What is your musical background?
- I played saxophone for a few years in middle school. My school at the time was Kindergarten through 12th grade and they even made us be in the marching band during my eighth-grade year because not many high school students signed up for it. My friends and I also had a little punk rock band that I played bass in, but none of us really knew what we were doing. In college, I started playing the drum set during jam sessions with my friends and I totally loved it. My roommate was a really good drummer and showed me a few things, and he also let me play his kit whenever I wanted to. I continued playing drums for many years to come and was in various bands. At the same time, I’m a DIY guy and have made songs on my own where I play drums, guitar, bass, and even did the vocals (with lots of effects) for many years also…just for fun, I’m not a guitar player and would mostly just play two finger power chords.
How did you get into producing?
- My mom was making an audiobook and wanted some background music for it…my first paying gig! I knew I could make simple catchy melodies even though I’d never taken piano lessons before…as long as I just stayed on the white keys. At first I used my old keyboard which I’d been playing around with off and on for years but then I bought a new one with a built in sequencer, drum machine, and sampler….it was on! After I finished her series of books, I just continued to make my own full songs inside my new keyboard, but then one night I ended up at a house party where someone was making beats using software, and they showed me what was possible musically using a computer.
What is your main genre?
- Hybrid Trap…I’ve got to have the hybrid part because I love so many types of music. To name a few…I love rock, funk, rap, world music, and metal. When it comes to electronic music it’s mostly house, dubstep, glitch hop, drum n bass, and trap. But mostly I love a fusion of different styles coming together!
What inspires you to create?
- What inspires me is mostly love, joy, energy, and life. I love to express musically and just let the energy flow into and out of me, and into whatever I’m doing. It feels really good…whether I’m creating music or just listening and dancing to it. For the most part, I can’t create when I’m not feeling the love and joy of life. A lot of artists say they need pain and suffering to create, but I can’t relate to that so much. Yeah, it’s good to express those feelings and not keep them bottled up, and musically is one way to do that…which I’ve done also, but in general If I’m not feeling joyful, I’m not feeling inspired and creative!
So how do you cultivate and maintain love and joy?
- It’s a process, but what else could be more fulfilling? I basically look at what brings me joy and what doesn’t…what feels good and what doesn’t. Does that thought serve me? Does that action make me feel good? Why do I do what I do, and is that what I really want or who I truly am, or is it something I’ve picked up along the way that I’m ready to let go of? I’ve read many books on this subject, and have also found an organization which has helped me a lot with this stuff called “The Mankind Project.” Support from others with their different perspectives and constructive feedback is very helpful.
What is up with the new release?
- “Can’t F*** With Us” is a blending of World Music and Hybrid Trap with the famous and amazing Ragga Twins throwing down some bars. The title/vocal is my expression and reaction to the state of the word and also just everyday life in general. It doesn’t mean that you can’t try to f*** with us or that you won’t, lol. It means that no matter what happens, nothing can take away the love we feel inside…try as you may and do what you do for whatever reason, but I’ve developed the mental tools to deal with and handle whatever you may throw at me. I am the creator of my experience, not anyone else or any occurrence! I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason…so how can I learn and grow from it? I also believe in radical self-love, positive thinking, karma, non-attachment, and Spirit. Spirit is all that is and it’s also Love, and it’s where we’ve all come from and where we’ll all return, but in the meantime, we’ve decided to have some wild adventures like having a human body on planet Earth and forgetting our source temporarily. There is way more to everything that we can ever understand or explain…we can either resist what is or accept it and know that at the end of the day all we can do is our best and be true to ourselves. When we’re living from a place of Love and not Fear, things in this Universe start to align and bring us what we need to learn and grow, and as we learn and grow we start to reap the benefits of our good work. The Universe will bring us the things we need and desire when we are in alignment with our true nature, which is love. There was actually a whole class on this subject at my music school called “The Art of Flow.”
What are you listening to right now?
- I’m mostly listening to Trap and Dubstep playlists on Spotify recently. There are so many incredible new artists coming out with some dope ass shit all the time. I’m loving the blending of genres on a lot of these songs, and I’m hearing something new that excites me all the time!
Do you enjoy going out and seeing live music?
- Love it. Whether it’s a solo act, live band, DJ, or a combination of these. I’ve seen thousands of live performances in my lifetime and there’s nothing that excites me more than a really good show. At the same time, I’m also tired of seeing DJs that all seem to play the same popular songs. When I go to see a certain producer, I personally want to hear more of their own stuff, or at least how they’ve made whatever is popular at the time their own with a mash-up, remix, or some other twist.
What is your most memorable live music performance?
- Truly, there are so many, but the most amazing ones have always been an impromptu collab or jam with other musicians from different bands. Like the openers getting on stage with the headliners and just making something happen that you would’ve never seen or heard if you’d just stayed home.
Do you have any advice for young people or anyone wanting to get into producing?
- Do what you love and love what you do. If you do that…it will all come together and happen for you eventually, or at least lead you to where you need to be. There’s no need to compare yourself with others or worry about where you are in your progress, or in life for that matter. Age is just a number, and you truly have your whole life to do whatever you want. At first, I ended up getting a couple degrees in Photography and Graphic Design but neither was my true passion. Then eventually I found producing and ended up at Icon Collective in LA for Electronic Music Production. If there’s a will there’s a way, and if you’re enjoying what you’re doing in the moment…that’s all that truly matters. If you aren’t, then change it and have faith that everything will all work out eventually and be ok. What’s the worst that can happen if you’re already miserable?