Issue #116 – Digital Cover

Published on January 17th, 2019 | by Jerry Doby

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First-time GRAMMY-Nominee Producer JBeatzz on His Journey to Music’s Biggest Night

GRAMMY-nominated producer JBeatzz in-studio (Photo courtesy of JBeatzz)

Great music is the sum of all the parts that make it materialize, from concept, lyrics, and sound. This year, the 61st GRAMMYs will be host to a 1st-time nominee, Producer JBeatzz, an exciting creator with an exciting journey. From his time in Full Sail University’s Audio Engineering Program to his leap of faith after graduation, heading to Atlanta, Georgia and catching an internship at the famed Stankonia studios working with the iconic Big Boi of Outkast to now, with his first GRAMMY nod, it’s been non-stop action. JBeatzz earned his nomination for his work on Travis Scott’s RIAA Certified Platinum album Astroworld which is up for Best Rap Album. JBeatzz shares production credit on the album’s  “Stop Trying to Be God” joint with Travis Scott and Mike Dean.  JBeatz is also RIAA Certified Gold with the Nicki Minaj Queen Album for the record “CoCo Chanel” featuring Foxy Brown.

In describing himself JBeatzz says:

I’m a dope ass human jukebox that’s shaping the culture through my music. I’ve been producing for a long time, you know, producing and engineering for a long time. But I’ve just been waiting for my time in line, you know, and I got my shot and I took it.

His serious musical journey began as mentioned, at Full Sail University where he studied audio engineering as part of his plan to become a full-service creative he tells us:

I’m a Full Sail graduate (2006), I’m a producer who knows how to engineer. I was like, how can I get in the business, I don’t know anyone in the game, what do I do? And then a friend of mine told me about audio engineering school, so I decided to go to Full Sail for audio engineering. So not only am I producing, I know the science behind it as well. So I got my degree, I moved to Atlanta and when I moved to Atlanta, I started out actually as an intern at the Outkast studio, that’s how I got my foot in the door.

JBeatzz recounted that during his time in school, people would make fun of those making beats in class as there was no creative mindset within the program at the time, it should be noted, the school now offers an audio production program and he points out that “I’m the guy that broke that shell.

Big Boi and JBeatzz (Photo courtesy of JBeatzz)

Big Boi and JBeatzz (Photo courtesy of JBeatzz)

Upon landing at Stankonia Recording in Atlanta, JBeatzz’s work ethic earned him a major score with his first placement working with Big Boi of Outkast:

I worked my way up and then I was able to land my first placement on [Big Boi’s] “General Patton” [2010] which came out under Def Jam and they did a remix for Pepsi Max during the NFL playoffs. That was my first big mark in the business.

We wanted to know what began his love affair with music and making epic sounds and JBeatzz gave us a bit of his background:

My grandfather was an opera singer, so when I go to my grandmother’s house, my grandfather used to always sing opera music on Sunday with his Hammond B3 organ. That’s back in the prehistoric. I’m like four or five years old. Just a little kid. I used to hate opera music, couldn’t stand it. I appreciate it now that I’m older. So that’s the first part. Second part. My uncle was a professional drummer, he played drums with a group called the Standells. They’ve got a hit, Dirty Water, which is played for the Boston Red Sox theme song. So it was like the music was always around me. It’s in my veins, I have a tattoo of music notes and veins, meaning the music is in my veins and then in the fourth grade, I started to play the drums for the school band, I did band and sports, I played in the band throughout my whole school career.

Once I graduated know I did a lot of odd jobs, a lot of like regular jobs and just realized I’m not a regular job type of person. So through that, I started making beats. I started making beats when I was 17 years old. I bought my first beat machine, which was a Roland MC 909. Shout out to Roland. It really changed my life because I had my first car when I was 16. I had my first car, I’m living on the East Coast with three tens bumping, Lil John, bumping dirty south music on the east coast, I just loved those basses and sounds. One day it just hit me, you know what, I want to create those basses and sounds, how can I do it?

So I did my research and bought a beat machine and a little keyboard so I was making beats and then I was like, man, I gotta record people to these beats. So I’ve got a laptop. I didn’t have a computer at this time. I was making beats on all hardware. This was before computers were easily accessible, like the cheapest computer at that time might have been a thousand dollars or something. So I a friend of mine let me borrow his computer, and I ended up keeping the computer, you know, shout out to German, thank you for that free computer when I was like 17 years old, it changed my life. I was recording on Sonar so I had to bounce the beat as a two-track. I had to record it into the beat machine and then USB it to the computer and I was recording on two tracks with a cheap Radio Shack microphone plugged into the laptop. I’d built my own home vocal booth.

Ok HERE’S WHERE THE STORY GETS FUN!!!

I thought I was doing big things and then into the midst of all that, that’s when I discovered Full Sail and I was like, okay, so now I’m producing, I’m recording, now I can learn the science behind it. And, that’s really when I made that initial stab. I grew up in New London, Connecticut. So I left, went to Florida got my degree and then two days after graduation, I did not know not one single soul in Atlanta, I was like, you know what, I’m just going to drive to Atlanta. I drove from Orlando to Atlanta, Georgia, I stayed in a hotel on Peachtree Street. This was before GPS, I used MapQuest so I had the directions on a piece of paper drove to Atlanta, the random hotel I found happened to be one block from the apartment I moved into and literally three minutes away from Stankonia Studio. I literally, I was knocking on studio doors. I grabbed the phone, book the yellow pages and called every studio in Atlanta and asked for an entry-level position. And I was knocking on doors to these studios and that’s how I got my foot in the door, I took that extra initiative.

That extra initiative has netted JBeatzz work and placements with some of the hottest talents in the game, among them including  Nicki Minaj “Coco Chanel” featuring Foxy Brown, Travis Scott “Stop Trying to be God”, Future HNDRXX “Selfish” featuring Rihanna and more.

Nicki Minaj and JBeatzz (Photo courtesy of JBeatzz)

Nicki Minaj and JBeatzz (Photo courtesy of JBeatzz)

The Nicki Minaj story is amazing and if you want to know how that came about, you’ll have to listen to the audio interview, it comes about 20 minutes in so Tune In below!

Listen to our full conversation with new super-producer JBeatzz as he takes us from the streets to the suites with his musical journey

JBeatzz has an as yet untitled full-length project dropping this year perhaps after the GRAMMYs which happen February 10th! We, of course, wish him the best with his nomination and will keep up with this cat moving forward in the future. He wants to make a difference, not just in music but through his big heart…the world. He’s already got a great start from one end!!!

JBeatzz in-studio (Photo courtesy JBeatzz)

Twitter: @Jbeatzz

Instagram: @Jbeatzz


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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