How did you begin producing and who was your inspiration?
Ah yes, how I began- To tell this story I have to go back 4
to November of 2000. I was shopping in Target, and saw a program called MTV
Music Generator for $5. I loved music and the thought of being able to 'make
music' was truly a dream. I bought it, along with the 1NC CD with a gift
card, and tinkered with it for a couple weeks. I was hooked. The beats were
some of the worst music you or anyone else had ever heard before, but to me
it didn't matter-it was my wack music. I asked for Hip Hop Ejay for
Christmas, and got deeper into song development. It was all still a hobby at
this point until I went to Guitar Center that April, bumped into a man named
Charlie Yates, who recommended Acid Pro. He also told me he was willing to
help me out by selling his old music gear, which was a blessing. He taught
me a lot about how different things in the studio work, and gave me some
good deals on gear, which opened my music world from tinker toys to building
blocks. We lost contact over time, but the seed was planted that this was
something that could be more than just a hobby-a career. Braille also had a
hand in my early development, sending me long critiques and ways to improve
my artform. As I matured, it went from possible career to possible minisitry/career.
Sorry to be longwinded-I tell the story to be a witness that my beginnings
in music were truly God's doing. Wherever I ever go on from here is His
decision, but his Hand was all in my beginnings.
My inspiration-not being a trained musician, the Lord has
definitely inspired some amazing things. I was just recently doing a big
remix for a fairly well known artist, and without even knowing it, my
freestyled bassline matched his hook perfectly. There are alot of times when
I think 'I'm not this good-God you must be doing something here.' He
is GOOD, for sure.
Who was the first artist to use an Elected Official
More good times-the first track I ever heard was done by a
group called Sol Fx. I hooked up with them over the net, and loved their
style. I remember the first time I heard the track, I was so excited. I
offered to produce their whole album, which they respectfully declined.
Nonetheless, I had my first song.
What types of equipment do you currently use?
Currently, I do all my sequencing in Pro Tools, with my Digi
002 rack. I have an 88 key digital piano, which I share with my mom's
homeschool chorus, and a motif rack hooked on to that. I also use Kontakt
for sampling. I use a Studioprojects C1 for tracking vocals, and mix and
control everything in Pro Tools with a Yamaha01v96. For efx processing, I
have Waves Platinum, which was just upgraded with the L3 multiband limiter.
A really cool toy to play with, so I'm loving that. I just purchased a
Focusrite preamp, so I am pretty pumped to get some analogue up in the
Which artists have you produced for?
I have been extremely blessed to work with a lot of artists
that I admired before I even did music. I have worked with Tonex, Gibraan,
Remnant, Sev Statik, Lojique, Othello, Listener, Mars Ill, Mark 1, Elias,
Heath Mcnease, Luke Geraty, Sintax the terrific, Bobby Bishop...man the list
goes on. Much of the tracks I have worked on with these artists are soon to
be released-so lots of good music coming your way!
Where do you get your inspiration for your beats?
Lots of things-as mentioned, the Lord has been quite an
inspiration, by just guiding my music in ways I would never think possible.
I get a lot of inspiration from going out to Mcdonalds, grabbing a drink,
and reading an audio engineering book or magazine. Sounds funny, but after
the period of time to just relax and study, it makes me want to get back in
the studio and get to work!
Musically, I am truly inspired by Timbaland's music-not
necessarily his lyrics or anyone he produces, just his beats. Been a fan for
years, and love the fact that he can make the simplest track, and have it
still be amazing. I also love the fact that he can do maybe 20 songs per
year and still be considered one of the best producers in the game. Quality
over quantity folks! I also get inspired by Tedd T's production. He has done
work with ZoeGirl, Stacie Orrico, Rachael Lampa, and Rebecca St James, among
others. I love studying what he does musically-a lot of futuristic stuff in
there, especially with vocals.
On an average, how long does it take to create an Elected
You had to ask me this one! I am a perfectionist. A beat may
be an evolving thing over the period of a week. May be done in a night. A
lot of producers will boast about doing a track in 20 minutes, and thats
definitely not me! I will say one thing-If I don't know where the track is
going in an hour, I'll scrap it, and start fresh. If I am not liking it, I
can't expect anyone else to like it either.
Which of your beats is your favorite?
Another tough one. I have a few, some of which people may
never get to hear. :) On the underground side of things, I really enjoy
Listener's Train Song, and a beat I did for the upcoming Soul Plasma album,
I called 'Bassline.' On the mainstream side, I have 2, and they are both
remixes. One was done for Tonex on his hit single, "Since Jesus Came into my
Life" and the other is Remnant's 'Is.' Tonex's may never see the light of
day, but the Remnant song will be released later this year. Honorary mention
goes to a track, which I did for Gibraan's old group, Sion Scientists. I
couldn't get the sample cleared, but the music on the track was truly moving
and beautiful. Ask Heath Mcnease about that one. :)
What was your inspiration for the moving beat from
Listenerís Train Song?
OK, I'll put on my VH1's Behind The Music hat on. This
track almost didn't get on the Listener's album. I contacted him to see if
he'd like any beats for any upcoming album he may have coming out. Luckily,
he was putting on the finishing touches to his now titled Whispermoon
album. He told me things were pretty much set in stone, but he'd take a
listen to what I had to se if anything fit. So I spent the next couple days
digging for samples (back when I still sampled), and put together a short
demo for him to listen to. He liked two tracks. One was a downtempo country
tinged-party song. Its one of those tracks that really only he could pull
off. The other was what is now the Train Song. He seemed to be really
leaning towards the Country western party track, but at the last second,
picked train song. He explained he had a song that would work perfectly with
the beat, and tried to explain it, but ended up saying, 'it'll make more
sense when you hear it.' He did a rough recording of the song, and put it as
a hidden track on a fellow DS5 album, which was my first time hearing it. I
believe that was at Flavorfest 2 years ago. He took the 1:30 length beat
sample I sent him and looped it to make the full song. I then programmed the
beat to his lyrics, making subtle changes to match the lyrics. He didn't
want the end techno sample, but it fit so well, so I had to leave it in! So,
in short, Listener was the inspiration for the full beat-the orignal track
was just a blessing from the Lord.
Are there any projects currently in the works?
Yes. I am working on the upcoming remix album for a very well
known artist, released later this year. So far the tracks are turning our
really good-however, definitely not on the tip that Train Song was on
though. As mentioned above, I am on the Remnant mixtape coming out later
this year. I am going to be working on remixes for Todd Collin's Best of
Submissions, which will be coming soon! I am also been working on some
Indy movie scores. I have done some production on the next Gibraan album,
which I am mixing a good third of it (crazy album-you guys will love it!). I
did some production and am mixing/mastering Heath Mcnease's upcoming record,
which is turning out even better than a lot of people expected. Its also
looking like I have a track on the next Bobby Bishop album on Beatmart. I
have also submitted some tracks to a few different artists, but I can't
speak on those just yet!
What can we look forward to in the near future from
Lots of remixes (artists, get me your accapellas!), lots of
mixing, and lots of production. If the artist/song is quality, I'll take it
on. Just keep 'em coming. The combination may be something you have never
heard before, but it will be quality and cutting edge. As mentioned earlier,
I am also getting into movie scoring, and really enjoying that creative
Any last words?
I''ve probably used my interview word limit already! I will
give shout-outs to my family, Mom, Dad, Scott and Sara, who have had a huge
part in what I do. Josh for being a great mentor and friend. I owe a lot to
this guy. Janny for the wonderful cooking and friendship (it's going to be
weird with you guys being gone!). Heath, Mark, Kaboose, Kid Sundance, and
everyone else who have been great friends, and amazingly selfless and true
example of godly men. I am blessed to know you all!