INST: Let the world know who you are and where you’re from?
DUSTY: Peace! I am Dusty G, a DJ and producer from Queens, NY. As a DJ, I specialize in spinning vinyl and blending hip-hop, funk, soul and jazz together under the name DJ Kool Kev. As a producer I utilize samples to construct a new mix of dusted melodies over raw analog drums.
INST: Who have you worked with & how long have been beat making or producing?
DUSTY: I’ve been producing for almost 6 years, although I’ve only started releasing my beats within the last year or so. I’ve wanted to develop my music to the point where it had its own sound before putting it out.
I’ve been working with many different artists around New York, but currently I’m developing a project with the LA based MC “Dusty Chucks.” We connected over our similar name and found that our styles blended perfectly, so we’ll be releasing “The Dusty Files” by Thanksgiving.
Other than that I’ve been releasing a ton of solo music, beat tapes, and DJ mixes that are all available for free stream and download at http://www.koolkev.bandcamp.com
INST: How did you get started beatmaking-producing?
DUSTY: I’ve been playing the drums since I was a little kid, which is definitely the foundation for my production. I started to get into hip-hop through my older brother, and always wanted to cut and scratch. So I saved up some money and bought a used set of decks when I was 15. From there I began collecting records and learning how to scratch and mix. After spinning parties and recording some mixes, I started to become interested in making my own beats. At first I started real bootleg, making beats onto cassette tapes straight from the turntables. But then I picked up a sampler….
INST: Of all of the artist that you’ve worked with, do you have a favorite artist that you work well with?
DUSTY: Truthfully, I work best when I’m alone…it is like meditation. Being alone gives you the ability to be creative subconsciously. That’s why I prefer to work in the late night hours when people around me are sleeping. I like to work uninhibited, far away from the influence of “what’s hot” or what people might expect me to be making, and the result is always something dope and organic.
INST: What equipment and or software are you using?
DUSTY: For me, it’s all about hardware. My weapon of choice is the Roland SP-404…it is so compact it is almost toy-like, yet I’m able to accomplish so much with it. Plus I run it through an SP-303, which doubles my options for effects. I sometimes use an MPC-2000XL, but lately the 404 has been my go to piece.
INST: Do you use or prefer sampling over playing live instruments?
DUSTY: Both have their own place in production, and it is important to respect and utilize each one. Personally I prefer sampling because it lets me tap into an infinite number of sounds. The sampler itself is an instrument, which many people don’t realize. I would argue that finding and layering your own sounds and tweaking them to your liking can be more original than using the same keyboard and 808 drum sounds so many producers are using right now.
INST: Who influenced your style?
DUSTY: My style is a mix of all the music I’ve listened to over the years. That list ranges from my current taste in funk, jazz, and soul, all the way back to metal, punk, and hardcore. Of course all the great producers have had a profound influence on me, such as Premier, RZA, Shadow, Dilla, etc. But even more of an influence has been DJs and producers I’ve chilled with…my man Blazin Pete from upstate picked up an SP-404 around the same time I came up on mine. This dude learned the ins and outs of it in no time and SCHOOLED me. But as a result I gained a much better understanding for it, and since then we’ve gone back and forth teaching each other new methods. That’s what it’s all about, watching and learning from other people. You have to listen before you speak.
INST: Do you ever see yourself quitting or retiring from beat making?
DUSTY: Never! It’s in my blood, and I’ll always be doing it in one way or another. Most the years I’ve been making beats, it has been to an audience of myself and a few close homies, so even if that’s where it stays, I’m going to keep doing it. Anyone who has a true passion for something knows the satisfaction you get when you make something dope, and that satisfaction can’t be replaced by anything else.
INST: Do you feel that there a difference between being a producer and being a beat maker?
DUSTY: Definitely. A producer is someone who is going to see a project through from start to finish, help create and arrange the music and serve as mediator between the artist and the engineer during the recording session. A beat maker is just that…the one who makes the beats. However, you don’t have to confine yourself to one or the other. I’ve worked with some artists where I just hand over a beat to them, while others I’ve helped create their sound and followed the process all the way through to mixing and mastering.
INST: Any tips, tricks, or advice that you’d like to share?
DUSTY: Think outside the box! Know that shortcomings in your equipment can add to your sound if you figure out ways around them.
BE PATIENT! This is a lifelong process…music doesn’t happen over night, it is all about the slow absorption of sounds and ideas.
Be original! Even though you’re doing something that thousands and thousands of people have done before you, bring something new to the table, something that only you could bring and no one else could even carry.
INST: Where can we hear your work?
For beats, questions, comments, contact me at KevinMc718@Gmail.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dustygreen718