Aleksander Manfredi is better known by his stage name Exile, Hip Hop DJ, producer, occasional MC and was originally a member of the Hip Hop duo Emanon with Aloe Blacc. Exile went on to release a solo album, “Dirty Science” in 2006 and collaborative efforts “Below the Heavens” with Blu in 2007 and “Boy Meets World” with Fashawn in 2009. Exile has also worked with artists such as Mobb Deep, Ghostface Killah, Kardinal Offishall and Jurassic 5.

What are your earliest memories of music?
My Grandfather teaching me the accordian when I was 5 or so is one of my earliest memories of playing music. But before that I used to be obsessed with Elvis. I used wear a bowtie and suspenders to preschool and I would lip sync Elvis songs for my show class with a guitar.

Who were your musical influences growing up?
Elvis, Micheal Jackson, Depeche Mode, The Doors, LL Cool J, Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Ice T, King Tee, 2 Live Crew, Funkadelic, DJ Magic Mike and Mix Master Spade.

How did you get into production?
I knew I wanted to make beats and I would stop at nothing to figure out how it was done.

What equipment did you first start using and what do you now use in the studio?
I started with 2 tape decks and one turtable and would create tape loops. Then I moved to a push button sampler and a 4track, then the Roland Ms 1 to now the MPC 2000

What was your big break as a producer?
Me and Aloe Blacc made tapes and sold them out on the streets. A fan put up the loot to press our stuf to vinyl and they played me and Aloe aka Emanon on Friday Night Flavors/ Power 106 here in LA. Thats was huge for us and was my first break.

You worked with Aloe Blacc as Emanon how did you first meet and you ever envisage the success he is now currently gaining as a solo artist?
I remember asking my boy Jelly Bean (LOL funny ass name) to get serious and rap over some of my beats because we used to freestyle and what not. He was like na thats not for me man, but I know this kid who’s pretty nice with it, It was Aloe Blacc. So me and Aloe met at some food spot and we ended up having a little cypher outside and right after that we made our first song called “Isolated Format” on a four track. So we built up a nice collection of songs and I ws like “Yo I’m gonna make a mixtape and have one side be me DJing and have the other side be all these songs we’ve been making. I figured people would cop our tape regardless because of my mixtape but then they could also get to hear all these songs we were making. This tape was called “Stretch Marx”, Aloe was 16 I was 17 or 18.

So we kept dirt hustlin these tapes at mom and pop shops and outside of Hip Hop functions till we did our first show In Long Beach. DJ Josh One and J Rocc were spinning and I showed up with my 4 trk hahah and made sure Aloe’s raps were turned down, pressed play and would scratch along with the tape. Anyhow we just kept it moving the same way with our next tape “Imaginary Friends” and this one really kinda took off. After that it just snow balled to the radio to more singles to a EP to the “Waiting Room” Emanon album. I would be greatful to have as large a fan base as Aloe and I am gratetful that he has so much success. I am not envious but proud of Aloe Blacc.

“Dirty Science” was your debut solo album featuring some of Hip Hop best artists at the time. How did you find working with a number of artists rather than just one on a project?
It was a alot of fun. I had so many styles on that album and I needed all those characters to be able to make that album work.

During this time you met Blu when you made “Below The Heavens” did you expect it to be regarded by many as a modern classic?
We did not know what to expect. There were times we would say to each other “This is a fuckin classic!” and other times we would be like “Turn that shit off!!” hahah

Are there any future plans to work on another album with Blu?
Me and Blu’s new album will be out in Sept with a single in summer.

What do you look for in an artist to work with them?
Hunger to have there art heard

The Radio album was entirely constructed using sounds from LA based radio stations. How did you come up with the idea and how long did it take to complete?
I always wanted to do an instrumental album but I wanted it to be different. I had made beats off the radio before and I was like “It would be dope to do the whole album off the radio.” So from the kicks to the the snare all the way to the basslines and 808’s, everything was sampled from the radio. I was working on other projects at the same time but it took me about 2 years to finally get it done with all the other madness in between.

You released your debut album as a MC “4Track Mind” what made you decide to step onto the mic after all these years of just being behind the boards?
Well I started this album before I had Protools at the crib. I used to just record at Sound In Colors Studio or at Mainframes crib both in Long Beach. Well that was when me and Blu were recording a lot for “Below The Heavens”. But I also had been recording my rapps at home on fourtrack. I like to record them shits by myself and that was all I had at my crib at the time aside from my MPC. I liked the way I sounded on tape though it gave me a grimier sound and shit. So as I recorded I was like “You know what? I’m just gonna put this out with these tape recordings to pay homage to my past and to show these cats what I can make without protools and with just 4 tracks.”

How would you describe the Exile sound?
Hip Hop meets ur mom, bangs her and their child becomes really good friends with you.

Recently you have been working alongside legendary producer NO ID what have you learnt from him?
Keep learning

Out of all the projects you have done what has been your favourite to work on and why?
“Exile Radio”. Why? I feel like I tapped in to the peoples voice through sampling and I didnt have to deal with rappers. I got my mad scientist on for this record.

Which new producers do you currently rate?
Space Ghost Purp, SamIam, Step Kids, John Wayne

What is one piece of music you wished you made?
Bizzare Ride to the Pharcyde

You are about to tour Australia with Fashawn what can we expect from your shows?
Live MPC, live raps and alcohol consumption

What does the future hold for Exile?
Dirty Science Record label

What’s your definition of Grindin’?
Sk8 or Die

Thu 21st June – Civic Underground, Sydney
Fri 22nd June – The Bakery, Perth
Sat 23rd June – The Espy, Melbourne

Leave a Reply