Herbert Grayson (aka PT the Last Tycoon & Mr. International) has been in music since 1980. When I asked him what started it all, Grayson said, "It all started off by wanting to play the drums in music class in the 7th grade and I was put in the choir instead." His mother influenced him the most, she introduced him to wide a very wide variety of music at a very early age.
Who were your main influences in music?
" Parliament-Funkadelic, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, The Platters, Earth Wind&Fire, Sylvester, Frank Sinatra, Nate King Cole were some of the many artist that influenced me the most because of their great performances and artistry to me which was ahead of it's time."
We went on to talk about the people that supported him the most:
"There are so many people that supported that I hope I have enough time and space to name them all. First and foremost my late mother and step-father and biological father, they always kept instilled in me to never give up. A lot of my former U.S. Marine Corps buddies(Ronald Majors, Abdullah Al-Amin, Jerome Watkins, Wazir Khabir, Dennis C. Muff, Ben Shaw). Many many friends: Connie Marie Banez, David Thompson, Holly Seward, Marcel Branch, Albert Smith, Marie Foster, Melissa Rodriquez, Monica Davis, Natalie Peisl, Monique Garcia, Philly Rob, Pimpin Reggie, Robert Campos, Salina Evans, Victor Owens, Willa McCord, Yadira, The Verduzco Brothers, GMoney, Mrs. Greer, Carmen Prado, Carmen Mojica. So many more to name but they all know who they are."
He got into Hip Hop in 1980 when he started being an MC which later lead to making beats a few years later when he got his first drum machine for a birthday present. He went on to say, "I really enjoyed doing them both." Herbert has worked with many different artists in his time and some big names too. When I asked him to name the most notable ones this is what came out:
"Well I have worked with a lot of kats in my career, but the most famous ones people would know is; R.Kelly when he was with Public Announcement, Ce Ce Penniston, Mary J. Blige, and Gangstarr. I was an opening act for these artists early in their career."
I was astonished by all these big names that he had worked with so I had to ask him about a time when he had an unbelievable experience. He smiled and laughed a bit, I think he has had more than a few. This is what PT the Last Tycoon said when he kicked into story mode gear:
"One of the most unbelievable things that I have encountered in the music business happened back in like 1989 or 1990. Me and my crew members at the time were at an after party for Public Enemy. It was deep in the back woods of North Carolina. The club was down a long dirt road something like you would see in a Friday the 13th movie (he laughed). Anyway when we got to the club it was very small and overcrowded. Chuck D wasn't there he went back to his hotel after the show earlier so it was Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, The S1W's, and Terminator X. They let us do a quick song before Flav came on to do his thing. So we had to pile in this very small dj booth like four of us, the song we were doing at the time required me to do some scratching on the intro hook and outro of the song. The club only had one turntable but no mixer so i was like how the hell are we going to pull this off (he chuckled). On top of that the clubs a/c didn't work so it was like 120 degrees in the club and 180 in the booth. So with all of us in the booth trying to do this song and everybody bumping into each other, the record skipping, the instrumental show tape, remember those? (He laughed once again) The show tape started getting hot like it was going to snap, we were able to finish the song and got major love from the crowd. I will never forget what Flava Flav told me when we finished, he said, 'yeahhhhhhhh boiiiiii that's how you work that sh*t when you under pressure good job G!' "
Herbert has performed in many venues all over the country, Philly, New York, North Carolina, Miami, DC, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, and Hayward. His most memorable show was a Christmas showcase put on by a friend of his, Deebo from WeeSeed Records. There were a lot of prominent performers there from the Bay Area, but there wasn't a lot of people that showed up to see the show. He said that regardless of the fact, the artists came out with a lot of heart and performed like there was 500,000 people in the audience, "Now that is real Hip Hop."
I went on to ask him some more questions about the things he is currently working on as well as things that are relevant to him and his business. Being that he is an artist with more than one name, I wanted to know how he got those names.
Grayson told me he got his names from other people, he said PT the Last Tycoon was given to him by a friend in New York and that Mr. International was given to him by a friend in Budapest. He didn't elaborate on their names,but I am sure they know who they are.
9 Deep Productions is a company that Mr. International started in 1988 when he was still in the service as a Marine and he sill owns and operates the multi-faceted company that produces music, beats, and artists. He said that the mission of 9 Deep Productions has been and always will be to continue to create great music. Under 9 Deep Productions, he has also been a sound engineer for just about every project he has worked on. He accredits his engineering knowledge to, Victor Owens of Digisonic Recording & Mastering and Phillip Hennen of Sepia Sound, and others from Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco Ca. His nephew, Santos also works under him in his beat producing ventures under the moniker of Sir Perez. Grayson said he has been in the studio with him since he was 7 years old which is kind of a coincidence because at that same age Herbert really started to get into music. Grayson said that his nephew has a great musical upbringing which has allowed him to invent his own production style.
Since Herbert has had a long and prosperous music career, I had to ask him about how he has been able to do so as well as what people overlook in their own journey towards success in this lucrative industry and who did he get his business sense from. This is what he said:
"I give glory to God for blessing me with the gift of music and blessing me to prosper from it. My business factor was my late mother and stepfather they both owned businesses so that's how I learned. The biggest thing that people overlook about the industry is that it is and always will be a business, so don't come into it thinking that it is anything but that." He added, "The main reason some people fail in the industry is for one they don't have faith and patience and two they get into the music industry for everything else but for the love of music."
Since PT the Last Tycoon has done many shows, beats, and albums, I had to ask him about what projects we can expect from him n the future and this is what he said:
"Some of the current projects in the work are The Deep House Album Im releasing soon, The 9Deep Productions Compliation/Mixtape, The Rebelz 2Da Game Mixtape coming real soon. I also produced Dap Daniel of The Brohydez new album which will be dropping sometime this summer. Future projects: The Rebelz 2Da Game new group album, New album by So-Taren (of Rebelz 2 Da Game) no date for release yet. Also doing an international mixtape with my buddy MassifBeats from Belgium we are producing the project jointly."
Sounds exciting, that is a lot of projects that are coming out! I hope you are as excited as I am to hear this line up of work that he has coming out in the future! New articles to come my friends, keep reading!
I would like to thank Herbert Grayson for taking time out of his busy work schedule to make this interview happen, it was an honor and a privilege!