Every month, we will be posting a new article called the iStandard Member iD. This article will showcase one of our producers on the site’s homepage that is active within the iStandard community and most of all has bangin’ tracks! To be considered for next month’s Member iD, check out the blog HERE. This month’s Member iD is Karmageddon - http://www.istandardproducers.com/members/868/
When did you start making beats?
Well, I did my first remix when I was 14. The set up was mad janky. It was a borrowed “boom box” and a cheapy casio keyboard. I used the left side of some headphones as the mic. I just kept re-recording through the mic plug on the stereo. The song was a track on Snap’s POWER album. You know they had that song….”I got the Power!!” Anyway, there was a track on there that was like this midtempo interlude but it was a full-length track and it didn’t have any drums. So I just added drums. After that I stopped for a while cause I just didn’t have the cash to get better equipment.
Anyway, fast forward to 94’… I’m in my first week of college at Alabama State University, this historically black college in Montgomery, AL (which also put out Titi Boi & Lil Fate from DTP and Adonis from Bad Boy’s HitMen…shout out ya’ll) majoring in marketing, instead of music, go figure. And I’m just bored out my mind, so I ‘m like I’ll go to the music school building…you know maybe they have a drum or a piano room or something. I walk in this room and it’s like a future producer’s playground, at least I though it was dope. It had like six workstations set up. Each station had a midi controller, Mac computer running Performer, and an E-MU Proteus FX sound module. I lived in that room for the next 4 years.
After graduation I didn’t back into it seriously until about 5 years ago.
Who are your musical influences?
Wow!!! I listen to everything as long as it’s heat. Production wise… Well I’m from the South but my family is also from Queens, so I got a mixture of influences. Production wise, I’d say: Organized Noise, DJ Premier, J Dilla, Pete Rock, Easy Moe B, Johnny J may he rest in peace, Toomp, Mannie Fresh, Alchemist, DJ Muggs, Green Lantern, the homie Sha Money XL, M-PHAZES, Kanye West, Timbaland, The Ghetto Style DJ’s, Swizz Beatz, Just Blaze, 9th Wonder, Magic Mike, Jim Jonsin, JR, Scott Storch, Dr. Dre…and so on. Man I’ve been influenced by a lot of producers.
After graduation, I spent most of that time DJ'ing clubs and doing mixtapes. My ear was well in to the music. Even when I wasn’t producing I was studying and learning.
Describe your style?
Style… I don’t really have a style. I can do almost any genre. When I started off producing I was determined to not get limited to one style. So I would do everything, techno, house, booty shake, rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, dancehall. I think I even tried country. I did it all. I wanted to be more than just a Hip Hop producer. I just figured the more I could do the more money I could get. It’s paying off too. I signed a production/publishing deal with Cinematic Tunes last year doing Techno, House, & Eurohouse tracks for TV, Film, Video Games, etc. I’m scheduled to get that first ASCAP check here pretty soon. I actually got that hook up at the One Stop Shop 08’ from my dude B-Smoove from out there in Sac Town. So to all my fellow iStandard Producers don’t stop looking for opportunities they’re out there. Just don’t be afraid to do different things.
What are you using to make your tracks?
Man I feel like you asking Chris Angel how he does his tricks… Nah, for real, I use FL Studio XXL 8 with an ungodly number of software instruments (I actually lost count), Pro Tools 7.4 (upgrading to 8) running on an iMac 2.4Ghz Duo Core, Reason 5, M-Audio keyboard controller, Focusrite Pre/Compressor/Limiter, Behringer Truth monitors, an assortment of mics, acoustic guitar, anything I find laying around to make my own sounds, I design my own synths also.
If you could work with one artist, who would it be and why?
Dead or Alive. Dead I would work with Pac. If you had said which two I would have said Big & Pac on the same track, but I’d say Pac because he was such an aggressive yet prolific MC. I think we could have come up with some incredible records.
Alive….Damn, that’s hard choice. If I could pick two it would be 50 & Jay-Z. If I had to pick one, I would say Jay-Z, for obvious reasons. Jay is a hell of an MC… I like how he’s been able to get that commercial money while still keeping it Hip Hop. He understands the difference between experimenting with different styles & influences in Hip Hop, without actually doing a totally different style of music. Like adding Salsa flavor to a song without actually doing a Salsa song for example. A lot of artists out there right now aren’t keeping it Hip Hop like that. Yeah I think if we did a track together dudes would be like, damn Hov got another one.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years? In 5 years I see myself comfortably in my lane of production with the likes of Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, Just Blaze, etc. You know just being one of those “go-to” producers, for whatever you need.
Also, I’ll have The Invisible Conglomerate off the ground. It’s an enterprise of diversified business entities that myself and my business counterparts are developing.
And just sitting back watching my daughters grow up and get ready to be teenagers. And just thanking God for every blessing.