Nixon Silva, producer, guitarist, remixer and beatmaker from Brasil. Working at Sonido, one of the biggest audio production company from Brasil. With more than 15 years of experience working with local and international artists from various genres, playing different roles in each project.
I`m a music producer, beatmaker, guitarist, composer and singer. I started as a young musician, playing with local bands and over a short period of time, learned to play various instruments, both harmonic and percussive. At the age of 18, I started producing beats for rap and RnB artists from all over my country, gaining recognition to the point of being invited to the biggest beat battle of the country, and winning 2 years consecutive.
After working with major names of brazilian rap scene, such as Rapadura and Projota, I entered the world of music for film and advertising, working with brands such as Toyota, Nestlé, Netflix, Renault, L`oreal, Nissan, Heineken, Church's Chicken, Claro, Tim, Banco Do Brasil and composing 2 tracks for the multi award winning short film named "Chiclete", one of them being the theme for the closing credits and other being used as soundtrack for the movie and the teaser.
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Interview with Nixon Silva
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The first time I worked on music for film, on a short movie called "Chiclete", made by a brazilian director, I had a chance to work with great singers, great producers and the result was absolutely amazing. Really brought the scenes up and it was a very nice, creative process, which later was rewarded with many awards from international film festivals. I love to work with creative people that are open to the process, open to new and wrong ideas that might come in the way. Working as a producer, musician and recording engineer on this film, made me grew a lot artistically.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on 5 soundtracks for commercials, one album production for a r&b singer, where I'm also the music director and working on music of my own, composing, recording and mixing new stuff that's about to come out soon.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: For sure! There's a producer and friend of mine, called João Miguel, from the huge house duo success THE TWELVES, that has an incredible ear for music and is one of the top professionals here in Brasil that I would like to recommend to anyone that is looking for a great experience on music production.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. You have to experiment and try everything in your music. A simple guitar pedal, might be a game changer, to somebody that always made music on a laptop and for somebody that's working on analog equipment for years, a DAW might open new and more flexible ways to make music. Understanding the value of this 2, is crucial for musical growth.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To give them full attention and transparency to their music. To give the respect it deserves to bring it to the best it can be.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The chance to discover and talk with the most talented people I would never met, in other circumstances. The power to make something that somebody will connect to and share, still amazing to me.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: They often ask how long will I take to deliver. Depending on the job (if it's an album, ep or single), the deadline changes, but I work very fast for two reasons: Once the idea comes to me, I have to execute as fast as I can, because the first impression, the most primitive, it's the one I trust more, 'cause it's not contaminated with after thoughts that may get in the way of creativity. And the second one, it's because music it's like a photograph. It captures the moment and if that moment passes, there's no point to release it, when you don't feel that spark anymore. But regardless of the step I'm in, I always keep in touch with the client, letting them know what I'm doing and how long it's gonna take.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I don't do copies. People often come to me to work and suddenly, I notice that what they want, is suspiciously alike somebody else's work. I don't do that. Come to me to do something new to you, and new to me.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Is it an album? An EP? A single? Those questions are important for me, even before the musical reference, because knowing that, I can map my way around the job like, can I do it by myself, or will I need to hire someone to help and most importantly, fit that job into my schedule.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Be open to the journey, trust the producer you've hired and don't be afraid to try of say anything. Even the "wrong" idea, can lead you to a place higher than any normal idea could.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: For sure, my laptop is the first one. A keyboard, headphone, audio interface and my guitar. Being in a desert island with this equipment, is my version of a vacation, heheheh.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started as a young musician in my town, then move a lot with my parents, always learning new instruments on the way, both harmonic and percussive. At the age of 11, I was already playing drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass and recording with local church bands. Then at the age of 18, I started producing beats and recording artists in my home studio, teaching myself how to do it. After years of making music only for artists, I sent my material for an audio production company, called Sonido, in São Paulo, and got the job as the assistent producer. Not long after, I was getting chances to do the soundtrack for commercials of big brands and grew a lot as a producer and became an important part of the company. Today, I control the main studio of the house and together with 2 other super talented producers, make the company grow even more.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style adapt to the genre I'm working. But certain aspects like danceable drums, surprising chord progressions and minimal melody lines, that can coexist with the vocals or any lead instrument.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with KAYTRANADA, because I can bring some different flavors with my playing. I know he's a master in sampling, but to see him sampling a chord progression, guitar lick that I did, would be a very, very interesting and rich experience.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Learn theory. I've seen a lot of beatmakers and even producers overlook the power of knowing music theory. They're usually afraid of loosing the spontaneity of music, but what theory does, is to open you for different ideas and help you to map what you already know, so that you can understand and replicate if needed. And DON'T USE MIDI PACKS! Hehe.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: As a producer, I do hiphop, r&b, house, dancehall and EDM, but since I work on advertising and music for film, I have worked with almost every genre of music, such as tango, classical, experimental, samba, etc.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being open. That's what brought me where I am today. Being open to a new genre or the craziest idea, and using that idea to create an incredible song.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: That head nod, that undeniable need to move to the song. Every genre has it's special way to bring that on a person and I try to help bring it on every work I do.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start by listening. Listening to the artist, to the reference track, the idea, anything that helps me shape the image of what I'm about to execute to fullfill the vision I have for that job. Then I quickly go to the production part, where I draft my idea and share with the artist. Once the idea is approved, I record, sequence, sing, play whatever is needed to bring that ideia to life. Then, if I'm requested to be the mix engineer, I get the vocal files and mix the whole song, then send it to the artist, for mastering.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: As I work on one of the biggest audio production company of Brasil called Sonido, I have access to multiple instruments, fully acoustic treated studio and various mics and pre amps, and I also have a home studio setup, with laptop,a Rode NT 1000, audio interface, an ESP LTD Xtone guitar, Akai MPD 32 and Audiotechnica headphones.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: People like Pomo Beats, KAYTRANADA, Dark Child, Pharrel and Chad Hugo, inspire the sound I'm making now, which is more pop, higher BPM, chord driven stuff. As a guitarist, people like Guthrie Govan, Steve Vai, Isaiah Sharkey, Wes Montgomery, John Scofield, Joe Pass and of course, Chuck Berry. As a creator, people like Kanye West, Yassin Bey (Mos Def), Daft Punk, Deadmau5 and the creators of Gorillaz, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Being a producer. Artists always hire me for my vision about music and art and whether a play an instrument, sequence beats, record the vocalist or just consult the people involved, I'm always thinking and working as a producer.