What's your typical work process?
It's an art as well as a science. Together we form the art, then I apply the science to tighten up the production.
The first step in sitting down with a new artist is discovering 'their sound'. It's rarely the same twice between clients, but as a framework, it usually takes the form of totally informal discussion around their influences, vision, and genre preferences.
Second stage is developing some demos to make sure I've successfully gotten into the headspace and I'm generating the kind of vibe the client can get down to. If one of the samples resonates with them, then we're off to the third stage.
This is the fun part. This is where we play with the sound. This is where we as artists really start to impress on a track. This is where we get the vocalist in the vocal booth to do some damage.
Next, I apply the science. From here, it's all about dials and numbers and buttoning up the production for that polished sound.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I'm proud of the The 'Out The Projects' Project LP, released under Stranglehold with GR!P. My role was holistic, in this case. I produced 80% of the beats, and did the vocal mixing, balancing, and mastering.
Check it out here: https://soundcloud.com/klutch-beats/sets/the-out-the-projects-project
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm currently in the midst of producing a successive hiphop mixtape with the ever-lyrical GR!P. Following our recent LP drop, we're pressing some fresh singles featuring beats from Aka Frank for all the eager Stranglehold fans.
Check him out here: https://soundcloud.com/grippygold
Also starting up sound design with the new client-homie: SlyFoxThaGod.
Check him out here: https://soundcloud.com/slyfoxthagod
Analog or digital and why?
Analog sound carries a certain warmth I find that digital inherently lacks, but for what you can't authentically record, I find there's usually a digital solution. Ultimately digital delivers a cleaner sound though.
It really depends on what the client's sound is, but I prefer digital for it's malleability.
What do you like most about your job?
The expression. It's ultimately an art. It's like painting a canvass between the eardrums of the listener. But it's also an impactful medium which can positively influence listeners, and I think that's empowering.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
The most frequent misunderstanding is probably just the distinction between someone who produces a beat, and someone who produces an entire track or tape. Though each has skills that are transferable between, the conception of each mix is mutually exclusive.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
+ What's your vision for your music?
+ What sorts of influences does your music carry?
+ Do you have a genre you'd say your expressive style applies to?
+ What's your budget look like?
+ What are some of the past projects you've worked on?
+ Is there any kind of timeframe we'd need to work under?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Don't limit your options according to a projected price-tag. Quite literally you'll find in this industry you get what you pay for. Sometimes it's worthwhile paying a producer a little more if it means getting the sound you really want.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been in this game just over four years. So far the path has been winding, but I have no doubts that production is what speaks to me as a craft. I'm dedicated.
Can you share one music production tip?
Don't try to sound like someone else. Your expression is unique. Learn from other's examples, but don't set out to be a duplicate.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Usually hiphop, but I've dabbled in all sorts of genres based on the vested interests of the client.
What do you bring to a song?
As I mentioned above, I don't cater to trends. What you get from me is a genuine interest in the soul of a track. Meaning I'm invested in bringing out the raw expression in the music; but what you also get is the distinct flare of my unique production style.
Check some of my work, you'll see what I mean.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I'm largely inspired by underground hiphop movements in Ireland, France, and the US. That means artists like Ours Samplus, DJ Green Lantern, Tony Mahoney, School Boy Q and J Cole, but also more abstract producers like Bonobo, rafi:ki - to name a few.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Most commonly I do vocal processing and mix balancing for clients. What that generally looks like is receiving a .zip file of bounced tracks that I import and explore.
Often times the instrumental itself is already produced, and it's just a matter of tweaking track dynamics and creating space for the vocals sit harmoniously in. Vocal splicing and editing is also key to finding the clean, stylistic sound most of my clients are looking for.