Jon Woo is a producer/beat-maker who’s making some of the hottest beats for some of the biggest names in the game. He tells us about his networking skills, his track record for producing hot beats, collaborating with the late Stack Bundle and more..(Image above by Coates Music Studio)
Q. MRCPROMO: Can you tell us a bit about how you started making music? What is your background as a music producer?
A. JONWOO: I got started making beats out of necessity. I used to emcee but couldn’t find any custom production where i lived. I bought a Roland Dr5 and started making my own beats. After I realized how much i liked producing, I simply stuck with it.
Q. MRCPROMO: How long have you been producing?
A. JONWOO: Over 20 yrs.
Q. MRCPROMO: Can you tell us a little about your production setup? What DAW do you use, which plug-ins and instruments do you use most often?
A. JONWOO: I’m naturally an MPC student. I’ve come to understand to continue to expand creation, I need to keep up with the technology. The DAW I’m setup on currently is the Maschine by Native Instruments. I’ve just begun to explore Ableton live as well.
Q. MRCPROMO: What is the most important thing in your setup, or the thing you love the most?
A. JONWOO: I love sounds..using various VSTs has been interesting. I really like a VST called Aturia. It has a lot of pre-programmed sounds that are very different and controllable. Having a good selection of sounds is key to me.
Q. MRCPROMO: Any hip hop producers that inspire your sound?
A. JONWOO: I’ve been inspired from the old school producers mostly. My favs are RZA, Alchemist, 45 King, Swizz Beats and Just Blaze. I’m originally a sample based producer and love chopping samples. So any producer who is nice with that is someone I would like.
Q. MRCPROMO: New projects you working on now?
A. JONWOO: I’ve been working with my bro Nes. He produced half of Bryson Tillers recent album. I’ve also been doing a thing called Producer Corner where we get producers to come to the studio and just drop gems on em about the business side of things..
Q. MRCPROMO: Is there a particular track(s) that put you on the map?
A. JONWOO: The one that kind of opened a couple doors for me was a track I produced for a legendary artist from NY named Stack Bundles. I did a track called “Sucka fa love” for him and I still get love and respect for it to this very day. He shortly passed away after he recorded that. He was a true emcee and was on his way. RIP Stack Bundles.
Q. MRCPROMO: What kind of exposure have you been getting, and what strategies to you use to promote yourself?
A. JONWOO: I’ve been getting a lot of exposure within my community through my Producer Corner event. I like to stay active on social media and promote things that I know I’m in touch with such as production and food. I don’t know if i really use a strategy, i just simply try to connect with people and find ways to build relationships.
Q. MRCPROMO: What advice would you give to people starting out in the music business today?
A. JONWOO: Simply start by learning the business and process first. Too many people get caught up in the myths vs reality of the business. It amazes me how music is one of the only endeavors that most people assume they understand without any real knowledge. You don’t see someone who assumes they can be a pro basketball player without practicing and learning plays. A person would never assume being a doctor can be done without any education. I think in this business, you must crawl before you walk.
Q. MRCPROMO: Your goals for 2018?
A. JONWOO: To have a really good production company and relationships to move talent through. I want to be the connect for writers and producers alike and be able to guide them into great situations that we can all use to provide a living for our families. I’ve always been great with people and now seems to be the right time to monetize those abilities.
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INTERVIEW: MRC Promotions
EDITOR: La Mont Reed
IMAGE: Jon Woo