Interviews

Drawzilla: Education of the Game

What is your background?
Drawzilla: I have been producing records for over ten years. I have worked with some of the best: Sadat X of Brand Nubian, OC of D.I.T.C, A.G of D.I.T.C. Recently I did a record with Twin Gambino of Infamous Mobb, and a remix for CL Smooth.

Growing up who were your musical influences?
Drawzilla: It can go way back to the Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Eddie Kendricks, Patti Labelle. I?m a little older kat?so I got a little background when it comes to music.

When you are producing a R&B record how do you approach the creative process. Do you come up with the concepts yourself or with the artist?Drawzilla: If I?m working with a writer, I definitely like to collaborate with the writer, because when you?re a writer you pretty much have a lot of creative juices flowing even when it comes down to music. When you write you pretty much have melodies in your head, so you can collaborate with the producer to come up with that. But if the artist does not write most of the time I come with the chorus and with the entire song?.pretty much come up with the concept. I like to come up with concepts first when it comes to records, because it gives me a better direction of where I want to go musically.

How would you describe your sound?
Drawzilla: I would definitely say it is a wide spectrum, if you look at a spectrum from left to right you are going to see a wide range. I can do anything from a slow ballad? to a real crazy uptown Spanish type joint. Sound wise I would pretty much say just R&B and Hip Hop, I like heavy drums? I like bass and I like slammin.

Since both R&B and Hip Hop genres are blending, is that mixture close to your sound? Kind of like a Lil Mo and Fabolous type of record.
Drawzilla: I definitely like the direction Hip Hop and R&B music is going because it is blending the two. Music is music, if at the end of the day you got a hit record it?s a hit record no matter what it is. I like being able to hear a track and say this can be R&B or Hip Hop. You mention Fabolous, that is actually one of my favorite MC?s because he actually combines his street edge with that real R&B feel, he can be able to relate to anybody.

Were there any producers when you were coming up that you aspired to be like?
Drawzilla: From day one ever since NWA and the whole Death Row thing came about. (Dr.) Dre definitely?is an inspiration to me. I would definitely have to say Pharrel. Recently Pharrel has been on fire, I like his style because he is pretty much in his own lane. He doesn?t really try to cater to what everybody is doing, he has his own sound and he is able to produce for NORE to Gwen Stefani. My mentor if I ever meet him is Diddy, he brought music to a whole another level with the party scene. Those three are definitely inspiring to me.

I am surprised you said Diddy.Drawzilla: I think people underestimate him to be honest with you. I?ve seen him at work, he is a very talented person, he can get in that studio?and work that song from the beginning to the end. As far as the way he is arranging the vocals, as far as little melodies he may come up with. He may not actually be playing instruments but the way he moves around in the studio to be able to manipulate all that. He is a talented dude.

How do you keep your sound unique without sounding like other producers?
Drawzilla: To be honest with you, my influence comes from everyone. I do have my own little sound. I like to incorporate weird instruments that people wouldn?t even think about using and creating it into a sound. My own sound is basically an influence of a whole different bunch of different people to be honest with you. I love music so much, from day one growing up and listening to it with different loops and samples and chord changes, it kind of inspired me to do that.

What type of weird sounds or unexpected sounds would we hear in one of your songs?
Drawzilla: Ok I?ll give you an example. I recently sampled a pot and pan, and used it as an instrument. I got this pear shaped instrument, that is actually like the sound of a shaker. I take that and sample it and then tune it to do different things. I can take any sound and create something weird and make it sound different.

You have been able to compose music for TV, how important has that been to you?
Drawzilla: That?s very important. Number one it?s a check. It?s funny you even mention that because I got my first ASCAP check today. I am definitely going to be copying, framing it and everything. Basically it is important money wise, just to be ale to expose music so people see what I do as a producer and what we do as a company. We have placed music with MTV, we actually have a blanket license with Viacom so all the channel under them has had our music on them.

Which R&B artist would you like to work with in the future?
Drawzilla: I would have to say my first choice is Mary J. Blige. I would love to be able to collaborate something with her. I am a big big person when it comes to remixes. I am a strong believer in prolonging a single by a remix, like your remix has to be tight so the life of the single really expands as much as possible. I would like to remix an Aretha Franklin record.

What are the current projects that you are working on?
Drawzilla: I am working with a young lady by the name of Erika Deluna; she is a Dominican R&B singer from Harlem. She actually goes to Marist College, which is how I originally met her. We have a rapper by the named of Sic Osyrus. Those are the two main projects that I am working on and obviously trying to get some placements going on. We have a couple opportunities with Melissa J over at Universal, my man Reality and continuing to reach out to different A&Rs to see what they need.

What traits attract you to work with new artist?
Drawzilla: The challenge. I like working with artists that really don?t know nothing.(laughter) I don?t really get into artists that think they no it all, because they can pretty much do it on your own. I like to be able to challenge myself to be able to see the problems from an artists that really doesn?t know anything until they get to a point where they pretty much know the business. I am talking business wise too, not just creatively. I really pride myself on that. I think I have the talent to be able to take that artist from the first level to the next (level).

Shoutouts
Singersroom
J Hatch (Inasirkl)
DJ Bedtyme357 & Chuck Massacure
Ace of Spades & Team Spade Entertainmnet
Tiny
Shawn Harlem
Erika Deluna
Sic Osyrus
My whole Inasirkl team —— By: Interview by: Adeniyi Omisore

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