Producers, Henny & Dow Jones, better known as, Tha Bizness, have been making a lot of noise recently – namely, for their production of Young Jeezy‘s smash hit, “My President (Is Black)“, and Young Money‘s debut single, “Every Girl“.
As producers whose work is quickly taking over your iPod’s storage space, I asked them to share some insight for Producers Week.
Rather than reiterate the same intro & background questions that can be found elsewhere, I want to discuss a little about the mechanics of Tha Bizness. Firstly, as a production duo, can you explain what each of your roles are?
Henny: I am the composer/arranger. Me being able to play keys and percussion instruments has always helped our sound to be big and full of melody. We both have learned vast numerous ways to produce records on multiple formats (i.e. Logic, Pro Tools, Reason, MPC, ASR-10, etc)
Dow Jones: I come from a DJ/producer prospective so I help out with the production elements and the arrangement. There really are no set roles. That’s what makes our situation unique cause it’s really just a melting pot of both of our musical experiences and talents.
Do you ever find it challenging working with a production partner? Do you disagree often and if so, how do you resolve it?
Henny: Working together sometimes can have its difficulties, just because we are such yin and yang type individuals. We just make sure we always keep it 100 with each other and keep our communication strong. We both know how to play our position well!
Since you guys manage yourselves, how do you manage dealing with the business while also managing your busy production schedule?
Henny: Its really not that hard because like I mentioned earlier, we play our positions well. One of us can be finishing up tracks while the other is grinding our work and making things happen. We both can flip flop roles at any time, so it makes it easy for us.
Dow Jones: Its all about being organized in your life. If you have organization, focus and goals, its easier to achieve numerous things. Also, we learned not to spend too much time celebrating little success. That’s more of what you do after your career is over.
Stay focused in the moment and don’t look back!
How long does it generally take from the moment an artist says they want your track, to the moment all the paperwork is signed?
Henny: The real question is – how long does it take from the moment an artist says they want our track, to when the check has cleared in the bank? LOL.
But for real, it all depends on the situation. Sometimes, working with bigger artists, the contracts and the payments get done really fast; then with more up and coming artists, shit can sometimes take months and months.
Dow Jones: Really, in these economic times you never know. There are so many fewer albums coming out these days, labels are scared to pull the trigger, and so every decision is looked at through a super microscope, and often times over-thought.
That’s why you just have to stay super active, so you can always have money coming in, money about to come in, and working on future projects that will develop into a possible transaction!
If you had to choose only 3 pieces of equipment to be stuck with for a month, what would they be?
Henny: Macbook Pro with Logic 8, Axiom 61 and some Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones and we can pretty much create anything we want with the quality still being top notch!
You guys have your own blog, you stay active on Twitter and you do your own video interviews; how important is it for producers to establish their own public image rather than just playing the behind-the-scenes character to artists?
Henny: Everything about the entertainment industry is about branding; no matter what facet you are working in.
We’ve known this since we started our careers, so we understood – you have to make sure the consumers know who you are and what you’re about.
The other part to all of that, is just staying ahead of the curve and knowing technology – that is key!
Dow Jones: We are in an age when peoples privacy doesn’t exist! Everybody wants to see what you are doing, and feel that they are a part of your movement. So really, we are just using the same tactics companies and artists have used for years; it’s just now that a lot of things are digital.
Plus with the internet and viral media, you can reach any country or continent in the world, with a click of a button. Who can beat that type of exposure?
Our main thing is posting things that have a purpose, so people have a reason to stay tuned in to us – because a story without substance is only gossip and propaganda, and not as interesting as the real. We just post things that have meaning to us, so it keeps everything REAL!
Who are some of your favorite artists that you’ve had the chance to work with and who would you like to work with next?
Dow Jones: Drake, Mistah Fab, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, Glasses Malone, Mitchy Slick, Black Eyed Peas and Young Jeezy are some of our favorites, that we’ve worked with!
Currently, who we are most excited about working with next, is Drakes debut album, finishing up Mistah Fab’s album and we got some crazy R&B songs we have wrote for Usher, Mary J Blige and a few others.
The future looks nice!
What is your favorite song, production-wise, and can you break down what it is about that song makes it so incredible?
Henny: I can never answer that question honestly, because there has been so many joints that has shaped the producers we are today.
We study everyone that’s been hot, is hot now, and is on the come up. But anything early Teddy Riley, when he crafted the New Jack Swing to Timbaland’s out-of-the-box method has truly been the most inspirational.
Dow Jones: There are so many. Definitely, DJ Quik. Any of Quik’s grooves were so out the box from the norm, at the time, but it also showed that good music, and just giggin’ out is cool; and it’s okay to do the unconventional on a album ,when no one else was really doing that.
If you could invite any other producer to join Tha Bizness, who would it be and why?
Henny: I would invite Quincy Jones, for his mentorship and insight, into making a career span multiple decades!
Dow Jones: Yeah, Quincy has done everything we are trying to do. His insight would be amazing!
What advice would you pass onto aspiring producers that you wish you knew when getting into the game?
Henny: Study music, learn an instrument, practice your ass off, and believe it can happen!
Dow Jones: Really take time to perfect your craft. Don’t just settle being good; try and compete with the greats.
Also, nobody will work harder for you than yourself; so don’t look for handouts. And, push your own line!