Ever since I remember myself, I was always into instrumental music, but never Instrumental Hip-Hop. Being a guitar player, I was more keen on Post-Rock and other kinds of instrumentals, but not Hip-Hop, since I kept blindly following a prejudice I had from a very young age.
Fast forward to early 2013, when I was serving a 1-year military duty (which is mandatory in Greece) and I had to spend 1 month in a tent, at the foot of mt. Olympus. My only duty there was driving the General around, so most of the day I was in the tent listening to music on youtube. That's when I randomly found Time Is The Enemy by Quantic with the mesmerizing background video that someone put together on youtube. I used to listen to that song countless times every day for the following weeks.
After more than enough repetitions, I started checking the related songs, and unconsciously entered what people back then were calling the "good side of youtube". Every song seemed to be better than the last, and its related videos leading to yet more unique tunes. Given my circumstances, soon enough I had explored every related video of every related video, and I was lost into this new world of Hip-Hop / Trip-Hop Instrumentals.
Throughout the remaining of my service I kept finding more and more interesting artists, amongst them Nujabes, whose greatness I hadn't yet completely grasped, but he definitely seemed distinct for the emotional response which he was demanding from the listener. When I finished with the army, I made a playlist with my favourite tunes of that past year and I uploaded it to 8tracks.
This initial playlist, as well as the fact that I could not seem to stop finding new artists, gave me the idea to start making instrumental mixtapes, which I wouldn't materialize if it weren't for a University assignment. Despite thinking about doing the mixes, I hadn't actually spent any time working on them.
Later that year, I came to UK for a Masters Degree in Music Production. One of the assignments was a "Marketing Plan" to promote our own music, and that's when I thought about combining the assignment with the mixtapes. The reason is that I really wanted to start doing the mixes, and I also hated the marketing strategy, so it appeared as a nice opportunity to work on both.
The concept of my marketing strategy, was creating a youtube channel and making instrumental mixes, while inserting my own compositions within the mixes. A sort of a cheeky (or alternative :P) way to attract people to my music. For that reason, one can find one of my songs in Mixtape 03, as the first 4 mixtapes were the ones handed in with my assignment. Despite not planning to actually continue tricking people into my music, I thought it was a good marketing strategy, although the teacher almost failed me as he said "this is not going to work --not everybody is into the same style of music that you like"
He might have had a point, but the channel is going well so far, although as mentioned, I decided to stop putting my own music into the mixes, not for the possible ineffectiveness of my marketing strategy, but purely for aesthetic/ideological reasons.
Thanks to the boring beauty of that mountain and the necessity of my assignment, I found this world of never ending musical inspiration and exploration, and hopefully I will keep passing it on.