What first drew you to music production?
I’ve always loved music. I got into music production after a band I was in went into the studio. I was fascinated by the guy behind the glass, the gear the process and the ability to create something out of nothing. After that, I bought a little Tascam 4 track tape recorder and a Casio keyboard. I spent countless hours experimenting and writing terrible songs haha. I started a recording studio years later and here we are.
I actually didn’t get into Hip Hop production until a few years ago. I had a guy come into the studio with backing tracks and he rapped to it. I said to him “you know the backing tracks kind of suck lol.” He said, “well write me a song then!” I wrote one and he said man that’s incredible lol. Who knew a punk rock kid could write Hip Hop? That began this crazy journey into a world I never knew.
You are one of the best up and coming producers we have encountered on the internet! And your latest beat “Good to be Alive” is probably your best track yet. Can you tell us more about the story behind the track?
First thank you for the kind words, truly humbled. It’s a crazy story for sure. I was a pastor for quite a few years and about a month or so ago a friend died in an experimental plane crash. We were good friends with his parents as well and our daughters have been best friends for years. We stood for hours staring into a field where his plane was. It was a surreal feeling and seemed like a bad dream. I did his funeral a few weeks later and it caused me to stop and think about life. On a gravestone, there is a date when you’re born and a date when you die, in the middle is a tiny dash that represents our life. I thought wow there are no guarantees in life. We better enjoy every second because life is fragile. It’s time to fill up that dash and understand it’s good to be alive. I went home that night, sat in the studio and that’s what came out.
Your other beat “Dry Bones” is another great example of how capable you are as a producer! The mixing is on point and the melodies/ideas are out of this world! Could you tell us more about your studio setup and some of the plugins used to create this track?
My set up is pretty simple, I am a Pro Tools guy. I mainly use a Yamaha MX49 synth keyboard and a Presonus Studio Live Digital mixer running into a mac mini. The plugins I mainly use for sounds are UVI Urban Suites, IK Multimedia Brandenburg piano’s, Falcon, Trillian Bass and Mainstage synth/piano. For mastering I love Izotope Ozone 8, I use Waves software a lot for compression and stock Pro Tool plugins (which are incredible). The drum samples I use are mostly ones I created. When you have thousands of sounds at your fingertips you can get super creative. I like to find sounds that shouldn’t go together and figure out how to mash them together lol. The song Dry Bones is a great example of that. A little hip hop, a little heavy metal, dark creepy piano’s and boom you have this unique cool song. The key to a great mix is in the planning for sure. There is only so much room for layers of instruments. When you start separating things out there is all this space and it gives the mix a very open airy feel. It’s the small details that make a good song a great song. It also helps that I’m a little OCD and a perfectionist haha.
Your signature sound reminds us of the sound of some of the greatest producers in the world (40, Dre, Tay keith etc). How did you manage to achieve such a professional sound in such a short time? Can you tell us more about your musical background?
I’ve been playing music my whole life. I’ve been writing Hip Hop for the past few years and have built a library of songs. I listen to everything from Barry Manilow, Social Distortion, Iron Maiden, Johnny Cash to Lecrae. I never got locked into one style or sound. Being creative comes from inspiration, not trying to duplicate what someone else is doing. I never wanted to sound like someone else so I have all of these influences and appreciate how they created songs and the stories behind them. I started a website (dogbatchloops.com) a month or so ago and approached it very cautiously, it was a two-year process. I wanted to take time to craft my skill before I put out my music. My first dozen or so songs at the beginning were terrible haha. Thank God I didn’t jump the gun and start the website right away. I recently posted a few songs on soundcloud and twitter. It blew up, freaking crazy.
All of your beats are very melodic. Do you play any real life instruments?
I started playing drums at the age of four. I picked up piano and guitar along the way. I wanted to be a musician my whole life. I spent years studying music theory and music production. I’ve played in bands; I was a worship pastor and got into the studio gig years back. Drums are my first love, I spent a lot of time creating drum beats. I love melodic, passionate music, I thought why the hell can’t you take all of these influences, sounds, styles and put them together.
What are your goals for the summer? Any upcoming projects we can get excited about?
This summer I want to continue to write music, hangout with my family and enjoy life. I would really like to break into the film industry and write music for movies so I am spending a lot of time making connections and writing different styles of music. I have a few projects in the works now. I am in the studio with Kenny D. He is a super talented Hip Hop artist and we will be releasing his single Anxiety soon.
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