You guys have been making noise as Big Sean’s go-to producers. What have you been working on with Sean recently?
B. Wright: We’ve been working on his album and the tracks on HipHopGame were two tracks off the mixtape. One of them was the single that we will be releasing soon. They’ll be shooting the video for that.
How did you guys get down with Big Sean?
B. Wright: We linked up with him through a friend in Detroit on the music scene. Me and Sean are both in Detroit. We got in the studio and started vibing out. It was good chemistry. We knocked a lot of tracks out.
How did WrighTrax end up signing to Kanye West’s GOOD Music?
Deuce: Through working with Sean, it allowed Kanye the opportunity to hear our tracks. When we started working with Sean, he was already signed to GOOD Music. He was sending Kanye the songs we were doing and he was wondering who was doing the beats. I’m located in Atlanta now. Kanye was down there and they flew Sean down there .We went to the studio and had a chance to meet Kanye. Within the first 10 minutes of meeting Kanye, we were cool and he said he wanted to sign us.
Did you expect that to happen?
Deuce: Not really. We’re pretty confident in our music and we knew he liked our music through what Sean was telling us. When he was playing Sean’s music, he knew the words and that’s the thing that really trips you out.
Was it an easy decision to sign to GOOD Music?
B. Wright: Yeah. Hands down. Kanye has just been a great inspiration to us, both musically and his music in our individual lives. His music speaks volumes. Yeah, it was a no-brainer.
Do you ever collaborate with Kanye on tracks?
B. Wright: Not as of yet, but I believe that we will. He’s given me advice before. We got the chance to go out to L.A. for the Grammy’s and me and Sean got the chance to play the music for him and he gave us advice here and there. He would tell us what was hot and what was already a hit and when not to change anything.
Deuce: One thing Kanye is real big on is live strings. I know the first day I met him, one of Sean’s tracks that we did for him, he wanted to add the live strings to it. When he tells us it’s already tight as it is, that’s an honor. He really loves what other people do and he respects that.
How’s Big Sean’s album coming?
B. Wright: It’s coming along great. I would say it’s 95% finished. We did the majority of the production on the album. It’s definitely going to be a classic, I believe, in the hip-hop world. It just relates to so many people’s lives. And for any artist coming up, it’s very inspirational.
What kind of potential do you guys think Big Sean has?
Deuce: I think Sean has the most potential out of a lot of new rap artists because some of the topics he’s touching on and the way he carries himself is totally different from the majority of rappers that are out now. It’s kind of like he’s creating his own lane at 200 mph because no one else is there.
B. Wright: It’s going to be big. I think Kanye is the most excited about it more than any of us. Being the star that he is, he really tells Sean a lot that he’s going to be big and if anyone knows, it would be that man.
You guys have also worked with Joe Hound. What’s it like working with him?
B. Wright: It was a good experience. We got a chance to place a track on his album. We really didn’t get the chance to work in the studio with him. We got a call from Cool from Cool and Dre. He said he wanted to get a track and I got the chance to meet him at a club for Braylon Edwards’ party. I told him who we were and that we had done a track with Big Sean. He was interested and he hit us back. I was surprised. It was a good experience.
Deuce: That was actually our first placement.
What are you guys doing with Yazarah?
Deuce: It’s funny because we’ve known Yazarah for maybe a few years now and she was the first person in the industry to give us a call back off a beat CD we gave her. We linked up with her through Darien Brockington’s manager. We gave her a CD and she said she was looking for tracks and we worked together. She’s been working on this new project for a minute. We did a track on there called “I Came, I Saw”. And she told us that the reactions have been great. I love that she loves it and Brian loves it. That’s what’s going on with her and this new album. We can’t wait for it. She’s kind of like a neo-soul type artist. We got placements with Joe Hound, a southern artist, Yazarah, a neo-soul artist and Big Sean.
How important is that kind of versatility to WrighTrax?
B. Wright: I think it’s very important because we just don’t want to work with a rap artist. We want to be able to do everything. We want to do some pop. We could even get into country years from now. We think it’s very important not to limit ourselves. We want to be remembered for being the greatest and we want to try to tap into everything.
Deuce: I think a key thing that plays into that is that we’re influenced by everything, therefore we want to have our hands in everything we love. I love neo-soul music. I’m not a musician, per se. I understand music theory and I can play the keys a little bit, but I love gospel music. I just love live instrumentation, so I’m a sucker for neo-soul. I love R&B. I love pop music. I love rock music. We just want to be able to express all of these musical influences.
How do you balance the types of tracks that you make on a daily basis?
Deuce: One of the things I’ve found that works best for me is whenever I sit down to create, I do just that. Whatever comes out comes out. And when an opportunity comes out, I place it where I see fit. I don’t say, “I need to do something for so-and-so” because then it seems forced. But if I hear that such-and-such needs a track, I’ll have the perfect thing for him. I think that’s when it works. But I can’t sit down and say that I’m going to make a rap club banger. That never really works for me.
B. Wright: He’s right. We can never sit down and do that. They come to us and we’re able to do it, but the emotion and what we’re feeling at the time will come through when we sit down to create something off of that.
How do you guys collaborate on songs?
Deuce: Well, the way it works is because we use Reason and we’ve been using it for a good three to four years now, we’ll transfer the Reason files back and forth. Even when I come back to Detroit, we do it that way. We always find it better when we have two workstations. We’ll shoot it back and forth collectively. I love the way we work. He can take my beat to another level that I wasn’t even thinking about and we can do that without interrupting each other’s creativity.
Is Reason your main weapon?
B. Wright: We use Reason currently but we’ve used other software before. We’ve used Fruity Loops and other programs in the past. That’s what we were using when we were first starting off.
Deuce: And we also use live instrumentation, but everything is used in Reason. Propellerhead, holler at us!
Do you guys ever pay attention to the criticism laid on producers who use software?
Deuce: As new generations come, we’re exposed to new things. I was born in ’86 and I’ve grown up in the computer age and everything is done by computers. Like Brian said, when we first started off, we were using Fruity Loops. I asked many Christmases for a Triton or an MPC but I never got it because it wasn’t in the budget for my parents. But I had easy access to this computer software and it allowed me to get out my creativity and do the exact same thing. Technology has changed so much and you can’t tell the different between hardware and software, at least with our beats. That’s the thing with our beats. We just didn’t have the monetary access to it. But now it’s so much easier with the way things are set up on the computer.
B. Wright: I think once people hear our music, they gain a new level of respect for software. I think it opens them up and they want to experiment and sometimes people switch over to software from hearing our music. I think people have a new respect for software and they want to hear our music and other people who are using software’s music.
Who would you guys like to work with in the future?
Deuce: I would have to say Michael Jackson. I’m going to say it in every interview just so Mike can hear me. Michael Jackson and Jay-Z. We’re blessed to have the opportunity to be working on the next Kanye West album whenever he decides to get back in the studio. I want to work with Yummy Bingham. I think she’s dope. She hasn’t really popped yet. Michel Jackson, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Yummy Bingham.
B. Wright: And Slum Village all day. Detroit loves them and we grew up on them. We would love to work with Slum Village on their next project. And Bilal. Common. Lupe. I know I’m forgetting a lot of people. These questions always do that to me. I’m going to read the interview and be like, ‘Damn, I forgot so-and-so!’
What do you have to bring Kanye for his next album?
Deuce: We’re just excited to get into that creative process whenever he’s ready to get into it. Whatever he needs, we’re going to take it there.
What’s the next move for WrighTrax?
Deuce: Of course Big Sean is the main priority right now. Joe Hound and Yazarah, we’re very excited about those. We’re also working on a mixtape. It’s actually a compilation featuring various major label artists that we have relationships with. The mixtape is going to be hosted by Big Sean. It’s going to be a coming out to the public and letting them know that we’re here and that we’re WrighTrax. We also do a lot of work with advertisers. We did a national radio spot for Jeep. We’re just hoping these opportunities open up. And I know Brian just mentioned working with Slum Village. We just had a meeting with Elzhi that went very well so hopefully we’ll be working on that album and Elzhi’s solo project as well.