Q: How do I know that I'm getting my money's worth?
A: All services are subject to a 120% guarantee on "satisfaction guaranteed." If you feel, at any point, unhappy with the quality of service provided, we'll not only refund you but donate an extra 20% back to you as an apology for wasting your time.
Q: How do I know that you can work with my style?
A: We specialize in an eclectic, flexible approach to producing and storytelling. We represents a love of creative exploration and blending of different creative hats. This makes us more useful in your creative process at each step of the record-making or storytelling journey.
For evidence of this, check out Lead Engineer Alexander Padei's collaborative project F*** It, We'll Do It Ourselves or our Portfolio and Testimonials page, which includes reflections from creatives and publications on our creative capacities.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The project mentioned above. I take great pride in this project because I believe it paves the way for a new model of creativity in the future. This model envisions a seamless integration of music, video, and marketing into one cohesive field, essentially redefining the concept of story production. In this venture, I wear multiple hats, serving as the showrunner, creative director, lead music producer, artist, director, and editor.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: I'm the Creative Director of a self-funded reality show, "The Cold Call," blending storytelling like Anthony Bourdain with music and art. My team and I dive into diverse artistic landscapes, partnering with artists to co-create music and art, capturing the journey on camera. Our next episode focuses on Alex, a Bikini Company owner. We're crafting music for her fashion shows during Art Basel and Miami Swim Week. All content is produced in-house by my team and me. The episode's highlight is a song I created, "Found Somebody," in collaboration with the gifted Vazen. Our music aligns with the brand's essence, fusing seamlessly into the story. Essentially, I'm an entrepreneurial creative, deeply rooted in music. LONG ANSWER: I am currently serving as the Creative Director for a self-funded reality show titled "The Cold Call," which can be described as a fusion of Anthony Bourdain's storytelling with the worlds of music and art. In this endeavor, my team of music producers and artists, alongside myself, immerses into various corners of the artistic realm. Together, we collaborate with fellow artists on music and various forms of artistic expression, all while documenting the process on camera. Through our work, we aim to narrate the stories of these artists and the creative works that emerge from our collaborations. Our upcoming episode spotlights Alex, the owner of a Bikini Company, as she takes center stage in five fashion shows during Art Basel and Miami Swim Week. We engage in musical collaborations with her, crafting music and performances tailored to the fashion shows. It's worth noting that all the footage and music featured in the documentary and campaign is created in-house by my team and me. The central theme of this episode revolves around a song titled "Found Somebody," which I personally produced, wrote, performed, mixed, and mastered. This song is the result of a direct collaboration with the exceptionally talented producer and artist, Vazen. Throughout the episode, viewers will also encounter multiple other songs that were jointly produced by Vazen and me, often in partnership with the Bikini Beach team. These musical elements are carefully crafted to reflect the values, lifestyle, and energy of the brand, ensuring a seamless integration into one coherent narrative. This project exemplifies my capacity to seamlessly integrate multiple creative fields. Think of me as a well-rounded entrepreneurial creative with a profound focus on music.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both analog for its richness and the creative limitations that force you to think in a different way digital for its total flexibility. Speed
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: You receive a 120% guarantee, and no, it's not a typo. We are committed to not only delivering the highest quality product precisely as per your specifications but also doing so with a genuine spirit of love and a dedication to excellence. Our promise to you, our valued client, is to engage in the most exciting and satisfying creative process imaginable, marked by clear communication, thoughtfulness, and the utmost care.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I cherish the human connection in what I do. There's nothing more significant than the process of building something from scratch, bringing our ideas to life. Through this creative journey, we not only craft something new but also get to know one another deeply. This collaborative effort, the act of creating, forges a unique bond and creates moments that can never be duplicated. It's an exceptionally special experience.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: LONG ANSWER: One of the most prevalent misconceptions about my work is the belief that good equipment translates to good music. While high-quality equipment can certainly contribute to achieving a particular sound or level of quality, the heart of a great track resides in creativity, a profound understanding of musical elements, and exceptional production techniques. Expensive gear alone doesn't automatically transform someone into a great producer, much like having top-of-the-line ovens doesn't make someone a master chef. What truly matters are skills, knowledge, and creativity. Moreover, when I'm creating exceptional music as a creative professional, the most critical aspect is setting aside one's ego. The focus should not be on oneself but on aiding, guiding, and empowering the client—the individual in front of you. Without these elements—skill, knowledge, creativity, and a client-centric approach—achieving the creation of exceptional music becomes exceedingly challenging.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: I've developed a detailed "Artistic Aim Interview" method when engaging with potential clients to deeply understand their unique creative desires. This process includes: Musical Preferences: I discuss what you love and don't prefer in music, shaping how I prepare for our work together. Your Collaborative Style: By learning about your past collaborative triumphs and hurdles, I aim to grasp how you best collaborate with others. Visual and Story Aspects: I'm keen to know the narrative you're aiming for, encompassing any character, cultural, or mythological references. Your Leadership and Marketing Views: This part unveils your personal journey, challenges you've faced, your aspirations, and your core values and personality. My overarching ambition is not just to produce music but to ensure our partnership deeply aligns with your unique character and aspirations. LONG ANSWER: Our team has established a comprehensive interview process, which we refer to as the "Artistic Aim Interview." This interview delves into various aspects of your style and creative needs to ensure a fruitful collaboration. To begin, we explore your musical preferences and styles. We seek to understand what truly excites you as an individual or brand, as well as what elements are less captivating or entirely off-limits from your creative perspective. This initial phase allows us to prepare materials and sample libraries that align with your preferences, which we will present as we embark on the journey of crafting music from scratch. We also delve into your collaborative process. How do you prefer to work with fellow creatives? We're interested in learning about your past experiences, both successes and failures, in collaborative endeavors. Understanding your creative flow, what makes you most comfortable, and how you achieve your best results as a creative leader is crucial to our process. In addition, we explore the visual aspects of your project, whether you're an artist or a brand. What story are you aiming to convey? Are there specific characters, stories, myths, or cultural influences integrated into your representation? We're curious about the TV or film characters you identify with, as this can provide valuable insights. Finally, we delve into questions inspired by executive leadership development and marketing, including CMO work. These questions unearth your story and values as an artist or brand. We inquire about your origin story, how you define success and failure as a brand, the challenges you've faced, and your aspirations for this creative partnership. We also ask you to describe your values and personality. All these elements collectively lay the foundation for the deepest possible creative connection. We don't just aim to understand the type of music you want to create; we strive to comprehend your unique personality, values, and goals within this creative collaboration. This holistic approach ensures that our collaboration is not only musically aligned but also harmonizes with your individuality and aspirations.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: Asks prospective clients about their musical styles, vision, values, and goals to understand them fully for the collaboration. LONG ANSWER: In the world I operate in, talent is abundant; what truly sets individuals apart are values, professionalism, and process. Whether you're an artist or a brand, the key to success lies in solving a problem. The provider's talent is important, but it's not the sole deciding factor. What matters are the following critical questions: Firstly, how effectively can they connect with your creative vision? Precise and accurate alignment with your vision is essential. This involves thorough research on your part as the client, ensuring a creative outcome that not only fulfills your vision but also introduces a unique perspective. Secondly, do they understand your genre? If not, do they have a strategy to become sufficiently familiar with it to deliver the results you need? Experience and creative results also play a pivotal role. It's easy for someone to claim they've worked with notable figures or achieved certain projects, but the depth of their involvement matters. Did they merely contribute a part or did they oversee the entire production process, from songwriting to mastering? Comprehensive music production involves various phases such as early-stage brainstorming, beatmaking, instrumental production, recording, arranging, vocal production, mixing, and mastering. Each of these phases presents distinct challenges and characteristics. Some professionals specialize in particular phases, dedicating their careers to honing those skills. Arrangement, for instance, differs significantly between crafting a pop song and creating a custom arrangement for a video ad. The creative development process varies considerably. Hence, it's advisable to delve into their specific experience and request case studies. Ask them to guide you through their typical client process step by step. When hiring an artist, producer, or musical professional, remember that they serve as consultants. They possess a unique set of skills aimed at solving your creative challenges. While their creativity and expressiveness are valuable, they should operate within the framework of your creative vision. An artist-centric approach is essential; otherwise, you may not achieve the desired results.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: If stranded, would take a laptop, audio interface/mic, headphones/monitors to create and record music. LONG ANSWER: When I embark on my creative journey, I always come prepared. I bring along my trusty laptop, which serves as my clean and versatile creative canvas, allowing me to bring my ideas to life. To ensure I can fully express myself, I pack an audio interface and microphone. These essential tools enable me to sing, record, and capture my thoughts in writing, ensuring no creative spark goes to waste. Additionally, I carry a pair of headphones and studio monitors. These are invaluable for recording myself with precision and for immersing myself in the music I'm creating, ensuring that every note and nuance is just right.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: Harvard University Grad. My career began with 13 years of classical training and experience as an a cappella singer, DJ, marketer, director and now producer working across genres like R&B, funk, and house. LONG ANSWER: My career journey began over two decades ago when I first picked up a cello. Those initial steps led to 13 years of rigorous classical training, encompassing music theory, solo and orchestral performance, and music composition. However, I later rebelled against the classical music establishment and shifted my focus towards becoming a rock musician. I nurtured my passion for singing, guitar, and piano through self-teaching, eventually evolving into an acapella singer during my college years. This experience took me on a whirlwind tour across 15 different countries, spanning Asia, Europe, and Australia. During that tour, an unexpected invitation to perform at a nightclub in Shanghai ignited my enthusiasm, propelling me into a decade-long career as a DJ. Simultaneously, I initiated a nightlife brand, which marked the beginning of my marketing journey. As a DJ, I reinvested my earnings into my first music studio, dedicating five years to perfecting my craft while concurrently expanding my resume as a marketer. I took on the role of Marketing Director for TEDx Harvard College and forged brand partnerships with notable entities like Tinder, Paradigm Agency, and the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770 at Harvard University. Eventually, I harnessed all my talents to create an ambitious project—an 18-artist music and video mixtape showcasing the finest talents in England across genres like R&B, hip-hop, pop, Island, and Afro. This endeavor produced not only 25 songs but also a unique mixtape music video, combining the creative forces of all the artists involved. Notably, this project inspired my foray into design, as I commissioned a throne made from shoe boxes symbolizing the emerging hip-hop royalty in the city. The project was aptly named "F*** It, We'll Do It Ourselves." Around the same period, I ventured into a novel approach to music release through my grassroots reality series, "The Cold Call." Each episode of the show involved creating a song or collaborative piece, documenting the creative process, and sharing the stories of all the creatives involved. This venture broadened my storytelling skills on a visual level. Over the past five years, I've been busy building both a video production company and a music production company. The synergy of my skills in video, music, and marketing has positioned me at a unique crossroads that few can match. This versatility has empowered me to conceive, construct, and execute high-level, multi-format creative projects that foster community and construct entire worlds on behalf of diverse brands across various industries. In conclusion, my journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of creativity and innovation, with a focus on creating disruptive and impactful projects that transcend traditional boundaries.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: Musical style is eclectic, danceable, and internationally influenced while also being highly musical. LONG ANSWER: In terms of my musical style as a producer, it's quite eclectic and draws from various international influences. However, it's also heavily shaped by my experiences on the dance floor, making it inherently danceable, although it does have its moments of divergence. I view my music as a love letter to the dance floor, capturing its essence, but it's also a tribute to multiculturalism, embodying a rich musical diversity. At times, my music can even take on a more lush and orchestral quality. As an artist, I explore a blend of genres, encompassing Motown, R&B, funk, and house. My singing voice can be reminiscent of the likes of Michael Jackson, Jason Derulo, or Miguel. I embrace a collaborative approach, akin to the styles of Rick Rubin and the creative intent of Kanye West. This collaborative spirit extends to various fields and formats, echoing the innovative engagement exemplified by Steve Jobs. In a nutshell, my professional creative style is centered around the artist, striving to create music with universal resonance.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: Would like to work with Rick Rubin to learn his craft of artist development beyond just music making. LONG ANSWER: I have a strong desire to collaborate with someone like Rick Rubin. Rick Rubin has been contemplating the essence of creativity, particularly in the realm of music, on a profound philosophical level for many years. He possesses a remarkable ability to draw out the very best in artists, fostering their artistic growth. My aspiration is to witness him in action, to see firsthand how he practices his craft. What fascinates me about Rick Rubin is that his influence extends beyond mere music production; he's about helping artists become the best versions of themselves.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: Music production tip is to create systems like templates to finish songs quickly like masters who can casually create hit-worthy tracks. LONG ANSWER: Here's a valuable tip from my college experience: I initiated an interview series connecting renowned music producers and songwriters with Harvard University students for panel discussions on their craft. During one of these sessions, I had the opportunity to interview Laidback Luke, a pioneer in Dutch DJ production who played a pivotal role in bringing house EDM to global prominence. During the interview, Laidback Luke conducted a fascinating experiment. He asked the room how many students could finish a song in four weeks, two weeks, and one week. Surprisingly, no one raised their hand for the shorter timeframes. Then, he posed a different question: "How about eight weeks?" This time, a lot more hands went up. He paused and then dropped a bombshell - it took him an average of five hours to complete a song. The lesson I took away from that moment was profound. True mastery in music production isn't solely about creating one hit; it's about consistently producing three to five tracks of hit-worthy quality within a week. That should be your goal. Since that enlightening encounter, I've come to understand that becoming a proficient music producer involves more than just creating hit songs; it's about establishing systems. These systems can take the form of plugin chains or templates, which enable you to achieve more with less effort. While there may be days when you prefer not to use templates and seek creative freedom, the fundamental principle remains unchanged: a true master of the craft can effortlessly create hits. Even when you reach that level, there's always room for growth.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: Usually works on EDM, dance, hip hop, R&B, and world/island/Afro music with focuses on pop / commercial arrangement and film / tv / video advertising arrangement
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY: Strongest skill is the "zero to one" phase of creating a demo rapidly to inspire the next project phase. LONG ANSWER: My most potent skill lies in the initial phase of a creative project, where I excel in swiftly crafting a demo that brings someone's vision to life, igniting inspiration for the subsequent project stages. Regarding the type of music I typically work on, my production career has evolved through distinct phases, each day honing in on a different general focus. Presently, I find myself at a juncture encompassing EDM, dance, hip hop, R&B, and world music, particularly Island and Afro sounds. Now, to answer the question about my strongest skill in another way, I excel in providing creative context and, perhaps even more precisely, in offering creative professionalism. This is because I operate at a unique intersection, where I can seamlessly blend various music genres with expertise in marketing, leadership, video production, and more. I possess a distinct ability to connect with a client's creative vision and actualize it, regardless of whether we're starting from square one or fine-tuning the near-final stages of a project.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY I bring decades of musical training and experience, including 13 years of classical training and experience as a DJ, songwriter, and producer. This music experience is rounded off by a decade of experience in marketing, business dev and video production. LONG ANSWER: I come with two decades of musical training and experience, which started with a strong foundation of 13 years in classical training. This foundation was followed by self-taught proficiency in guitar, piano, and singing, culminating in a professional acapella singing career. I also boast over a decade of experience as a DJ, complemented by another decade dedicated to songwriting and production. What this extensive background means is that I possess nearly a decade of expertise in what I like to call "Story Production." This innovative approach bridges the realms of music, video, and marketing. I view every song as a narrative unfolding over time, and my goal is to infuse each moment in a song's arrangement with excitement and captivation for the listener. My unique strength lies in collaboration, not only within the music industry, where I've repeatedly proven my ability to work effectively with artists of diverse genres, but also across various industries. I've collaborated with over 100 artists, entrepreneurs, and brands, all with the aim of bringing their visions to life. With all this wealth of experience, I bring not only knowledge and creative prowess but also a commitment to amplify your artistic vision according to your terms. At a high level, I possess an extensive network of trusted creative collaborators, making me the ultimate problem solver in the sonic realm, offering both depth and breadth in equal measure.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: TL;DR / SUMMARY 1. Defining creative needs and agreeing on a statement of work/contract 2. Instrumental/beat creation 3. Songwriting if applicable 4. Recording vocals and instrumentation 5. Arrangement and sound design 6. Reviewing ownership intentions 7. Mixing and mastering 8. Final delivery LONG ANSWER Step one is identifying the creative needs and pre-production. When we work with a client, particularly new ones, we first define creative needs. This involves creating a Statement of Work which details the financial aspects, creative expectations, scheduling, and everything the client should be aware of to ensure comfort in moving forward. Once this statement is mutually agreed upon, a contract is drafted and signed to kick off the project. Depending on the client's budget and our belief in the project, we might offer a full buyout rate or work-for-hire option, or negotiate a balance between initial payment and future royalties, termed a partial buyout. With the first payment processed, we begin the project. The next phase involves creating the instrumental foundation, ensuring the client's satisfaction with the musical direction. If the project requires songwriting, this is where we develop lyrics, flow, and melodies. This could be done after or simultaneously with the beat creation. Recording and tracking vocals and live instrumentation follow. Once the client is satisfied with the beat, lyrics, and recording, we move to arrangement and sound design. This step is pivotal, ensuring the track captivates the listener from start to finish, whether it's a pop song, film score, or advertisement. After this, we review the initially agreed ownership splits, considering the work that's been done. We then decide on the approach for mixing and mastering. This can be handled on a flat fee basis, a percentage split, or a combination. Once mixing and mastering are completed to the client's satisfaction, we finalize the delivery, ensuring the song's metadata is correctly integrated and files are provided in the right formats. A note on our financial approach: Our goal is to ensure 100% client satisfaction at each stage. Every project phase is an opportunity for the client to review and confirm satisfaction. Once a phase is completed, it's considered non-refundable. This phased approach protects both parties' time and assures the client's creative satisfaction throughout.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: A note about our studios:
These spaces are digitally connected over the cloud. This allows us to work dynamically across each studio – and even remotely from a laptop, to maximize accessibility and flexibility as we work on your creative project.
Flow State Studios (Miami):
A gorgeous creative temple. This studio is a high end creative space, designed to get all creatives into the deepest flow. Designed to resemble an LED lit Greek temple, this is where we make our sonic dreams a reality. With a monster Mac Pro 64 Gb of RAM, massive Genelec Speakers and access to world class instruments across numerous cultures, not to mention a motherload of creative plugins, Flow State provides all the power, flexibility and simplicity for the perfect production session. We can make anything at a high level. Add on a professionally isolated recording booth with monitoring and a 16 channel interface and a fully stocked video editing setup, this system is ready to bridge the gap for virtually any music or video project. 8 Person cap Mac Pro 64 GB RAM Genelec 1238 A Studio Monitors + Yamaha HS8 UAD Satellite Quad core / 16 channel Apollo thunderbolt interface Neumann TLM 104 microphone Avalon 747 tube Pre-amp Novation 61 SL Mk3 Midi Keyboard Fender Strat. 2 Taylor Acoustic guitars Sound Healing Instruments (Rain sticks, sound bowls, etc.) Ableton Live 11 + Logic Pro X + ProTools Plug ins: Universal Audio, Plugin Alliance, Soundtoys, Slate digital, Fab Filter, Waves, Native instruments, Izotope Ozone VIDEO: Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Storyblocks, Iconik Dropbox Integration
Instrumental Recording: ☆☆☆☆☆
Vocal Recording: ☆☆☆☆☆
Video Editing: ☆☆☆☆☆
Live Performance Practice: ☆☆☆☆☆
Our workhorse studio is the little-engine-that-could younger brother of Flow State. Converted from a former living-room and garnished with a collection of authentic Eastern-Asian art and furnishings, Studio C is designed around creative comfort with a healthy dose of “get the job done. Where Flow State transports you with LEDs and a pure, ultramodern aesthetic, Studio C sinks in with a more natural, organic aesthetic. While Studio C is less glamorous than its big brother, it offers the same creative flexibility. Plenty of creative, mixing and mastering plugins allow for songs to start and finish in the same room, often on the same day. And with separate music and video production set-ups working simultaneously, the boundary between music and video work is broken. Professional grade mics, Avantone Mixcube and Yamaha HS8 monitors, multiple sets of mixing headphones allow us to easily achieve a professional level of mixing and mastering. 5 person cap Ableton + Logic Pro x Slate VMS1 Microphone. RodeNT1A microphone Apollo Twin duo interface M-Audio BX8 monitors Avantone Mixcube Plug ins: Universal Audio, Plugin Alliance, Soundtoys, Slate digital, Waves, Native instruments, Izotope Ozone Fender Telecaster. Breedlove studio acoustic guitar. M-audio axiom 49 midi controller Macbook Pro DDJ SX3 DJ Controller Electrovoice 15p Active PAs Video: Custom Music / Video Production PC Tower 2 PC Monitors (28” each) Premiere Pro + Photoshop Dropbox Integration
Instrumental Recording: ☆☆☆☆
Vocal Recording: ☆☆☆☆
Video Editing: ☆☆☆☆☆
Affiliated Studios & Services
ur two studios – and our core team – accounts for 90% of our clients' needs. But depending on the project, specialists are required. In these cases we bring in trusted affiliate collaborators who bring the final gap. These services might include: Master Level (Highest End) Mixing / Mastering Services Genre Specific Instrumentalists (I.E. Reggae guitar specialist, Throat singer, Live Saxophonist, etc) Genre Specific Vocalists Genre Specific Songwriters More information available upon request