Congratulations on winning the beat battle at Sha Money XL’s One Stop Shop Producer Conference.
Thanks. My agent was out there representing me. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it out there and I’ll definitely make it out there next year. I gave my manager the green light to play my beats and that’s how that happened.
It must feel good to win the battle without even being there.
Oh, Brian, it’s crazy. It’s not the fact that I wasn’t even there. It’s the fact that I never thought I would have big-name producers appreciating my stuff. I appreciate that and it’s pretty crazy.
Have you noticed more of a demand for your beats since winning the battle?
Yeah. There’s definitely a lot more interest. A couple of A&Rs and label reps have been hitting me up. It’s definitely opened up a lot of doors and it’s built more interest. Now I have to keep it going.
I would imagine it’s harder getting up with artists since you’re living in Australia. How do you make moves coming from Australia?
Basically it’s about having a sound that the people will be interested in. It’s just about getting out there. The message boards and all of that helped me out a lot. I was posting on message boards and all of a sudden I was talking to a couple of guys. It was like a stepping stone to get to bigger artists and things like that. I was doing something like that for the last few years and I was working to establish myself in the game.
And you make your beats in your kitchen.
Yeah. (laughs) It’s an apartment. There’s two of us living here. My flatmate is actually a DJ and he has his stuff already set up. I had to go to the kitchen since he was here first. I call it the Beat Kitchen. It’s not like I’m crammed up against the stove or anything.
Your first major release was on Supastition’s Chain Letters. What was it like working with him?
Oh, man, Sup is an animal. You give him a track and he’ll send a whole song to you, which is kind of rare in this industry. It definitely opened up doors for me. Chain Letters and The Deadline definitely opened up doors for me. It was a good experience as far as production and making songs.
Your beats have a very soulful vibe to them. How did you find your style?
Oh, man. It was basically listening to the greats like Pete Rock and Premier. I was influenced by Dilla. Even Dre’s earlier stuff and the music that they were using to make their hit tracks. I went about my thing and I tried to mimic them like a lot of producers have done. I try to flip things differently.
How important is the internet to you as far as getting work done as a producer?
The majority of it is still done through the internet. I’m planning on moving to the States, hopefully at the end of this year. All I can use now is the internet. It’s the only resource I have to make it happen. Everyone is doing the downloading and stuff like that and you have a lot of talented artists.
Marco Polo moved from Canada to New York and he said it was amazing how much more work he got done when he was in New York. How much easier will it be for you to work in the U.S?
Brian, it will just open up so many doors. I think being in the mix of New York would be great and it’s a very busy city so it will keep you focused. I’m very competitive and I definitely think it’s a step in the right direction as far as my career is concerned. I can’t bump into an A&R of a hip-hop label or an artist out here. Anywhere in the States, you have a better chance of politicking and meeting people and I think it would be a huge jump in my career if I moved over here. That’s the plan.
You also work with a lot of up-and-coming artists like Skyzoo and Termanology. What do you look for in new artists that make you want to work with them?
There’s so many rappers. You really have to listen to what makes them stand out. I think that with up-and-coming guys, there’s a few that stand out like the Skyzoos and Toraes. There’s Emilio Rojas. I’ve worked with a lot of guys. They know how to use their voice as part of the beat, like an instrument. They know how to project what they want to say. It’s almost effortless for them, I think. They’re focused and professional and they know how to go about their business. They know how to get people interested. There’s a number of things that I’m looking for when I work with a new artist. If they’re hungry enough, I work with them. It’s all about how they conduct their business.
You’re doing an album with Emilio Rojas. What can you tell us about him?
We’re in a group together called Phaze One. I met him through Moonshine out in Canada. We started working together and we’re working on banging it out. This album has been about a year in the making. Yeah, the guy is definitely one to look out for. He’s definitely the complete package in my eyes. He has the swag, the charisma, the lyrics. The guy can tell a story. I think he’s capable of big things and hopefully we can make something happen.
How does your approach change from working on beats for MCs albums versus working on an entire album with one artist?
It’s definitely an eye-opener. I’ll make some dope beats and send it to him and we’ll start with doing that. It’s more like a jigsaw puzzle. I think you definitely have to cater to the artist and think about what songs need to go on the album and how you want to portray the artist’s emotions and give him live instrumentation and let your keyboards get him into the track. It’s amazing. As far as doing a whole album, you think of the artist before you start making a track where before you just make a beat. I think it’s something that beatmakers need to step up and do because it shows what you can do with your production and what you can do with an album as you mold it. I definitely recommend it. It’s a learning experience for me and I definitely recommend it. It’s helped me as a producer and helped me to become not just a beatmaker.
What are you focused on as a producer right now?
I like to keep a good balance. I banged a lot of beats out just to make a catalogue. I might do that for one week and then the next weekend I might just work on the album. I might want to get singers on the project or track out some beats. I think I’m trying to keep it balanced. You have to produce and you also have to knock out beats to keep your buzz going and build up a portfolio. I’m trying to keep it real balanced.
What’s the next move for you?
I’m still working a 9 to 5 right now and to get out of that would be a dream come true. I’m coming out to New York, just to check it out for a month. I have a few meetings out there and I’m going to meet up with Emilio. I’m just going to ride this wave as much as I can and then ride a new wave. I’m just going to keep working and keep at it and keep doing what got me to where I am. I can look to a lot of people who saw that I was hungry and I’m going to keep working as hard as I’m working. I’m just going to keep doing me and hopefully it takes me places. That’s the plan right now.