Music producer/artist based in Los Angeles. Masters degree in music and have toured and performed in Italy, Canada, Iceland, Alaska, Hawaii, Amsterdam, France, Norway and several other countries and worked with artists on Def Jam, JIVE and Universal Records. Seeking other like-minded creatives for music making and collaboration.
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Interview with WIL KEY
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I specialize in custom-made, full instrumental tracks. I can work from a basic lyric or from another similar-sounding song. Have been doing this for over two decades for over 150 different artists and songwriters.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I love Hiatus Kiayote, Anderson .Paak, Van Hunt, Dwele, Maxwell, Masego, Tom Misch, Moonchild, BJ The Chicago Kid, Prince, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Alice Smith, Raheem Devaughn, Gary Clark, Jr. and many more!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Pro Tools HD, Logic Pro X, Abelton 10 DAWs. Focal Solo Be-6 reference monitors, high-end outboard gear (Neve, SSL, Grace, Vintech, Universal Audio), Neumann U87, U47, KM184 (pair), BLUE mics (various), RODE, Royer 121 (ribbon), Shure SM7B, SM57s, 58s. Fender, Gibson and PRS Guitars. Motif, Kurzweil and Nord keys. Native Instruments Komplete, Steven Slate Bundle, World-class horn and string samples, Pearl SMX drum Kit (maple), SSL Nucleus Console, Zildjian K-Cymbals.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I typically work from just a simple, scratch audio idea (vocalist or songwriter singing on cell phone or mobile recorder). I then find the key center and add in elements around this scratch audio until the music begins to take shape. Can usually complete in 2 -7 days. Faster work available
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Over 20 years of training and experience. Hold both a Bachelors and Masters degree in music performance. Have recorded over150 artists/musicians from all over the world.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Listening to the client's needs and musical dreams
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: R&B, Soul, Gospel, Jazz, Pop, Hip-Hop
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Keep it simple
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Anderson .Paak, because I like his vocal performance approach and his songwriting skills. Excellent drummer too!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I use a lot of real instruments most of the time, so my approach is more dynamic and expressive than typical "loop" style producers. Because I play several instruments, I am able to perform multiple roles on a given track (not just keys or MPC pads with loops).
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I come from a family of musicians and have been doing music professionally my entire life. It is all I have ever done so I have no "plan B." I love music as much if not more today than when I began. Still hungry. Still enthusiastic about each new song. It is a chance to move people and connect.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop, Neumann U87, Les Paul Custom, Neve Pre, Focal Solo Be-6 monitors. With these 5 items I can make a world-class record!
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Find someone who listens to your ideas and can deliver your vision (not their ego) on the track.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What would you like the final project to sound like? What are your career goals? Timeline? Budget?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That music just happens magically in the moment. So many people think that making music is easy and requires little skill. NOT TRUE!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Most beginners are concerned about copyright issues or under-estimate the time that a project will take to do well. I always go over these issues and concerns at the beginning so that there are few surprises.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I get up everyday and I create music. Who would want to do anything else?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I always promise to bring their vision to life and we work until that goal is met or exceeded. In all of my years, I can honestly say I have not had any one-hit wonders. All of clients are "multi-repeaters."
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Analog for drums and vocals, digital for edits and speed
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Just finished a gospel record for a songwriter/artist. Currently recording a project for a female r&b vocalist and will be traveling to Europe next month to record songs for my 5th solo album entitled "Globetrotter: Side B"
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Too many to mention. But I am very proud of the work I did for LA Ganz on Jive Records back in the day because it was a very well-funded project and we had a chance to get so many cool toys and gear to create with. It was one of my first times recording for a record label and it was an absolute joy to do. We had fun every single day -writing and recording parts. When we finished, I could not believe they handed me a check. LOL