Q & A

Question: How did music find its way into your life? 

Answer:  Well there always was an interesting variety of music being played at home. Everything from Blues, Gospel, Classical & Jazz.  When I attended private elementary school. It was predominantly white students there and they mostly listened to Classic rock & Alternative music. After school sometimes I would go down to the local neighborhood park and shoot hoops. It was more of a teenage urban crowd there that listened to a lot of Funk music. They would listen to The Gap Band, Funkadelic, Rick James, Cameo, and Bar-Kays just to name a few groups. I also remember every Saturday afternoon there would be this radio station that would come on from like 2 to 5pm. I want to say the name of the station was WCAL fm. They would feature some great contemporary jazz music like David Sanborn, Bob James, Joe Sample, Pieces of a Dream and others. So there was a lot of different music I found myself listening to growing up.

Question: Can you read sheet music? 

Answer:  I learned how to read sheet music when studying violin around 8yrs old. I played for about 4yrs and then also read sheet music while in elementary school band for another 3yrs. I do follow guitar & piano chord charts sometimes, but pretty much everything comes from experimenting with different instruments while creating original music. I find myself breaking rules and guidelines when creating music. Composing a piece is more exciting when things are spontaneous.

Question: How did your time as a DJ assist you in becoming a music producer? 

Answer:  I would listen to a song and sometimes would find myself rearranging it in my head. Ideas would come from nowhere like redesigning the hook, changing the tempo, more harmonies, less harmonies, more snare, bring up the background vocals more, etc. A DJ is exposed to a lot of unreleased music that no one gets to hear. When a DJ listens and analyzes these records. They get to hear ideas that aspiring music creators attempted but may not have had successfully executed. You can hear mistakes or sounds that may not have been compatible with the rest of the production.  In order to be a great record producer, you first have to pay attention as to how great records are made.

Question: I know you compose and produce all types & styles of music. But how did you find yourself being involved in producing Hip hop? 

 Answer:   In Minneapolis during the 80s and 90s there were many copycat artists trying to shadow and rip-off the original sound of groups like The Time, Prince, Mazarati, Andre Cymone’ and other successful known artists. The R&B funk and Make-up band market quickly became overdone and saturated. It became hopeless to find an original creative artist out of the batch of these trendy wannabes. As the rap scene began to evolve. I was asked by a couple different local rappers if I could produce rap music. I was reluctant at first because rap was kinda cheesy back then. It was mainly a breakbeat with a couple samples and some scratchin’ along with someone rapping on top. When rap started to incorporate a more musical element is when I became active and more involved in it. Many of the upcoming rapper then were also street hustlers. So at least they could pay for production and studio time.

Question: You mentioned producing rap when it became more musical. What did you mean by that? 

Answer:  Hip hop & Rap is like the Salvation Army of the music world. Whether it’s sampled or actual instruments played by hand. Hip hop often finds itself inheriting sounds and notes that other genres throw away. I could experiment more with notes, chord progressions, sounds & noises in rap more so than any other style of music I’ve produced. So Hip hop will always have a special place in my music life.

Question: Is there a question about music that someone has asked you that you find difficult to answer? 

Answer:  Actually yes. Every now and then someone would say to me. “So you say you are a music producer, who have you done music for that I know”?  It’s a curious question but at the same time is quite annoying. The expectation is a setup for me to name off this long list of artists I’ve worked with. If I don’t produce a name that they’re familiar with, then they don’t relate any of my works with notable success. So instead of falling into the trap and running off a list of names they may not know. I simply ask them first. “Well who do you know”? Most of the time they struggle with their reply and feel uncomfortable being put in that position. So I’ve learned to have some fun with this “gotcha” question and I get better with my reply each time.

Question: You’ve mentioned about doing music production in other genres. Can you name a few different styles you’ve done production in? 

Answer:  I mostly find myself doing urban sounds like R&B, experimental & traditional Hip hop/Rap. I love to get loose jammin’ to some Funk and I like the Neo-soul vibe sometimes. I do like to venture into EDM, some Jazz stuff and some scientific electronic experimental sounds. I also like to try out some Blues or Country or experiment with International sounds.

Question: How important is the message in a song? 

Answer:   I think it’s very important. Each song is like a scene or episode in a movie. The writer or vocalist must realize the power of words and their accountability for what they write or sing. If you expect your fans to embrace your music. You should also understand that their attention goes to everything and every word you express. With words you can either encourage or discourage the listener. You have the ability to produce thoughts in the listener’s mind. Writing words with meaning is more essential than just writing a word to finish the rhyme.

Question:  We’ve also heard your name mentioned with 21st Century Sound Entertainment. Is LST Muzic and 21st Century Sound Ent the same company? 

 Answer:  I do own both companies and they are both related to music that I compose and produce for. LST Muzic focuses more on the production and development of artists, groups, writers and record labels that I’m involved with. 21st Century Sound Entertainment is geared more towards my music in film, cinema, commercials and other visual media.