Here at Stuff Fly People Like we’ve had the pleasure of chatting with some of your favorite musical artists, but this time we chose to go a behind-the-scenes route with producer J. Rob. Having worked with artists such as Chrisette Michele, Dru Hill, Musiq Soulchild, just to name a few – J. Rob has produced and engineered some artists we absolutely love. Aside from having an amazing ear for good music, one of his secret weapons as a producer is his background in classical training that sets him apart from others.
“I think my classical training and my engineering background set me apart. It heightens my attention to detail as well as my versatility. I have experience making almost all genres of music (Pop, Pop Urban, R&B, Rap/Hip-Hop, and alternative), which affects my style and my sound across the board.”
Being well versed is definitely an asset, and it comes to no surprise that J.Rob produced four tracks on Fly Girl Chrisette Michele’s latest mixtape “Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation”. Working with such a talented and dare I say creative genius was definitely enjoyable for the producer.
“It was a dope process. We sent her some songs and she had a great connection with them so she immediately started recording to them and we ended up with four songs on there. She’s a super dope artist, which made the experience even better.”
In order to come up with hot beats, J.Rob finds his zone and his “ritual” starts with just a cup of coffee.
“I drink a lot of coffee. That’s kind of my thing. I usually have a cup of coffee and a black and mild cigar then I’m good. I just open up some music programs, experiment, and find my zone. I know I really have a good grove going when I reach for my cigar again and sit back. Probably not one of the best habits but it’s a ritual.”
The producing world isn’t always the easiest industry to break into, but J.Rob didn’t let it stop him. Knowing that he could produce music that the world needed to hear kept him focus. He offers words of wisdom to those aspiring producers.
“Believe in yourself and in your talents. Be true to who you are and what you do. When I started producing I would always try to emulate what I heard other producers doing, but when I finally stayed true to myself and my way of making music is when things began happening. You also have to network and get your face out there. You have to stay focused and always hustle. Treat it like a full time job. In this game, nothing is given to you. Never give up, ever. You’re only one hit away from your life changing
Great advice that can be applied to just about any profession! J.Rob makes amazing music and be on the lookout for some new music he has in the works with great artists.
Check out the full interview below…
Q: What was the defining moment where you knew you wanted to become a producer?
J.Rob: I came home from college one summer and my homeboys started rapping and they got into a group. They were doing the whole music thing and I wanted to get involved in what they were doing. That’s I got into the whole producing thing. I just wanted to make some beats for my homeboys.
Q: What do you feel has been the biggest transition from working on the engineering side to producing?
J.Rob: It’s not even a big change for real because I was producing back during the engineering phase. When I was engineering I got to work with a lot of great producers so it really help make the transition that much smoother so it wasn’t too crazy.
Q: Can you describe yourself as a producer? Who is J.Rob?
J.Rob: J. Rob is a real cool dude that loves music.
Q: Do you think there are any creative music constraints for an artist signed to a major label versus and independent artist?
J.Rob: I think everyone has pretty much the same level of creativity. It’s really based on the artist I don’t think it has anything to do with whether you’re an indie artist or backed by a big lady. The situation doesn’t matter you’re going to be creative with whatever you do.
Q: As a producer, what sets you apart from anyone else currently in the music industry?
J. Rob: I think my Classical training, my Engineering background, which gives me a hieightend attention to detail, and my versatility. I have experience making almost all genres of Music (Pop, Pop/Urban, R&B, Rap/HipHop, and Alternative) which affects my style and my sound across the board. This is what I think sets me apart.
Q: How do you feel about the current state of music?
J.Rob: It’s taken some getting used to. It’s not really about album sales anymore. I think overall it’s in a good place. There has been a lot of good albums that’s been released. It’s been a lot of good music that’s been coming out. I think it’s in a good place and it’s going to continue to evolve and advance. The lines between genres are going to keep shifting and there’s going to be more collaboration with artists from different musical backgrounds.
Q: How was working with Chrisette Michele on her latest mixtape?
J.Rob: It was a dope process. We sent her some songs and she had a great connection with them so she immediately started recording to them and we ended up with four joints on there. It was just a great working experience. She’s just a super dope artist. She’s super cool and it was a dope experience.
Q: What advice would you give anyone aspiring to become a producer?
J. Rob: I would tell them to number one believe in yourself and believe in your talents. Be true to who you are and what you do. When I started producing I would always try and emulate what I heard other producers doing. But when I finally stayed true to myself and my way of making music is when things began happening. You have to network, get your face out there. You have to stay focused and always hustle. Treat it like a full time job. In this game nothing is given to you. And you just never give up. Ever. Your only one hit away from your life changing forever!
Q: Do you have any creative “rituals” when getting ready to make a beat?
J. Rob: Umm yea . . . Well I drink a lot of coffee .. . Thats kinda my thing. . . So I usually have a cup of coffee . . .Smoke a black. . .and then Im good to go. . . . I just open up some music programs, experiment, and find my zone… I know I really got a good groove going when I reach for my black again and sit back. . . Probably not the best habits . . .But thats the ritual though . .
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
J. Rob: In the next 5 years I see myself being one of the top producers in the world. Having a Major impact on the culture of Music. Having earned a couple grammys. Started my own label. Developed a platinum selling artist, Work with as many artists as I can. I want to be a driving force in the industry. A visionary. And I want to do it my way. I believe if you work hard enough . . and always have faith, anything is possible.
Connect with J.ROB:
Interview conducted by LaParis Hawkins
Also, peep a BTS clip of J. Rob presented by ::indieN:: …