Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Interview: Fat Boi the Producer

As posted on www.theblastbydigiwaxx.com

Digi-clusives: Weekly EXCLUSIVE (and no, not one of those phony exclusives where everyone is reposting the same thing) interview features with movers and shakers within the Music Industry; Artists, Producers, Label Reps, DJs - hell maybe even Video Chicks :-).....

Digiwaxx: How are you doing?
Fatboi: I'm good, trying to stay busy

DW: Well, yeah you seem pretty busy and that's what made me want to reach out to you. You were on twitter talking about being in the studio with Nicki Minaj and I just felt I had to speak to you now. You seem to be in the studio with everyone right now.

FB: Yeah, I.m trying. I'm trying.

DW: So are you currently working with anyone Up Top? I see you're working with a lot of Southern artists.

FB: Umm, Up Top? Busta. Lupe, well that's Chicago.

DW: Naw, that's good! That's HOT! He's my personal favorite artist.

FB: Oh really?!? Yeah, well Atlantic just took some tracks for him, for his up and coming album. Mase, (laughing). Mase is coming back out. He recently released from Bad Boy. Well, he's still Bad Boy but he is able to work with outside producers now. Ummm, Jim Jones. I have a few guys from Up Top. Oh, Jada Kiss. He's on the "Wasted" remix now.

DW: Your sound is very different and all, who inspired you coming up?

FB: Being bi-coastal and growing up in California and Atlanta, I like it all. Producer wise, it was Organized Noise, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Timbaland, Quincy Jones. Those are the producers that I really just paid attention to and loved everything that they did.

DW: Okay, with that being said. Are you working with any R and B cats? We kind of know you as the big time Hip Hop producer, are you contributing to any R and B albums?

FB: Yeah, I do everything. I don't want to be labeled as Hip Hop producer because I do music and I don't just do Hip Hop. I grew up in music, I didn't just grow up in Hip Hop. Being that in urban society, it was what was it was in my grasp and easy for me to pick up to get into the music business. It all started from DJing, I was a DJ first. Michael Jackson was my musical inspiration and I kind of wanted to be like Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. My brother and I used to pretend like we were the Jacksons (laughing). (writers note: Fatboi is currently working with Bobby Valentino)

DW: So how long have you been producing? You name has been blowing up fast; this year has been good to you.

FB: Yes, I've been blessed. Producing, I started making beats in like '91. I started working in studios around '95, no more like '97. Once I started working in studios and moving around and working with people. I went to Philly for a while trying to break into the music business. I came to Atlanta, went back to Savannah and in '98 that's when Pure Pain was getting off the ground with "Camouflage". And thats when I got my first major placement in 2001 with "Cut Friends". From there, I've been behind the scene's. I was with Pure Pain until 2006 and after that it was time for me to spread my wings and let the world get to know me.

DW: "Wasted" is your biggest track but I'm sure you've done other hot tracks. What are some cuts that people may rock to that we not realize is yours?

FB: yeah, "Wasted" is my break out track but I did a track with Jeezy and Trey Songz on Jeezy's last album, "The Recession", "Taking it there". Did a record with Flo Rida on his first album called, "All my Life". Gorilla Zo. I had Gorilla Zo's second single off of his first album. I don't even remember songs anymore (laughing), "Trying to make a jug". Did a record for Rocko's album called, "Priceless". I did a record called "Drifter" for Shawty Redd which brought on "Sexual Eruption". Snoop wanted to buy the record from me but I didn't want to sell it. I felt getting a two for one was better, so "Sexual Eruption" came from the "Drifter" record. I did a few things here and there.

DW: That's whats up. So you're currently working with Plies, correct?

FB: Yeah, I'm currently working with Plies, Nelly, Luda - some of everybody.

DW: Recently, Dawaun Parker, Dr Dre's protégée, was asked what kind of equipment he uses and he said he wasn't going to answer that. Is it possible to mimic the sound of another producer if knowing the equipment? Are you against sharing tips to other producers.

FB: I don't want people to know what I use but at the same time another producer is not going to use it the way I use it. A lot of times, a lot of us use the same sounds, its all how you tweak. I may hear a sound another producer uses, but it doesn't inspire me. I use an MPC and a lot of producers you it, its common. But a lot of producers don't have my sound so it doesn't matter if someone knows I use an MPC.

DW: Do you have a signature sound? We can listen to Timbaland and Neptunes and know its a track by them. Do you feel you have your own distinctive sound?

FB: Yeah, I think so. A lot of people pick up on my drum rolls, my high-hats and the thickness of my tracks. I try to make sure they are fat all the way around and not too thin. I really like people to feel the music. Its real bottom heavy but its real music in it to.

DW: Well, I appreciate your time. Is there anything you want to let the people know personally? Clothing line dropping (both laughing), a record label or anything?

FB: We have a label, my partners and I, Big Ron and Roc, called Black Shield Ent. We have a few artists on the label that we are molding. Jason Caesar is probably going to be our break out artist, he's a Pop artist. He is Shirley Caesar's great-nephew. We have a few projects on the table, we out here working. We also have an R & B/Pop artist, Meesa and a rapper, Remy. Got a few in-house producers also, we are trying to be a force in the industry.

DW: That's whats up. What's the best way for people to connect with you?

FB: If anyone wants to get in touch with me, the best way is Twitter (@FatBoiBeats). I have a myspace (www.myspace.com/fatbeezy912) but I don't use it much so Twitter is the best way. Also check out: www.producerfatboi.blogspot.com, www.myspace.com/metronomeststudios, www.justin.tv/fatboibeatz.

DW: Thanks again....

By: CathrynMarie

Interview: Taj the Director

As posted on www.theblastbydigiwaxx.com

Digi-clusives: Weekly EXCLUSIVE (and no, not one of those phony exclusives where everyone is reposting the same thing) interview features with movers and shakers within the Music Industry; Artists, Producers, Label Reps, DJs - hell maybe even Video Chicks :-).....

This Week's Exclusive: Video and Photographer, Taj Stansberry (@taj_mahall), known by many as just Taj or Taj Mahall. The Oakland, California native is one of the youngest in the video directing game but his client list stacks high, if not higher, compared to some of his friendly competitors. With two major projects dropping as soon as this up and coming week and weeks ahead, get to know the man behind the camera of Ryan Leslie and The Dream's future work.

Digiwaxx: Taj!! First off, thanks for taking the time to speak with me. As I stated before, I have been following YOU for a while now, dating back to when you were rapping and in a group with I.V.A.N. and Jimmie Reign, I also know you did photography at that time. Rocking three hats (rapping, photography and director) what made you push ahead with directing?

Taj Stansberry: With the rap world, I was basically weighing it out; whats the chance of making money doing it - quick money? Photography was doing it but I needed more. So I picked up a camera and started shooting videos. I hit up groups and asked to film them in hopes that people would see it and soon want to pay me and it happened. My first major project was shooting Rihanna in Europe and then I signed to an agency and began getting recognition.

D.W.: Originally from the Bay Area, Oakland to be exact, did you select Los Angeles as your choice of residence for opportunity?

Taj: I moved to New York when I was 18, I liked it but it wasn't for me so I chose L.A. to live close to home. Plus my agency is in L.A. It just seemed like the place to be. I met a few producers to network and produce with and jobs just came in.

D.W.: And who have you worked with exactly?

Taj: Nas ("Hero"), Ne-Yo ("Part of the List"), Rihanna ("Don't Stop The Music"), Usher, Musiq Soulchild ("So Beautiful"), Lil Wayne, Electric Red, Jada Kiss ("Who's Real"), Swizz Beats, Ryan Leslie, Fabolous and The Dream, to name a few.

D.W.: Being young and in the game, who do you look up to? Do such directors like Hype, Dr. Teeth or Boomtown inspire you?

Taj: I've always looked up to Hype. His eye is great, movement is amazing and dynamic. He is very unique and deserves all the credit he gets. Overall, our styles are different. I'm more narrative. Anthony Mandler (Jay Z - "D.O.A.", "Run This Town", Rihanna - "Russian Roulette", "Wait Your Turn" and more) took me under his wing and showed me the way. Showed me other things.

D.W.: How does it feel to see your work on BET/MTV?

Taj: I'm numb because I've seen the video so many times during the editing process, and I don't watch a lot of TV. I was there and looking at it shot by shot. I want to be excited. When I saw Musiq Soulchild's video I was very excited about it and it was a solid piece of of film making. I do enjoy the process and get more excitement creating it verses seeing it. I love the creativity process.

D.W.: Some would say that you actually love what you're doing if that's the case. With that being said, who would you like to work with that you haven't yet?

Taj: Well the obvious and everyone asks when it will happen; Jay Z. We've gone back and forth on a few projects but just have yet to seal a deal. He's a great artist. Nas is number two. I have done a video for him and working with him was amazing. Sade, Coldplay, POD, Kanye, Cinematic Orchestra are others. I want to take it against the grain and have a different feel, work with someone like Britney (Spears) and make things raw. Let's do some sh*t where you like I've never seen of her where she is acting and narrative; bad girl verses stripper girl type of work.

Photo by Gab The Producer

D.W.: So what's next? I recall on twitter, you spoke of a project with Ryan Leslie and The Dream.

Taj: Ryan Leslie just released his new album, "Transition", and we did a short film for it, "Making of Transition", a 30 to 45 minute film. It's a great love story, based on real life, with a guy who is an over achiever and when it comes to this one woman he tries to use the same attitude but learns the same rules do not apply. It was an honor to have him ask me to capture it. It's a true story. Great person to work with. He is cool with you personally while on the set but also grinding. It releases probably, December 6th, 2009.

I was set to shoot The Dream's "Fancy" video but things switched up last minute and we shot a video for "Sweat It Out", which should be dropping next week sometime (this week).

D.W.: Sounds like your plate is full. Well, I appreciate your time, once again. Any last words for the people?

Taj: I have a new blog, www.sleepingonmars.com - check it out! I've been working on it. I'm still young and black. I'm trying to brand myself because when on set I look like the artist verses the director and I'm often looked at as that, an artist. I have the tattoo's and dress in hip hop attire. It's a marketing game no matter what and I just want people to know I have it. My blog allows people to get in my head - its my diary.

Check out Taj online: www.twitter.com/Taj_Mahall - www.myspace.com/TajStansberry - www.thepopularkids.com - www.sleepingonmars.com