We’ve previously highlighted Vibe City as an upcoming platform to watch for their talented pick of artists in their fresh and upbeat podcasts as well as their individual clout in a range of media skills. I am so pleased to share with you one half of the founding team of Vibe City – WAX (@waxontrax).
As well as continuing to develop the podcasts and online presence as a part of Vibe City, Wax is currently working on some personal projects including work with artist Jino Blacc who has just released a video to his track AM Herbs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZOVD7GGKig) and has recently had his own slot at the Beat Meet producer showcase which was held Upstairs at the Ritzy Brixton.
Where did your love for music production come from/how did you start?
From early I was in music. I had an electric guitar when I was 8/9, I had piano lessons and guitar lessons here and there and in school I was always good in Music class. I’d say Mojo was really the one who got me into it properly. He got me into Grime. We downloaded some dingy free version of Fruity Loops on my laptop and would attempt at making beats. He was always naturally talented at it and kinda paved the way for me. When I was like 18 though I used to go to a local youth club and watch my boy make beats and rap over them. That’s when I started going there a couple days of the week for a few hours tryna make songs. When I bought my Mac that’s when I could really sit down and experiment.
Tell us about your studio set up – what production program do you use? Which pieces of equipment make up your work station?
I’ve just got a regular old bedroom set up. My iMac, MIDI keyboard and monitors. Nothing special but it works for me. I’d encourage everyone to use what they have, it’s a good skill to develop and saves a lot of money. Oh, and I use Logic X, I can’t get my head around FL but I wanna try out Reason and Ableton soon.
In the last interview you talked about how logical and mathematical you are – how do you think these skills and your knack for computers have helped you with developing your style as a producer?
I don’t think it helped with my style, but it definitely helped with actually being able to produce. I picked things up quickly, knowing where to place my kicks and snares and learning how to even download Logic for free lol. My style came from constantly learning and making beats over the years and finding my sound.
It was also only in February this year when Spotify launched their display of songwriter, musician and producer credits. Where we are in the UK music industry right now – we are seeing musicians and producers crossing over genres and being quite experimental with samples and sounds, and it’s led to producers like The Compozers, Nana Rogues, Jae5 and Steel Banglez consistently leading the UK charts.
As a producer what inspires you when you’re working and how do you stay adaptable in order to collaborate with a range of artists?
Man I get producers block so often it’s annoying. To stay inspired I take a step back and live life a bit. I listen to music every day and I’m constantly finding new music for myself and for VIBE CITY so soaking in them sounds definitely help when I get back in the lab. I think the important thing with collaborating with artists, not just as a producer but as an artist as well is to spend time with them. You’re not gonna get the perfect song or a demo in the first session. Understanding that is key. The more you’re around them, the more you understand their style and vice versa. I’m big on energies as well so if the energy is off I find it hard to work with someone.
In my day job as a teacher, I see that young people are inspired – back to basics using their hands and pens to make beats on the table and freestyle over them (which is both humbling and hilarious); what advice would you give to people who are still learning and want to make their mark in what sometimes feels like is a daunting and saturated music scene?
It’s hard to answer this without sounding corny. I think anyone who wants to be a musician really needs to believe that that’s what they want. When you look at certain artists and people who have paved the way for us, the one thing they have in common is that they never stopped. And I’m not saying to be a musician you just need to keep going, I’m saying, if you genuinely love music, you won’t stop. Also work smart, not hard.