A while back I was given the opportunity to chat with Grammy Award wining producer of Kanye West’s “POWER”, Symbolyc One a.k.a S1. Here’s how it went down.
BTR: For those that do not know, tell us a bit about your back ground?
Symbolyc One: My name is S1. Im a grammy award winning, multi platinum selling producer. I’ve been producing for about 15 years total and about 8 years full time as a career. I started out rapping and grew into production due to u my group wanting to rap over original beats so I studied greats like J Dilla, Pete Rock, and Dr. Dre.
BTR: When/how did you get into production and making beats?
Symbolyc One: My cousin and I had a rap group and got tired of rapping over other artist instrumentals so I started researching and studying production and how beats were made.
BTR: I recall pushing the volume levels on your productions with the Strange Fruit project. How has the transition been from producing underground acts to producing major label acts?
Symbolyc One: For the most part its been a natural progression. SFP was the foundation. I learned how to produce a group and put an album together. So you get to a point to where you keep learning, growing, and maturing in your gift/craft!
BTR: I understand that you are signed to Kanye’s “Very GOOD Beats” What was the “thing” (event or achievement) that made you say “I’ve arrived”?
Symbolyc One: Probably my most recent session in NY and LA with Madonna. Then again I constantly tell myself I haven’t arrived yet. So much more to do!
BTR: I find that beat battles seem to be much more prominent now a days than even DJ or Emcee battles. You’ve competed and won a few yourself. Why do you think beat making seems to have taken center stage in hip-hop and youth culture?
Symbolyc One: I think because of the art and culture of it. And with rap/hip hop becoming so big in the commercial world its only a natural progression for Beat Making/Production to follow right behind it.
BTR: So, a while back we featured Erykah Badu and “The Cannabinoids”, for those that may not know tell us a bit about The Cannabinoids collective and your involvement. (what it is? How it came about? etc.)
Symbolyc One: Its basically a dejay/producer collective that Erykah Badu put together that consist of all dallas deejays and producers. We make beats impromptu on stage.
BTR: So let’s get down to the gear. What is the centerpiece to your studio at the moment?
Symbolyc One: NI Maschine and Pro Tools
BTR: Do you currently endorse any products? Or What products for beat making would you like to endorse if you were given the opportunity?
Symbolyc One: Endorsed by Native Instruments. I like a lot of companies like UAD. They have great stuff!
BTR: I see that Producer created drum / sample kits are trending and becoming the norm now a days. In terms of an era in hip-hop (90’s and prior) where DJs and Producers held their “special sauce” ingredients to themselves, What is your take on beat makers sharing / selling their personal drum stashes?
Symbolyc One: I love it. Its a way of giving back to the producer community. My way of giving back is through my new S1Kits.com. I share all my sounds!
BTR: What are your favorites or “go to” tools (either hardware or software)?
Symbolyc One: I love Battery and Arturia VST’s
BTR: What’s the typical process like for you when making beats/producing/composing?
Symbolyc One: Just trying to capture a moment. However I’m feeling at that particular time Im creating is that moment!
BTR: What is your mobile beat making rig comprised of?
Symbolyc One: Macbook pro, Maschine, Pro Tools
BTR: What advice would you give to the many many aspiring producers/beat makers out there?
Symbolyc One: Perfect your craft before you start to pursue it.
BTR: The biggest lesson learned in the industry so far?
Symbolyc One: Know the business!!
BTR: Future plans for S1?
Symbolyc One: Working on a lot. Kanye, Madonna, Lupe, Logic, Keyshia Cole, new artist Torsha Lynn, just to name a few. Also Lupe and I started a group together called Black Vietnam. So stay tuned!
Keep up with S1 here http://symbolycone.com/