Boonie Mayfield has made a name for himself on Youtube with over 400,000 views of him making one hardest beats I’ve heard on a MPC in a while.
Boonie Mayfield shares some of his knowledge on beat making, the music industry, and some of his upcoming projects.
Check out the video below and you’ll see why I called him the MPC Pad killer, and why he has over 1.1 Million views spread amongst his 18 videos on Youtube.
How is life?
It’s great, I can’t complain at all. Just been working hard as usual, and trying to maintain.
How long have you been making music?
About 9 years now. I started out strictly as an MC first. But while I was recording back then, I involved myself a lot on the production side before I was navigating with the machines fully on my own.
What equipment are you using?
Right now, the MPC 1000, Motif ES Rack, Powerbook G4, Roland SH-201, Technics SL-1200 and of course, Pro Tools. The rest of the stuff is the obvious… monitors, mixers, etc.
Do you have a preference with hardware or software?
I first started out with software…but, I personally prefer hardware. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using software. But, when it comes to getting the sound and groove that I want, I execute it best with the machines. I like it all hands on; hitting pads and keys, turning knobs etc. ALSO, I don’t know about everybody else… but for me… I’ve had less headaches ever since I switched to hardware, lol. I was constantly getting headaches from staring at the computer screen all the time. But, I kinda have bad eyes, so maybe it’s just me, lol.
Are you pursuing music full time or is it just a hobby?
I’ve been doing music full-time for 2 years now, and that’s something I’ve been reaching for since I was 16. It’s not JUST a hobby for me… but, it IS a hobby that I take seriously, not only as a craft, but also a career. I mean… I’d rather get paid doing something that I love rather than doing something I hate.
Since your pursuing music production full time. What kind of problems have you encountered so far?
Being self-employed is a challenge, period. Business can be boomin’ one minute, and then the next minute there could be a serious drought. And having creative blocks effects me more. Before, it was like… if I had a creative block, I’d just give it a rest and be coo with it. But now it’s like… If I don’t make a beat… I don’t eat lol. I get really stressed out when I have a block. Besides that, I haven’t encountered any serious problems as of yet, and I hope I never do. Sometimes I come across hard-headed artists. As a producer, most things have been running smooth. Now… if you asked me what kind of problems I’ve encountered as an ARTIST (emcee)… THAT would take up a whole book full of pages.
How much time do you spend making music?
ALL THE TIME! lol. To me… making music isn’t just being behind the machines and arranging sounds physically. There’s more to it than that for me. I’m “making music” even while I’m just listening to other music. I’m “making music” when I’m watching movies or playing a video game… or even grocery shopping, lol. When I’m in the shower I’m coming up with melodies or drum patterns in my head. My brain never seems to shut off when it comes to music. There’s always something that I’m doing either physically, socially or mentally to get more inspiration and ideas. So, I guess you can say it’s just about 24/7 for me, lol.
Do you have a manager? If so and if so, how has it helped you in getting heard?
At this moment, no. I’ve been down that road before, and I’m very cautious about that now. I’ve had a few offers, but none that have made me say “yeah, this is it right here. this is perfect.” So, I’m still just focusing on myself right now and getting my own business together. Truth is… you have to make sure you find the right manager for you. The wrong person representing you can seriously ruin some chances or hurt your progress. Having a manager is VERY important, but you can’t just settle for anybody.
What’s your beat making process?
It depends. If I’m sampling; I dig through records until I find something that grabs me, I record the sample, drop it into my MPC, chop it and arrange the pieces how want them to be. If it’s from scratch… I just turn on the machines and start looking for sounds randomly, or something specifically for a melody I have playing in my head. I’d say 99% of the time, I start with my drums first…. the drum sequence is the most important part for me. I put a lot of focus on the layering, rhythm, feel and timing of every drum sound. Once I’m satisfied with the drums, I’ll either start recording my sample arrangements… or if I’m not sampling, I’ll start messing around with chords and melodies. The rest just continues from there.
Do you just produce or do you rap or sing too?
I still do rap as well…. I’m currently working on my album. I can’t really sing. I mean, I can do some smooth, funky Bootsy Collins style falsetto choruses, but that’s about it, lol.
How many beats do you make a day?
Now that really varies. I could have a day where I produce five or more beats…. but then there are days where I just knock out one or two. And of course, there comes a time when I go through “producer’s block” and can’t come up with anything for a week, lol. It all depends. My arsenal is huge though. One thing I don’t do is force my creativity. You can tell when a person’s beat was just made for the sheer fact that they “needed” to make a beat for the day.
What are some accomplishments that you are most proud of in the production game?
Man, I’m just happy that I continue to grow musically. I’ve been gaining attention and respect. My name is circulating, and I feel blessed to have such a buzz starting to spark up. I’ve been contacted by major producers showing love. I’ve been able to survive and keep myself fed, doing this full-time. I may not be in the big leagues yet… but, everything comes in due time. God is good…. I’m thankful.
Have you worked with any names we might recognize?
Not as of yet. Well.. besides Cam’Ron jacking one of my beats for his latest mix-tape, lol. I’m still shopping tracks around, getting connects and networking. It all takes time. I’ve been contacted by one of the members of Lord of the Underground. So, who knows… I just may get a slot on Funke’s upcoming solo album. Just stay tuned…. my name will be found on linear notes eventually, lol.
So Camron took one of you beats, how did he get a hold of it?
I’m not quite sure exactly. But, I have some ideas. I was personally shopping beats to J Bezel (Juelz Santana’s protege) back in late 2006. Cam might’ve had access to the folder of beats I sent… and just decided to use it. Like I said, I’m not exactly sure. If not, he must’ve just downloaded it or something. I contacted Bezel about it, but he said they haven’t spoke to nor seen Cam in a while. It ain’t just some rumor… Cam’s really been a ghost lately, lol. Hardly anybody knows where the hell he’s at or what he’s doing right now. Chances are… he probably didn’t even know who produced the beat. He might’ve just heard it in some older and grabbed it.
How did that make you feel?
I was somewhat surprised, but I really didn’t care all that much. I laughed about it and went about my day. A shoutout would’ve been nice lol, but oh well. I mean… what the hell could I do about it??? It’s on a mix-tape…. a mix-tape…. a “for promotional use only” mix-tape. Big deal. I’m not going to try to hunt him down for using my beat on a mix-tape. I normally charge just $50 for leasing rights to use a beat on a demo or mix-tape. So, I’m not gonna cry over a $50 loss, lol. He recorded over an mp3 2-track stereo version of the beat, and you can tell that just by listening to it. Now, if that joint would’ve been on an official album… THEN I would’ve been taking legal action or hunting him down for credits and compensation. Bottomline… he doesn’t own the rights nor the separated tracks to that beat.
And it was called “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” or something like that on his Public Enemy mix-tape that came out last year. I honestly listened to the song only once half-way through. That’s NOT a diss. I just didn’t listen to the rest of the song.
Do you sell beats? If yes, how do you promote and sell them?
Yeah, that’s how I keep my bills paid. In a sense, I think I was one of the lucky people. I started my online beat hustle a little bit BEFORE the net started becoming overly saturated with everybody trying to make beats and claim they’re the “hottest producer in the game”. My former partner and I started off on soundclick, and we didn’t even think it was going be as successful as it was. We were getting millions of plays at first without even promoting a damn thing, lol. No banners, no “v.i.p. account”…. just beats with famous rappers’ faces on them. We just uploaded beats and hoped for the best. Soon as we knew it… we were constantly on the charts. So, at the end of the day… I think in SOME cases, the music will just speak for itself. Nowadays, I’m still using avenues like soundclick, rocbattle, myspace and of course, Youtube. I have a business phone, so I take calls and sell beats through the use of paypal or western union.
Do you sell your beats online, face-to-face or both? And do you have a
Both. But to be honest… my clients and fan base are everywhere BUT my hometown, lol. There’s really not that many artists here in Colorado that are going in the same direction as I am musically. There is a serious lack of “soulful” artists in this area. You have no clue just how hard they are to find, lol. So, as of
right now, I do most of my beat selling online. Do I prefer it that way? Honestly, No. Selling is always executed better face-to-face…. or at least speaking to the person vocally. That’s why I activated a business phone, because it makes things a lot more comfortable on both ends. But, I’d prefer face-to-face. You could get someone a lot more excited about your beats if they were in the presence of you…. sharing ideas and snapping your neck to the rhythm like it’s nobody’s business lol.
How do you determine what a beat is worth?
When it’s a track that I know in my heart could be a hit or a album classic if the right person copped it. How much work I put into it. Also, the reaction of other people who DON’T produce or make music. They’re the most important listeners to me. Because they’re going to judge it off the entire track and the feeling it gives them.
They’re not paying attention specifically to the snare, or the bassline, or the kick drum, or a sample like us musicians do. They don’t understand all that jargon about the EQ, mix, reverb, delay and compression, lol. Some of them can’t even decipher whether it’s a brass section, strings or a synth… whether it’s an acoustic or an electric bass. They don’t care which instrument it is. They want good music. They “understand” WITHOUT understanding. If the mix is terrible, or the sounds are weak, or some of the notes are off-key…. it’ll make them cringe without them even knowing exactly why. They’ll just know that SOMETHING is wrong. There’s a reason they’re not feeling it. I like letting people like THAT listen to my beats… ’cause it’s as simple as, “they either like it or… they don’t”.
How has Youtube helped you get exposure? Has it help you get any industry connections?
Youtube is a BLESSING lol. That avenue is what truly got my name circulating outside of just music sites like soundclick. It had helped tremendously with exposure. People are posting and discussing my videos all over the place at websites and forums that I’ve never even seen or heard of before. I’d have to say that youtube established my favorite form of promotion… “word of mouth”. And yes, it has helped with industry connections. I’ve been contacted by the likes of Ryan Leslie (who is also huge on Youtube) and others. Just about all my industry connections have came from my vids.
Your “Boon Doc on MPC-Pt.2” video on Youtube ( Video Below ) got over 400,000 views. How does that make you feel? And did you sell that beat?
I’m still amazed to this day. I mean… there’s people out there who have MILLIONS of views out there… but I feel blessed to have even over 100,000. I have to thank this cat Jeremy for that. He contacted me last summer because he was getting the ‘Guest Editor’ spot for July 2007 on youtube. He asked if he could feature one of my videos on the front page, and I was like “HELL YEAH!” lol. I was getting a decent amount of views before then… but that front page spot is what REALLY set it off. Surprisingly… I have NOT sold that beat yet lol. Some people have inquired about it though. I don’t want to sell that one to just anybody though… so my price on it isn’t exactly cheap.
But, for real…. I’ll tell you this…. artists are WEIRD!!! The
beats that they usually want to get are the one’s that the producer
didn’t like initially. Ask any producer that… and they’ll probably
tell you the same thing.
What should up and coming producers do to get better?
First of all, stop trying to worry about what everybody else is doing all the damn time. Too many cats dig around trying to find out what equipment Timbaland is using, which MPC J Dilla used, where Pete Rock got his drums from, which record Primo sampled from, which synth The Neptunes used in “(put song title here)”. There’s nothing wrong with doing that kind of research sometimes… but for goodness sakes, focus on YOU! Find the equipment that makes YOU feel more comfortable. Start building your OWN drum arsenal and tweak them to your liking. If you’re a sampler, don’t just grab samples just for the sake of them being hot samples. PAY ATTENTION to those samples! Listen thoroughly to how the instruments in the sample are being played… the way the strings are being played, the octave of the piano, the way the bass is moving… that little one-note pluck of a guitar that gives the entire composition a boost of funk or soul. That way, you’ll be able to have a keen sense of how you arrange your music when you’re NOT using samples. Also, understand how to leave space for a vocalist to shine… learning how to not throw in too many melodies and sounds at one time.
How do you stay inspired?
Become a fan of different musical genres. Don’t just”listen”… become an actual FAN. Work with people that will inspire you and challenge you beyond your comfort zone, whether it’s with other producers or artists. Stay away from the people that you don’t have chemistry with. What I mean is…. if you’re working with someone, and you realize that you get bored quick or your creative energy drops when you’re around them…. you probably shouldn’t waste anymore time forcing yourself to make music with them. And most importantly… don’t think so hard, lol! Making music is supposed to make you feel free. It’s supposed to be fun. Don’t stress yourself out trying to be the best producer in the universe in one day.
How much time do you spend digging for samples?
Hours upon hours upon hours. I’m always digging.
What tips do you have for new producers?
Be patient. Producing is a way of life, and it takes time to understand the art. Martial Arts isn’t just about kicking, punching and yelling “HEE-YAH!”. Therefore, producing ain’t just about sequencing a drum pattern and throwing in some extra instruments. Always remain a student, and you’ll continue to grow. Don’t expect to be making all-time classic material in just the first few months or years. Just have fun and make mistakes. Yes… MISTAKES!!! You’re going to make some wack ass beats for a little while lol…. we all have to go through that process. As long as you keep studying and working hard towards getting better… you’ll stay on the right path.
What upcoming projects do you have?
Boonie Mayfield: I’m working on my album as an emcee and producer, titled ‘Doc U Meant it’. It’ll feature some artists and producers I’ve been collaborating with. Classic Blue, Young Burna, Uzoy, Naaem Oba, Fabe and my protege’, Fat Trak, will all be making an appearance. That’ll be coming out sometime in 2008. Classic Blue is a really soulful production/artist team that I’m a part of with Shawn Keith, Kells, Kirk and Sahada… and we’ll be working on a project as well. Fat Trak and I will be putting together an instrumental project together after my album is released. Young Burna and I are currently preparing to work on his mix-tape, and it’s going to be insane! Burna is going to make a HUGE impact in the hip-hop industry. A lot of these so-called “rappers”/”emcees” are really going to have to step their game up once they see what this kid has to offer.
How can people get in contact with you?
Just hit me up on myspace at booniemayfield.com. You can also visit my Youtube station at youtube.com/blacktuezday. If you’re trying to purchase
beats, you can call my business-line, (720) 244-8221. That number is ONLY for people buying or inquiring about beats for sale.