Behind The Beats: T. Dragonette
First and foremost present your story to the masses
I wish I had a action packed story full of glory and excitement, but its just not the case. It goes like this. Since I was about 10 I have been obsessed with hip hop. I started out learning the basics of Djing when I was like 13 on my moms old turntable (Mom if you read this, sorry!) That lead to me spending a lot of time practicing and buying my own equipment and then Djing parties and clubs. Eventually I wanted to start making my own beats. Dj Premier was a huge inspiration to me back then and now, so I got a MPC and started teaching myself how to sample and compose music. Between working full time and going to school for graphic design full time I worked with local artist and sharpened my skills. Fast forward some years and I'm still practicing, finding new ways to make music and just working with great artist and trying to live a dream of mine.
What are some projects that you are currently working on?
First and foremost I am going to be putting out my own project this year. I have been doing collabs with other artist on their projects, and I want to put out something that I have total creative control over. Besides that, I have a track on DubMD's EP "The Requiem" that will be released shortly called "Passion" feat. Karnage, Spec Boogie, Chordz, Braille, and Kam Moye. I have a couple tracks in the works with Detroit MC Nametag and some commissioned work with skateboard company Active Ride Shop.
Who would you like to work with in the future and why?
That's a tough question because there are so many artist that are legit out there that I would love to work with. I guess I just want to work with people who are on the same page as myself and are feeling my music as much as I am theirs. I think a huge problem with the current trend in music is the fact that people are so quick to throw money at someone to get them on a track even if they don't fit, just because of who they are. It makes for bad music and a really repetitive sound.
Your favorite beat of all time is...
Depends on the day. Today is Little Brother "That Aint Love" (produced by !llmind)
Describe the feelings associated with creating a beat from scratch. What is your beat making process and how is inspiration transferred from the mind to your program of choice?
Its exactly that, feelings. One day I could be bummed out and I find myself looking for a sound to fit the mood, and there are other days where I'm so hyped and that reflects the sounds i pick and choose to work with. I mean there is no set formula for me, I have had days where I don't feel like making music and I made four great tracks. On the other hand I have had days where I want to make music and I can't make shit....those are the extreme cases, but its just like life, you never really know what the outcome will be.
What motivates you to continue to make beats?
The love for music and creating something. Also other producers making great music!
Beat making is based on presenting character and individuality into production. What are some of the challenges associated with creating beats given the current hip-hop trends?
I think the biggest challenge is standing out and being heard at this point. Just as is the case for emcees, producers are a dime a dozen now a days with the introduction of computer based programs like fruity loops, garage band, reason etc...it makes everyone who has a pc/mac a so called "producer" just by putting some loops together. I'm not taking shots at anyone that uses those, because there are producers out there that make insane music with those programs, but it does lend itself to over saturation of certain sounds and styles of production.
It appears that the famous beat makers are known for adding a signature sound to a beat. What do you believe is your signature sound or your strengths as a beat maker?
I guess I just try and make music that is a reflection of me. No matter how hard a person tries to sound like someone else, it will never be the same....so I just try and make music from the heart and that is my perspective.
How can prospective emcees, the press, Djs, etc contact you?