04 April 2012
Behind the Beats: Beatnick Dee (New Beats, New Drive)
First and foremost, who is Beatnick Dee?
I'm a producer, record collector and dealer, sometimes Dj, journalist & interviewer and Rep for Tres Records.
How long have you been making beats?
Since around '05/'06. I've been taking it more seriously since '09.
Where do you reside?
Just recently moved to Los Angeles, California from the Uk. I was born in San Francisco, but lived most of my life in England. I'm very fortunate to have dual nationality with a Uk and US passport which has allowed me to move back to CA.
On your Twitter site it states that you are a record collector and dealer. What first attracted you to vinyl?
First of all it was the exclusivity of certain hip-hop releases or songs only being available on vinyl. So I got turntables mainly for the music and started Djing. Then later got into Beats and a friend schooled me on record digging, samplers etc..
I now buy, sell and trade vinyl a lot. I supply breaks and samples to a lot of other producers.
What is your most prized vinyl album and why?
Hard to say. For Hip-Hop I guess it would have to be Co$$' debut album Before I Awoke because I produced the title track and that's the first production placement I've had that's been pressed on vinyl. For that reason it'll always be memorable and something I'm proud of. For something older though it'd be this Russian record I have, the sound is psychedelic soul fused with folk and prog. 'Beat head' type stuff.
Beatnick Dee's sound is different from other producers because...
I spend more time perfecting the music, making sure the drums knock, eqing, tuning, layering, tweaking treating the beats as full compositions, arranging and sequencing everything the exact way I want it to sound. I'd like to think I'm a versatile producer... Good music is good music but I definitely dig harder when making sampled beats, looking for obscure samples no one's used etc... Quality over quantity.
I also noticed that you have collaborated frequently with Co$$. Describe the relationship that you have with Co$$.
We meet up every so often, eat, hang out, I play new beats, we'll listen to music, etc... We've been working since 2008. He's a really talented artist with a great ear for beats, dope delivery and incredible lyrics. We have great musical chemistry. I have a good idea of the kinds of beats he likes too.
Your Twitter profile also suggests that you are a rep for Tres Records. What are the duties of a Tres Records rep?
I do a lot of the writing which includes artist bio's, press releases and social network site posts. I interview artists, sort out stock, send out records. All kinds of things. We're one of the few remaining independents still pressing vinyl and have an exciting year ahead. Tres has been going for 8 years now.
I heard that you are finishing or finished a new beat tape called 20 for 12 that will be sponsored by Kevin Nottingham. Would you mind explaining the goal for 20 for 12?
20 For 12 is my new Beat Mix. 20 brand new, exclusive, for sale, unreleased and forthcoming beats on various projects. A taste of what's to come. It's basically to showcase the sound I'm trying to promote as well as my variety. Here's the POST.
I also have some older beats for sale on my soundcloud HERE.
What else are you working on?
My debut production album which will feature Joe Scudda, Co$$, Sene, Denitia Odigie, Koncept & J57 of Brown Bag All Stars, Dynas, Blame One, Sav Killz, Hasan Salaam, The Regiment, Late Bloomers, MadKem, Saheed and more.
A couple more beat projects.
I also have beats on a lot of those artists' previous and forthcoming projects. Working on more placements too. I have a track on Vinnie Paz's next solo Lp.
Who are your musical influences?
As far as production goes... Sid Roams, 14KT, Thes One, Exile, Dj Khalil, Alchemist, Nottz, Dilla. I'm also influenced by a lot of older music too, such as prog & psych rock, jazz, folk, soul & funk.
What are your long term career goals?
To live comfortably off my music related work. Beats, records, drum kits... I've done the shitty factory work back in England (wasson magners! haha).
I'd like to be able to produce for dope underground artists as well as some more mainstream people. I'd like to build a steady fan base and just keep my creativity going to make good music.
How can people get in contact with you?
beatnickdee(at)gmail.com for all inquiries including beat sales.
@BEATNICKDEE on Twitter.
Like me on Facebook.
Check out the Bandcamp and SoundCloud.
Any final words?
Big Thanks to Praverb for the interview, cheers bruv!
Peace to everyone reading this!