Q: what brought you to rocbattle
A: I was at a studio session in 2007 and a friend mentioned he’d been participating in online beat battles. He suggested I sign up. At the time, I got really excited about it because I’d never heard of anything like that up until then. It turns out I never upgraded to an exclusive membership back then and only ended up battling 2-3 times (all losses lol), so I went on a long hiatus. After a 4 year hiatus, I decided to visit the site to see who was killin’ it as of late. I stumbled upon a producer named RaCharm who has some amazing tracks. It was him who inspired me to start battling again and jumping on the exclusive membership.
Q: how long have you been at the beats?
A: I started making beats in 2000. A rapper/producer by the name of Fidget aka Young Fidge happened to have FL Studio (like version 1.2) on his computer and I discovered it while simply looking for games or something to do on the machine. I started writing, and arranging songs, heavily of r&b content in 2005, right out of high school.
Q: what made you start?
A: The year 2000 only gave me a taste of convenient technology, something revolutionary for the home studio setup. Computers weren’t close to the capabilities of what they can do today. I would say I got my real start at making my own music in 1995’ish. I used to rap and write rap verses in 3rd grade, with a homie who grew to be aliased as Nayme Brand. My mother also bought me my own 25-key keyboard and a dual-cassette karaoke machine, so Nayme Brand and I used to come together and recorded what could be considered our first beats.
Q: what’s your inspiration ?
A: My main inspiration is music from the 70’s-90’s, but particularly the 90’s era. It was just the stuff I grew up on. My mom used to play Babyface, Tevin Campbell, Soul 4 Real, TLC, etc. She also used to sing and perform local Motown-style gigs with some extremely talented jazz musicians, so I was surrounded by some good music. It’s a really nostalgic feeling and it subconsciously inspires my style.
Q: what do you feel you can bring to the table of production?
A: I feel when it comes to my production, I’ve always strived to remain marketable and up to date. I think the more I’ve been driven to expand, genre-wise, it’s helped mold my production into a stronger and more versatile work ethic. I want someone to be able to ask me to make something on the fly, no matter the genre, and me be able to translate their vision right away. For the past 2 years, I’ve been heavily tackling the pop genre, before that was straight up r&b, and even before that was my initial leap with hip-hop. As far as the big picture is concerned, over the years, I’ve educated myself into becoming a ‘one stop shop’, to where I can write, produce, and engineer my own work from tracking to mastering. That way I’m able to carry out my vision the entire way through.
Q: what is your main goal with production?
A: I have two main goals with production: To help express my experiences and create music that others can relate to.
Q: are you mainly software based or hardware based?
A: Software based. I hope to be able to own a lot of hardware when there becomes a time and need for new sounds, but I’m very overwhelmed with the sounds I already have, haha.
Q: what is your fave piece of equipment /program ?
A: Izotope Ozone because if you learn to use it right, it helps your productions sound like butter and one of the best minor investments I’ve made to date.
Q: what projects or artists are you working with or on right now?
As of late, I have been working on projects in Asia, specifically K-pop. I had the honor of placing 8 songs on two of Korean singer-songwriter Jay Park’s albums, in the past year. Both albums were in the top 5 of Billboard’s World Album charts in the first week. His first album (April 2011) recently won a Golden Disk Award, which is dubbed the Korean Grammy. I have also worked on songs with another big artist in Korea named Brian Joo. There are numerous other Korean projects in the works, in which I’m unable to mention until they release. In the US, I am currently only working with artists Bridget Vanessa (of production group 2fifty3) and recent American Idol (Top 70) contestant Mackenzie Thoms.
Q: who do you want to work with ?
A: I would love to work with talented and high profile musicians, someone with their own sound that would do great justice to a song I prefer not to sing myself, lol; someone that would translate the vision of my songs really well. I really want to work with Joe Thomas, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and Justin Timberlake to name a few. Their sound really inspires my r&b in the present.
Q:what’s something you hear in music that totally peeves you?
A: Whenever the formula of song becomes far too cliche to look past it. Another would be when someone brags too much without substantial lyrics rather than speaking from the heart or experience, but that’s simply a matter of one’s taste…
Q: what do you feel is your strongest genre?
Q: which mainstream beat made you say ” i should have made that ?”
A: The Dream – Shawty is da sh*t or T-Pain – Buy U a Drank. The beats are so simple but effective and those songs blew up! It’s inspiring more than anything and a reminder that less is often more, for the most part.
Q: when you create what do you like to start with first , melody, bassline drums?
A: If a melody comes into head while I’m driving, I’ll record it as a voice note on my blackberry and then lay it down when I get to the studio. Usually if I’m starting from scratch and I’m already in the studio, I’ll start with the drums.
Q: who or what do you feel influenced you to jump into the production game?
A: Jumping into the production game gave me a new form of communication, one in which is universal. I never was the best communicator growing up and I had a crazy imagination that I felt would be weird to share just by telling. Music was a perfect way to communicate differently as a young teen.
Q: do you have any links to your completed works with artists already on it ?
Jay Park – Take A Deeper Look (2011)
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/take-a-deeper-look/id434341879 Tracks: 2, 4, 5, 7
Jay Park – New Breed (2012)
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/new-breed-deluxe-edition/id500636229 Tracks: 4, 6, 9, 10, 11
Brian Joo – Reborn (2012)
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/reborn-part1/id498130919 Tracks: 2, 5
Q: name your starting 5 rocbattle producers..
Q: what do you think sets you apart from everyone else?
A: I am persistent. If something really grabs my interest, I won’t try it for 2 years and give it up, even if life doesn’t allow time for me to commit to it, I’ll find a way to grow. If I want to improve, I’ll stay up for 3 straight days, or whatever it takes, for me to retain the things I’ve learned. It’s one of the most gratifying feelings you feel as a creative person.
Q: WHATS ON YOUR PLAY LIST?
Joe – Should I Stay, Chris Brown – Up 2 You, etc.
Q: top 5 mainstream producers new or old?
Bryan-Michael Cox, The Underdogs, The Neptunes, Oak, Tim and Bob
Please send one photo, and any links you want included in the interview! Thanks for your time!
Q: where you reppin from ?
Q: do you prefer selling on rocbattle or hitting the streets?
RocBattle has been the most convenient platform to lease tracks and stay inspired.
Q: aside from producing what do you do in your spare time?
I am b-boy of 13 years and spend much of my spare time traveling, vibing out, etc, within the hip hop culture. I am also an illustrator who loves to create conceptual art.
Q: how would you describe your sound?
I really can’t describe my own sound because I can’t hear it myself. But it’s funny because a lot of my friends can tell when I’ve made something. If I were to describe it though, I always like to aim for a melodic flavor (derived from my love for r&b) with synthesizer support (leads, etc.)
Q: what is the best way to contact you ?
For any inquiries, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep up to date with what I’m doing, I also use twitter often: http://www.twitter.com/chachaaom
Q: do you have your own website ?
I will have one soon, but for now I have twitter, soundcloud.com/chachamalone, and my RocBattle page.
Q: what are some deals you have on beats ?
(Buy 2 leases at one time, Get 1 Free (of equal or lesser value)- *To obtain file of free beat, please email email@example.com, subject ‘RocBattle: Free Beat’ and specify which track you would like.
Q: any shoutouts? Shoutouts to my dance crew AOM, my family, and you guys for granting me the interview!
Q: WHAT Can we expect from you in the future?
I have been working on projects that are kind of all over the place. I have a few K-pop placements in the works, but not much going on in the US other than work with Indie talent.
Q: anything you’d like to let other producers who are just starting know?
I would just advise to work on as many genres of music as possible, so when it comes down to receiving work or pitches for collaborations, you are able to adapt right away!