Friday, April 16, 2010

Terrace Martin: West Coast Producer Interview With DubCNN

Dubcnn: What’s up Dubcnn? I’m Jose, and I’m here with Terrace Martin. What’s up dude?

Terrace: Hey, what’s happenin’?

Dubcnn: What’s crackin? So tell us what you been up to, we were just listening to your new album you put out, 808 And Sax Breaks right?

Terrace: Yup. It’s doing very well, 808s And Sax Breaks. I just got done doing that with Kenobi. Also I just released a free EP, on the internet called The Lovers Edition, I think that’s what they call it, The Demo. The Lovers Edition, The Demo. So that’s pretty much it, doing Problem’s record called History, just started Snoop’s new record, just stacking records.

Dubcnn: Alright for this one, the projects that you just came out with.

Terrace: Which one?

Dubcnn: The Sax Breaks. You know it’s kinda a little bit out of left field, it’s kinda…for this 808s and Sax Breaks that came out, it’s a little bit out of left field maybe not for you, but for most producers to do something like that. A lot of times there’s one event that kind of inspires you to say ok, im gonna do this project.

Terrace: At first, initially nothing inspired me to do this project. Ted Chung told me to do this project, which is my manager, and I was like you know me being on the saxophone a straight edge. At the time I thought it would be sacrilegious, kinda corny to cover a Kanye album on the saxophone. Then actually throughout that time I started getting back into my moms tables book, I read about 3 times a year and then when I realized that, Jazz, what made Jazz so hip and what everybody loved in the30’s 40’s 50’s and 60’s is that Miles and Tray (John Coltrane) and them would take these shows, these Broadway tunes, and these Disney tunes like “Someday My Prince Will Come” and “On Green Dolphin Street” and “I Remember April”. That was written in the 30’s, and they would play them in their own way, and make them popular. So I equated that to what’s going on now, you know with the whole Kanye thing, like to me Kanye is like our, I’m not gonna say our Duke Ellington on account, but Kanye’s like our modern day Cole Porter. If ya’ll don’t know who Cole Porter is you gotta look him up, I cant give you everything. But he’s like our modern day Cole Porter. Which was an excellent composer and everything. So later on I start vibing out, 6 months pass and I say, “Yo Ted, I wanna do that now.” I came in and I wiped it down I didn’t even know his songs, that album, I learned his music, then I went back and bought the CD, then I fell back in love with the music, then I recut all the songs again. Cause then I got to grow and learn his music, and live his music, I was going, it’s 808s and Sax Breaks, his thing is like 808s and Heartbreaks right? So as I’m doing this, I was going through my own little thing, emotionally with a relationship and everything like that so it was only right to do it.

Dubcnn: Alright so on the business side of things, did you have to get clearance from Kanye? Did you talk to him about it? Did Ted talk about it?

Terrace: Ted Chung did all that.

Dubcnn: Really cool project. The other thing I thought about that was cool, is that you’re donating some of the money to some schools' music programs, tell us about that.

Terrace: Well I figured, well all the money from the project. I did it cause I just love to play, so me and Ted got together and I said would it be cool if I donated a lot of the money to different programs that are lacking in the L.A. Unified School District, all the L.A. Unified School District music programs are lacking, actually a lot don’t even have em. They snatched everything out; they snatched out all the music. So I’m trying to help out the music back in the schools when you have a lot of good bands like Locke High, Crenshaw, Dorsey everything, Fremont, Jordan. You got a lot less violence in the areas cause the kids have something to do. I went to Locke High so I know music was a big part of me havin' something to do. We didn’t have time to get into stupid stuff because we always had after school activities, so that’s what I’m trying to get back into, that whole thing.

Dubcnn: Alright so tell me about you experience with school music programs growing up. How did that influence you, how did that shape you as a person?

Terrace: Um, somebody’s asked me that question recently. For me, the music program in school to me was like the best part of school. Like most kids that didn’t like school like I don’t like school P.E. was the best part. But the music to me was the best part, ‘cause the music actually helped me to get better grades. Reading music is nothing but math, and when you play an instrument, there’s a certain level of discipline that you have to have. We used to practice 8 hours every day, so doing school work was nothing after that. A couple of hours of that affected me a lot cause it showed me discipline. A lot of discipline.

Dubcnn: Cool. So you got this really great album you just put out, and I know your always busy, you always got projects going on. What’s your next project that you got coming up that’s gonna be big? I heard you got something with Kurupt?

Terrace: Kurupt has an album called Street Lights coming out, on 4/20. I guess that’s national smoke day, 420. Yeah I don’t smoke so, 420, April 20th; he has an album called Street Lights, which I produced about 95% of the album, mixed the whole album, which is excellent. Kurupt is back, he sounds great.

Read the rest of the interview transcript here:
DubbCNN - Terrace Martin

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