Meeco is a Berlin-based producer and beatmaker. A respected big name among music lovers and music experts. Meeco has released four albums featuring an eclectic mix of star guests from Talib Kweli to Gregory Porter. Effortlessly moving between jazz, soul, and hip hop. We caught up with him to talk about how it all started and the release of his new pure hip hop album.
Meeco, welcome to File Under Hip Hop! You hail from Berlin, Germany. What was the music scene like there when you were first getting in the game?
I started producing hip-hop in 1994. We were heavily influenced by the scene in the US at that time. German hip-hop was still at a very early stage and became only slowly popular.
How did it all start for you?
I started with an eight-track recorder. A Korg Workstation and two friends, one being a rapper and the other being a guitar player. Notwithstanding, our very simple set up. We were able to draw attention from the well-known trip-hop group Terranova who started producing our first EP. I spent days and nights in the studio and this when I learned producing music.
Deeply rooted in Soul and Jazz, who are, and were your musical influences and why?
From a young age on, I listened in particular to jazz and later to soul music. My very first influences were Horace Silvery, McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans, Jimmy Smith as well as singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. Later, I would listen a lot to soul music mainly from the 60s and 70s like Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Leroy Hutson, Donny Hathaway, etc.
You’ve Jazz and Soul projects, and now about to release a pure Hip Hop album called We Out Here. Tell us about this project.
With my new album, I am going back to where everything started for me musically, i.e. 90s hip-hop. Despite how hip-hop has evolved over the last 20 years, the 90s boom bap still reflects my favourite sound and style of hip-hop.
Artists such as Lil Fame, Masta Ace, Big Shug, A.G, and Sadat X among others feature on the album. How did you go about choosing the artists to collaborate with?
That was easy. I simply thought of the artists I admire the most and started contacting them. Or if there was an opportunity meeting with them in person (for example Sadat X and El da Sensei). All of the artists that featured on my album, released songs in the past that I really love. For example the legendary track The Militia by Gang Starr featuring Big Shug and Freddie Foxxx.
When will the album be released? Where will people be able to get a copy?
The album will be released on Friday, November 13, 2020. It can be ordered internationally through www.hhv.de.
You have worked with many artists including guitarist John Scofield and singer Gregory Porter. Who has been the most memorable artist that you’ve worked with and why?
My most favourite artist would be trumpet player Eddie Henderson. He’s a wonderful, warm-hearted, and funny guy who has opened many doors for me. Eddie literally saved my very first recording session in New York, which involved Ron Carter. He suddenly started wearing plastic vampire teeth to loosen up the atmosphere.
What other projects have you released?
I have done various remixes as well as music for motion pictures. But most importantly, I have released four jazz records featuring some of the most iconic artists in jazz. Such as Benny Golson, Hubert Laws, Ron Carter, Bennie Maupin, James Moody, David “Fathead” Newman; and the list goes on.
What’s next for Meeco?
I plan doing a new project blending neo-soul, hip-hop and jazz and combining live elements with programmed beats and samples.
Tell us your social media links
Instagram is all I use: meeco_music
Interview by Jai Boo