A Rocking One Man Band: David E. Beats (Q&A)
“Facebook seems as if it’ll be around forever. Twitter seems like it’s a lot like MySpace in my opinion, very popular, but very spammy and buggy. I predict that Twitter will not be as popular five years from now, and everyone will either move onto the next biggest thing or Facebook. Plus, I get more data back from Facebook which helps me target my posts/messages for maximum effect!” – David E. Beats (On Leaving Twitter) / David E. Beats is no stranger to the site musically. His one of a kind style and clever lyrics have made quite the impression. But who exactly is this eccentric individual? Find out via the recent interview he did with The Illixer. He talks about: the genre that he created, being a self-taught musician, his partnership with his wife, and more. Catch it all after the break.
The Illixer: When did you first know that you wanted to pursue a career in music?
David E. Beats: I knew I wanted to pursue a career in music when I listened to Jay Z’s The Blueprint for the first time. I knew I had to pick some sort of career, but the things he rapped about showed me that even someone like me could be an emcee and I really loved music!
TI: Your website states that you are a self-taught: songwriter, producer, drummer, guitarist, pianist, percussionist, and vocalist. Which of these was the hardest for you to learn and do you feel you are at a disadvantage compared to someone who learned professionally? Why or why not?
DEB: Piano is the hardest instrument, mainly because of the fingering of the keys. I feel like I have more skill than someone who was taught because since I am self-taught I can create more amazing songs! I run off imagination, I have no limitations by theory or sheet music or whatever; I just make what sounds good. That’s been my experience with school-taught musicians, they play well, but they have no imagination when it comes to songwriting, they usually write more of what’s already out there!
TI: Your website describes your music as “New Vogue.” Can you elaborate on the meaning behind the phrase?
DEB: “New Vogue” is a new style of music that I have created to fit my style. It would also encompass acts like Kid Cudi, Drake, and the like. It essentially just means new style and symbolizes this new wave of Hip-Hop that I am trying to bring forward.
TI: You are the only constant member of your band. And I read that sometimes you choose not to use a band at all. Why have you chosen this approach?
DEB: It’s a lot easier than dealing with a real band that has never had to work at the level in which I work before. A lot of the guys my age are still in party mode, no one seems serious enough nowadays to pursue anything for an extended period of time. Therefore, I gotta go solo until I can find the right guys!
TI: What are some of the significant differences between operating with a band vs. operating without one and which do you prefer?
DEB: There are some differences, even in the songwriting. I do miss playing live off a band, doing the improv, and really developing my guitar skills every night live. But I prefer in the day to day management of the band to be done by me, mainly since I know how to make things happen.
TI: For those unfamiliar with it, explain what the “RapRocks” concert promotions and touring business are all about.
DEB: RapRocks! is a concert promotions and touring company that I created alongside I AM PR Agency’s Olivia Dikambi, also my wife. We created it because no one was booking me at the time, and I knew there was a demand for what I had. We sold out many venues and brought many people together at these concerts. We stopped mainly because we needed to focus on one successful business at a time, which I believe is a good reason to stop. RapRocks! will be back, although we’re not sure when!
TI: What inspired the Renaissance project?
DEB: Renaissance is my first marketed project. I wanted people to understand me a little more and also see how well a project would do out there in the market. I was as honest as possible lyrically on this project and hopefully people can learn a bit about me if they listen a bit!
TI: Share a little bit about the creative process for Renaissance.
DEB: Whenever I work on something, I make all the beats first, then pick the best ones, then think on the lyrics for quite some time, then compose the entire song in my head, then go about recording. When it comes to arrangement, I try to order the songs in a way that takes the listener on a journey.
TI: What was your intended goal with the Renaissance album and do you feel like you have accomplished said goal?
DEB: I haven’t achieved my goal yet. My goal was to get at least 1,000 downloads, and so far I believe I am at a little over 200 sales and 2-300 downloads! I have some work to do!
TI: You recently transitioned from a client to a partner at I AM PR Agency. How did that come about and what does your new role entail?
DEB: I was always helping out with I AM PR Agency. I helped build it from day one; it’s just now we made it as official as our marriage certificate! My new role essentially is to develop the businesses systems so that we can take on more clients and increase revenue while keeping the same great services our clients have come to expect.
TI: What is the next step for David E. Beats?
DEB: Who knows? I just go where the music takes me!
**My Two Cents: This was a fun interview. I learned some neat things about David. The concept behind RapRocks! was pretty creative. Also, he made a solid case for choosing Facebook over Twitter. And it’s pretty awesome that he works with his significant other. If they haven’t already, readers should definitely check out Renaissance. The provided link goes straight to the tape on Dat Piff. And for those missing David on Twitter, his Facebook Page can be found here. -MinM