Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I produced and arranged a project called Beyond This Point, for an artist that goes by Lyss. Even though it was a long time ago, and therefore not my "best" work, it was truly one of the first moments that I realized why I do what I do. Working with a young artist like Lyss, that only knew her sound on acoustic guitar and piano, and developing a full studio quality EP that reached into electronic genres at points was incredible. The best part was her realizing the sounds she wanted along the way and breaking out of the genre she thought she was confined to.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on a personal mix tape, as well as producing a track for a spoken word artist by the name of Tim Rudge. I also am always working on experiments in my personal time.
Analog or digital and why?
Analog. I won't argue that it's better, there are very steep pros and cons to both, I truly believe it's a preference. But I can't deny the way that analog reaches out and grabs me in a way that digital never will.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I promise that you will feel full and complete ownership over your track and that by the time we are done working together, you will be inspired to keep creating because you've realized what you are capable of.
What do you like most about your job?
I love the way peoples faces light up when they hear what they've been hearing in their head coming through the speakers. It's the best feeling in the world.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I ask a few simple questions when working with a prospective client. What does the song look like? What does the song feel like? and last, what does the song sound like?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Make sure you have something you want to say. I can make you a track that will sell, but if you don't know why your saying what your saying, then the heart of the song will be lost in the process.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
The Shure KSM32, AKG C414, The OP-1, a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6, and a pair of Focal Alpha 6.5 monitors
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I've been a musician most of my life. I was trained as a classical guitarist, played cello for a few years, and have always messed with piano. I went to school for music theory and started producing and mixing music around the same time, about 4 years now. I got into production because I got a really nice pair of speakers for the first time. When I heard a taste of how music was supposed to sound, I said to myself, "I need to find a way that I can make a living listening to music." I got some production equipment and started teaching myself. I feel in love with it and haven't looked back since.
How would you describe your style?
Groove driven, minimalist, Hip-Hop heavily inspired by R&B
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work with Kendrick Lamar. I'm really inspired by how deeply he implants his heart into his work, and I feel like I could learn so much from him about really throwing yourself into your work.
Can you share one music production tip?
Know when to stop. It's so easy to get to complex with arrangements and add three or four different melody lines cause you feel it's lacking and not full enough. But the reality of it is, you probably just need more layers. Different timbres playing the same melody for instance. Or a synth line that follows your 808 on a higher octave.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work on a lot of Hip-Hop/Rap, R&B, Soul, and Alternative.
What's your strongest skill?
Helping people find their why. Their drive for doing what they are doing. If your song doesn't have a why then it's easy to lose the heart of the song in the refining part of production.
What do you bring to a song?
I bring a strong sense of identity to a song. A song without a purpose or a sense of place is much less likely to really affect people. Sure it can make you feel good or be the life of the party, but it wont stick with you. I'm into songs that stick and make you think, while also being really enjoyable to listen to.
What's your typical work process?
I normally start with the drums, then move on to any keys, synths, or pads. Then bass, additional melody, further drum layers, and any vocal layers I want in the beat. From there it can go a lot of different directions. If I'm working with a client then they steer where it goes next. If it's a personal project, I will normally start writing for the beat.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I work out of my home studio mostly. I use Battery 4 as well as recorded drums for the majority of my beats. As far as instruments I use guitars, keyboards, bass, and vocals. Whether it's plugin based or recorded totally depends on the feel I want. My setup is really simple, I run everything into my Focusrite Scarlett interface. From there I just have some midi controllers and a few mics. My favorite mic currently is the Shure KSM32.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
I'm deeply inspired by the work of Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Rick Rubin, James Blake, Nas, and J Cole just to name a handful.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I do a lot of full scale production, building tracks from the ground up. The most important thing to me is that the client is building the track with me. I always want to make sure that their message and vision are coming through in every aspect of the production.