UK Interview: Haan & Sixth Sense on ‘The Haanshake’ & More
After hearing their mix-tape (and liking it) we at Black Budget Entertainment decided to get a few words from the UK Hip Hop producer & emcee combo about their recent release, how they met and more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
HAAN & SIXTH SENSE are a emcee / production duo who got together about a year and a half ago and, recently released their first mixtape – ʻThe Haanshakeʼ. Sixth Senseʼs style on the boards is diverse and truly original. Haanʼs delivery and lyrical depth is also unique.
SS: Weʼve been working on music since 2010, but only began to take it seriously when we both finished uni last summer. We recently released ʻThe Haanshakeʼ mixtape containing a collection of songs from 2010/2011, featuring Ruthless on vocals. The mixtape is made up of Haanʼs recordings over a selection of jacked beats and original tracks – provided by myself & Purpose – which I mixed and edited.
HAAN: Iv made a habit of writing since I was very young. But I never really had the facilities to lay my work down properly and record it. I only started doing that a few years ago. My stance is deep and thought provoking. I try to keep it real as possible but at the same time refreshing and relevant. Music is a medium which IF used properly can do a lot for social cohesion.
What made you choose the name?
SS: I go by the name Sixth Sense cos I like to analyse and get a perspective on things – I always want to see the whole picture, whether thats in life or in music. When it comes to production I draw inspiration from anywhere.
HAAN: Well I was previously known as ʻPugnaciousʼ, but I threw the towel in with that, as my stance on things began to mature and I didnʼt like certain associations. I didnʼt want people to view me as an angry little character with a chip on my shoulder because Iʼm not. Haan is linguistically more interesting and has a root in every culture, so to me thatʼs accessible to everyone. Its also a play on my real name and one syllable is always clean.
What, if any, are the main influences for you when writing your music?
HAAN: For me its about turning your thoughts into something physical. Thatʼs what the beauty of it is. Id say experience and observations are definitely something which mould what I write. Along with being inspired by lifes journey and the people you meet. But most importantly there should be an underlying message behind the music. Thatʼs something which comes from within.
SS: Iʼm influenced by a wide variety of genres and a variety of Hip-Hop styles. From north & west African music to blues to soundtrack music, I incorporate sounds from around the globe to create something different. Producer-wise theres too many to mention, but the guys that had the biggest impact on me are probably Pete Rock, J Dilla, DJ Premier, Beat Butcha & Chemo.
At what age did you first decide to make Hip Hop music?
HAAN: I donʼt know precisely but I remember writing raps in the back of my school books. I never took it seriously, I didnʼt feel I needed to. And it was for no audience but me. It was just a way of me saying what I wanted with no rules for a change. And it wasnʼt just hip- hop either! I wasnʼt afraid of writing scripts and short stories.
SS: When I was 19 I started recording songs as a rapper and was fascinated with the beat-making process so I got some cracked software and started composing. Pretty soon after that I stopped recording vocals and just concentrated on the beats.
What is the main theme behind your current release?
HAAN: The theme is diverse. It contains a number of issues such as gender, identity, race, class, culture and more. I guess it highlights the complexities of living in our society. It raises questions and makes you laugh. Its all honest and illustrates vulnerability, ego and that chasing the dream element.
How long have you been working on your current project?
SS: Our current project has been in the works for about 6 months. ʻThe Formatʼ EP will be our first ʻREALʼ release as a duo and has features from M9 (Triple Darkness), Raggo Zulu Rebel & legendary DnB vocalist MC Fats.
HAAN: Iʼm also gonna be dropping a short EP before that which shows more recent work- ʻBless The Deadʼ EP – which features Phoenix Da Icefire, Quest Rah & Raggo Zulu Rebel with a couple Sixth Sense joints on there. Shouts to Pro P & Quest Rah who also provided productions.
Who features on production for your current project?
HAAN: The original productions on the current tape were from Sixth Sense & Purpose. ʻThe Formatʼ is 100% Sixth Sense.
Have you got any other promotion in place?
SS: Weʼre doing this 100% organic. This is purely independent and we are doing everything from scratch ourselves at the moment, from promoting online to events round London. People that have heard it are showing a lot of love, we just need to reach more.
Have you performed at many live shows and what kind of a reaction do you get?
HAAN: Of course, weʼve done shows throughout London. The reaction is always positive. People feel the vibe we are bringing and always wanna check out more stuff so its all good.
Have you been on any live radio shows and what do you prefer, radio or live on stage?
HAAN: Yes I have but no BBC/Westwood/ 1extra stuff, and theres probably a reason for it too! But to be honest that doesnʼt really bother me. I like getting my art out on various levels. A radio set means more listeners and more promotion, live on stage means you get to see reactions. Either is cool, but what is most important is the actual art.
SS: I want my music to be heard on all platforms!
Have you featured on any other UK Hip Hop artistʼs tracks, if so, who?
HAAN: Iʼve worked with a number of artists out there at the moment and will be working with a few more, just to name a few- Melanin 9 (Triple Darkness) Phoenix Da Icefire (Triple Darkness) Quest Rah, Kingpin (Caxton Press), Ruthless, MC Fats, Raggo Zulu and a few more currently in the mix but I donʼt wanna give too much away!
SS: Iʼve been working with a few artists. You can hear my productions on Raggo Zulu Rebelʼs new album ʻThe Return Of Jah Messengerʼ – I did the single ʻGive It To Themʼ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRZFbrbcHaU and a couple other joints. Iʼm about 75% done on an EP with Ruthless which is gonna be fire, plus much more in the pipeline.
Have you got any videos on-line i.e YouTube, Vimeo etc?
HAAN: You can check my YouTube channel, Weʼre gonna be shooting a couple videos for The Format EP with Global Faction so watch this space.
Have you been featured on any UK broadcasters like SBTV/Link Up TVʼs YouTube channels?
HAAN: No, if u havenʼt gathered already Iʼm pretty fussy with what I do and how I do it! Im sure we will cross paths soon and Iʼve had talks with a few people, but I just like to be in control when it comes to image and delivery.
What are the plans for the future?
HAAN: Theres a lot planned. Iʼm gonna be getting as creative as possible, its not only
going to be music either. Iʼve got a lot coming, heads are definitely going to roll.
SS: My plans for this year are to release as much music as possible. Thereʼs the ʻThe Formatʼ EP, the EP with Ruthless and another project Iʼm putting together featuring some of Londonʼs best underground lyricists.
Thanks for your time, is there anyone you would like to shout out?
SS: Shouts to everyone I mentioned and anyone supporting the music. Shouts to all the
extended Hip-Hop family – Its Love.
Lastly, please drop us your social links!
SS: Twitter: @sixthsense4d Facebook:# /sixthsense4d Soundcloud:# /sixthsense4d
HAAN: Ye big up blackbudget and all the names above and also everyone that sees the real and appreciates the art-form.
You can catch me here:
Twitter: @HaanLdn Soundcloud:# /haanldn YouTube: Youtube.com/Pugnacious9recordings