Where are guys from and how long have you been producing?
Warren: Tiery and I are from Paris, France. I live in San Diego now.
Ty: Born in Chicago.. I've lived all over the place.. Currently living in San Diego. We've all been producing for over 10 years now.
How did you all come together as a team?
Warren: Well, I moved to California about 5 years ago and I met Ty through a friend like the 3rd month I was here. Ever since then we've been good friends and business partners.
Ty: We met Tiery through a friend of Warren's from Paris.
What "role" does each member have in the music creation process for Dawty Music Group?
Warren: We all play multiple instruments.. and we've learned how to engineer and mix over the years.. we like to collaborate to create and come up with new concepts.
Ty: We always make sure we all get our input in on the projects we're working on. We've proven ourselves musically to one another and have a high regard for one another's input. We generally pass different tasks around the group depending on who's doing what with each project... So you'd never really know who did the mix and/or master.
Can you talk about how being in a team helps, not only the creative process, but also your productivity with regard to handling business?
Warren: Ty and I handle the business aspects of Dawty Music. Being a Team helps a lot because we compliment each other. There are certain things Tiery or I might not be able to do as well as Ty... and certain things Ty doesn't do as well or doesn't have the time to do... More often he doesn't have the time because that mothaf#cka can do just just about everything!!!!! But u know at the end of the day we compliment each other and really support each other throughout our processes.. It helps us grow the company in a healthy way and makes for a lot less stress and a lot more fun!
Ty: Another thing that really helps us complete projects and 'assignments' very quickly is the fact that while we are sleeping here in the U.S. Tiery is just getting up, so he can work on or finish projects that we started or start new projects for us to work on while he is sleeping.. then when any of us wake up, we all correspond via Skype and Gchat to determine any tweaks on the tracks or request that one of us play or add something, you know... Plus the 'team' doesn't stop with just Warren, Tiery and myself as producers/founders. We also have other producers on staff and team members such as Antoine Ibrahim who functions out of Los Angeles and is our Director of Communications. He has been instrumental in helping us field opportunities and in making sure we are following up appropriately with contacts. He makes sure nothing slips through the cracks. LaVance Ray is our main A&R in the sense that he's constantly scouting new talent to potentially add to the team. He is also a very talented producer and does a great job with supporting our ever growing web presence. Tom Bodin and Farid Serhani are managers for Dawty Music France. They handle most of the business as well as artist management for the team over in Europe with their assistant Clara. We understand the importance of a strong team and feel we have implemented some wonderfully talented people in instrumental positions within our organization.
How did you first learn about Dynamic Producer?
Ty: I've been a member of Dynamic Producer for YEARS! I just never really utilized the site... We decided that as we got our stuff together with DMG that it might behoove us to get involved with Felisha and DP. I'm not sure I remember exactly how I learned about the site though... I think it was word of mouth...
Why did you guys decide to become members?
Ty: I was actually a member before we officially formed Dawty Music Group, but I wasn't active...
Warren: We got involved because we figured it would help us get more opportunites in our growth process and the branding of DMG..
Dynamic Producer has a lot of members, but not everyone takes advantage of online opportunities or attends events, I understand that you all were members for a long time before you actually got involved, tell us about that?
Ty: Yea, I kept renewing the membership every year... I guess I just didn't realize the power of the opportunities that are available at DP. I would suggest that anyone who is serious about their craft become a member and if you are already a member, make sure you are submitting your best work!! DP has been clutch in getting us to a point that makes me EXTREMEMLY excited about the new year...
Warren: I think if you wanna make it, it's important that you take the appropriate steps in making sure that you are capitalizing on every opportunity within your grasp. DP has been RIGHT in front of us... It took us awhile, but we decided that DP could help us and now we kinda flow with their concept of network and business. DP's network is getting stronger all the time. Like Ty said before, if you are serious about your craft you have no excuse not to become a member or become active if you are already a member.
One of the reason you're being acknowledged, is because you won DP's big My Beats Are The Illest Beat Battle at the NYC and LA Conference this year. AND, on top of that, you won the R&B/Pop Competition. That is quite an accomplishment. How did you guys do it?
Warren: We are very happy to have won both competitions. It was truly unexpected but we definately felt that we were prepared. We pulled out all the stops and did our best in preparing a catalogue just for the NYC DP event. We intended on doing the best we could to take adventage of all the opportunities on sight. It was a real pleasure to have met everyone.
Ty: Yea, the conference was a real blessing. It was a time where all of our hard work was really justified. It's always nice to have confirmation that you're going in the right direction. When your peers and professionals are able to drive this home, it's really an empowering thing. Since the conference, we've been trying to step it up even more. Inspiring.
I noticed in LA, that the mixes on your records really stood out. In your opinion, what are some of your mixing philosophies/equipment/plugins/etc.
Warren: In France, we are very passionate about cuisine. I have to tell you though, the chefs generally do not give out their secret recipes... But what I can tell you is that we work on some applications such as Reason and Propellerheads new product, Record.
Ty: Hahaha! True story... Record, Reason and sometimes we use Logic Pro. We use Pro Tools to cut vocals... Mixing philosophies? A decent set of FLAT monitors with good frequency range, the best sound card you can get your hands on.. and a room treated as much as humanly possible to enable the best sound. These will provide the most accurrate listening environment so you can be sure that you are hearing everything you are supposed to be hearing in the mix. This also allows your mixes to translate better to other systems such as car stereos and club systems.
What impact has winning such coveted competitions had so far?
Warren: Well, it has brought some really nice opportunities our way. We've made a lot of interesting contacts.
Ty: We made some incredible contacts at the conference and I think we've built some lasting relationships. It was a great experience. We were able to take some major meetings during the conference and these provided some learning experiences as well as opened up more doors for opportunities in the future. It was definately a start to putting DMG on the map in a highly regarded area for music business.
What's your approach when making music? What is it ultimately that you want to contribute to the craft?
Warren: We try to go in on what is hot right now... We always pay attention to the top 40 in the US and in Eurpoe so we can provide for what all of the major labels and major artists are looking for. We love music but it is also about business.
Ty: We want to put the 'MUSIC' back in music. Music has been very 'dumbed down' over time as far as I'm concerned. We like to stick to the 'format' to an extent because if you don't then you maybe won't get some of the same looks as when you do. It's still very important for us to maintain originality and creativity with our sound and 'Dawtify' the tracks appropriately. There have been times where the people we were dealing with weren't ready for that!!! Sometimes people want whats already out instead of trying to be original. We can suffice, but it's uncomfortable.
With talent at your level we know it's only a matter of time until everyone knows the Dawty name. Give us your short list of artists you hope to connect with?
Warren: In the near future we would love to work with anyone that is talented and that we can vibe with! Any major artist that will do our tracks justice and have a good fan base so we can sell some records together. It makes sense for us to create records that people will hear.
Ty: Musiq Soulchild (My favorite artist), Usher, Ne-yo, we've always been big fans of the old R&B groups so we'd love to see some new groups like Jodeci, Blackstreet, Boyz II Men, etc. come back into style. We pretty much look at it like we can do tracks for anyone in any particular style so I could go on forever in virtually any genre. How about someone hire us to produce a new record for Steely Dan?? We love music...
In closing, we always tell producers that their best resource can be another producer. So in the name of that DP fam love we have goin on, what 3 tips can you give to up & coming producers as it relates to sound? Everyone talks about those Dawty drums and those Dawty mixes. For someone who feels that their sound may not be hitting just right, what are some simple recommendations?
- Don't be afraid to create your own sounds. Layering drums can actually be fun! Sometimes you come across a new sound and it inspires a whole song.
- Pay attention to the sound and what is out there and working, so u can come close to the industry quality and requirement.
- Make sure you have a well soundproofed room. This is really important, and give space (play with the spectrum) to your music.
- Invest in your craft! Your monitors, sound card and mixing environment matter!!! We're talking about sound replication here. Try to do everything you can to create an environment conducive to accurrate replication.
- STUDY!! Are you serious about what you do? Do you think you know everything you need to know?? I'm hooked on MusicTech Magazine and FutureMusic Magazine... they have great tutorials, techniques and info about new products
- Get a JOB! Having income when you aren't making a ton of money in the business can be a great thing. It will also allow you to save so you can invest in your craft. I can't speak for everyone, but I know that when I'm comfortable and not stressing out, I make my best product.
For more info on Dawty Music Group, check out there profiles at www.dynamicproducer.com/tyjilla and www.myspace.com/warrenkurtiss.