10 April 2011
Behind the Beats: TwistedEdge
First and foremost where are you from?
I'm from a small place in Florida called Seminole, not a lot of people know of "Seminole, FL" so for the most part I just rep Tampa since that's the closest "main city" to where I live.
Who is TwistedEdge and when did you decide that beat making was your niche?
I’m a 19 year old dude who works at Pizza Hut during day time and makes beats at night time. I decided to start making beats when I heard Ridin’ Spinners by Three 6 Mafia (was bumping them heavy back when I was in 9th/10th grade) and was curious to how they made that beat. I ended up finding out that they sampled a girl singing at the beginning of an Eazy-E song, that shit blew my mind at the time. Since at that time I knew hip-hop artists sampled and shit but for them to flip that girl singing into a banging ass beat was too dope.
So after hearing that I started dabbling around in making beats and three years later now I can say that I’m pretty “dope” at it I guess, well that’s what people tell me, haha. For the first couple years I was mainly still learning and figuring out how to do everything and then the last year or so I have trying to perfect my style.
I noticed that you recently released a beat tape entitled Fear & Loathing In Beats. What was the inspiration behind the project and what inspired the title of the project?
Yessir! It’s my first official beat tape I have done. I have over 100 beats and shit but never really “release” them online. So I decided if I want to start promoting my shit I’m going to have to start releasing stuff to get people to listen for the most part. I started on this project probably around last year when I got custom artwork done by this chick Shayna Rae, at that time I was going for that Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas art work direction and she made it happen!
So I knew from when I got the artwork done that I wanted my first beat tape to be inspired by that movie, I’d say it’s not down the same route as many beat tapes and it’s more of a experimental/theme based beat tape for the most part. For my future beat tapes, I will probably just dump 20 tracks on them, since I usually make 1-2 beats a day now, so people can listen and possibly buy them if they want to use them for their project.
What are some of the obstacles that you deal with in regards to being an up and coming beat maker?
There are a lot of obstacles I have to say, first off I’ve been doing this for around three years just because it’s fun as hell taking a sample and flipping it into some crazy shit. I’m at the point where I would like to start collaborating with more artists and building my name up though. I find that it seems like there’s an endless supply of producers now and it’s really hard to get album placements since there is a bunch of people sending in beats to artists.
The internet can be a gift and a curse to artists. Twitter, for example, makes it easier to communicate with beat makers and rappers. What tactics have you utilized in regards to self promotion?
That statement is so true man; I have to say though that the internet hasn’t become a curse to me, at least not yet...I use to knock Twitter for being stupid and stuff but I have to say that Twitter has helped me TONS just by being able to contact some of my favorite artists without having to try to reach them through their management and so on. I have been able to send beats to plenty of rappers that I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to if it wasn’t for that site right there. My main form of promotion right now though has to be my YouTube channel, there’s a lot of heads out there on YouTube that will LISTEN to your shit if they stumble upon it and if they think its dope they’ll subscribe to you which helps when you release music in the future, I look at it as my own little fan base that I can talk to directly. The other day one of my subscribers from South Africa told me that he has had his whole neighborhood bumping my beats and that right there means a lot to me since that single person right there is spreading my music to his homies and if they are digging it I know that I’m doing something right.
What are some of your strengths and weaknesses as a beat maker?
Well, I have definitely improved. A lot of people say that my drums are on point and my chopping of samples is pretty good. One of my newer strengths would have to be branching out to different genres of music to sample which helps me change up my style, so I’m not just one of the millions of beat makers who just sample soul music (haha). Now my weaknesses, I’d have to write a novel to tell you all of them, but my MAIN ones would have to be starting on a beat and never finishing it. I swear I have A.D.D. or some shit when it comes to it, I’ll start on a beat for 30 minutes or so then not finish it and then end up moving on to another one right after and doing the same exact thing. Also I’d say my weakness from the past would be my promotion skill, I would make beats but never really try to get rappers on them until the past year or so where I have definitely improved on that.
When you create a beat do you rely on a ritualistic process or do you create magic when inspiration occurs?
It’s back and forth between them both to be honest, most of the time I’ll just sit down and start chopping samples and laying down drum patterns to get a beat going. If I don’t like it within the first 15 minutes I end up scrapping it and moving onto another sample. Other times I might be in a store, watching a movie or just playing a video game and hear a song in it that’s catchy and end up stopping what I’m doing at that time to find out the song title so I know what to sample when I get back home.
What beat makers inspire you to become better at your craft?
Too many to name to be honest, I mean like I said before Dj Paul & Juicy J inspired me to start making beats. When I hear stuff from 9th Wonder, Black Milk, Madlib , DJ Premo and so on, I have an “Oh shit” moment and feel like I need to step up my skill. A lot of beat makers inspire me but I try to make shit that doesn’t sound like their beats. I’m trying to make original stuff and not be one of their carbon copies like a lot of people out there today.
How would you define your sound to someone that is not familiar with your beats?
It’s hard to answer these questions sometimes since I usually let the music do the talking. If I had to define my sound I would have to say that it’s definitely in the realm of hip-hop but I try to keep it fresh and have my own little twists on my beats. I can do gritty tracks and then the next day I can make an uplifting soulful track. Recently I’ve been trying to broaden my genres of music I listen to just so I can keep coming up with different sounds each time.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
There’s this one dope rapper that I would like to collaborate with on more stuff in the future I think he goes by the name of Praverb the Wyse or something along those lines, haha. Other than him I’m down to collaborate with anyone who can carry a beat and is dope! Now my DREAM collaborations would have to be with rappers like Nas, Ghostface Killah, Phonte, and others that are similar to them.
How can the masses stay in touch with you?
The main way to see the progress of my career would be to check out my YouTube channel, I try to post a lot of videos up, whether it be a random beat I made that day or stuff like beat tutorials and stuff similar to that. I enjoy when people comment on my stuff and let me know if they are digging it or not. I accept all of forms of criticism since I know personally I’m still learning and progressing at this. Any other way would be to follow me on Twitter and finally to check out most of my music (along with the Fear & Loathing in Beats project I just released) direct your browsers to Bandcamp. For artists that are interested in making a project together or spitting on a beat of mine they can contact me at TwistedEdge@gmail.com
Any Final Thoughts?
First off, thanks to you for this interview… And shout out to my homie Georgio, we just started up a group (ILLiterates) and we are currently in the process of making music, we have three songs total down and plenty more to make and hoping to release a small album in the next 5-6 months and start doing opening acts for local shows in our city! Also shout out to anybody who listens to my music right now, every single fan means a lot to me and hope to get more people listening to my stuff in the near future! ALSO shout out to all my homies who believe in me, I’m sorry if I haven’t hung out with any of ya’ll for a minute now but hope you understand that working 40 hours a week and trying to progress in music is sort of a hard thing to do, I don’t forget about any of ya’ll and hopefully will be with everyone of you at the top of this ladder! And my final shout out would have to be to my beautiful girlfriend who supports me to the fullest no matter what I do. (+ Brownie points) haha