Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. The first obvious question has to be, how did you get into music, and what made you want to become an engineer?
When I was a kid my next door neighbor had a drumkit and some turntables. I was the youngest in my neighborhood so he would let me come over and mess with his equipment and I became obsessed. All I listened to then was Bob Marley and Tupac, I didn't know how but I knew I wanted to do something with music. I got into engineering when I started making beats in high school. My friends didn't have any studios we could go to so I figured I'd learn how to do it all myself. I got fruity loops and sony acid and thought I was the man hahah.
(I love origin stories, always reminds me of comic books. I guess that makes you the Super Engineer, or Evil Genius!)
How about a little background on you, what you do, and who you've worked with?
I was born in Milwaukee, and moved to Chicago as soon as I could to start taking production and engineering seriously. JDP, D2G, C. Rich, Vic Spencer, Pacy, and Brian Fresco are all the artists I've been working with for years. I lived in Atlanta for a while working with Duffle Bag Boys (2 Chainz, Dolla Boy, J Hard)... since I've been back I've been blessed to work with some of the hottest people in the city. My network is crazy though, I feel like I've worked with most of the people out here doing it from the city.
(Crazy resumed you got going on there...)
You're the primary engineer on Ashland Chronicles 2. What's it like working with Griffen, and how does he compare to the other artists that you've worked with?
Working with Griffen is different from a lot of artists because he's got an overall picture in mind for his work. He likes to use sound bites and movie clips to add to the feel of a record. He's got the experience benefit that a lot of artists don't have and it shows, because he's matured into his own sound.
(I always dug adding that kind of stuff throughout projects, it has that 90's mixtape vibe, and adds a lot of character. I'm sure it's nice to work with people like him who have their vision and everything sort of mapped out in advance.)
And what's your take on AC2?
The best way to describe it is with Griffen's own tern for it...Gangsta Hip Hop. It doesn't sound like the usual rap comin out of Chicago right now, it's not trap or drill. AC2 plays out more like a 90's album, just with a modern approach. We added some radio drops through the tape which gives me that old west coast vibe when I listen to it.
(Definitely have to agree with the Gangsta Hip Hop term, that's the best way to describe it. I typically go with whatever Griffen says it is, because he has a tendency to switch up the style/theme on each project)
What are your favorite tracks on AC2?
I gotta plug the song I produced "Declare War". It's different from any of the other songs, because he asked me to make a trap sounding beat. He usually doesn't rap over tracks like that, so to hear him do something new was cool. His single "Geekin" is dope on some smoother shit with C. Rich singling the hook, and "Corner Boys" is pure bars.
(Not typically being a fan of 'trap' sounding stuff, I was pleasantly surprised how much I got into Declare War, you and the artists killed it. And the whole tape to me is dope, enough said.)
Click here to listen/download Griffen's Ashland Chronicles 2
Who else are you currently working with or going to be working with soon?
I've been workin a lot with SD (GBE) over the last couple years, his project "Truly Blessed" is dropping soon. I've been working with a new R&B artist names Thomas Mac, his project will be out soon called "Love, Lust, and Luxury". Me and Z Money have been working on like three projects, Bandman Kevo is about to start his second project with me...Then expect more projects from the usual suspects.
(Nice, the usual suspects are dope and always anticipated, but it's always cool to hear about up and coming new artists)
Any projects or artists you're especially excited to be working on?
I'm producing a few different reggae projects this year. It's completely different than working on rap or R&B and it's bringing a new sound out of me, so that's been crazy. C. Rich and I have our second album coming out "Lucid Dreams" which is kinda the musical opposite of our "Certified Organic" album. Get ready for that reggae takeover though.
(Crazy amount of diversity you've got going on. Definitely interested in checking all this out.)
Thanks again for taking the time to talk to us. Where can people get in touch with you and how can they go about booking time with you?
I'm notoriously bad with my phone lol the best way to book me or reach me is through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find me on Twitter & Instagram, both are @mixedbydc
(Dope, thanks again man. Looking forward to hearing everything you've got coming)