Fresh out a Miami studio, working with Pusha T and The Neptunes, BeeWirks takes a breath to answer a few questions I was eager to ask. If I didn't know of Bee's track record already I would think he is just an intelligent and opinionated character on Twitter. He is usually involved in music discussions and debates if you follow his tweeting enough. But for the fortunate who already know about BeeWirks, then you know he is the next young producer to make his mark in history. Now working on Pusha T sophomore solo album "King Push" with the Neptunes, his future looks like its shining brighter than a diamond. READ my exclusive interview with producer and fellow Pisces BeeWirks.
BeeWirks Interview Questions
When did you become BeeWirks?
I actually didn't become Beewirks until 2008. I started producing in 2006 and used to go by Bwirks in college and I decided to add the 2 E’s on a whim senior year.
What was the first album you remember ever listening to?
I don’t remember specifically sitting there and listening to an album but I do remember the first song I ever remember hearing. It was Redemption Song by Bob Marley.
What movie stands out in your mind as having an amazing Original Soundtrack?
The Donnie Darko OST is amazing. It gave life to the movie and also provided depth in places where language fell short and only feeling could be understood.
I'm sure there are a lot of producers and artists out there that believe they don't need to attend school or college. What are your thoughts on college?
My thoughts on school are this. If you really want to be in debt during a time where the world economy is in constant fluctuation then go ahead. Enjoy it for what it’s worth. Go away to college and make great friends that you’ll lean on during times of crises throughout your life. Fuck girls that are just experiencing freedom from under their parents and study hard. If you don’t study hard and have fun it will all be for naught. The secret to a fulfilling college education is to garner relationships that will help you after you’re done in school AND for you to party and have tons of fun because life gets real like 6 months after you’ve graduated. Sallie Mae the whore will be trying to fuck your pockets every month. Oh and now a B.A. really doesn’t mean shit so you’re going to have to go to Grad school or Med school or attain some kind of certificate on top of what you’ve already done. If you’re not prepared to be all of the above, skip the headache and get a job out of high school, pursue your dreams while you have no baggage. You’ll likely be in less debt too.
Who was it that gave you your first "Big Break"?
Well my first big break definitely came from my brothers JNewz and Kelvin Brown who works for Gee Roberson. Jay listened to my music and loved it initially and he brought it to Kels. They eventually got me a few Cam’ron placements and a Jeezy one.
I see you on twitter a lot very involved and with a strong personal opinion as opposed to most people who just read and watch. What do you find so intriguing about social media?
Social media is what got my music in the hands of Jay and Kels so, me just being me is what got me in this position. Naturally I’m very opinionated and I know how to back up my arguments so it’s fun talking to people who have different points of views. I’m very keen on accepting the fact that I don’t have all the answers (no Sway). Twitter corrals a bunch of people from all walks of life onto one platform so for me it’s a great learning experience. I also love to laugh and tell jokes. A lot of people seem to like that I tell jokes too so it’s fun lol. Oh and the key to “networking” on Twitter is to be yourself. I don’t think I’ve ever successfully networked on Twitter before. It seems very rigid and contrived to tweet someone to try to work with them so I just do my thing until people naturally are drawn to me. I just really pride myself on not being a corny ass person.
Have you found any part of the music industry difficult so far?
There are two things that really annoy me.
1. The rapper thinking a beat is theirs because they like it. It doesn’t work like that. Unless we’ve secured shit financially that beat belongs to me. This usually happens because of the lack of communication between rappers and producers. If you’ve cut a record that you really want for your album, why not just let me know so I can stop shopping the damn beat? Then they get mad when they hear someone else has recorded to it.
2. The Labels take forever to pay you. That’s also due to publishing splits and having everyone on the same page. It’s an ordeal at times but eventually things work out when they’re supposed to.
Does it take a big placement to get people to take you serious as a producer?
To take you serious? Your music is going to be the judge of whether you should be taken seriously or not. A lot of producers that have big records are still not taken seriously. I’ve encountered a few producers that I look up to and respect. I’ve played them records and they’ve really shown me a lot of respect just off the strength of the music. I mean there are some producers who get threatened and think I have a plan to take their spot but for the most part real producers respect real music.
You produced the record No Regrets off of Pusha T's debut album My Name Is My Name. Can you explain how you linked with Pusha and GOOD Music for that?
Pusha T and myself have the same manager; Steven Victor. Steve booked a session for me in New York to work on some Pusha records and I ended up working on this with Hudson Mohawke.
You’re in the studio with the Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) to assist in Pusha T's follow up album. What do you think of them as a productions duo and individually?
I think the Neptunes are the second best producers of all time. Timbaland is my favorite producer and I think that he’s the best producer as well. Back to Chad and P, they had a very distinct sound throughout the 2000’s. Looking from the outside in I think it was by design. That recognizable clav sound and their signature dirty drums are unmistakable. I also think they’re incredibly talented musically. An example of their ingenuity is Omarion’s Touch, which I think is their best production. Those chord progressions shouldn’t even be in pop music but they really made it work and they made it danceable.
It’s just something about Pharrell that gives you the motivation to want to explore. When I look at his work, his brand, even down to the moon man characters on his clothing I think exploration. Now that can mean a lot of things to people but for me they really just made me want to create music with feeling while still trying to devise new ways of approaching the creative process.When I think of Chad I think about expert musicianship and the controlled chaos of creative exploration. Some of his chords don’t even make sense to me but they work. It’s that way of thinking that really opens me up to try not to stick to predictable chords or just predictable resolutions in music. I want to surprise people when I play my music. I think that’s what he does so well. His melodies surprise people.
How are you supposed to act when in the studio around legends?
Be yourself. If you’re a naturally corny person then you’re shit out of luck lol. Honestly just don’t try too hard to impress them. Also if you’re called to work with them, do not expect magic or some kind of amazing stars aligned event because true artistry between talented people comes AFTER they’ve found common ground in other topics.
Name some things you have on your "Bucket list"?
The only one that matters to me is making sure my daughter grows up to be everything that she wants to be. I want her to be curious about the world, ask questions, stay away from hard drugs, and for her to marry someone who I deem acceptable (which is absolutely no one).
What is 1 album that you will always have on your iPod?
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It’s the album that shifted my understanding about feeling and emotion within music and it’s been the album that has sparked more creative ideas within me than anything else.
2013 was a pretty major year for music and the way an artist markets their projects. So much so that the term #NEWRULES was created. In your opinion what New Rules will we see in 2014?
We should see a new rule of Producer Unions. The producer really gets shit on nowadays and with the way these labels work, I’m sure it’s very slow for guys to see their money. There needs to be a union in which we can have a set minimum for the amount you receive for your advance and we can finally get some of these guys healthcare benefits. Unions are not popular and are lambasted by private corporations and the media but I feel like it would serve a great purpose for younger producers and give them some kind of stability so they may grow creatively while not worrying about selling out to feed their families. I mean I can see it going the way of labels forcing rappers to use non-unionized producers but if a good amount of the great producers join, younger guys will want to follow suit, thus creating some kind of balance between the labels and producers.
Besides producing music, what other goals do you have in life?
1. I want to keep studying string theory. I’m fascinated by Physics and I read journals regularly.
2. I want to create a company that helps people’s lives. I haven’t figured out what but I think of it on a steady basis.
3. I want to strengthen Ghana’s position on the world scale. I’d love to bring state of the art technology there and create jobs for people. I also want to strengthen the entertainment industry there. I’d love to play a part in ushering past 3rd world status into a first world industrialized nation. A lot of corruption really plagues African nations and that is probably the main issue that keeps these countries from burgeoning. Maybe implementing some form socialism for a while with leaders who aren’t into lining their own pockets can help. Then slowly move into a capitalist society whose national wealth isn’t tied to fiat currency. That’s really a whole other conversation but these are the talks that need to be had. People are really out here dying of thirst and hunger. Not saying give handouts but why shouldn’t everyone be put in a position to where they can make something of themselves. Whatever that person does with his opportunity is on them.
Thank you for your time bro. - @ihate_chris