Re-Produced Profile: Shane Eli [DJBooth Interview Exclusive]
On July 30, The DJBooth will be releasing the latest installment of Re-Produced, an exclusive EP series in which three hand-picked producers will put their own spin on a record by a reader-approved artist. Number two in the series will be based around "Blur," a Wrekonize-produced cut off underground icon Tech N9ne's Klusterfuk EP. In anticipation of the project's arrival, we're making sure each of the participating beatsmiths has been properly introduced to our readership with a series of exclusive producer profiles.
In the first of three profiles, we chop it up with Shane Eli, the Los Angeles rapper and producer behind Booth-hosted projects The Push, I Can Do Better and The Flip.
Full Name: Shane Eli
Years Producing: 6
What tools and/or production software do you use?
I'm using Pro Tools now, but I came up working on Reason, and made most of my upcoming album on Logic. I work primarily off my home iMac, but I have a dusty old Macbook Pro that I break out when I travel. In addition to those programs, I have a Fender Bass that I break out every once in a while, Roland V-Drums, and a Ludwig Epic Drum Kit.
Head phones or monitors?
I was forced to give up my old studio space over a year ago, so when I work at home it's always headphones.
What production work are you most proud thus far of in your career?
I got the opportunity to work with Earth Wind and Fire last year, and that was by far the most incredible producing experience I've had thus far. Not only was it a dream to be in the studio with absolute legends, but to have them value my input on the track and ask for direction was almost surreal. It was a great experience, but to be honest, the work that I'm most proud of, I have yet to create, which is what makes me excited to get in front of the computer each day. I think I've made some tracks that are solid, but I keep learning so much everyday that when I listen to my old sh*t, I think about how much I could have improved it knowing what I know now. I think I have yet to produce my best work but when that day comes I'll feel it, and that's when I'll get that sense of pride.
Describe the process by which you "Re-Produced" Tech N9ne's "Blur" record.
When I first heard the song, I spent a few days trying to come up with a harder hitting dubstep-py type banger, but I didn't like any of the stuff I was coming with. I left town for Mexico, and when I was there it was refreshing to listen to Mariachi music and salsa etc. When I got back from my trip I just started f**king around with some rare Afro-cuban songs that I was listening to, and I thought that maybe I should try to take the song in a completely different direction from the original. I haven't been sampling much in my work lately, so I thought it would be fun for a change. Tech's storytelling ability is dope, so I wanted to emphasize that, and when I started chopping up the sample underneath the a capella it started to feel more like a story was being told, like a hip hop "Hotel California" or something. I try to make dynamic tracks that have a progression, so that halfway through each verse something new is introduced, whatever it takes to enhance the vibe of the acapella. After about 20 minutes I liked the direction so I did some fine tuning and threw my drums on there and boom.
What should readers expect from you in the coming months?
I'm trying to finish up my third album, Enough Love, by the end of the summer, so expect that soon. I also collaborated with and produced an EP with Austin, TX's League of Extraordinary G'z called The Plug which should be out in the next few months as well. I just played the House of Blues in LA and I has a few shows with Rittz on the west coast leg of his tour with LOEG'z. The summer is shaping up nicely.
Artwork Credit: Matt Kipper
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