Sadistik on Altars, his influences, creative process and more.


So Sadistik, I and most of the guys at OK-Tho are familiar with you, but for those reading who aren't in the know, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Sadistik - I’m Sadistik. One of one. If you’re bored of the same same or feel alone in a crowd maybe my music is for you.

 You have a very unique, experimental and alternative artistry, who are some of your all-time favorites and musical influences?

Sadistik - This can really vary depending on where I'm at in my life, but a few constants for me are: Outkast, Radiohead, Lupe Fiasco, Bathhory, Eyedea, Lil' Wayne, etc. 

I started listening to you when Phantom Limbs with Kno came out. Are there any other producers you haven't worked with that you'd like to work with?

Sadistik - Kno is a brilliant producer so it was a fun opportunity to make a whole project with him. A few producers I haven’t worked with but would like to are Primo, El-P, and Clams Casino. I really prefer to work up close with producers and have my hand in the aesthetic and structure of it as it’s being built. The ideas tend to come out better that way.

How'd you get into Hip-Hop? Like, what was your first introduction to the culture, and then how'd  eventually get your foot in the door as an artist?

Sadistik - I got obsessed with hip-hop at a very young age by digging through my older brother’s cassette and CD collection. I got introduced to a lot of gangster shit initially and I was immediately hooked. Most of my early years were spent trying to get my hands on as many rap albums as I could. I was always a very sensitive and creative kid, drawing things or writing poems etc. so eventually I tried to take my own stab at converting my poems into rapping. I’ve always felt very passionate in whatever I do, so when I chose to fixate my energy on rap music I went full-bore. I wanted to make rap records that nobody had ever heard before.

I remember when you said that you were in the process of making the best of album of your life and that if you were religious that you'd be nice and offended by it. You also said that one of the main subjects on the album would be your frustration with anything totalitarian, is that frustration what ultimately led you to create this album?

Sadistik - Altars is the culmination of a lot of things for me, but clearly religion is one of its cornerstones. I was raised with interesting religious influences (Southern Baptist being one) and have wrestled with faith and spiritual topics for most of my life. I think Altars is probably my darkest album and a lot of it blossomed in a place inside me that was buried for a long time.

On "Free spirits" when you said "when I go, I'll pull it myself. December snow, all cold that I've felt." Were you talking about suicide in that line? 

Sadistik - Yes.

You're a wise and knowledgeable artist with thought provoking lyrics, and music that paints a vivid picture given the atmospheric tone it sets. Do you get a lot of your ideas for subjects and tones for your projects from books, movies and documentaries, news, other music, etc?

Sadistik - Thank you. I’m a very studious person who’s in love with movies, music, books, and any other form of expression. Sometimes, in fact, these things are all that I can really feel a connection to. But with that said, I try to be mindful about what makes its way into my own creative world. While I’m certainly inspired by art that grabs me, I think an important aspect of being an artist is learning how to discern your own instincts and ideas from outside influences. 

I know you were born in Yakima Washington but now you're based in Seattle. Other than you and Macklemore, I have no knowledge of any other acts in the Seattle Hip-Hop scene. Is there a bigger Hip-Hop scene in Seattle or the state of Washington that I don't know about?

Sadistik - I actually live in Los Angeles now, but I love Seattle and will always consider it my home. With that said though, I’ve never felt like I was a part of its music scene. I’m always the guest, I don’t really fit in anywhere.

As Altars continues to resonate with the culture, where do you go from here?

Sadistik - I’m just going to keep doing what I do — I truly believe I’m my harshest critic so if I can continue to create things I find some beauty in then I’ll be content. 

Lastly, any advice to aspiring artists and producers? Especially those who try to be a double threat MC and producer like you?

I never quite know how to answer this question, because I tend to measure success differently than most. But I would say that if you’re going to dedicate your life to something as crazy as this, make sure that you truly love it more than anything else.