Find out how these musicians made it onto The Sims 3 on console and the soundtrack for The Sims 3: Late Night.
Like the sims themselves, the music in the Sims games has evolved over time. Now that they are moving out of suburbia and into the big city, the sims need their own soundtrack to dance and thrive to. There are many artists that lend their talents to the soundtracks, and we caught up with some of them to see how they got involved in their music and how they stumbled into making music for games.
Below we have Mickey Factz who did "Dreamland" for The Sims 3 on console, along with King Fantastic (artists Killer Reese One and Troublemaker), Hadag Nahash (Guy Mar), and Electrolightz (Eroc, Name Brand, Rami Dearest, and Barry Romance) for The Sims 3: Late Night.
GameSpot: Tell us about yourselves and your musical backgrounds.
Mickey Factz: My name is Mickey Factz, and I'm an emcee. I have a love for art, fashion, video games, and women. As far as music, my father was an emcee and used to kick raps to me while I was in the womb. Also, when I would cry, he'd rock me while rapping. My mother would take me to church every week, so I have a huge love for gospel. Then she would always play soulful music. I love all kinds of music though.
Killer Reese One: I'm black.
Troublemaker: I grew up all over Southern California, went to college for a year in Ohio, dropped out, moved back to LA. I first worked at Epitaph Records, then started my own label and began producing hip-hop and drum and bass. Over the years I've honed my craft producing and remixing, and then found my comfort zone with King Fantastic and Rad Omen.
Guy Mar: Hadag Nahash was founded in Jerusalem in 1996, and the band's main interest is groove, in all shapes and sizes. The band has drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, brass sections, and a DJ. The general genre is black music, rap vocals, and lyrics including themes of protest. We've released six albums, all of which received gold status in Israel. Our songs were in the soundtrack for the film Don't Mess With the Zohan, and we've performed in different places around the world--the US, Europe, and Japan. We're also involved in different forms of activism in Israel. Our influences are as various as our members--from jazz to punk, hip-hop to rock, and dancehall. Most of our songs are in Hebrew, but some are in English, Arabic, and now…Simlish.
Electrolightz (Rami): We all come from different backgrounds. Name Brand grew up listening to hip-hop and started rapping at a young age. Rami comes from a rock-and-roll background and fronted an indie rock group called Something for Rockets along with Barry, who now plays drums for Electrolightz. Eroc, the producer, met Name Brand when he was producing hip-hop records a few years back. The group got together after Eroc and Name Brand put some musical electro songs together just for fun. Rami joined the group after hearing just two songs. The rest of you can watch on our YouTube channel, lol.
GS: What instruments do you know how to play?
MF: I can successfully play the trombone. I played as a kid. I played the drums about four times in my entire life. So fun.
TM: I can play a little bit of a lot of things, and I can program the s*** out of all of them.
GM: I'm the DJ of Hadag Nahash, so my instruments are scratching the turntables, samplers, and synthesizers.
EL (Eroc): All of us play many different instruments. I would say between the three of us we probably play 10 or 15 different instruments. It's funny that we are in an electro pop group, which is virtually all programmed beats and synths. But, our musical backgrounds are key to the creation of our music. At the end of the day, you have to write a good song.
GS: Is there an instrument you wish you knew how to play?
MF: I wish I knew how to play the trumpet better as well as the alto sax. I love the sound of the alto sax. So soothing. I also wish I could play the piano. It's like a universal thing.
KRO: Xylophone, cause Roy Ayers looks like he's having a great time.
TM: All of them.
GM: I wish I could play all instruments. I guess it's a wish all musicians share. But at the end of the day, I know how to play very little on each instrument.
EL (Rami and Eroc): Tuba. Sitar.
GS: What is your fondest memory when it comes to music?
MF: When I entered a rap battle in school with a rap book. By doing that, it ignited a fire. I wasn't supposed to do that. It's like an unspoken rule in hip-hop. Have the decency to memorize your lyrics! I didn't, and I got called out for it. That date would certify my determination to be great.
KRO: I have an evolving relationship with music. It would be impossible to pinpoint one memory.
TM: A couple that come to mind: Last year I deejayed President Obama's inauguration alongside De la Soul, Moby, Santigold, and Shepard Fairey; then, I went to Kenya and deejayed the Sawa Sawa Festival. Both were incredible and life changing. Separately, I've been going to see the Rolling Stones every couple years with my dad, all over the place, and that is pretty cool since he introduced me to them as a kid and they are both of our favorite group.
GM: I remember the first time I heard Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. Anyone who's ever listened to this album knows what a spine-tingling experience it really is. That's the album that made me want to know more about anything related to music, sound, and musical production.
EL (Rami): Seeing Michael Jackson on the Bad Tour when I was a kid.
GS: How did you get involved with making music for video games?
MF: I met Raphaella Lima of EA sports, and we became the best of friends. It's surreal because I remember my first EA game that I owned. Bulls vs. Blazers for the Sega Genesis. I remember that the dunks were specialized, and the player had to be in a certain spot to make it happen. But I always remembered the cool music for it. I'm so glad that I've become a part of the EA catalog and got to work on rerecording a song for The Sims on console.
KRO: You bring a white person into the mix and several things can happen to you.
TM: I remixed and produced songs for different groups and caught the ears of the fine folks at EA. We've been friends ever since. I'm really lucky.
GM: We make our music regularly for our fans and audience. Every once in a while it'll appeal to commercial companies--sometimes in the film industry, like Don't Mess With the Zohan, and in this case, the gaming industry. Steve Schnur of EA Games has heard us before, liked our music, and offered us this great opportunity. It's the first we've actually made music for a game, and it's really cool. We'd be happy to go on and make music for more games; after all, we all love playing and the gaming world.
EL (Eroc): A couple of us are gamers, so when we had the opportunity to get on the Sims soundtrack for The Sims 3: Late Night, we were superexcited. Rami's old band, Something for Rockets, had also appeared on a Sims soundtrack back in the day.
I usually turn off the music in The Sims games, Though in Sims 2 when I was able to move into a house with 4 controllable Sims I would turn off their free will and drop a bunch of music instruments and conduct my own concerts......I'm weird like that.....
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