K Dubz Beatz
Where are you from?
What is the local music scene like there?
I'd say the Vancouver scene is definately one of the best Hip Hop scenes in Canada. Canada as a whole has a pretty dope Hip Hop scene though. Most artists up here are "real". No frontin' about the stereotypical Hip Hop topics (eg. guns, money & bitches). Just rappin' about real life, makin' music and good times. I think Canada has a real distinct sound that reminds me of a polished underground type vibe. If you listen to artists like Classified, Swollen Members, DL Incognito, (But Not Drake) they have a distinct style that does'nt really fit into any of the more established US Hip Hop genres. Canadian Hip Hop reminds me most of New Zealand & Australia Hip Hop.
What is your definition of what the role of a producer should be?
A producer in the truest sense of the word, should be there from start to finish molding the track. From the drum pattern, all the way through to the vocal mix. However, lots of kats are more beatmakers and are mostly interested in makin beats, rather than seeing the whole production process through till the end. Even though I do produce some tracks for dudes, I'm more interested in the beatmakin part of things, so I probably concentrate on that a bit more than stuff like vocal mixes. Its also a bit trickier to produce a song when your working with dudes over the internet, as opposed to face-to-face.
Your website www.kdubzbeatz.com is a wonderful site that sells beats to artists. How has selling tracks online changed the game for producers?
Its amazing how much the internet has changed the game for producers. I can network with artists from all over the world from my computer, whereas producers back in the day had to "pound the pavement" in order to network with emcees. Dudes "poundin the pavement" back in the day were pretty much restricted to emcees in their geographical area, whereas producers today dont have that restriction. Thats huge if your a producer whose trying to get heard.
Beyond networking, the internet has changed the landscape in terms of production too. I mean, there is no need for a turntable in the studio anymore, because the internet fills that need. It doesnt make alot of sense to take up space wth turntables, records or CD decks when every sound that has every been put on the internet is at your disposal. Its a great thing if your a producer.
What is your equipment of choice?
For hardware I'm working with the MPC 1000 and Microkorg Synth. For software I use Ableton Live for tracking and mixing. I also mess with Reason a bit, using it primarily as a sound module to create sounds.
Do you get artists from overseas contacting you about beats?
Most of my networking takes place online, so I get people from all over the world asking for beats. I actually lived in Australia from 2005 till 2009, so I've connected with a few kats out there. I've also done collabs with artists from all over the US and Canada
What got you into music production?
I had a friend back in the late 90's who started taking me to alot of raves, where we would hang out all night in the Drum n Bass, Breakbeat and Hip Hop rooms. Watching the DJ's inspired me to get myself a set of turntables and start mixing records. Eventually, I grew bored of it, due to the creative restrictions associated with mixing other people's music. Eventually, another one of my homies introduced me to Fruity Loops and it just grew from there. I learned the art, started buying gear and just got deeper and deeper into music production. It's such a great stress relief to just zone out for a bit and come out with a crazy banger at the end.
What would you say your music production style is?
Most people describe my style as "underground". However, I also lay down some old school, West coast and East coast type beats. Generally, I just go with whatever sounds good to me, without trying to pigeonhole myself into a specific genre.
What style of Hip-Hop do you love and what style do you hate?
I came of age during the G-funk era, so I got alot of love for the early west coast movement (NWA, Dre, Snoop, Ice Cube, Westside Connection, etc). I also feel the same way about the East Coast music of the 90's (Nas, Capone n Noreaga, Pun, Mobb Deep, etc). As far as more recent stuff, I like the kats who keep it "real Hip Hop". Artists like Jedi Mind Tricks, Outerspace, Ohmega Watts, Dilated Peoples and Classified really inspire me.
As far as what I hate, its definately that "hybrid pop/Hip Hop music". Lots of hip hop today sounds like it was made for the purpose of getting spins on top 40 radio stations. I hate really hate that, cause I think music should be an expression of yourself. However, lots of dudes follow trends in the interest of makin money and that really bothers me. I really identify with the music that is made for the sake of Hip Hop. When artists like Vinnie Paz are makin Hip Hop, they're not worried about top 40 radio spins. Them kats are concerned with makin "real Hip Hop music" that they identify with. If it makes them alot of money thats great, but if it doesnt thats also cool because they did it on their own terms.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Well, I just launched my website about 6 months ago, so I've been busy tryin to push it as much as I can while layin down new bangers for the beatshop. I also just started working on a promotional mixtape that I hope to complete by spring of 2011. It will be called 'Da Heavyweight Remix's'. Basically it's gonna be a compilation of some of my favorite hip hop tracks, mixed over my beats. I've also got a few beats being used for a couple of independent projects that will drop in 2011.
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