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interview // elected official

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 Beat?


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 place!


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 Official beat?


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 Listener’s 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 Elected Official?


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 process.


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!


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