasons. One of them being that for a short period of time, when I took a break from college, I had no money. I survived and lived a decent life with monies I received from selling beats. I guess that made me really close to hip hop. I feel I’ve owed hip hop something ever since.

Tell us about Tact Records.
Tact Records is my business. It functions as an independent label that focuses on publishing and new media content. Tact Records is now a year old and already has 3 albums released under its name. I saw a lot of potential in the local Tamil hip hop scene as people are very supportive and still buy the CDs. I started Tact Records when a number of Tamil rappers approached me for beats and asked me to produce full-length albums. The 1st album was by a duo called Vedaz; they had 3 hit singles from their album that did very well on the charts. After Vedaz, I did the score and soundtrack album for a local Tamil Movie (Thandhava), which featured various artists from the local scene. The 3rd album is my recent tie-up with Hankey Bannister whiskey for The Whiskey Coke Mixtape. Future projects include mixtapes by Sayla, and many more new and upcoming acts.

You’re 24 this year. Do you think you’re too young to start a label?
Yeah. I have no experience or big ringgits to run a major label. I own and run my own recording studio, I make beats and produce tracks, and I have a sweet publishing deal. It was the perfect recipe to start a label. I have loads to learn and I am working very hard to function as a successful label, especially in finding a new business module for the music industry.

How do you think you stand out from other MCs in Malaysia?
I think I’m one of the few MCs who wear many hats. I produce, I engineer/mix/master tracks, I rap, I battle and I do a bunch of other things. I’m very passionate about the art at all levels.

What’s the strangest gig you’ve ever performed at?
Someone’s wedding. I will never do that again.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in music?
I studied to be an accountant. I would be the only happening accountant. Kidding!

What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard about yourself?
Can’t recall anything “about” myself, but there was this one time I was on air at THR Raaga and a fan called in and called me “Kinetic”. It was funny!

What are your current obsessions?
Escaping the monetary system and living in a world of abundance.

If you were stuck on an island alone, which one album would you want to be playing?
Donuts by J Dilla.

If you had the last 5 minutes of your life to listen to one last song, what would it be?
MC Blink – ’40 Years’.

What can we expect from Tactmatic in 2011?
A bunch of new songs-my own as well as from artists that I’m currently producing for-a lot of new beats and not forgetting a lot more rap battles. I’ll try to retain my title as the Malaysia battle rap champion.

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