16 September 2011
Interview with Descry
First and foremost introduce yourself to the masses.
My name is Descry and I'm a producer/DJ from Los Angeles. I'm a part of the Shinobeats, Nehemiah Band, and the Intergalactic Kimchee Squad.
How long have you been making beats?
I started around 2002 using Reason 2 and a Yamaha PSR400 as a MIDI controller. I had a Soundblaster Live sound card at that time, so I had to use a "joystick port to midi" converter cable to hook up my keyboard to the computer. It was the worst music making experience ever. I got such horrendous latency (when I'd hit the key, it'd take 3-4 seconds for Reason to trigger) that I was forced to "draw" my beats with a mouse. I quit a few days later and that ended my Reason beat making career.
Luckily a few months went by, and I randomly met another producer by the name of Kristus in a turntablism chat room. Kristus told me he was a producer out in Sweden, so I was psyched that I could finally talk to a real beat maker. During our conversation, he showed me a music video to a track he did with this MC named Gubb and it completely blew me away. I asked him what he used and he put me up on the MPC 4000.
After that, it was on! My single quest in life at that time was trying to get a MPC 4000. The only problem was that I was broke and going to college at the time, so I didn't have any cash.
Generously in 2003, even though my parents were struggling financially, they got me a MPC 4000 as a birthday/Christmas gift off eBay and that's when beat making really took off for me. I owe them so much and am so grateful for my mom and dad.
You are known for making beats for...
Raashan Ahmad, John Robinson, Swamburger (Sol.illaquists of Sound), Subkrew, and The Nehemiah Band.
Reading your biography on Reverbnation, I notice that you were apart of a collective known as The Beatcrafters. Could you please give the audience some insight on the origin of the collective?
I started the Beatcrafters in 2004, and it consisted of all the producers that hung out in the Turntablism chat room I talked about before. It was Kristus, Devil McDoom, Incise and me. We used to trade beat tapes back and forth and did it because we loved hip-hop. Aside from Devil McDoom, we were all turntablists so a lot of the times we'd scratch over each others beats and bag on each other for being wack. Since then, we've gotten busy with our own lives but still manage to talk to one another on instant messenger whenever we have free time. We're not an official crew anymore, but we still trade music and talk about life whenever we catch each other online.
The crew name I use these days is Shinobeats and that's the tech division of a larger hip-hop collective called Subkrew (consisting of Mr. Rath, Paradoxx and Nerve). We're still building, so everything is in an infant stage. I'm still trying to figure out how to setup the new production/dj team.
As Serenity Approaches is your sophomore album that is embedded with hip-hop, turntablism and dope beats. How does it differ from your first project?
My first project was done with a crew called the Sol.illaquists of Sound. Even though I had my MPC for like a year, I still didn't really know how to make beats properly at that time. I was also influenced by classical music at the time, so the first project has a more orchestral feel.
As Serenity Approaches is my natural progression as a producer/DJ. I got more familiar with song structure and tried to develop a sound that was modern, but rooted in jazz and funk. I was starting to move away from straight samples to making beats that were a bit more complex with live instrumentation.
What is your favorite song from As Serenity Approaches?
"Money Won't." TiRon, Outasight and Theo do justice to that beat.
I enjoyed the featured emcees on the project a lot. How difficult was it to reach out to some of the emcees?
Reaching out to MC's is relatively easy because they're so accessible now with the likes of Twitter and Facebook, it's the waiting for verses that takes forever.
I was done with 90% of the album back in 2007, but it took me 4 extra years trying to get the right MC's on the right tracks. It was a process that involved a lot of waiting.
Why should people support As Serenity Approaches?
People should support As Serenity Approaches because it's unadulterated hip-hop. There's no corporate influence and it's an album without gimmicks. I put my own money into the project and tried to make an album I'd want to purchase.
How would you describe your production style to a new fan or listener?
My production style right now is funk and jazz influenced hip-hop. As a DJ, I also love to incorporate scratching whenever I can so there's a lot of DJ tricks involved in my music as well.
What goes through your mind when you are creating a beat? Do you usually have a specific emcee in mind?
My mind is stimulated after hearing the perfect sample. I'm literally glued to my headphones at my day job so when I find it, I always write it down and try to craft the beat at home.
I normally don't have a specific MC in mind until after I make the beat, but I listen to so much rap that I can usually "hear" a specific MC over a certain beat I made.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
Blu, Elzhi, Deacon the Villain, Opio, and hopefully one day...MF DOOM or Ghostface Killah.
What are you currently working on aside from the promotion of As Serenity Approaches?
I'm currently working on a throwback soul EP called the Farralones (a collab between me and my good friend Tim Kim). Although, I'm not sure it's going to see the light of day though since Tim's taking a hiatus with music to pursue an entrepreneurial career.
The other project I'm working on is the next Nehemiah Band album, it's a Christian alt-rock project with hip-hop/funk influences.
I've also begun making beats for the third album, but we'll see where that goes.
How can people get in contact with you?
You can find me on Twitter or Facebook.
I've got ramblings on Tumblr as well.
I'm always online, so I'm always welcome to meeting and talking to new folks.
Any final thoughts?
Big ups to Praverb!
Also, please support As Serenity Approaches on Bandcamp or iTunes!
Check out this cut below from the album called "True Greatness" performed by Tunji