I met Catalyst, while he was in Cleveland, OH, for the New Music Seminar, that was held November 2008. Meeting this artist, you immediately feel at ease, with his smooth voice, and pleasant personality. However, don’t be fooled by his pretty boy looks, as he is definitely one of Bronx, New York’s own up and coming rappers. I was both amazed and impressed to hear the “realness” of his music. He speaks to every aspect of his audience, as he has witnessed a lot of events in his life. You can feel his emotions through his music. In my interview with him, I got to see, as he said, “a peek inside the mind of the man behind the music.”
Lady Phabulous: So your name is "Catalyst", how did u get your name?
Catalyst: The Name Catalyst came about a little before my 1st Album "Perfect Timing". I ended up choosing that name because to me it represented how much my style and lyrical diversity had changed. For those that don't know, a Catalyst is a Person, Event, or Thing that sparks a Change and that's exactly what I bring to the Game.
Lady Phabulous: Hmmmmmm....interesting..... So, how long have u been writing? And what would u call your music genre? Rapper or lyricist?
Catalyst: Well basically I've been writing since I was about 9 years old. I was what you would call a latch key child. I grew up with a single mother who had to work, and it left me coming home from school by myself with a key to the house. This caused me to grow up extremely fast and be able to write about things I’ve saw at such an early age. As for my genre, well I feel as if I’m in my own lane so I would consider my music Reality Rap. It will always be lyrical because I started out a Battle Rapper and I progressed into a Song Writer, but I incorporate so much of real life in to my music that I think it becomes more reality at times than just Entertainment. I also cross genre lines by including a lot of R&B in my music being that I write for both Rap Artists and R&B Artists so I guess I’m a new breed.
Lady Phabulous: Okay new breed man! (Laughing) Who influences your sound?
Catalyst: (Laughing) You’re so silly. Ahmmm Sound, well, Life is my influence. A lot of my music is pieces of my life. Things that I have experienced or actually had to live through; that’s why you hear the sincerity in the type of music I make. I think that artists relate better to a record when they actually are speaking from experience rather than having a ghost writer pen something and tell you to somehow interpret their vision. My new sophomore album I'm working on is full of records that I’m sure the listeners will be able to tell that I was in such a creative space or must have been going through something when I made them. It's truly turning out to be a Classic Album.
Lady Phabulous: So, when can we expect your sophomore album?
Catalyst: Well first I will be dropping my mixtape and DVD maybe around April of this year... The "Who Is Catalyst?" Mixtape and DVD will be my way of re-introducing myself to my fans that haven't heard me in a while and also introducing myself to potential new fans that may have not heard about me. It's going to be double promo, because in case you don't get the mixtape or download it, you will still be able to visually see what I do as an independent artist on the DVD which will also feature Music from the Mixtape. They both will allow you to get to know more about me as the Artist and even me the person behind the music. The mixtape is a lot more of my street material being that I didn't get to my street fan base with my first album and those that knew me were disappointed that I didn't give them more of the battle rapper/street Catalyst, So I took care of that in every way on the Mixtape. But as for my sophomore album we are taking our time with that. I have a few major artists and producers on the album, so we will be sitting down, taking meetings with a few labels to see which will be the best fit and home for an album like mine. My main concern, is getting an album like what I’m creating, heard by as many as possible so whatever label can best do that or see that vision is the one I will be putting it out with. My hope is that we can get something concrete and a possible release date for it by the end of August this year.
Lady Phabulous: Sounds like you have a good itinerary! What are you doing to promote your upcoming album?
Catalyst: Well I've done some magazine Interviews. Some features in Rap Fanatic Magazine, Makin It Magazine, Street's Mos Magazine, and SIR Magazine. I'm also planning to do some online campaigning through my publicist as well as satellite radio and internet radio. Then you also have to do the guerilla warfare, as I call it which is out in the streets, the clubs, and industry events; basically set up shop where ever your fan base is. I'll also get back to performing as well so that people at the shows get both the physical music and the live performances.
Lady Phabulous: I was told something about a Ringtone Deal? Care to elaborate?
Catalyst: Yes, I signed a big ringtone deal with one of the major companies backed by MTV and a few others called Thumbplay.com. At the present moment they distribute and sell all of the songs from my first album as ringtones for thousands of subscribers. It's real easy to even sign up or purchase the ringtones which are compatible with Nextel, Verizon, Sprint, ATT and many of the other carriers. For more info you can just go to my site, www.cattyworld.ning.com or www.myspace.com/cattyfanpage and check out the thumbplay gidget.
Lady Phabulous: That's so exciting! Do you ever just sit back and just be amazed at how your career is going? Or are you done being excited?
Catalyst: Thank you I appreciate that and well, it's funny. I’m a perfectionist so no matter what I do; I always want to do better or feel like I’m not doing enough. But recently there has been people in my life that have made it their business to remind me of how much I have accomplished and all of the feedback from fans definitely helps keep me on track. I will also say that creating this album has definitely gotten me excited about the potential response from the public. It reminds me of the whole reason I chose this career in the first place. It kind of makes all the sacrifice and stressful side of the business worth it.
Lady Phabulous: I fully understand the perfectionist theory. I’m definitely trying to climb to the top in my career too. Hard work truly pays off. But at the same time, all work and no play, makes Catty a dull boy! (Laughing) What do u do to enjoy yourself?
Catalyst: (Laughing) Enjoy. Wow! To be honest I don't even know what that means any more. I don't have the privilege of normality so I miss out on a lot of the simple things in life being such a work-a-holic. It's not something I want to be this way but unfortunately its how my life has been. There are a lot of things I want in my personal life that my career just doesn't make up for.
Lady Phabulous: Hmmmm, in that case, I must ask this next question for my lady readers.....is there a Lady Catalyst in your life?
Catalyst: Wow! Being put on the spot. Well I would say at this point, that is more a question to ask her. I'm sure she could answer that better than I could.
Lady Phabulous: Ah, a smooth maneuver to avoid the question! I’m impressed! But, as a model, I understand keeping your personal life away from media hounds such as myself! Moving to a different subject, history has clearly been made recently, as soon to be President Barack Obama is soon to be in office. What are your views on this great wonder?
Catalyst: (Laughing) You have me dying over here. I'm just being truthful. Ahmm as for Barrack, I think it was an amazing thing to be able to actually witness history take place. It's like when your grandparents tell you stories about Martin, Malcolm, Jackie Robinson, and many others, or they try to detail what it was like to live through the Civil Rights Movement, you get the idea but it doesn't have the same impact as if you had been there to witness it and live through it. I think the impact is that much greater. For example, even though I was young at the time, I have lived through Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson in his prime, B.I.G. and Tupac in their prime and witnessed the impact of their deaths; I have seen Left Eye and Big Pun leave this earth. I was at Aaliyah's Funeral and I use to say what up to Big L when I would see him in Harlem before he was killed. So having the privilege to have actually lived through all this has a great impact on your life. I was very fortunate to be in Atlanta in October last year and see all the posters and support Barrack had as well as be in Cleveland in November and actually get caught up in one of the Obama rallies which was one of the most phenomenal things I have had the privilege of witnessing. The amount of support both Caucasian and African American was unprecedented especially for a state that was just previously won or stole (Laughing) by the incumbent republican president.
Lady Phabulous: In being able to witness this historic happening, how do u think this will effect on the hip hop world? And even on a grander scale, life in general. Especially with a lot of misguided and outdated thinking still in play.
Catalyst: Well, personally I think change begins with each individual. I have a personal Diary/Blog up on my MySpace page that is titled "The Mirror" and it speaks exactly to what you asked me. The majority of people's problems can be fixed if they just start with the person in "The Mirror". Obama is more symbolic and can offer great ideas and vision but we all have to chip in and do our part in order for it to even work or show some signs of improvement. It's an extremely hard task but I don't believe it's impossible.
Lady Phabulous: Yes, speaking of your website, what does it consist of? And what is the link?
Catalyst: Well the main two ways to contact me are on my site or MySpace. My site www.cattyworld.ning.com is like MySpace where you can Join and interact with other members on the site. There is my internet reality show Catty TV, Updates, Blogs, Music Industry News, Events, Legal help for those trying to make it in the business, Billboard Charts automatically updated, Videos, Interviews & more. I also look out for artist on the come up so if you have something you want me to post or a video you want me to promote, I’ll check it out and if I could rock with it I’ll show love.. Just don't forget to tell everyone about the site in return (Laughing). My MySpace is www.myspace.com/cattyfanpage which I use as a backup.
Lady Phabulous: I joined your website a few months ago. I thought it was interesting and useful how you post up opportunities for models too. Now that all the fans know where to reach you at, have found out a bit of background information about you, what your plans are for the future, do you have anything else to add? Besides the fact that you absolutely LOVED me? (laughing)
Catalyst: (Laughing) Yes, your membership was greatly appreciated and there are many opportunities posted on the site. For Fashion, Music, Film, and Production. It's basically the meaning behind Catty World. But as for the Future I am beginning to realize more and more that I'm here for a very important purpose. I haven't totally figured it out yet, But I know I want to leave an impact on people so that when I’m gone I’d be remembered not for what I was but for what I strived to become.. Look out for the "Who Is Catalyst" Mixtape Coming Soon and my sophomore album "The Prequel”. And oh yea you were simply Phabulous (Smiling).