Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
An album I was involved in releasing some years ago, titled "King's Highway" from Reality Chant (a production house which I work at). It included some world class reggae artists such as Luciano, Natty King, Jah Mason, Deadly Hunta and others. Very proud of this release. Probably mine and Gabriel's best selling release to date also.
Analog or digital and why?
A combination of both. Why limit yourself?
What do you like most about your job?
Getting paid to basically have fun!
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Q: How do I promote my music?
A: Get yourself a good manager.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That somehow a producer of music is involved in the promotion of the music. That is the responsibility of the artist.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
Which element in your backing track do you envision being most important?
How upfront do you want your vocal to sit in the mix?
Are you 100% happy with what you're hearing? Would you be happy with this representing you out in the world?
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A guitar, a bass, Roland JV1080, a laptop and a MIDI keyboard.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
Have been producing Funk and Reggae music for about 20 years, in collaboration with other producers. I now teach music production and DJing at a local music academy.
How would you describe your style?
Melodic and Funky.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Prince, because his sense of melody and composition is out of this world. It would be daunting to work with him, but I think you would learn so much just from being in his presence.
Can you share one music production tip?
Experiment with starting your composition at a different point: Perhaps compose your hook melody first, and then build your bass and drums under that, or come up with some lyrics and base your beat around that. A different type of beat will result from the order in which you come up with your elements. Don't leave drums and bass too long though... They should be the second or third thing that you work on. Very hard to structure drums and bass under everything else. That's the foundation.
What's your strongest skill?
Full blown Funkstramentals.
What do you bring to a song?
Funk. Melodic Feel. Groove. Big juicy basslines. Sharp, punchy synths and drums that bang.
What's your typical work process?
I generally build a drum track from some tried and tested kicks and snares, or else I will start with a bassline. The type of music I love is rooted in the bottom end, and aimed at the dancefloor, so that's generally where I start. From there I will build a chord progression and then add synths, ambience and other elements.
Tell us about your studio setup.
My studio is focused around synthesizers and guitars... I have a big rack of synth units which I go to for inspiration every day. In the centre is an Mac computer running Logic & Ableton; I find the combination of these two DAWs ideal for getting ideas down and getting that Funk working as quick as possible.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Prince is a big hero, I also love Dam Funk, Onra, Chromeo, Nile Rogers... anyone who produces that super-slick, melodic Funk sound!
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Most common is session work - fellow producers will come with a full blown production and want me to lay synths, bass or guitar (or all three) on their beat. There are plenty of beatmakers out there, but not many who can arrange and compose melodies in a musical way. Hence the surplus of robotic, soulless sounding beats out there.