FAC: When did you start producing and what triggered your love for Hip Hop?
I've been making & producing music since I was probably 13 years old. My first console was a Tascam 424 MKII which was a tape deck with an eq on each channel. I used to spend hours getting a 3 minute guitar take down then another 5 hours doing the drums and bass etc. There was no looping or wave file you could copy paste or edit so if you made a mistake you had to do the whole take over again.
I started playing guitar when I was 13 years old and used to watch this incredible guitarist named Steve Wyreman play cover songs at a local church with his band. His style was this perfect blend of blues, funk, and jazz. He could play literally anything and he always played with this huge smile, his love for music was like nothing I'd ever seen. I was lucky enough to take lessons from him before he got his break and has since worked with Rihanna, Nas, Common, J. Cole, Big Sean, the list goes on. He used to turn on songs by the Roots, Biggie, Nas etc and we'd take turns soloing and jamming over all these hip hop songs. He'd show me all sorts of chord inversions, guitar licks, and ways to accompany hip hop with the guitar and I loved the way it sounded weaving in out of the rhythmic vocal patterns.
FAC: Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. So much good music comes from the Bay: Mac Dre, Andre Nickatina, E-40, B-Legit, Hieroglyphics, Too Short, Zion-I, Crown City Rockers the list goes on. I grew up going to all sorts of concerts, there was so much opportunity to see bands and musicians and hip hop artists no one has ever heard of. One of my favorite non hip hop guys is a Bay Area native named Charlie Hunter. He plays an 8 string guitar- the top 3 strings are bass strings and the bottom 5 are guitar strings. He plugs into a guitar amp and a bass amp simultaneously and plays this funky jazz style of bass and guitar at the same time. Another one of my favorites is Crown City Rockers. They're like Oakland's version of the roots. I saw them play live with Zion-I and it blew my mind. To me nothing is better than Hip Hop with live instruments.
FAC: What's your next project & what should your fans expect next?
We just released a a free mixtape on Datpiff called "The Best Things In Life Are Free" with a bunch of songs I've done over the years. There are some free beats mixed in there along with others like this Kanye Bootleg I did mashing up his vocals from 'Touch The Sky' with this awesome Bee Jees song. One of my favorites.
I love creating music and after 13 years of honing my ear and countless hours of experimenting I'm finally at the point where I feel my product is good enough to market and try selling. Every book you read on music marketing says to spend 1/3 of your time making music and 2/3 marketing and promoting. I've always spent about 99% making music and 1% marketing it. Now I'd like to actually try and get it out there and see what happens.
FAC: What is the main goal of your company?
We founded the site to give musicians the tools & knowledge to make professional-caliber music, without having $1,000's of dollars of equipment. I never wanted to torrent stuff and didn't have the money to spend on the latest synthesizers, plug ins, or DAWs. I had to keep it simple and learn to get creative with what I had. Over the years I've come up with all sorts of techniques to tweak and create songs. To me, live instruments have so much more life than some torrented VST.
I also love working with an already finished vocal and giving it a completely new life. There's so many talented vocalists out there that I would love to work with. I want to have a section on the site where anyone can drop their vocal file, and I can start from scratch and turn it into something new.
I'm also planning on putting up some tutorials on different techniques I use to get certain sounds. I want to have some sort of a discussion board where people can ask questions about their own productions or songs I've made and how I've made them. I love helping people and teaching and I think music is such a underrated and powerful skill to have. There are few things as rewarding as making something that puts a smile on someone else's face. I want everyone to be able to feel that.
FAC: Who are some of the artists you would like to produce and may be you can throw in your dream collaboration as a producer?
Michael Jackson, Usher, Mac Dre, Steve Wyreman, John Scofield, Charlie Hunter, Nas, Biggie, Zion-I.
FAC: What does success mean to you?
Being able to support myself through music while helping others do the same. It's a two way street and I wouldn't feel any part of the success unless I knew I was doing my part in helping others create music.
FAC: What are your most memorable achievements this far and why?
I have a song in a movie that was screened at a theatre in San Francisco. All my friends and family were there and one of my good friends did all the editing for the movie. That was awesome. Other than that all the late night sessions rapping/jamming with my buddies are unbeatable. Getting someone to rap or sing who's never done it before is an amazing feeling.
free hip hop beats
free hip hop beats
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• Soundcloud: SoundCloud.com/prorapbeats
GIFT IDEAS FAC
"Manifestation is preceded by an intense desire." - Djamee
We're always rich because we do what we love to do - FAC