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Beat Studies Podcast
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Beat Studies Podcast

Author: B.J. Alden

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The Beat Studies Podcast is a radio style interview program for hip-hop heads, and music lovers from all walks of life, to experience meaningful and insightful conversations with vocalists, producers and industry professionals who create the music and culture that we love. Join host BJ Alden and his guest scholars of distinction as they explore the stories and feelings beyond the track.
8 Episodes
ATL via Flint, MI producer Dillio tells me that marketing music doesn’t come naturally to him. “Allow yourself to make mistakes and never stop learning,” he reminds us as we discuss the ever-evolving music industry from the perspective of a focused and experienced—yet still up and coming—professional music producer. The benefits of music marketing, online courses, and mentorships that can help you sell beats almost always outweigh the costs. It’s all about finding a teacher and curriculum that speak to you. Because as you learn, you uncover golden nuggets of information or insight (a-ha!) that could be the very thing that help you get to the next level and change your life.Dillio and I also discuss the importance of building a catalogue and how it prepares us for opportunities that will arise as we network and meet more people in the music community, online or otherwise. It helps us be ready to do business at a moment’s notice. One of the mistakes many producers make is not having a catalogue of beats finished and purposed for other artists to browse and buy.Support the show (
DJ SKY has been translating his musical interests and moods through the turntables since '93, proving to be a solid representative of the Atlanta hiphop scene. Throughout these years, he has built a name DJing with live bands as a scratch turntablist, to college radio residencies, to party rockin' clubs, bars, parties and festivals, including Atlanta's own A3C. Over the years, he has become known as our friendly neighborhood DJ, and recently  brought his charm and industry insight into the studio for an informal, fun interview. He also bought along some of his rare and highly personal/conceptual beat productions. He's an educator and true craftsman in the art of live mixing and scratching.Sky is a believer that hard work, patience and passion truly does lead to rewarding progress, and after spending these next 40 minutes with him, you will undoubtedly be inspired too. Support the show (
Sometimes we need to broaden our perspective to learn. That's why we invited this rock trio from Ireland to join Beat Studies on a traditionally hip-hop flavored podcast. They were in the states briefly for a high-profile gig and we talked in the time between their rehearsal and evening performance at Saint Vitus Bar.I picked the brain of lead singer/guitar player Kevin Breen alongside his bandmates from Kid Karate on loads of topics: Dynamics in music, licensing for commercial use, an awesome artist sponsorship by Bushmills, the similarities between rap and punk, and even mosh pits.Kevin proclaims Ireland as the most “woke” country in the world as they enjoy the collapse of the old order and usher in the new. He goes on to describe a thriving music community—despite a lack of industry resources. “Everyone has to dig it out themselves,” he says. Dublin is now being called the capital of punk, and Kevin lists off some other bands that are joining Kid Karate in rounding out this robust scene.“Punk is just freedom to do whatever you want,” says frontman Kevin Breen.Sit in with us on the latest Beat Studies Podcast as we blaze through this diverse range of topics like a redhead running through the streets of Belfast, as well as listen and dissect a few select songs from their growing catalog, dive deep into their post-modern cubist album cover art by Peter Doyle, and get to know the fun loving, free spirited, hard rocking group that is Kid Karate.Support the show (
I caught up ATL producer Illastrate at his studio for some insight into his production process, the business side of indie-music, and to get the story on how he led and cultivated a thriving creative artistic enterprise known as Working Class.Watch the 20 minute beat challenge here... the show (
Yung Matthew came from a house full of music growing up in rural Alabama. He cut his own musical teeth while cutting records on some cheap turntables shortly after high school. Throughout the years, he learned to compose, perform and engineer music at a professional level. Today, he continues to hone is craft in the high-tech world of modern music production using a combination of both cutting-edge and old school techniques, while at the same time breaking the rules of tradition. In this podcast, we explore some of his recent work and discuss his unique process, passion for learning, sources of inspiration, technology, and enjoy a few laughs.This prolific artist has a sound that is an honest reflection of his authentic self. You may feel it, you may not. Either way, it's okay by him because there is one thing you certainly won't get from this self-proclaimed soundscape conjuror: conventionality.Support the show (
Duran Jones and I have known each other for over ten years and have worked on a ton of music together as we were coming up and honing our craft. Today we reflect on this history and catch up on new projects as he returns to the same lab where we spent countless hours years before. His developed wisdom and artisanship are palpable as we sit down to listen to and discuss his latest album BLKMGC, pronounced black magic. BLK Magic is an honest introspection of an artist who struggles with the realities of everyday life including disappointment and the questioning of faith. It is also driven by the descriptions of dreams that drive him to strive for greatness, over and over again. Oh, and did I mention it is a profound and beautifully perceptive short film as well? In this podcast, we discuss how jotting down a concept for a music video turned into a script for movie and eventually evolved into a straight up musical. Now he tours the film festival circuit enjoying accolades and respect among the indie film community he enjoys seeing people to open their minds up to the music in a different way, by putting his music into an entirely fresh context. We discuss what it takes to accomplish something on this scale independently, music as mental therapy, and find ourselves continually coming back to a theme of community that seems to be the spark behind the essence of BLKMGC. the show (
A informal and informative talk with rapper turned producer/rapper Jay Quest shortly after putting the wraps on his forthcoming album "Granddaddy's Shotgun". We talk about his inspiration and process of taking the leap into production after years in the game as a rap vocalist.Support the show (
When a young and inspired Ozy Reigns visited Atlanta from Columbia, South Carolina, he was walking through the mall with his fiend and former rap partner, Tweet. That day they were star struck as they ran into Outkast, Ice Tea, and Tracey Lee. “I’m moving to Atlanta!”, He said to himself and two years later found him self at Clark Atlanta University. It was there at the student center during a open mic event hosted by D.R.E.S. The Beatnik, that he slid his way into the emerging underground scene in the wake of BINKIS RECS and Dungeon Family. He has emerged as a prolific and influential artist who has been honing his craft over the past two decades. Now a resident of Los Angeles, and gradually breaking into the film acting business, Ozy reflects on the people that have inspired him either by collaboration, competition, or straight up admiration. His latest release “Sunborn”, includes some of Atlanta’s finest producers providing the bed for this wise yet funky songwriter to lay out his thought provoking rhymes and melodies. Codafied Muzik was very prevalent on this LP from the production side sits in and joins Ozy and I for a casual yet personal discussion about hip-hop, youth, work ethic, loss, artistry, and so much more.Support the show (
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