Posts Tagged ‘Dubstep’

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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.

525698_489628711097285_1507991617_n  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.

tables

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.

Dusty G and Pete Rock

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.

Spinnin Records

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?
DUSTY: http://www.koolkev.bandcamp.com

For beats, questions, comments, contact me at KevinMc718@Gmail.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dustygreen718

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This young lady has skills!
Remember to always Beat Inspired!

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Optiks is a producer who has worked with a nice roster of lyricist that are well known. His beats are full of all types of intruments ranging from flutes to horns, then samples and strings etc. When I listen to Optiks production style, it gives me a feel good vibe, almost like everyday is a celebration. I was pleased to be contacted by Optiks, who reached out to me via twitter and was interested in the requirements of my blog.
After doing my research on Optiks, I was amazed by his sound and wanted to interview him immediately. Optiks is the type of producer that make other producers go back in the lab and try to out do what he has done. Thanks Optiks for allowing me to interview you. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing out Producer Spotlight of the week, Optiks!
INST: Let the world know who you are and where you’re from?
Opt: I’m Optiks,  producer/engineer for Jon Connor, Blitz the Ambassador, Psalm One, and Kap Kallous.  I’m born and raised in Cincinnati, a product of the Ozone (Orlando, FL), and settled in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  I’ve been in a lot of places and it all helped make me the artist that I am today.
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INST: Who have you worked with & how long have been beat making or producing?
Opt: Man, I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years.  The main ones are Jon Connor, Blitz the Ambassador, Kap Kallous, and Psalm One, who I have an album on the way with.  It’s crazy!  I’ve also worked with Talib Kweli, Maffew Ragazino, Freeway, Styles P, Heltah Skeltah, Saigon, Les Nubians, and a bunch more.  You can hear some of those at http://www.soundcloud.com/optiks and if its not there its probably at http://optiks.bandcamp.com.
I’ve been making beats about 12+ years now, since 16, and really producing since then as well.  I used to come up with the song concepts and write some of the rhymes for my homie that I was in a group with, and we would sell the cd’s in our high school.  We got a lot of love and sold every copy we pressed up so I felt encouraged to keep doing it.
INST: How did you get started beatmaking-producing?op scribble live beatmaking[1]
Opt: When I was younger I took piano lessons and I convinced my mom to put me in an electronic music class.  It was me and one other kid in it and I learned how to arrange my own songs and a little bit about synthesizers and how midi worked.  Shoutout Mr. Jolley!  I don’t think anybody else ever took that class, haha, but it was my first exposure to writing my own music.  When I went to college at Kent State in Ohio is when I started to get more serious because I met Blitz the Ambassador and produced for songs on his album, Double Consciousness, when he just went by Blitz and was one of the dopest and most critically heralded artists coming out of the Cleveland/NE Ohio area.  I got a little bit of local recognition for that and that was it for me, I knew that I wanted to pursue music full-time.
INST: Of all of the artist that you’ve worked with, do you have a favorite artist that you work well with?
Opt: Aaaaah, this is tough.  I don’t know if I can give a straight answer, haha.  I’ve had special, magical moments, with every artist that I work closely with.  Blitz the Ambassador really pushes me to create a vibe with every beat.  We work really closely together and co-produce almost all our records.  If I come with a beat, he’ll come with a hornline, or I might come with some ill drums for something that he makes.
I feel like me and Psalm One’s album is some of my best work.  We have some really dope records, like, gritty, pop/dance type joints…not sure how to describe it but our album’s crazy.  Not a lot of samples, its more of a collage of sounds influenced by every genre from prog-rock to funk, to bass music.  I can’t wait to put that shit out!
Last time I was in the studio with Kap Kallous was dope, too, we made some ridiculous, big, trunk rattling, 808 heavy type joints, but incorporated a musical element that a lot of that type of shit doesn’t have.  And Jon Connor is just a beast, so I’m always excited when we do records because he’ll take the simplest shit and make a classic out of it.  I’m also doing a project with my homie, cRitical, from Critical Madness, and that’s been a really fun project.  The dope thing about working with him is he’s a serious movie buff so we’re always pulling these crazy pieces of dialogue and creating a cinematic vibe from the samples.
INST: What equipment and or software are you using?
Opt: My setup is super minimal.  I have a turntable, Microkorg keyboard, Fruity Loops (an old-ass version), and Pro Tools.  Got a bunch of records, too, and a mic setup in a storage closet.  I’ll be up in there with jars of rice and couscous, or banging on pots & pans, laying down live percussion haha.
INST: Do you use or prefer sampling over playing live instruments?
Opt: I got into hip-hop because of sampling.  I’ve built by name up by always finding ill samples that other producers don’t touch.  But…right now, I’m more interested in working with live musicians.  I do my little thing on the keyboard, but I’m no real player.  Fortunately I’ve been blessed to know some great musicians.  I can pretty much get any instrument I want from working with Blitz the Ambassador, and I co-produce a lot of material with my homies Seandammit from Orlando, and Boatlaunch from Flint, MI.   I’m always gonna sample, though, I’m just enjoying the live aspect more right now.
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INST: Who influenced your style?
Opt: Everybody.  I was really into electronic music and trip-hop as well as hip-hop when I was younger, so groups like The Prodigy, Morcheeba, and Portishead have always been a big influence on me.  I could list producers for ever but some favorites are: Dilla, Dr. Dre, Hi-Tek, Q-Tip, Earthtone III (Outkast), DJ Quik, Mike Dean, and El-P.
INST: Do you ever see yourself quitting or retiring from beat making?
Opt: Naw.  If I ever stopped feeling inspired I would hang it up, but I’ve been thru a lot that would’ve led others to quit and I’m still going strong and feel happy about making music.
INST: Do you feel that there a difference between being a producer and being a beat maker?
Opt: Yes.  A beat maker just sends out beats and hopes someone will rap to it.  They don’t wanna work with an artist and let a record grow organically.  Or maybe they just don’t know how.  I just know I always hear about “producers” not wanting to make changes to beats for an artist and that shit bugs me out because the beat is just the start.  Its just a demo or idea.  I can’t even finish most beats until I hear a song over it, then I’ll come in and add new parts, drops, additional instruments, etc.
INST: Any tips, tricks, or advice that you’d like to share?
Opt: Listen to as much music as you can, and study as many other artists and producers as you can.  I learn more from other genres than anything else.  A lot of people get stuck because they fall in love with their own sound and only listen to themselves and people they know.  You need to keep an open mind to keep yourself fresh and inspired.
Also, don’t use other producers drumkits.  That shit is wack.  Over the years I’ve had people ask me whose drums I use, and they’ll offer to trade Timbaland and Just Blaze kits for whatever kits I have.  I HAVE NEVER USED ANOTHER PRODUCERS DRUMKIT FOLDER OFF THE INTERNET.  That shit defeats the purpose.  Be original.  Put in work and find sounds the same way your favorite producers did.
INST: Where can we hear your work?
You can also hear my work if you pick up any Jon Connor, Kap Kallous, or Blitz the Ambassador albums.  You might hear me if you turn on your tv and tune in to MTV or ESPN.  I’m under the radar, but I’m everywhere.
  
Pri The Honeydark is a Producer, Lyricist from Queens NY.  I’ve first discovered Pri some years back when myspace was the premier social networking website for artist, promoters, and making new friends and fanbase. Always humble, Pri would respond to my messages whenever I contacted her. Her style is Dark at times and her voice is lyrically dope when she’s rapping. Pri’s subject matter is always meaningful and complimentary to her production. I was excited to hear that Pri accepted this interview with me, as I am a fan of her music. If you were not familiar with Pri The Honeydark before this interview, now is the time for you to get familiar. So without anymore delay, I bring you Pri The Honeydark, Our Producer Spotlight of the week.
INST: Let the world know who you are and where you’re from?
Pri: My name is Pri the Honeydark  (Pri is pronounced Pree) and I am from Queens, NY.   I am an M.C. and  music producer.  I am the Vibe magazine, Blaze magazine and Everlast Boxing Corp M.C. Battle Champion and I am also the 1st runner up competitor in both the Istandard Producers and MTP beat battle competitions.  I am 1/5 of the all female hip hop collective, The Anomolies and I am the founder of The Female Producers Association, which is a networking organization for creative women worldwide.  Outside of music I wear many hats, including interior designer, photographer, carpenter, artist (muralist), cook and MOTHER!  🙂  I am a creative flower, with a hard edge.  🙂
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INST: Who have you worked with & how long have been beat making or producing?

Pri: I started learning how to produce back in early 2000.  My current production focus is on film and television, which include licensing placements with MTV & Viacom.

How did you get started beatmaking-producing?

My son’s father, Afrobluu, was a DJ and producer (We started as a hip hop group and well…..you know…lol…a child was born).  We had a home filled with crates and equipment.  One day I asked him to teach me how to DJ (I’m not a DJ now, so obviously that didn’t work…lol), then he purchased a Tascam Porta One and that became the very first piece of equipment I learned to use.  Back then you had to double up on tracks in that machine like a motha’ to create a song!  However, I stuck it out and then moved on to chopping samples in the ASR and EPS keyboards with a Protools set-up.  By that time I had found my own style, which tends to be very dark…hence the name “Pri the Honeydark”, and it was on from there!

Of all of the artist that you’ve worked with, do you have a favorite artist that you work well with?

I like working with my crew The Anomolies, which includes Invincible, Helixx C, Big Tara and DJ Kuttin’ Kandi.  We are an all female Hip Hop collective.  Each individual has a unique style that challenges me to work in various genres.

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INST: What equipment and or software are you using?

Pri: After the ASR and EPS, I moved on to Propellerhead Reason.  I found out about it by accident after bumping into someone who used it while I was shopping for new equipment at Rogues Music Store in NYC.  At that time the Reason software was kind of low key. I had never heard of it, but once I used it for the first time, I knew I found what I had been seeking to go further and I have been using it ever since.  My keyboard trigger is an M-Audio 61 Key.  I also have Logic, but rarely use it.  I tried the  drum machine set up, but I just feel more comfortable playing keys.  I  also use loaded midi keys to play keyboard drums, which I use a lot to  make certain tracks sound more live.  I hope ONE day, I will have a  large enough space to store, learn and play on a real drum set….sigh.

INST: Do you use or prefer sampling over playing live instruments?
Pri: I love both sampling and live instruments. I like to play out sounds.   I generally play a lot of my sounds on my keyboard, but I also love to chop up samples and use loops as well.  Both mediums work, as long as the music is good to me.
Who influenced your style?
Afrobluu taught me, so he is the first influence.  The next individuals that influenced me the most were from our past.  A few of those influences would be Jimi Hendrix (I would have been a Hendrix groupie in my past life), Etta James, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin and Bob Marley.  Those are some of the individuals I listen to mostly for an inspirational story within my music.  Nina Simone as well.  As far as hip hop is concerned, I have been inspired by producers such as, Dr Dre, DJ Premier, J Dilla, Rick Rubin, Diamond D, Da Beatminerz Just Blaze, Large Professor, Buckwild, Prince Paul, RZA, Pete Rock, Easy Mo bee, Denaun Porter, Freddie Foxxx, Alchemist etc…..etc…..the list goes on and on.  My style is Hard and Dark (sounds like a really interesting movie…lol).  I am mostly influenced by people who create that dark emotion within their tracks, but aren’t limited to them.
INST: Do you ever see yourself quitting or retiring from beat making?
Pri: NOPE…fingers from the grave….lol
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INST: Do you feel that there a difference between being a producer and being a beat maker?
Pri: Yes there is .  A beat maker does just that, makes beats.  A producer deals with the entire span of the song from concept to completion.  The producer not only creates the beat, he/she must also marry the right artist to the track, be able to coach the artist to get the best out of him/her, sometimes write songs and/or sheet music, hire outside musicians and coach them if need be, pay for studio sessions, make sure the track is properly mixed down and mastered and usually the producer also has his/her hand in the contractual business and marketing of the project as well.  A beatmaker can chill in a room and make a beat, but a producer will take that same beat and turn it into a “song”.
INST: Any tips, tricks, or advice that you’d like to share?
Pri: Just do what you feel sounds right, but keep it crisp. Take a few music classes if needed to learn more about music theory.  Also, remember,  what you use is not important, but how you use it is, so don’t spend your entire paycheck on equipment, because your favorite producer uses it.  Save that money for business cards, a web site and marketing yourself.    Lastly…KNOW YOUR BUSINESS & BRAND!  This industry is 10% music 90% business and if you do not know your business, you will get nowhere!
INST: Where can we hear your work?
Pri: All of my connects are:




Producer/ Recording 9th Wonder Schooling You!

Producer/ Recording 9th Wonder Schooling You!

Checkout this clip of 9th Wonder dropping gems about the art of sampling.

JOKA FUTURISTIC BEATZ

JOKA FUTURISTIC BEATZ

INST: Let the world know who you are and where you’re from?
JOKA: PRODUCER NAME IS JOKA BORN AND RAISED IN BROOKLYN NY.

INST: Who have you worked with & how long have been beat making or producing?
JOKA: MEEK MILL, NIPSEY HUSSLE, BUN B, SAIGON, TYGA, SHONA, STAR THESTAR, JAY OHH, SURELI FLOSS, BRUTE CAMP, A.R.E, TEXSIN & MORE…… AND BEEN PRODUCING FOR 11 YEARS.

JOKA WITH A FEW PEICES OF EQUIPMENT

INST:What equipment and or software are you using?
JOKA: MPC1000 TO 5000, FL STUDIOS, REASON, MOFX 6, AND MORE.

INST: What made you want to create beats?                                                                                                                                       JOKA: I WAS ALWAYS INTO MUSIC IF IT WASN’T PRODUCING IT WAS DANCING.

INST: Do you use or prefer sampling over playing live instruments?
JOKA: I PERFER PLAYING LIVE INSTRUMENTS AND SAMPLING.

INST: Who influenced your style?
JOKA: TIMBERLAND, PHERRAL, KAYNE WEST, AND 9TH WONDER.

INST: Do you ever see yourself quitting or retiring from beat making?
 JOKA: I’LL RETIRE IN 10 OR 20 YEARS.

INST: Is there a difference between being a producer and being a beat maker?
JOKA: YES THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. A BEAT MAKER JUST MAKES THE BEAT AND SENDS IT TO THE ARTIST.                    A PRODUCER WILL HELP PUT THE SONG TOGETHER AND COMPOSE THE SONG.

INST: Any tips, tricks, or advice that you’d like to share?
 JOKA: KEEP GRINDING, STAY FOCUSED, AND NEVER GIVE UP

INST: Where can we hear your work?
JOKA: WWW.FUTURISTICBEATZ.COM

 

Westcoast Producer Dj Battlecat in the lab!

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Check out this clip of Battlecat doing his thing in the studio!