The place to find and share independent music. From hip-hop to pop, dubstep to drum n bass; Beatnik is your filter.
P-money is no stranger to the boom and the bap. We chat to one of southern-hemisphere's greatest DJ and producers.
words Ali RaymondP-Money featuring Scribe: 2001
Hailing from New Zealand, P-money is no stranger to the boom and the bap. Quietly influencing the Hip-Hop movement in his native country with head nodding beats and dope scratching skills, the three times NZ champion and runner up at the 2001 DMC World champs makes music as vibrant as the pacific breezes that carry it.
From spinning tunes on community radio and smashing national DJ competitions, to world fame with his platinum and double platinum albums ‘Big Tings’ and ‘Magic City’, it would be hard to deny him the title of finest DJ/Producer in the southern Hemisphere. And it seems that now we aren’t the only fans this side of the world as recently Radio 1’s Zane lone described P-Moneys newer single ‘Everything’ as the best record of the year. ’Everything’ along with new single ‘Love Alone’ are set to test his producing dexterity, as he takes on dance music.
It’s great to see him reignite a long standing partnership with fellow homeboy, rapper Scribe on the current gem ‘Green Light. It’s partnership that has produced some of the biggest hip-hop from the region in the past including the worldwide anthem ‘Not Many’ to the classic ‘Scribe 2001’. So it’s not surprising the old formula is back.
Without a doubt, in recent years, it’s P-Money’s ability to vary his production with hints of 90’s dance, 80’s pop and a constant grounding dose of Hip-Hop that has aided his music to spread from the shores of NZ and Austarlia to worldwide ears. The best place to start if you didn’t know about talent from this part of a word, What Beats Around the Bush are proud to introduce P-Money.
First off where does the name P-money stem from?
I chose that name for myself in 1997. There was an older DJ that I used to hang around named DLT and he would refer to me as ‘money’ a lot of the time, like in a slang way “what up money?”. I liked the sound of that and I was also a big fan of the legendary Philadelphian DJ Cash Money. So being that my first name is Peter I just took the initial P and put it with Money and there you have it. I was comfortable with it right away and I liked how it looked on flyers and posters, so it stuck. I was also an obsessive fan of Public Enemy growing up and I wanted a name with as many of the same letters as theirs (Laughs.)
You used to play on student radio right? How long have you been making beats and DJ-ing?
I started learning to scratch when I was about 13 or 14 years old. Making beats came a little bit after that in my late teens. I got a shot at doing radio by hanging around the older cats DJ Sir-vere and DLT when I was 19/20. I did the radio thing on “The World Famous True School Hip-Hop Show” on Auckland’s 95Bfm from around 97-2004.
I read somewhere you also use to enter DJ competitions, do you still compete?
My last battle was in 2002. I won the New Zealand ITF title 3 years straight from 99-’01 and I also represented NZ at the Technics DMC World DJ Championships in 2001. I placed 3rd equal with future World Champion Kentaro. Battling was a lot of fun for me at that time and provided a great platform for me as a DJ and performer to get my name out, nationally and internationally. But the ratio between time and energy put in to battle routines and the financial return from it stopped adding up as I started getting older. I think that’s a common reason why a lot of people stop battling and choose to focus on other aspects of their careers instead.
Your music is reflection of the long reach of Hip-Hop to influence. What are you earliest memories of the Hip-Hop movement in New Zealand growing up?
Hip-Hop made it’s first impressions here in the early 80’s through movies and music and people traveling here from America. I remember the music, dance and art being a significant part of the local youth culture growing up. We were all into rapping and graffiti in primary school. It was just the cool thing to do.
What artists influenced you?
As a kid I was into Public Enemy, Run DMC, De La Soul, Geto Boys, 2 Live Crew, N.W.A., EPMD, Eric B & Rakim, and then as a teenager I was further inspired by KRS-One, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, Dr. Dre, Black Moon, DJ Premier/Gangstarr, The Alchemist.
Hip-Hop and Rap music really had a hold on me growing up.
NZ has a rich history and as a dynamic melting pot for different ethnic groups has had it’s problems with racism. Does this have an effect on your music?
Not really. New Zealand, particularly Auckland, has a diverse range of cultures living here. And that’s what makes it such a great place. I’d say we have less racial tension here than in any other country I’ve visited. There are still some historical wrongs that need to be sorted out. And unfortunately my friends who are new immigrants seem to get the worst deal as far as NZ’s subtle racism goes. I like to emphasize the positive and spread love and understanding. Hopefully I can be a role model in that sense.
With a population of only 4 million people NZ has produced Hip-Hop artists that hold considerable musical weight. Do you think the scene is at a healthy state right now?
Yea definitely. Urban music is a fairly consistent favourite down here and in the past 12 months we’ve had 3 domestic number one singles and 7 or 8 local artists hit the top 10. That’s a pretty amazing result in such a small country where we are competing against the huge marketing machines behind artists like T.I., Rihanna, Beyonce and Lil Wayne.
What’s a classic NZ anthem?
Scribe “Not Many – The Remix” ft. Savage and David Dallas (aka Con-Psy). Hands down the NZ Hip-Hop anthem.
What would you say makes NZ Hip-Hop different from neighboring Australian Hip-Hop?
Musically the majority of our artists lean toward a more soulful and contemporary Hip-Hop vibe. Our music resonates amongst our people on a major level.
In Australia unfortunately it’s still a niche or underground thing (in most cases) and can be a little too obscure and retrospective for my tastes. Shout out to Hilltop Hoods, Phrase, M-Phazes, Killa Queenz, Grindin, Surreal, DJ Peril and Flagrant, Weapon X & Ken Hell and all my other Oz homies.
So who are the artists we should be keeping an eye?
David Dallas, Young Sid (Smashproof), PNC and P-Money!! (Laughs).
Looking to the future, you co-own the label Dirty Records.
What can we look forwarddropping out of those camps soon?
New albums from the aforementioned artists David Dallas, PNC and Myself. We also have the R&B artist Vince Harder who is working on some stuff. If you’re looking for stuff on the fringe of Hip-Hop and other genres we also have releases from Tiki ‘Past, Present, Future’, State Of Mind and the Opensouls coming out via our various other ventures. For more info on those and the whole ‘Dirty World’ check here
Well dude, thanks for passing through.
No problem man, my pleasure.