• Clean Bandit’s Jack Patterson Discusses How ‘Rockabye’ Was Produced

    Posted by on | No comments

    Following Thursday’s look at how Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem” was produced, Genius is back with a new episode of Deconstructed. In this installment, Clean Bandit member Jack Patterson breaks down how he co-produced “Rockabye.”

    The song, which features Sean Paul and singer Anne-Marie, was DJcity’s 13th most downloaded track of November and is currently number nine on Billboard’s Hot 100. It is the second single off the group’s forthcoming second studio album

    In the video, the British producer discusses the different elements of the dancehall-influenced song. He also goes through the various VSTs he used within Ableton Live and Pro Tools.

    Watch Patterson break down “Rockabye” above.

    Related: Brasstracks Discuss How They Produced Chance the Rapper’s ‘No Problem’

  • Brasstracks Discuss How They Produced Chance the Rapper’s ‘No Problem’

    Posted by on | No comments

    Rising production duo Brasstracks recently sat down with Genius to discuss how they produced Chance the Rapper’s “No Problem.” The song, which features Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, won a Grammy this year for Best Rap Performance and peaked at No. 43 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

    In a six-minute video, Brasstracks break down the story behind the song and how they used stock sounds in Ableton Live to create it. The duo insists they didn’t use samples in the track, though it was inspired by Kanye West’s old style of sampling.

    Brasstracks also explain how they connected with Chance. “Everything we’ve ever put out, we get so many people saying that Chance the Rapper should get on it, and one day we tweeted that exact thing,” they say. “He retweeted it, and then he followed us. So we DM’ed him.”

    The duo recently wrapped up a tour with Big Gigantic and Keys N Krates and dropped an EP, Good Love. In 2016, they contributed to Anderson .Paak’s single “Am I Wrong” featuring Schoolboy Q.

    Watch Brasstracks break down “No Problem” above.

    Related: Chance the Rapper Performs ‘No Problem’ With Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz on Ellen

  • DJcity and Splice Release ‘Bootleg Bodega, Volume 4’ Sample Pack

    Posted by on | No comments

    Tall Boys
    The Tall Boys perform at Snapback Live at The Federal Bar in Los Angeles.

    DJcity and Splice have returned for the fourth and final installment of their Bootleg Bodega sample pack series.

    The packs, which are curated by DJcity’s Tall Boys, contain sounds geared towards open-format DJs.

    The fourth volume features sounds from Don Diablo, Styles & Complete, Gill Chang, Junkie Kid, and Capsun.

    Download the pack and get two months of free access to Splice Sounds here (use promo code DJCITY4).

    Watch below to see the Tall Boys demonstrate how they produced their “Bad & Boujee” edit, which uses samples from the series.

    Related: DJcity and Splice Release ‘Bootleg Bodega, Volume 3’ Sample Pack

  • Prolific Hitmaker Max Martin Tells His Story

    Posted by on | 2 comments

    Max Martin
    Max Martin (photo credit: Axel Öberg)

    Martin Sandberg, a.k.a. Max Martin, recently sat down for a rare and exclusive interview with the Swedish magazine, Di Weekend.

    A native of Sweden, Martin made a name for himself in the ’90s by writing and producing hits for the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and Britney Spears (his mentor was the producer behind Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants” and “The Sign”). The 45-year-old has since crafted hits for Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, The Weeknd, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, among many others. His most recent number one single is Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!

    According to Di Weekend, “Max Martin has seen 58 of his songs place among Billboard’s Top 10. 21 of them have made it to the #1 spot. Only Paul McCartney and John Lennon have had more. As a producer, Max Martin has had 19 number one Billboard hits. Only Sir George Martin can boast of more.”

    The extensive conversation, Martin’s first since 2001, provides an in-depth look at one of the most successful songwriters and producers of all time. It also offers valuable songwriting and production insights.

    Below are some of the things we learned from the interview, which we recommend reading in its entirety.

    He believes the greatest pop songs are multi-dimensional.

    “You must be able to have more than one favorite part in the same composition. First out, you might like the chorus. Then, once you’ve grown a little tired of that, you should long for the bridge…”

    However, as a producer, his main concern is the vocals.

    “I’m very present whenever we record the vocal track. Some producers let technicians handle that part, while they themselves chill out on the couch. But I like to be there myself, handling everything on the computer myself. I want to know exactly what went on and I need to be able to recall it all. Singing involves a great deal of psychology. If the artist isn’t having a great day or finds it all boring. My role becomes that of a coach. Getting the very best out of the artist. Helping them perform at their very best when it’s game time. One way to get them there is to bring them out of their comfort zones. To coach them a little, get them to try new stuff.”

    He credits being a singer as his greatest asset.

    “From day one, the one thing that I’ve had the most use of in this profession is my background as a singer. To be able to sing and demonstrate your vision when you record a demo has been crucial.”

    He pays attention to the body language of his listeners.

    “People who lose their concentration give themselves away very quickly. If they start fiddling with their phones as the second verse kicks in, there may be something about the tune that wasn’t good enough. Something also happens when I listen as if with other people’s ears. I get nervous and think to myself, ‘Shit, this part is a bit too slow.'”

    He believes that collaborations have kept him relevant over the years.

    “It’s my collaborations with others that have made me able to stay on beyond the average lifespan of a songwriter. I’ve been blessed to work with so many young people. How do they do it? They make me work hard to keep up. I feel so humbled by this fact.”

    He keeps his ego in check by staying grounded.

    “My wife has been the greatest help. In making sure I stay grounded. My wife and some of my friends. But it’s hard. I can certainly understand artists who suffer because of their egos. This is also why I’ve chosen to stay away from what we’re doing now (the interview context). If nobody recognizes you, if nobody cares, it’s easier to avoid getting carried away. That’s way harder if you’re a famous artist. I’ve seen many examples of when things have gone really wrong.”

    He doesn’t understand jazz, but he loves it.

    “I’ve also started listening to jazz. A lot. I don’t understand jazz, and I find that liberating. The music stays just music. I just listen instead of listening to what kind of bass drum they’re using, you know? I’m simply not musically equipped for jazz, but I love listening to it. I love Chet Baker. It’s driving my daughter crazy. ‘Oh no, not Chet Baker again.’ She’s heard me play his music so much that by now she knows all his songs.”

    Related: A-Trak Discusses the Business of Remixing

  • DJcity and Splice Release ‘Bootleg Bodega, Volume 3’ Sample Pack

    Posted by on | No comments

    Tall Boys
    Tall Boys

    DJcity and Splice have kicked off the new year with the third installment of their Bootleg Bodega sample pack series.

    The packs, which are curated by DJcity’s Tall Boys, contain sounds geared towards open-format DJs.

    The third volume features sounds from KSHMR, Ekali, Medasin, Deekline, among others.

    Download the pack and get two months of free access to Splice Sounds here (use promo code DJCITY3).

    Watch below to see the Tall Boys demonstrate how they produced their “Bad & Boujee” edit, which makes use of the sample pack.

    Related: DJcity and Splice Release ‘Bootleg Bodega, Volume 2’ Sample Pack

  • Watch Jahlil Beats Make a Beat With Random Records

    Posted by on | No comments

    Mass Appeal has returned with a new episode of Rhythm Roulette, this time calling on Roc Nation producer Jahlil Beats.

    The series challenges producers to make a beat by sampling three random records, chosen from a record store while blindfolded.

    A native of Pennsylvania, Jahlil is best known for producing street anthems like Meek Mill’s “Ima Boss” and Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot N#gga.” He has also worked with superstars like Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Diddy, and Rick Ross.

    Watch above to see Jahlil make a track with LPs that he picked up at Repo Records, one of Philadelphia’s oldest vinyl stores.

    Related: Watch Salaam Remi Make a Beat With Random Records

  • DJcity and Splice Release ‘Bootleg Bodega, Volume 2’ Sample Pack

    Posted by on | No comments

    Tall Boys
    The Tall Boys perform at the Ocean Bar in Hermosa Beach, California on July 4, 2016.

    As promised, DJcity and Splice are back with the second installment of the Bootleg Bodega sample pack series.

    The packs, which are curated by DJcity’s Tall Boys, contain sounds geared towards open-format DJs.

    The second volume features sounds from deadmau5, Bad Royale, KRNE, among others.

    Download the pack and get two months of free access to Splice Sounds here (use promo code DJCITY2).

    Related: DJcity Partners With Splice for Sample Pack Series

  • Watch Salaam Remi Make a Beat With Random Records

    Posted by on | No comments

    Mass Appeal has featured veteran producer Salaam Remi in their Rhythm Roulette series.

    The series challenges producers to make a beat by sampling three random records, chosen from a record store while blindfolded.

    Remi is best-known for producing old school anthems like Ini Kamoze’s “Here Comes the Hotstepper” and The Fugees’ “Fu-Gee-La,” along with more recent hits like Nas’ “I Can” and Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire.” The Queens, New York native also contributed to Amy Winehouse’s studio albums Frank and Back to Black.

    Watch above to see him make a track with three records, which he picked up at A-1 Records in New York.

    Related: Watch Drumma Boy Make a Beat With Random Records

  • DJcity Partners With Splice for Sample Pack Series

    Posted by on | No comments

    Bootleg Bodega

    DJcity has partnered with music production platform Splice for a sample pack series called Bootleg Bodega. The packs, which are curated by DJcity’s in-house production team, contain sounds geared towards open-format DJs.

    The first installment is curated by Los Angeles DJ/producer duo, the Tall Boys.

    Download the sample pack and get two months of free access to Splice Sounds here (use promo code DJCITY).

    Stay tuned for more packs in the coming months.

    Related: Tall Boys Drop Bootleg of YoungBloodZ’ ‘Damn!’ and RL Grime, What So Not and Skrillex’s ‘Waiting’

  • Watch Drumma Boy Make a Beat With Random Records

    Posted by on | No comments

    Mass Appeal is back with a new episode of Rhythm Roulette, this time featuring Grammy-nominated producer, Drumma Boy. The series challenges producers to make a beat by sampling three random records, chosen from a record store while blindfolded.

    Drumma’s credits include Young Jeezy and Kanye West’s “Put On,” Birdman, Lil Wayne, and Drake’s “Money To Blow,” and Waka Flocka Flame, Roscoe Dash, and Wale’s “No Hands.”

    Watch above to see him produce a Latin-influenced beat using records from Atlanta music store, Wax ‘n Facts.

    Related: DJ Dahi Makes a Beat With Three Random Records