isthatCJ, commonly known as HBK CJ. I'm a well-known songwriter/artist from the Bay Area; worked with the likes of Iamsu, HBK P-Lo, Sage The Gemini, Toyota, Grammy Award Winning Producer Bobby Ozuna, Gold Record Recording Engineer Cjmixedit, Grammy Nominated Producer G Koop, and many more. My greatest assets include passionately working with others
I am willing to go far and beyond to achieve the sound you visualize. I write R&B, Rap, Pop, Soul, Alternative, Smooth Rock, and even jingles! I've been writing music since I was 11 years old. I come from a background of music. My father was lead singer in a band, my wife is a trained vocalist, both of her parents are songwriters/artists, and sometimes I think I hear my 10 month old singing notes ☺️. I'm really passionate about what I do and will strive to be sure you'll get a product that you're happy with. To better ensure a successful project, my line of network varies in talent from producers, graphic artists, recording engineers, camera/video men, and promoters/marketers, which will allow us to advance your designated track to the next level. My price differs by the individual project and my overall investment into the project. I believe every artist is different and unique in their own way and each project should be treated diligently. For example I might write a song and have a turnaround as fast as same-day deliver, as well as work on a song involving multiple artists that might take more time for a bigger outcome. Whichever method you're more comfortable with for that particular song. I've been an independent artist since 2008 and have done 100's of songs submission and self marketing for many different brands and, if needed we'll seek further promotion/distribution.
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Interview with Clarence McGhee
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I primarily provide Songwriting services for my clients. I also provide distribution tips once tracks are completed, as well as offer services for outsourcing to third-party graphic designers, producers, camera/video men, and additional promotion and marketing services to help their track gain traction from the gates.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm inspired by any form of original artist. I am a very driven artist and adapt to artistic and creative environments very well.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a home studio setup that I work from daily. I also visit many premiere recording studios with heavy duty recording engineers on site.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Depending on the clients' specific requests, I usually do a 4 hour work period on each track, and thats the typical process for the pay rate.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring emotion, expression, comfortability, group work, and a custom quality to every session. Music is extremely expressional and not all artist are comfortable expressing their true thoughts and feelings. I aim to make any artist, from beginner to expert, more free with releasing their deepest expressions in the most creative ways possible.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is communication. I am apart of a hand full of collections and my role is always the same, the guy who relays and relates the concept or topic to the group. I'm a strong believer in the term "no question is a bad question" and I feel like that attitude should always be brought to the table.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Babies hear tunes and melodies, and can't stop their bodies from moving. With that being said, I am comfortable to dive in on any tasks the client is willing to approach together.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be artificial! The best music is made when the artist decides to let their souls wander. Yes sure, there are maybe thousands of great artist who you would love to sound like during your recordings, however, our creator made every single one of us different, show that in your recording session. From the creative process all the way down to the recording.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I love working with any artist who protects their craft. The beetles to The Outkast I would love to work with anything in between who falls on the same scale of rawness.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: As a gift and a curse, I struggle with my fan base due to me versatility. I would describe my style as versatile. I notice a lot of music in the mainstream/pop industry, it is very common to have repetitiveness, throughout their albums or catalogs, as a go-to style. I believe every song and lyric deserves it's full attention to achieve it's full potential.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: When I was 9, my brother would write all of my songs, while pretty much our whole family sit and sing our songs together. I always knew I would be a music artist, although I knew how far my writing could take me. I started writing on creative topics for papers in school and I remember always loving the art of words. In high school, I started putting songs together with groups of friends, and recording at their studios. Thats when I met a music collective, "HBK", in Pinole, Ca. In the long run that gave me the platform to polish any opportunities and I am grateful to have gained the experience throughout this industry.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: 1. A picture of my family. 2. Microphone 3. A huge container for water 4. Interface 5. Macbook
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I would mainly suggest them to ensure that the selected provider is genuinely engaged into their personal life and learn their who, what, when, and whereabouts.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I ask my clients to send me three recorded tracks of theirs, if they have any, if not, voice memos will do. Along with 3-5 of their favorite produced beats from their own producers or released songs from other artist.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I'm extremely outspoken, and I think some artist may not always see it as constructive criticism. I love being verbal in sessions expressing thousands of feelings before I even put a thought to the lyric of a song to help with the writing process.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: My clients will usually ask me if I typically prefer to work from a session, in person, or from home. My response is, always, no matter where you are in the world, we could chose whichever process makes you feel more comfortable.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the freedom of creativity. Theres no wrong turns in this world. Once you learn all of the ins and outs, I really suggest artist to allow their creative flow to overspill into their personal lives and let the momentum ease them through life.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to have a quality product delivered in the timely manner requested by the client. I promise 2 free revisions and if the client isn't happy with my provided service, I can simply refund payment and/or refer to other songwriters, from my network, who more fits their criteria
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I could go with either depending on the case. I like to lean towards analog a lot because of the acoustics, however, digital is really popular in our today's generation and I feel it's very important to keep up with what's out there.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I haven't started to browse through the site and find any artist to recommend yet, however, I will soon become very familiar with a hand full of them.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am currently putting together 3 collaborative albums, one of which involves 7 other artists. I am also working on 2 solo projects to be released this year, as well as all of the collaborative projects.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: In a session with G Koop, a good friend friend of mine, as well as a multiple Grammy Nominated Producer, as he cooked up some chords, I looked at him and said "I want to sing!" I came up with the lyrics and there I was pretending to sing over a smooth and mellow instrumental, (heres a link to song https://soundcloud.com/hbkcj/remember-your-first-step ), and Koop ends up laying singing background vocals on the track and I thought it was a great experience to have the both of us step out of our comfort zones for the sake of the song.