J57 of the Brown Bag Allstars is one of the best of the new crop of producers out there and has been grinding away on the scene for a number of years now. He’s worked with many talented people and his resume continues to grow. He’s currently on a tour of the West Coast of America with fellow BBAS member Koncept. If you get a chance to see them rock live then you’ll be in for a treat. I’m lucky to count J as a great friend so he agreed to do this little article with me before hitting the road. Enjoy.
Q) Which equipment do you use in your beat making/production process?
A) Propellerhead Reason, Akai MPD32, 49 key Radium Controller Keyboard, a Numark turntable for sampling and live musicians.
Q) What made you choose them?
A) In my 11 years of being a producer, I was lucky enough to have friends along the way, hook me up with the controller keyboard, turntable and MPD for free. Shouts to EQ, BRTHMRK and Jeremy Davey!
Q) How long did it take to master each one or do they all have a continual learning curve?
A) t took a lot of time to really master each piece of equipment / really use it to its full potential. They’re now weapons for me.
Q) Analogue Vs. Digital, which do you prefer and why?
A) I’ve used both and love both. I prefer using digital ONLY because my workflow is lightning quick. I’ve made a billion beats on an MPC with other people, etc, but nothing is as fast/as creative (for ME) than me using Reason – I’ve used it for 11 years, I can make beats in my sleep now.
Q) What makes the equipment special to you and your process?
A) I think its special because a lot of people have jumped ship from Reason and now use the Maschine, Logic, etc. I really love this program and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Your own productions/beats Top 5 (Track name & Artist)
1- “Take A Day” Koncept & J57
2- “TheComplainer” Sene & J57
3- “Soul Like Khan” Soul Khan
4- “I Fucks With That (J57 Remix)” Brown Bag AllStars
5- “Swank Rock” Joey Bada$$
Your favourite beats produced by other Producers/Beatmakers (Artist & Track name)
1- Notorious B.I.G “Kick in the Door” (Prod. by DJ Premier)
2- Gang Starr “You Know My Steez” (Prod. by DJ Premier)
3- Nas “Halftime” (Prod. by Large Professor)
4- Jaylib “The Red” (Prod. by J Dilla)
5- De La Soul “Rock Co.Kane Flow” (Prod. by Jake One)
Your top 5 records from record store digging
1- David Axelrod “Songs of Experience”
2- The New Stan Getz Quartet feat. Astrud Gilberto “Live Album”
3- Mantovani and his Orchestra “Kismet”
4- O’Jays “Message in the Music”
5- Ramsey Lewis Trio “Stretchin’ Out”
Twitter – @J57
Instergram – J57BBAS