Interview

How did you get started in the music and entertainment industry?

Wow, that’s a long story! I befriended a guy at work by the name of Marvin Jenkins. We had similar tastes in music and he had some production experience. I didn’t really produce anything until I met Dave Peoples through Marv, and from that relationship, Claude Young, David Whiteside (DOW) and Terrence Dixon. Dave was running the Vigilante Cartel label and coached me on production and educated me on the tools and methods of producing. He also became the driving force behind my mixes and mastering of tracks to make sure I had my own sound.  

What does “being creative” mean to you?

HHMmm, well the most simplest term would be freedom. To express what is in your heart, to channel your God given talent that you have been charged to nurture.

What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

Search out a sound, experiment with the sound, let it sit awhile, come back to it.  If it sounds good to me when I come back to it, then I know it will stand the test of time. At least I hope it does. LOL!

How do you overcome creative blocks?

I just step away for awhile.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever created?

I hate to chose, but it’s a toss up between “Magic Love” from Professional Records, and “Reborn” from DOW. I picked those because they were the first tracks produced by me with those labels, so they are kinda the rawest forms of those expressions.

What are you trying to communicate with your art?

I don’t have a message perse, but I like to tagline from R&S Records, “Music you can think to and dance to”.

Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?

DJing. I’ve always been showcased as a producer. Lately, I’ve been asked to perform and I somewhat regret that I did not get more into the live performing stream when I first started.  I always practiced at home and did one small set with TP and others but after my equipment was stolen from my home, I got discouraged and did not try to replace it. I really considering getting back to it, I have a standing invitation in New York of all places that recently came about!

What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

Don’t rush it. Don’t give up on it.

How do you value studio time?

Well, since I am producing at home I can do pretty much any amount of time i need to finish a product.  I can go and come as I please and Im just a shout away if my family needs me. It’s just really convenient to be able to produce at home. Thank God for modern technology.

In which way does the way music sounds change the way it is perceived? 

That’s a good question. The only way I think is acceptance.  It’s like how we deal with people in our society, we should accept people because they are people and not because of the content of their makeup, God says we should know no man after the flesh, but of their spirit. I’ll leave that right there. Music is the same way, if you perceive it as what it is then you can get past WHAT it is.  I like all types of music, but I don’t necessarily like ALL of it, if that makes any sense. For example,  I can appreciate a certain country song, it doesn’t mean I have to like EVERY country song, or that I’m a fan of country music, I just like that song. I perceive country music as a way to tell a story or emotion. I accept it for what it is, I appreciate the content of the song. If people accept genres of music for what they are, then I believe they can find one song that appeals to them on a certain level. I will say, though, I haven’t found anything to relate too in smash metal yet. LOL

How do you see the relative importance of sound and composition?

It’s what James Brown said, “If it sounds good and feels good, then it’s right.” 

In your opinion, what classifies as a good mix and a good master?

Something I have learned over the years that I wished I paid more attention too early on is flow. David Whiteside used to tell me to kept the track moving forward. If I can keep you interested in the track (which I’m still learning), then you can feel good about committing yourself to the dance or peace in it. This is your time, and If you give me your time the least I can do is occupy your time with something useful. My thoughts on mastering is pretty much I think what everyone wants and that is, crisp highs, solid lows and a good thread of percussions to hold it together. The melody rides on top of all of this and should not get lost. I have a more mature ear now and I try to balance as best I can.

What are some of the biggest differences you’ve seen in this business?

The accessibility for everyone! It doesn’t take thousands of dollars anymore to make music. There are tons of people out there now and in the future who can just put their stuff on the web and share it with the masses.  I can’t speak to the inner workings of the industry because as an artist I always stayed in my lane and let others do the business stuff.  At this point of my life, I have to do things at my own pace because as I learn to self-promote and potentially do my own releases I need the time to make sure I do it right. This is where my friends and contacts come in to point me in the right direction.

The Walt J Project