How I Became a Beatmaker/Hip-Hop Producer

     This is the background of my musical journey. Music runs in my family. My grandmother played piano and sang, and my grandfather played a little bit of the guitar. After giving birth and raising my mother and my two uncles, they encouraged them to take Piano lessons. My mother was the most passionate of her siblings when it came to music. Not only did she practice every day on the piano, but she also became active in my grandfather’s church as a choir director and the main piano player. She was still active up until she got married to my dad and moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia. That’s when I came into the picture.

     Unlike my grandparents, my mother did not encourage me to play the piano. I would grow up watching her practice and play piano at home and at church every day. Whenever she’s not near the keyboard, I would go over to the instrument and learn it myself out of curiosity. My mother always had electrical pianos and I was intrigued that one instrument can play so many different sounds. I would go through each sound and press different buttons. I was having a good time as a young child on the keys.

     When I was 10 years old, mom bought herself a Triton Le Keyboard from the Triton series by Korg. This was a game-changer to me because not only did the Triton Le have more sounds than my mom’s old keyboard, but it also had a MIDI connection, sequencing, sampling, and recording. I spent a lot of years on the keyboard workstation learning different songs I heard by ear and how to unlock all the functions of the instrument at the same time. It was also during this time that I took drum lessons because teachers at school recognized that I like to tap my pencil at a certain rhythm. With learning two instruments, I officially became a musician. Along the way, I picket up the guitar and bass and learned on my own. Eventually I would come across DAWs and learned how they worked. Just one more thing, I needed, what would my music sound like?

 

     I was exposed to a lot of music growing up. My parents listed to Gospel, Jazz, Motown, R&B and Funk while at school my peers would listen to either Rock or Hip-Hop. I would bounce from each genre depending on what I like to listen to. Hip-Hop was my favorite genre when I was in middle school. I would dress in baggy clothes (I still do to this day) and talk with my peers every day about the hottest new song and artist. I didn’t really feel connected to the Hip-Hop community due to the profanity and braggadocios presented in most Hip-Hop songs, but I felt a sense of belonging in Christian Rap. All was good until I went into High School and wanted to listen to more techno beats since I would rather listen to instruments rather than rappers.

 

     I would not be active in Hip-Hop until 2020 when the pandemic became a global issue. At that time, I was not in a good place at the time. My mother passed away in 2019. It hit me a lot harder since not only I lost my mother, I was without parents because dad passed away 2 years earlier. I was alone in my apartment with a younger brother, and it was miserable for me. I couldn’t see my family or my friends, I couldn’t go outside and worse, I had little space in my apartment due to my brother’s junk and my music studio taking up space. Rather than sulking all day and doing nothing, I asked my music teacher Jon, who was giving me jazz piano lessons at the time, that I was interested in music production. After I bought Reason, I wanted to learn what the process is like for music production. As a challenge, Jon would ask me to record different songs based on the genre he requested. The genres were Hip-Hop, R&B, Trap and Rock. After recording each genre, I found out that I had a lot of fun producing Hip-Hop music. At first, I didn’t want to produce Hip-Hop because I always saw it as just rap music whereas it’s not music without the rapper and I don’t rap so why bother.

 

     It was also during 2020 when I discovered Lo-Fi music on YouTube. I forgot how I came across Lo-Fi girl but I’m glad it did because it inspired me to make Lo-Fi music. I made my first Lo-Fi album “My Quiet Room” in late 2021. My friends and family liked the album, but a lot of music curators didn’t want to add it to their playlist. I asked them what I could have done better and most of them did give me some solid advice. I took that knowledge and added more Lo-Fi sounds and effects in my DAWs and hired extra help to add lyrics to my song. This led to the development to my second album “A Wandering Soul” and it was very well received more than the 1st album. I’ve been getting coverages about it from different blogs, and it was insane. Thus, till this day I have been continuing my musical journey as a producer. That is the background and long story of how I got here today. I look forward to more in the future. Thanks for reading.

First Blog 

Hello everyone and thank you for visiting my website. If you want to know my background, you can just click the link in the bio. This is my first blog so it will just be me being real with everyone. As a new music producer in the business, I am trying numerous ways to get my music heard. I didn't think about writing a blog until I went to HipHopMakers.com and they had a list of reasons why I should create my own blog. Personally I don't like writing especially long pages but I'll be willing to do so when I am able to write about my passions as a Music Producer.

Since this is the debut of my blog, I will treat is as the start or groundwork on my future blogs and the various topics that I will be talking about in relation to music production. Since my primary production is Lo-Fi/Hip-Hop, I will be going over lots of materials about the subject. My next blog post will be my relationship with Hip-Hop, how I went from being indifferent about it, to hating it and now being totally dedicated to the music. I will also be going over my favorite Hip-Hop producers, rappers and anything else related to the topic.

I love Hip-Hop not just as a fan but also as a producer since that is the main product I produce. With that, I will also reveal the setup in my music studio. What DAWs did I use, the plugins, the hardware and steps I made for myself in the creative process. I will also be going over popular and sometimes controversial ideas within the Hip-Hop producer community. Which Hip-Hop subgenre is better; Trap or Boom-Bap. Is Boom-Bap Hip-Hop dead or underground, sample beats or synthetic sounds? We can even ask which DAW is better? I'll tackle each debate though my perspective but at the same time I can respect the other side of the spectrum. For example, I lean more towards Boom-Bap than Trap but I won't ever say that Boom-Bap is better than trap. Both have great contributions in Hip-Hop and it should be left to the listener to decide whatever they want to listen to.

In addition, I will be reviewing the tools I use to create music. My setup contains the Akai MPC One, Roland FA-08 and coming soon the Roland SP 404 MK 2. Depending on where I decide to go, I'll also make videos and post them on YouTube explaining my creative process which each instruments and helpful tips if you ever decide to buy them. Of course I can't leave out the DAWs. FL Studio and Cubase are my main DAWs for operation so if you also use these DAWs as a music producer; Awesome. If not, it's still cool. All DAWs are mostly the same with a few distinctions so you can still learn a thing or two if you use Ableton, Reaper, etc...

 

Finally, there will also be some miscellaneous categories like motivation, creative burnout, or anything outside a Hip-Hop production. I'll think of more ideas as a go-along. Announcements will also appear of this page. Whether it's working on a new album or single, I will let y'all know here. This is a short blog. I don't have anymore to add at this point. Just a way to be real with you all. Thanks again and please check out my beats store and Lo-Fi music when you get a chance. Peace y'all.

 

V-Train