What’s your production name and where are you from?
Real quick before I get into that--respect due to J. Hatch, Don Di Napoli, and Rhythm J, who were professional, organized, and extremely easy to work with regarding the iStandard Chicago Producer Showcase. Shout out to the iStandard family for giving me this opportunity and for putting together a monumental movement for producers.
My production name is Soleternity. I spent the first 17 years of my life in Rockford, IL. In June, 2004 I moved to Atlanta, GA. In October, 2006, I moved to Los Angeles, CA.
How would you describe your sound and or production style?
Soulful, inspired, intense and hard. Above all: constantly evolving. I started out in 2001 making beats that were inspired largely by the Midwest/East Coast sound at that time as well as a lot of RnB. Pretty soon I started blending in West Coast and Southern styles. After spending extensive time in Atlanta and LA I soaked up a lot of the local culture/vibe and took inspiration from it. I've touched pretty much every style within Hip Hop and RnB. I went through an underground phase, I went through a southern phase, I went through a neo-soul phase, I went through a 90's RnB phase, etc. Right now I'm kind of stuck somewhere between an electro/funk phase, a southern phase, and another underground phase.
What do you use in the studio to create?
My DAW is Acid Pro. I'm currently on 6.0. I started on 2.0 back in 2001 and never switched programs. I mess around with a few vsts, mainly Nexus 2. Regarding hardware, I use the Korg Karma, Nord Lead 2x, Yamaha Motif Rack, Roland XV-5050, and a couple guitars. I also add my own vocals to beats pretty often--I record on the blue mic/focusrite pre combo. I've got a ridiculous collection of incredible drums that I've been assembling over the past 9 years. I've traded with and purchased drums from tons of amazing producers, some you may have heard of, and some you probably haven't heard of. I've also built my own drum kits that I've never sold, traded, or shared with anyone. Some things you can't put a price on
Are you currently working with any new artists?
After working with a large selection of successful artists in both Hip-Hop and RnB, as well as working extensively with talented up and coming artists from all around the world, right now I'm focused on developing my identity as an instrumental producer and crafting a sound for the future. I just released my first instrumental album entitled "Deep" on itunes (and all the digital distributors) via cdbaby. The album is a blend of short cinematic score interludes, electronic/dance-inspired beats, and a variety of soulful/eclectic hip hop beats. I'm also getting much more involved in the electronic/pop scene and am looking to collaborate with songwriters, musicians and producers within that realm. I'm still doing hip hop and RnB production, but only if the price/opportunity is right. My current project is completing the score for the feature film "The High and Mighty" (McGill Original Films).
Congrats on winning the iStandard Producer Showcase in Chicago. Describe the overall experience and how it feels to be recognized as someone with next level talent?
It was an honor to participate, especially in my home area of Chicago. Being able to perform my first iStandard set in my own backyard was awesome. I felt like I had a pulse on what people in that region like to hear because it’s pretty much what I like to hear. The iStandard family is professional, friendly, and efficient. Its pretty easy to see why the iStandard movement has become a success.
The atmosphere of the event is classy and competitive. There are talented producers playing music and competing all night long. The judges are industry legit and there are important people in the crowd scoping things out. I had a bit of nervousness prior to playing my tracks. That faded quickly once I got on stage and just rocked out. For better or worse, I don't think many people rock their beats with the same enthusiasm I do. I just get so excited about music it’s hard to contain the rush.
The crowd is filled with industry players, producers, artists, engineers, and hard core music fans. In my mind, you have to be somewhat of a hard core music fan to come check out a producer showcase, especially when the producers are generally all up and comers. Its rewarding to have that type of crowd focus on your tracks and nod their heads or react with excitement.
You can see a video (edited by McGill Original Films) of my performance and the judge’s reactions here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qixb2D5KrH0
What type of advice did the judges give you? Do you feel it was accurate?
Rsonist, GLC and Nascent Beats all had nothing but positive words. Nascent added "You've found your love, now find your artist." That's exactly what I'm doing now.
What’s next on your agenda?
Outside of non-stop hustling and working on music 365 days per year, I'm taking some college courses building towards a bachelor’s degree in business economics. I spent the last 6 years of my life relentlessly chasing my music dreams all across the country. Now I'm investing in myself by combining the success I've had as a music industry entrepreneur with the knowledge and resources that come with a college education.
I'm looking forward to new opportunities that come my way and building with the iStandard family. See you at Beast of The Beats 2k11!!