Hi, my name is Ajax Black. I'm a professional Music Producer and Remote Mixing & Mastering Engineer based in Atlanta, Georgia. For the last five years I've worked with Grammy award winning artists like Chris Brown & R Kelly. However, most of my clients are still building their brands (TM88, Torey Lanes, etc). I specialize in Rap, R&B and Pop music.
Ajax Black is a Music Producer and Mix engineer that specializes in making it easier for professional music artists, music producers, songwriters to transform & format their ideas into consumer friendly formats. These include spaces like satellite Radio, traditional radio, festivals, TV shows, movies, documentaries, theater and iTunes.
Using analysis of focused demographic data and genre specific market performance, I help creative people in over 5 countries expand their brand, fan-base and commercial viability.
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Interview with Ajax Black
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Sam Cooke is my favorite artists. He helped start the the black music industry, by doing unheard of things like owning his masters and becoming wealthy from his work. He also didn't shy away from the racism of the time, and he made unforgettable music.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My setup depends on what the client wants. I have access to two wonderful SSL and Neve consoles. I also use an Apogee Symphony for my I/O and several tape machines for character.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The genres I work in the most often are mainstream rap, urban R&B and mainstream pop. I also consult artists on how to grow their brand's market viability/share, and teach them the basic concepts of integrated demographic penetration to increase the income my clients get from their music.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Either or, because at the end of the day what's gonna matter the most the feeling the song has. Whichever is more Continent in terms of achieving your goal is the method I believe you should go with.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not yet, I'm new here!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I just produced a song for Tory Lanes, so hopefully you'll here it sometime soon!
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I had to work with a band that lived in three different countries. It was tough but I had an idea: Have Skype up as we produced the song and check in between takes to see what was working and what wasn't. Using pro tools and Cubase we went back and forth between midi, live audio, vocals and even sampling live crowd/arena noise from other people's concerts! It turned out great and I couldn't have been more happy to rise to the challenge, I was the fifth and final producer that they tried!
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: How Long will it take? A: Usually 1-2 days. Q:Can I make changes? A: Yes basic changes are cool. Q: Do I pay first or what? A: Yes, I don't work beforehand anymore. Working with you means I have to tunr someone else down, and I need to know your serious!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The fact that we can sit in front of a blank screen, and make something off the top of heads that will live with other people and outlive us!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is to add a feeling to your music that attracts fans to your career and dollars to your bank account.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Do your research and make a decision. Then take responsibility for it, because thats the music business.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Who do you want to hear your music? What kind of people do you like with and what time of day do you get your creative ideas? My favorite is: Are groupies and drugs something you look forward to when you make it big?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That because I'm so fast and experience this must be easy. It took me 10 years (6 broke years) to make it look easy.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Straightforward and smooth, always buried in emotion and the moonlight.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Singer - Engineer - Producer; i've been doing this for 10 years!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Bible, Labtop, Ipod Headphones, Long Distance Internet Hotspot, Apple Clock Radio.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I like live instruments, and this year I've been doing a lot of alternative pop music.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Turn it all down, and if your gonna turn it up make we know it's intentionally turned up.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Coldplay has some of the best music I've ever heard, But i like working with people still building their brand over famous people!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It depends on the artist: I just follow your lead.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Feeling, feeling and more feeling - Something that resonates with every with ears to hear.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Understanding what fans want before they know how to tell you they want it.