Monday, August 4, 2008

Danja talks about the future of production

Rhapsody has been a Danja fan for a long time now with multiple interviews, youtube videos, and features. Recently they sat down with Danja, Tricky Stewart, DJ Toomp, the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, J.R. Rotem, and Grind Music to talk about what the future holds for music production. Check it out:

On Songwriters As Stars:

Danja: It could hurt because it could be a better song that’s from an unknown writer or producer and because that name isn’t attached, [the label] don’t give it a second chance. But if it’s coming from me and Keri Hilson or Sean Garrett, nine times out of ten, they won’t even second guess. A lot of A&Rs really don’t have ears ‘cause they really don’t know. So, what we present to them, they have to go with because we feel so excited about it. There’s a lack of writers so everybody (producers, record label execs, A&Rs) is looking [for songs], and everybody’s getting a chance right now. I’m still looking for that special chemistry with a writer like Dream and Tricky or like me and my engineer, Marcella Araica. The only [songwriters] that I love almost every time they write something is The Clutch; melodically, they get it.

On Shrinking Artist Budgets:

Danja: Definitely the rate has gone down. The budgets aren’t as big as they used to be so you can’t demand that much. You used to be able to demand to get paid half before getting in the studio and the other half when you turn in the mix. Now, sometimes you gotta go in the studio and do that record [first]. If it’s something I want to work on and the label don’t want to pay me before I get in, I’m not going to trip. Then when I give them a record and the whole building is screaming up and down about it, I can bust them in the head for that $100,000.

On Technology and the Collaborative Process

Danja: Technology kills the creative process and it makes it easier. The Clutch will write a whole song on iChat. Someone will be in Atlanta, someone will be in L.A. and someone will be in New York. They have their sound studios and they all sing their parts and then they’ll send it and the song will be crazy. They just have that type of formula and that type of chemistry because they’ve been working together for years.

On The Future

Danja: Take [Mr. Collipark]. He had one sound doing a bunch of snap stuff. But he found Soulja Boy, Hurricane Chris and V.I.C. This dude broke three artists that people know. You gotta fall back into that role sometimes and just give them that shot. Breaking the artists will establish your longevity because then you’re building a career and you get a project that you can constantly invest in. That’s how you really secure yourself to constantly make money because you always going to work on that project and then you make more money on the back-end because you’re the label head and you’re the executive.

Definitely peep the whole article as it sheds some light into the minds of some of the biggest names in the production business. Props to Big A on the find.


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  3. I thought Danja had chemistry with Corte Ellis, as a writer/producer duo... GUESS NOT. But, their work on Katharine McPhee with Kara DioGuardi was superb. They took him (or vice-versa) to a level I've been waiting to hear from him since.

    And, when's Danja gonna get his Mr. Collipark on? What's up with his label?

  4. great article... it shows how much the music industry has changed.... i don't think we're gonna see too many 10x's platinum albums anymore... those days are long gone... not too excited about that but it's a new day n age

  5. Its sure not going to happen anymore they need to find a way to overcome it.

  6. It's sad to see records sell so little these days. I mean take Rihanna for example; it took GGGB 34 weeks (more than half a year)to go platinum, and look at her. Can't look at a magazine/tv/gossip site/etc. without seeing her. But she sold 9 Million singles from the album. Her singles made more money that the album ever did. I think if people were to focus on making a great album rather than a great song, we would have a better climate. All we hear is "Yeah, I'm working with him and him and her and him." Names and fame. Itunes (and etc.) is making it too easy for singles and not albums to find success...But I'm pretty sure I started rambling. Ah well: my two cents.

  7. I wonder how it would affect sales if artists decided to only make actual single releases available as single songs on itunes. I think Linkin Park did that with Meteora, didn't they? I wonder how many people could be tempted to buy the whole album to get that one or few album track(s) they really like.

    But most albums nowadays are "singles" collections. Most songs on there have been out for months and then they wonder why people don't get excited. Cause they heard most of the d*** thing a thousand times already


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