Interview with Ms. Instrumental: My Love, My Passion Is Music
Interview By Kirk Anthony
KA: How does your background in signing, songwriting, & poetry affect your production style?
Ms. Instrumental: My Love, My Passion Is Music
Kirk Anthony: How did you go from singing/songwriting to poetry to, finally, producing?
Ms. Instrumental: For me it was a very easy transition. Singing and writing poetry has always been my passion, however I wanted to put music behind the words I was writing. From there I came to love the process of creating/producing music.
KA: With you having talent & skills in singing, songwriting, spoken word poetry, & music production, what made you decide to pursue a career in production when it seems a successful career in the other aspects would lead to more fame, fortune, etc?
Inst: That's a good question -- I'm pretty laid back and not really interested in fame or fortune. I am interested in happiness and peace of mind and that's exactly what producing music gives me. It allows me to say something without ever opening up my mouth or jotting a word down. It's very powerful.
KA: How would you describe your production style?
Inst: I've been told that my production style is unique. I can agree with that description. I tend to lean more toward a R&B/pop style mainly because that's the genre that I've been brought up on. That and Gospel. So if you mix R&B, Pop, Gospel and Classical music into one genre then I'm somewhere in there!!!
Inst: It has a great influence on my production. There is rarely a time when I can make a track and I'm not already writing to in my head. It gives me an edge because if I can feel inclined to write to it as the producer than there's a great possibility that a writer will as well.
KA: In one of your interviews, you mentioned that you put emotion in your music because you want the listeners to share that experience with you. How do you put such emotion in your music?
Inst: Well when I'm making a track I try to choose instruments based on the kind of emotional response it will provoke. For instance I may pick a violin sound that has a slow "attack" in a ballad to emphasize the emotion (pain or stress) that a singer may want to convey. I feel like it's effective because many of my Youtube subscribers (men) make comments on me pulling emotion out of them when listening to my Youtube beat making videos!! I guess I'm a little dramatic in that sense.
KA: What production software/tools you use when you produce your beats? What features/aspects of these tools make them your preferred ones to use?
Inst: I use a Macbook pro with Apple Logic 9 and a M-Audio midi controller. I also use a wide variety of third-party plug-ins such as Native Instruments Komplete and Spectrasonics Omnisphere. I prefer to use an Apple computer because the main DAW that I use (Logic) is an Apple-only program and plus it was my first brand that my late uncle started me out with in 2004. Mackie monitors (speakers) are also very clear when listening back to tracks. When I'm on the road I travel with Audio-Technica MTH50 headphones. They are very, very clear as well. There’s much more, but I chose the above brands because they are reliable and have proven to be quality over the years.
KA: What inspired you to pursue a career in producing during a time where it seems there aren’t many female producers in the mainstream consciousness?
Inst: You know when I started in the production game it never crossed my mind that I was doing something unorthodox. In my mind I was doing something that I loved to do which is make music. People constantly reminded me that I was doing something out of the norm. That's when I started to say "Ok sooooo...there must not be that many women doing this…"
KA: Did you have any difficulty in being taken seriously when you were in the early stages of your production career?
Inst: Oh yes. Even now I get people who follow me on twitter and see that I am a music producer, but it isn't until I post a beat video that they believe that a female is producing music. That's one of the reasons why I started posting the videos so people can stop asking me "Did you really make that beat!?"
KA: How has posting beat making videos on You Tube helped get your work noticed more? Has it directly led to you meeting any of people you are currently working with?
Inst: Youtube is a very powerful tool. It has led to some great exposure for me. When I go places in my hometown people recognize me from the videos which is pretty amazing. I've even had instances where people who are in the industry know who I am and I'm like "What? Seriously?.” I'm truly blessed to have people watch me create music and to connect with people all around the world each and every day.
KA: What artists have you been able to work with at this point?
Inst: I've had the pleasure of working with several artists from around my area such as Cutty Boi who has worked with NASCAR on a few projects including the song that I produced for his video "Let's Race." I'm also working on a few projects now with songwriters and singers in Charlotte such as SESAC writer jocElyn Ellis. I also produced a track on a mixtape titled "No Placement" for @RealColdMusic.
KA: Do you feel the status of female producers in the music industry is showing some improvement from the time you started? What do you feel can/needs to be done to improve the status of female producers in the music industry?
Inst: Absolutely. When I first started in 2004 female producers were very few, however since then the number has grown substantially. I've bumped into quite a few female producers who are very talented. Being the minority in the industry definitely puts us in a unique position where working together and supporting one another will only expose our talent to an even greater level. There is strength in numbers. Females often get a bad name for being catty, but this is a opportunity to be positive and uplift the next woman for a greater cause.
KA: Do you think there are more ladies showing an interest in the behind the scenes or background aspects of the music industry such as producing?
Inst: Definitely. The number is increasing and that's a great thing. It gives us the chance to do more than sing or rap etc. We now have a different lane to express our musical voice.
KA: How would you describe the music scene in North Carolina?
Inst: Wow the music scene in NC is on the rise. I'm introduced to new talent all of the time -- People who are hungry and eager to work. They are excited about music and have a love for the craft especially here in Charlotte. Raleigh is the home of 9th Wonder, Phontae and JGunn and of course Fayetteville bred JCole. Rappers are definitely doing their thing. I'm hoping to have the same success with R&B/pop.
KA: What projects are you currently working on?
Inst: I am currently working with a talented singer BruceG as well as several songwriters to demo some tracks. I mostly work with songwriters because it gives us both the opportunity to submit tracks for placement with upcoming and major artists in the industry.
KA: What advice you would give ladies interested in pursuing a career in music production?
Inst: The best advice I can give is to follow your passion and remain disciplined, driven, determined and dedicated to the task at hand. Work to improve daily and be a sponge for music/industry knowledge. Just believe in yourself and doubt not.
KA: How can people keep up with your projects?
Inst: The best way to keep up with my projects is to follow me at the below links:
Inst: www.MsInstrumental.com, @MsInstrumental (Twitter) and MsInstrumentalBeatz (Facebook and Youtube).