Bag of Tricks Cat ~ Dream Girl
Rapper and hip hop recording artist Bag of Tricks Cat just returned from a European tour with Mega Ran, so I was excited to get the opportunity to talk to him about the tour and hit single Dream Girl, which he recorded with Mega Ran and Brandon Michael. I love how the three mixed Bag of Tricks Cat and Mega Ran’s hip hop with Brandon Michael’s singing.
I wondered how the three musicians came together for this unique project. Bag of Tricks Cat explained: “It was a great record to make. Brandon is a really talented singer, and I’m a fan of Mega, so for me to record a song with him…it’s awesome! I originally had Willy Northpole on it; he was signed to Ludacris. We recorded a version of the song together, but he wasn’t able to do the video, so I brought Mega in. We all got together in the studio, on my 22nd birthday, and we laid it down. It’s a record about finding that special person.”
The video for Dream Girl is so much fun, so I asked him about it. Bag of Tricks Cat smiled when he told me that the making of the video was fun too, but a lot of hard work: “We had to green screen a portion of it for the animated parts. We had sets made for the dream sequence and the warehouse scene. Everyone had a great time. We had a lot of bloopers that you didn’t get to see in the final video.”
El-JayBeats produced the song and directed the video. Bag of Tricks Cat talked about how El-JayBeats is a perfectionist: “He made storyboards and ensured everything ran on time. It took 48 hours, two days straight, to film everything. We had to make sure every single light was perfect, every single scene and take was perfect, and they had to be perfect multiple times. It was a great experience. He’s really a professional cat.”
Because Bag of Tricks Cat just came off tour with Mega Ran, I asked Bag of Tricks Cat to tell me about the highlights: “We hit up London, Cambridge, Birmingham and Dublin. London and Dublin were sold out crowds. It was insane. I did not know that many people overseas love hip hop. It’s a market that not a lot of artists tap into, and they definitely should. The people out there showed a lot of love and support. I can’t wait to go back to Europe and see everybody, all the new fans that I made.”
I’m pretty excited, because Bag of Tricks Cat is coming to the Pacific Northwest, to Portland, so I get to see him live! He’s also going to hit Seattle and Vancouver.
Bag of Tricks Cat has been building a buzz for his band since 2012. What’s his music back story? He told me: “My grandma was the singer of the 1959 Felix the Cat cartoon. She was a musician during the Big Band Era. As I was growing up, I was around that music a lot. I started falling in love with hip hop at a young age. I can’t sing, so I chose to rap. I like writing lyrics. I’ve been recording since junior high. In 2012, I began taking my music more seriously from a business end and really trying to make a living out of it.”
Who can we credit as Bag of Tricks Cat’s music influences? “As far as hip hop goes, I love cats like Nas, Jay-Z and Eminem. I’m also a big fan of R&B and alternative rock. I like The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Nirvana. I’ve had a lot of music influences throughout the years.”
Bag of Tricks Cat has some great advice for other recording artists trying to make it on an international scale: “I would honestly say don’t settle. Due to money, I feel like a lot of artists settle with a product that is not necessarily as good as it should be. If you really care about the record that you’re making, the cost of the recording and the video shouldn’t matter, the cost of promotion shouldn’t matter. If you have to push it back to make it right, do it that way. Your first impression is everything. You could have the best song in the world, but if it’s not promoted correctly and the visual for it is not made correctly, then it won’t get the credit it deserves.”
Besides coming up to the Pacific Northwest, I asked Bag of Tricks Cat what he’s got in store for fans: “I’m going to be releasing my second single from my upcoming project. The next single features Bizarre from Eminem’s group D12. That single releases in September.”
I had a great time getting to know Bag of Tricks Cat. I can’t wait to see him in concert!
The Amused Now Featured Artist Series