I do the work. Thats what matters! Fortunate to have worked with Faith Evans, Whitney Houston, and J Lynn the bride but, any project that I get involved with is the most important at that moment.
I PRODUCE songs. R&B, Pop, and Hip Hop. I offer KEYBOARDS as I have played keys professionally for years live and on many recordings (listen to Faith Evans - baby lay). I MIX records because I know how to make them sound amazing! (listen to J Lynn the bride - Misbehaving). I don't want to talk to much so I will stop here. Let's get started!
Music Production, keyboards, mixing services
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Interview with Devinaire
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: R&B tracks. People like cool chords and musical changes over banging drums. But most importantly with keeping the groove. It's gotta have that bounce. Vocal arrangements are right up there with tracks. They say I'm ridiculous with the harmonies.....well you know...I try...lol
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Many producers. Quincy Jones, London on the track, Teddy Riley, Hitboy, Ayo, Timbaland, Shekspere (which is who I did my first production and publishing agreement with)...just to name a few. All for different reasons of course. Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum and Corey Henry on the keys. Mixing wise, Dave Pensado. (sitting down in the studio with him I learn something new everytime.)
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: The D.A,W's are pro tools 12.5 for all things recording and mixing. Logic Pro X for any writing. Plug ins I use most are waves package, melodyne, vocalign. As far as sounds I have some different cool things but, thats getting personal...lol..I can list my yamaha motif though. A lot of people have one of those so that's not top secret.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I'm big on systems. If I'm making a track. It starts with an idea. A scene. I get a visual of the scene that anyone would play this song. Then I begin to write the theme song for this moment. It mainly starts with colors (chords). I may put cool reverbs or delays on something just to help me paint. Then usually rhythm. Snare first usually. I could continue but, I would be spoiling the online course that I am soon releasing on music production techniques. Coming soon to a website near you. (shameless plug right?)
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Whatever it ask me too. Technically all things in this world were produced at the origin. We just reproduce them. By putting new things together and re-presenting them. Each team is different and each song is different. Sometimes I literally can bring the confidence to a song. Maybe the team I'm working with on that particular song is talented but, not sure and I just nod my head yes in confidence. Other times It may be me in the studio totally alone playing all instruments, mixing, writing, and whatever else is needed. I do believe every song should have a soul. a will!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Music Production. Music Production encompasses everything else I am skilled at. When I'm hired to produce songs I can write, play keys, program, edit, mix, layer.....all sorts of cool things. If its only keys, I may give the best keys ever but, it may go to a mediocre mix engineer and they ruin the song.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: R&B, Pop, Hip Hop.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Yes. Try to eliminate as much of the technical part as possible while creating. I do it by having a template already set up with all my stuff how I like it. So I don't have to do things like routing aux sends to busses and changing pre delays on a reverb when I'm actually just trying to put the snare on the 3.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd like to work with Mariah Carey. I'm not sure whats happening over there right now...lol but, I believe I would be able to get it back on track.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Soulful. Not in the sense of 60's soul music. But, records I produce/write are not passive. They connect with the real place that they represent. I'm able to climb into whatever world the record is in and pull the record out of it.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: How much time you got?..lol..My parents were musicians. I started with them going to rehearsals, meeting celebrities, then joined their band at 14. Always played drums/keys. Started making tracks in high school and had a few small successes. Ultimately put the hottest beats I had at the time on one cd and mailed it to my cousin who just happened to have produced Destinys Child, Pink, TLC. (actually had the number 1 record in the country at the time) And mailed it to his house. We had just hung out in L.A. and I told him I would. He got it and called me in 2 days like YIKES! They flew me to Atlanta and in a few weeks I signed a publishing agreement with Windswept and a production agreement with Shekspere. Continued to build on that and now have artist and a label as well.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A hat. keys to the jet that flew me there. Fuel for the jet to fly home. cell phone, directions -so I wouldnt get lost on my way home. Notice that the question didn't say stranded. So.....just visiting...lol
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Best advice is not to procrastinate on taking a step. The only time is NOW. I know it sounds cliche' but its true. Potential is never as much as kinetic.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What outcome would you be extremely excited about? Do you have any ideas recorded or sketched? Can we take a look at them? And remind them its a team effort. I'm not doing any judging or comparing or trying to convince anyone I'm some type of big shot. My job as a producer is to help the artist shine as much as possible. Not try to be the artist.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Its easy and anybody can just do it. It requires a tremendous amount of training, time and skill. Countless hours of working on the craft. Anybody can decide they want to do it and begin the journey. However, It's impossible to reach the destination from the origin without taking the steps that are required inbetween
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: How do I know its gonna come out good? A: Because we work until it does. I am extremely skilled and bring all of my expertise, training, and skills to work. Q: All of these producers, why should I hire you? A: I would believe that every producer on here is competent at producing. So I'm not special because I'm a pro tools wiz, or can play incredible piano, or have been validated by some of the industry leaders that the whole world knows. My secret sauce is my ability to connect with the artist and work as a team. From schedules to communication, listening, guiding, and understanding what the artist desires are. I create the environment for the magic to happen then capture it as it does in a recording. With each piece of the puzzle. Whether its a drum, a synth, a lyric, or a note. When we finish, the picture is exactly what we want the painting to look like.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Growth, expression, flexibility, and travel. I have been fortunate to travel all over the world and extend that opportunity to some of the people that I have worked with on specific projects. We have met interesting people and are constantly expanding and growing through these experiences. This allows my contribution to humankind to become more and more impacting and thats definitely the plan that I'm sticking to.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to listen to the idea, develop the idea, present the developed idea, and worked together until we both determine. THIS IS IT! EXACTLY IT!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Depends on the project. Analog for people that are married to the idea. Digital for convenience. I personally like digital. I believe in the technological advances in the world. I'm not married to yesterday even though I love yesterday.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes. There is a great mastering engineer friend of mine named Flip Matrix. His prints sound great!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: New media. While releasing projects on my indi label Air Music Digital, I am doing a lot of ventures with companies in new media where we are able to develop ideas in new and unique spaces.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My mother has a non profit where she has this annual event where she allows top notch professionals to teach courses to people for a very very reasonable cost. It also has a lot to do with training kids. I've worked on big records and been around mega artist and spun out in ferraris but, the part I am really proud of is helping mom with her annual event.