From bedrooms to big budget studios, producers get urban music
out there. Scout and consultant Jade Richardson, who brought
Ms Dynamite on the UK scene, explains what's involved.
What is a producer? Someone who makes music and creates a
template for the artist to write and perform to. The role
has evolved a lot over the years as technology is always challenging
the creative process. With so many programmes available to
make music on, there is probably a producer in a bedroom near
you right now.
The music is where the food chain begins, and it needs to
inspire the artist otherwise they will move on and work with
someone else! The producer can often make up showreels (CDs
containing examples of their work) to distribute to various
artists or their managers.
The best producers know how to bring the best out in an artist.
Often the amount of time artists and producers have to make
a record is tight, and being able to cut to the chase and
get on a vibe is essential. It's all about people and getting
inside their heads. Some artists prefer to create the music
with the producer together in the studio, ideally bouncing
off each other's vibe and ideas.
Getting established can often begin by being a beat-maker.
Whereas a producer is mainly concerned with the vocal delivery,
song, melodies and structure, and the final mix, a beat-maker's
goal is to have the hottest track on road or in clubland.
Once the track has become popular, via pirates playing the
instrumental and MCs free-styling over it for example, the
instrumental has a life of its own. This is the perfect position
to be in as a beat-maker, you have a hot track that everyone
wants to spit on.
Most recently Dizzee Rascal used Youngstar & Wonder's tracks
on his new album Showtime, now called 'Stand Up Tall'
and 'Respect Me'. This is a clever way of getting the street's
attention immediately as they recognise the beat! And the
beat-maker now becomes a 'producer' as he/she has a record
on an established artist's album.
The underground scene or clubland are really the only places
to start if you want to make credible music – the goal
is to then cross the music over to the charts and make it
mainstream by re-educating people that there is more to life
than pop music!
Various organisations across England offer courses for people
who are interested in making music. It's worth trying some
out so you can learn by trial and error, then invest in the
right equipment when the time is right.