Saskatoon-based super-producer Factor (née Graham Murawsky) broke into the music scene as a DJ in 1998, drawing early production inspiration from the West Coast underground and collaborating with emcees such as Kirby Dominant, Kay the Aquanaut and Def3 en route to forming Side Road Records. His innovative beats are grounded in a lush, organic hip hop structure with alternating rock, folk, pop and soul sensibilities. As the years and his sound progressed, Factor’s work caught the attention of Fake Four, Inc., culminating in a diverse array of projects both solo and collaborative.
Since joining the Connecticut indie label in 2008, Factor has helmed full-lengths for the likes of Myka 9, Awol One, Moka Only and Gregory Pepper and also provided production for alt-rap icons such as Sole and Ceschi. Though he has diagrammed his share of filthy breaks and meticulous synths the old-fashioned way, Factor has also called in session musicians and crafted sample-free records, such as 2011’s melodic, soulful Factor and the Chandeliers.
The guest lists on Factor’s recent solo albums (e.g. Lawson Graham, 13 Stories) have showcased a wide spectrum of modern underground talent, and the trend continues on 2013’s Woke Up Alone, a brilliant necromancy concept record framed by the five stages of grief which features a number of the aforementioned Fake Four artists in addition to Astronautalis, Onry Ozzborn and Open Mike Eagle.
Factor’s travels across the continents have seen him share stages and tracks with everyone from Aesop Rock and Buck 65 to Xzibit and Kool Keith. There are maybe a handful of independent hip hop producers whose distinct styles are recognizable within 10 seconds of the beat dropping, and the prolific, in-demand Factor has joined the pantheon of Dilla, Madlib, El-P and Blockhead in sharing such honors.