EXILE & CHOOSEY AUSTRALIAN TOUR
Producer of Blu & Exile’s “Below the Heavens”, Fashawn, Aloe Blacc, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, and many more, Los Angeles MPC King, Exile comes to Australia with a new artist from the Dirty Science Camp, Choosey. Come see Exile perform live before your eyes with no loop machines or programs, live real time MPC with the help of California’s Dapper Rapper Choosey.
Like many hip hop musicians, Ex grew up around music. His father released what are now sought-after 45’s in the 1960’s and Ex’s grandfather, Alberico Manfredi, taught music and played in bands ranging from Mariachi to traditional Italian music. His grandfather even taught Ex how to play the accordion when the young boy was living in his grandfather’s garage at an early age. Although the accordion isn’t what most people think of when it comes to hip-hop, that planted the seed of love for music in young Alexander. That seed blossomed when he first heard hip hop at the local roller rink and after his cousin gifted him LL Cool J’s Radio, he was hooked. But more than just entertainment and great music, Exile found solace in those tapes. Ex’s father was experimenting with drugs when Ex was young and wasn’t around much for the family, so Exilelived with his mother and two sisters in a section 8 apartment with no car, surviving off welfare and food stamps. Possibly fueled by duress, a very young Exile immersed himself in DIY music-making, figuring out how to make his old home stereo system do a crude transformer scratch by holding the tape button while pressing the phono button. By 15 he secured a turntable and some tape decks and started creating tape loops.
Slowly but surely, Ex started acquiring equipment and refining his sound until at the age of 18 he met a then-16 year old Aloe Blacc, who was still just an MC at the time. They recognized the promise in each other and began recording music on a four track. Taking the name Emanon, they took a curious approach to releasing their music, putting their original music on one side and making a mixtape of current hot shit for the other side. He spent these years working with a wide array of underground talent, releasing 12”s and a full length as Emanon, The Waiting Room. It was when he was working on his own compilation album, Dirty Science, that he met a 19 year old Blu through Aloe. Blu and Ex recorded some music for Exile’s compilation and immediately after the first studio session the duo started discussing what would become the phenomenon that is Below The Heavens. When the album was finally completed and released years later, the response was overwhelmingly positive, with many critics claiming the duo had created a modern classic. It was also during this time that Exile started to branch off from working strictly with underground cats by landing placements with Jurassic 5, Akon and Kardinall Official and a show-stealing beat on Mobb Deep’s Blood Money album. The increased attention from the Blu album as well as solo work led to Exile becoming a bit of an in-demand indie producer, though he still took time to work on projects he was passionate about. He produced the debut album of Fresno’s Fashawn, and Boys Meets World helped solidify the point Below The Heavens and Emanon introduced–Exile has an uncanny ear for talent and equally amazing ability to foster it to greatness. But never complacent, Exile also spent countless hours refining his own solo music, both instrumental and vocal.
He took great care and lots of time in creating his LA Radio instrumental album, sampling the entirety of the music off LA public radio. Infusing it with his trademark off-the-wall humor as well as heavy doses of his own spirituality, the creativity and timing of the instrumental record proved to be another career highlight for Ex, it even spawned a remix record. During this time Exile also began to actively highlight his MPC skills at shows. Besides a drum machine, Exile began using the MPC as a performance instrument, helping change the way the MPC could be incorporated and used in the live setting. He was also simultaneously chipping away at 4TRK MND, his self-produced rap album. The record sounds like it was made on analog tape and subject to decades of dust before it was released. Again taking the chance to showcase his quirky sense of humor, the album is full of brutally honest and hilarious accounts of Ex’s personal life as well as a peek into his at times disturbing psyche.
Exile has no plans to slow down the pace. Currently he is making even bigger strides to bridge the gap between underground and mainstream, a budding working relationship with the legendary Chicago producer NO ID led Ex towards securing a placement on Big Sean’s debut album. He is currently working on music for Big Sean’s second album as well as music for Lupe Fiasco, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Bow Wow and Talib Kweli. Die hard fans will be happy to know that along with more marquee names, Ex doesn’t plan on ditching his past. There are solid plans for the second Emanon full length, Exile and Blu have already recorded many songs for a second join LP and Fashawn and Ex have begun talking about a Boy Meets World follow up. Exile even has plans of using old reel-to-reel multi-track tapes of his fathers music for an upcoming project.
Exile is both old-fashioned and avant-garde, both familiar and strange. He makes music that is in the cannon of classic hip-hop and music that can only be labeled as ‘experimental.’ He is working with platinum MC’s as well as with the kid up the block. He is a huge, bald, white man of Italian descent but has the makings of a classic hip hop producer ala Premo or Pete Rock. Keep your ears open, Exile has just begun.