Take a few minutes and check out our latest interview with Montreal Producer Dirtwork. Our reporter C-rius talked to Dirt about his progression with his sound, producers that inspire him and what it is like to work with his artist Magnum 357.
B.Y.E.G: Tell us what you’re working on?
Dirtwork: I’m currently working on Magnum’s debut album titled “M.A.G.N.U.M.” (Made to Achieve Greatness Never Underestimate Me), and working on the Bad News Brown Tribute album with his manager Henry. I’m also staying busy working with most of Montreal’s top artists such as Mugz, I.Blast and Milli Millz, plus I got a few projects lined up that i’m focusing on but don’t wanna reveal until everything is signed and sealed. It looks like it’s gonna be a busy year.
B.Y.E.G: How has your sound progressed over the years?
Dirtwork: My sound is constantly progressing, I play everything by ear since I never had any musical training. I started out straight sampling then moved on to using the keyboard and hardware, now its a mix of both. I also like to incorporate live instruments, so from time to time I hire session players to go in over my beats. The progress of my sound is also based on the artists that I work with, I like it when an artist pushes the boundaries, it helps me stay motivated.
B.Y.E.G: Do you work in the studio with the artists that you produce for?
Dirtwork: Honestly, I hate sending artists music over the internet. Most of the joints I produced have been made with me in the studio vibing with the artist. I study music all day and have a great ear to what sounds good and is relevant at the time. However if it’s impossible to be in the lab with the artist due to a conflict of schedule or distance, I let them go in and then make them send me a rough draft so I can make changes and make the record bigger than what it is.
B.Y.E.G: Of the songs that you have produced, which ones are your favourites?
Dirtwork: My most personal record is Bad News Brown’s “Reign”. I knew from the start that the record was gonna be big and i’m real happy that it took off the way it did. I’ve heard over 20 different remixes from random artists and fans from all over the world. It’s a bittersweet feeling because I just wished that my big brother News could have been here right now to enjoy the success of this song. My favourite track I did to date has got to be “Expos Fitted” by Magnum. I took a line from one of his old songs, sampled it and turned it into an amazing record. The song was by far Montreal’s biggest local record to date, we performed it in over 20 different cities, it was #1 on the “Real City Countdown” for 10 weeks straight, It won Best HipHop single of the Year (2010) at the Montreal HipHop Awards and got Magnum booked for over 50 shows last year. I also did a MegaMix of “Expos Fitted” that featured 15 MTL artists, which is something that hasn’t been done in Montreal before.
B.Y.E.G: How often do you make music?
Dirtwork: I don’t have a set schedule of when I make music, I kind of do it whenever I catch that vibe. I might not make any beats for a month and then one day I will make 10 records. It all depends on my mood. I like being motivated to do music, I hate having to force myself to do it. However If I know that we need a track done asap I get it done with a quickness.
B.Y.E.G: What producers and DJ’s have you been inspired by?
Dirtwork: I used to be a huge RZA fan, Dr.Dre, Rick Ruben, Quincy Jones, Timbaland, Hi Tek, Dilla, Alchemist and Dj Khalil, but I must say my all time favourite producer is Kanye West.
B.Y.E.G: Are you using Social Networks to promote your music?
Dirtwork: Yeah, I feel that in this day and age we are privilaged to have those outlets to promote music. Even though at times it can become oversaturated, I feel that good music always stands out. I’m not too big on Twitter but I can see why people use it to promote themselves and everybody should learn to use it to they’re advantage. It’s much easier to get your stuff out there than back in the day when you physically had to go out and put up posters and stickers. I still like to hit the clubs and give my music to the DJ personally and see the crowd reaction, It is real important to have that rapport with them.
B.Y.E.G: Are you conscious of a “Dirtwork” sound?
Dirtwork: I can’t really say that there’s a “Dirtwork” sound. I work with so many different artists that my sound never ends up sounding the same. I like to compliment the artist and try to make them sound better. The stuff I produced for Magnum doesn’t sound anything like what I’ve done for Planet Asia, and the records I did with Bad News Brown don’t sound anything like what I’ve done for say Milli Millz. I’m always expanding my sound and even though it’s cool to have a signature sound, I feel it’s also good to be able to compliment the artist with whatever sound they are looking for.
B.Y.E.G: You have chemistry with Magnum 357. Particularly with the new projects on “Year Round”, how do you know when you connect with an emcee?
Dirtwork: Magnum and I have been doing this for about 5 years now, since “Revolver Muzik Vol.1”, we have a great musical connection and also understand each other very well outside of music. Aside from being his main producer, manager and business partner with our label RMR, he’s also one of my best friends and we talk on a daily basis. I guess the chemistry just comes together naturally, we never force ourselves to do any records to satisfy anyone. So far we’ve had nothing but success with what we do and the fans seem to love the music we create together.
B.Y.E.G: Are there any artists that you would like to work with?
Dirtwork: I would love to work Nas, Kanye, J.Cole, 50 cent, Jamie Foxx, Slaughterhouse especially Royce. I really want to work with this new artist by the name of Gilbere Forte, he’s coming out with some amazing music.
B.Y.E.G: What do you want people to know about Dirtwork?
Dirtwork: I want people to remember me as one of the heads that put Montreal on the map. Outside of just producing I do alot for my city and always help out our local artists to reach the next level. Rest in Power to my big brother Paul “Bad News Brown” Frappier, your name will live on forever.
B.Y.E.G: If someone wants your production where should they contact you ?
Dirtwork: They can contact me at email@example.com or www.twitter.com/dirtwork or www.revolvermuzik.com but please don’t contact me just to ask me for hand outs and to tell me how “hot” you are.
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