Atlanta’s own 30Roc the Platinum Award-winning Ear Drummers producer, has already made a whole lot of industry noise in a very small amount of time.
In 2015, he produced the hit song, “Nasty Freestyle” for T-Wayne, as well as hits for Young Dolf, Rae Sremmurd, Migos and many others. His musical reach extends well beyond radio hits with tracks like “Work Ya Muscle,” which appeared in the hit movie, Creed and he created original music that was featured in an Apple commercial that ran during the VMA Awards.
Hard to believe his humble start in a high school marching band would lead him down the yellow brick road to the big time.
But the road to success had a few twists and turns before he got there. That high school marching band stint earned him a full scholarship, which he quickly proceeded to lose. With nothing to fall back on he ended up moving in with his brother. We caught up with him in the studio to find out what makes this up and coming producer tick and how he persevered to get where he is now.
So how did you persevere, after losing your scholarship, to get to where you are today?
Man it was crazy. The struggle was long. It was like a winter storm that we had. We didn't go outside. So you know, my brother and I, we sat inside and we made beats all week. I really wasn't making beats like that. So he kind of taught me how to put stuff together. And I thought to myself, ‘This is what I really want to do.’
We were still working a job at the time. I was working as a cook. I had to be at work at 5:00 in the morning and I’d get off at 12:00. I would go to sleep for like an hour or two. Come back home. I mean we would be at home and make beats then be at the club like 9:00, 10:00 just to go shake hands and they had to be at work at 5am again. And again, it was a struggle but we did it you know. And that's how I ended up where I'm at today really. But that was one of those situations.
So what's one thing you did that changed the course of your career?
So at this time I had a platinum record. It was T-Wayne “Nasty Freestyle” You would think I would be all set up. But I was still at work at an accounting firm and I was like ‘man this ain’t working, I don’t want to work here anymore.’ So you know I had a team at that time too. But I was still making beats on my own. And I get this email that Mike Will was looking for beats.
"So I ran out of work, left the paperwork on the desk. I didn't care. I just ran out to the car, hooked up to the wifi and sent them beats."
And next thing you know I get this phone call and it’s Mike Will and he says we need to connect. Then we started doing beat battles together and then we were always putting together stuff.
That’s how this whole situation happened and that's how I ended up with Ear Drummer. I was able to quit that accounting job like at the end of the year probably you know. And that's because I stayed focused and I kept doing what I needed to do. I stayed consistent. I actually got fired but I wasn’t going to stay anyway (laughs). Mike Will was like a mentor to me.
"He showed me how to walk in this business. How not to walk. How to not burn your bridges. How to not make waves with others but how to make your own wave and make a name for yourself."
What advice would you give to people out there who want to get to where you are?
"Mind your business, stay in your lane. Stay consistent. Get you a circle that you can trust who’s loyal."
Get you an artist that you could build up. Really, the blow up might be real for you. I'm going to keep it real. Just be yourself, you know what I'm saying. And you'll make it far. Mind your business and you will definitely make it far. I got my business together. I made it far.
We’ve talked a lot about beats and how they’ve taken you to where you are but how important are the vocals to the success of a track? Can you talk about that?
So look man, like what a lot of people don't understand is beats and vocals are supposed to be equal, you know what I'm saying. If you record on a shitty mic or you record somewhere shitty and the beat sounds like God? You're not going to get anywhere.
"The vocals got to be crisp. So that's why you guys need one of these things. These things are called the Kaotica Eyeball."
I’m sorry but this is like one of the best inventions in the world. Like, a lot of people don't understand that I record in my home music studio. And this Kaotica Eyeball is my portable sound booth.I record in the big studio too with a lot of people but I make references at home for artists. But if I was recording off of something shitty? Forget it. That’s what it’s going to sound like.
Just go get yourself one of these Eyeballs and you won’t need anything else to get you that sound. Take the Eyeball with you as your mobile vocal booth and you’ve got yourself the perfect portable recording studio. It will sound like you are really recording in a real live million dollar studio. I know it sounds weird because you look at this thing and you’re like, ‘how is this little ball doing that? Just go buy yourself one. You’ll find out what I'm telling you is truth. It’s definitely worth it. It's amazing.
"So I’m going to tell you again. Mind your business. Stay consistent, get yourself a team that’s loyal to you and you will get far."