Too many producers fly under the radar in Pittsburgh. Keeping it short and sweet, here’s someone you NEED to know about:
Name: James Moore
Where are you from?
How did you get started producing?
I played the clarinet in elementary school & learned the piano. When I attended a computer program at Duquesne University, I learned about using MIDI technology to basically have an entire own band/orchestra at your disposal. In middle school, I learned how to do live sound for theatre productions at Rogers CAPA, and went on to do the sound for my church & different events. I did my High School graduation project on the music business, & from there I put the research into action & began my journey.
When/what made you decide to take it seriously?
Other than what I said in the previous question, just always having an interest in music and wanting to be involved behind the scenes.
Do you have any formal training?
I had clarinet lessons in elementary school, brief training on the piano, and some music theory. I also learned live mixing/engineering in school & through on-the-job training/experience.
Claim to fame? Placements?
The most popular artist, that most people know me for is Mac Miller. I was also a participant in the 1st iStandard Producer Showcase in Pittsburgh, judged by Buckwild & Rockwilder. I produced 3 songs for him & got a lot of attention from fans, artists, and executives through that. I also produced a song featuring Tito Lopez who is buzzing now and has worked with some of my favorite producers, Organized Noize & Dr. Dre. Another big record was for Fokis of Loyal Digital Corp/Local Mu-12, who is doing a lot of big things with his independent label in NYC. Also I’m on the latest project from Julian Stephen. Those last 3 aren’t blockbuster names, but they have a big independent presence. You can google them for more info.
Your current production set-up:
I mainly work off of FL Studio & Audacity on my laptop. If I need more detail editing capabilities, I’ll go to my desktop to use Cool Edit & also Reason for more sounds. I also have a 61-key keyboard, electric guitar, turntable, & MIDI controller as well as a bunch of other things.
Can you explain your beat making process? Drums / melody / sample first?
It really depends on how the inspiration hits & what it is that i’m working on. Whatever idea hits first I’ll lay that down & run with it. If I have something specific I’m going for, I’ll map out in my head how it needs to sound & start with whichever is the easiest to flesh out, and then keep knocking out the rest.
Software vs Hardware?
I like to use a combination. Software for programming & editing, hardware for instrumentation, but whatever works.
Beatmaker vs Producer?
I try to stay away from those kind of debates, because its kind of a way for people to create an “us & them” distinction in order to feel superior. “Beatmaker” has become somewhat of a derogatory term, but its an essential part of the process. To me that just means the composer or the person who is putting the ideas down, actually creating the music. The producer, in urban music is usually the same person, but it just means the person who takes care of the entire creative process and makes sure it gets done. That person is responsible for the music coming together, but doesn’t necessarily have to be the one to physically do each or any of the tasks. Kanye West is an example of a producer who uses other people to execute his vision, and he’s no less of a producer than his hired hands who are following his instructions. In the same token, a producer that samples or composes from scratch but isn’t a virtuoso, is no less a producer than a classically trained pianist. It’s about understanding what the end result has to be, and understanding how to get to that point using the resources you have, whether that is your personal skills, or relationships you have, or just having long money.
Favorite artists in Pittsburgh?
My favorite Pittsburgh artist to listen to is Boaz.
Favorite collaborator is Lemar French from FolkLand because we got started together and have been working in some capacity for a little over 10 years.
Of course the RovaLike contest. Also I’m working with my advisor on some different things. I get a lot of requests from execs based on the work I’ve done, because I’m good at taking advantage of internet resources to publicize my sound & track record. So I’m doing music for those as they come, some names you know pretty well, some new artists the execs are managing. Also working with songwriters, and still doing production locally. I’ve been offered a few production deals but haven’t found one with the right terms as of yet.
You can hear some of my previous work on www.pmpworldwide.com/SteelCitySoul
Registered members can contact me through there to purchase production.
@JamesMoorePGH I don’t really interact on there so much, but a lot of projects come out now with the twitter name in the production credits on the track list, so its there to advertise the credits & as a point of contact for requests.