This is the bit of the article where we like to introduce the artist we’re interviewing. And yet, despite this being yet another underground rap talent on this, Brickcellphone’s Underground Rap Radar, loyal Offie Mag readers won’t require an intro – it’s Gaptoof.
The Cork producer registered on our Top Projects of 2020 with Looks Like Rain and chatted to us on Offie Mag Radio back in May of that year. With Gaptoof having just compiled a new release, one that’s raising money for The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, it felt like a good time to catch up once more.
Hi Gaptoof, firstly, can you introduce yourself to those who may not know you?
What’s the craic, my names Gaptoof. I’m a producer/beatmaker from Cork City (021, of course) Ireland, working with Soft Boy Records.
Who or what inspired you initially to start producing?
I would have heard a lot of garage type stuff growing up along with a lot of jazz and RnB. I think this exposed me to music styles that maybe weren’t “mainstream” at the time. Then I became very interested in how this kind of music was made, so I started attending youtube university around 17/18. I began with DAWs like Mixcraft and Reaper and then finally settled with FL Studio (where all the magic happens currently).
What are these beat battles all about then?
I started to get bummed about the lack of community on account of the lockdowns. As everyone felt, I suppose. I wanted to try to do something every week that people, including myself, could look forward to. Simon Cowell visited me in a dream and said I could be a judge just like him. Thus, Cowelltoof was born.
Seems like there are many producers from Ireland at the moment, which is great to see. Do you think they’re getting the coverage and attention they deserve?
Yeah, so many producers coming out of Ireland right now; it’s sick! Spanning across multiple genres too! I think the media in Ireland often write about producers the same way they would an artist or a rapper, which is fantastic. Many producers in Ireland release solo projects.
Tell us about The Space Tape, where’s the money going, and why?
The space tape is a compilation project of all the top 3 winners from the last six or so weeks of beat battles. All the proceeds go to MASI – The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland. There are many unjust systems in Ireland, and direct provision is one of the worst, so I’m delighted to support MASI in any way I can. I would encourage anyone reading to research direct provision in Ireland; it’s appalling and racist.
What hard/software do you use as a producer?
I’m an emotional SP 404 lo-fi hip hop beats to study to kind of guy as far as the hardware goes, and then with software, I use bebo.com for my snares and Limewire to chop samples.
Where are you finding your samples? Are you a YouTube digger or vinyl hunter?
I AM GOING TO DROP A GEM HERE.
Tumblr. I use Tumblr to dig for samples. I’m not joking. And yeah, sometimes vinyl too!
You’ve already worked with some rappers, including Chlobocop, Kojaque, Kofi Stone et al., but what would your dream collab be?
I would love to work with Manik MC. I’m such a massive fan of his work and really loved the Concrete Clouds EP in 2020, he’s one of my favs at the minute, and I would be over the moon if we could get in the studio one day!
Give us an abstract musical influence who we probably haven’t heard of… (tell us a little something about them too)
I came out of the womb to George Michael. George Michael was playing as I entered into this here world. Fast love was the song. You know George Michael. Sorry, why did I say that…
It’s no secret how much we loved Looks Like Rain… so what have you got coming up? Any projects?
Yes! I’m working on an EP right now. Gonna be super vague and say it’s dropping “soon” but could drop “not soon”. Between you and me, I’m aiming for the 3rd quarter of the year. Let’s get this shmoney!
When we spoke to you back in April 2020, you said, and I quote, ‘I’m on a big chamomile tea buzz…’ nearly one year on, what’s in your cup?
11) Wow. I’m so sorry to say that the gang and I really had to put the Chammy tea down early this year. The new 2021 shit is Pukka teas’ “feel new” (shoutout to my boy Patrik). I feel like 2020 beat the shit out of us, so we needed some new vibes. “Feel new” fills the gap that chammy tea left. PAIN.
Are there any peng pubs in Cork we should know about?
I definitely ascended to new planes of consciousness in the Vicarstown Bar (this one is good). Also, big sleeper but “Reidy’s” is such a vibe. It’s like your Granny’s front room, but your drinking loads of pints and stuff.
Anything else you’d like to add, shout outs, thank yous, a quote from your favourite book, anything goes!
Miyamoto Musashi once said – “know the way broadly and see it in all things” – and I really fuck with that shit.
Right – I’m going to the offie now. Can I get you anything?
Since I’ve come to London, I am fascinated with Magnums. They’re kind of magical, so I’ll take a Maggie, please xxx