Hey, guys, welcome to electronic dance money. You’re number one business resource for making money as electronic musicians and producers. All right, welcome to the very first episode of Elektronik Dance money. Today, my first guest is Danny TROIA. You are the owner and audio engineer over at Cinco Sounds, which is your own studio. You run, you knew, mixing and mastering for hip hop and R and B artists. But you’re also a hip hop producer. And that’s why I’m having you on the episode today. Because I met you through the six figure home studio community were both a part of the slack channel there, And I was looking for some people who I could interview for this episode, specifically producers who have monetized making tracks. And that’s an extremely difficult thing to Dio, especially in today’s world. Bees is a very saturated market, and after talking to you, you were telling me that you were making over $2000 a month making hip hop beats just on hip hop eats. I mean, that’s a livable wage. If you have a roommate or two, you can just sit in your studio and make beats, So I first want to get into. How did you get into that realm? Where Where What’s your story? What’s your introduction here? How did you get from just opening up a dog playing around with a drum? I’m sure it was a drum sampler to making $2000 a month on beats. Sure.
So, um, the whole be making things started just from like me having like that passionate love for music. Um, so, yeah, I mean, surfing there. I was really into, like, electronic dance music back then, and my beat started off, as you know, me getting into, like, trance music and moving over the progressive House. And then when the whole dub step craze, they’re happening and it’s a dubstep. But yeah, I was DJ ing for a little bit. So that was like the right I was trying to go. I was trying to be like a headlining superstar e d m d j I’m not gonna lie. I was like, trying to be, like another Skrillex. I was like, you know, this guy so ever So I know like it was just, you know, you mean that he would oppose those cool videos on YouTube and like of him, like touring and just like Oh my God, I want that when you’re you know, when you were younger, right? So, uh, you know, like that’s really well, where, like it all started. And it wasn’t until I was DJ ing for this hip hop group that really put up a local add up. They wanted a deejay to help him out. Um, with their performance is the one that’s like whatever I apply it and there’s like a whole interview process and dan it up choosing me and that’s kind of like really were like a lot of the exposure for hip hop start happening cause I used to listen to hip hop back then. But I was never in a studio with hip hop artists. I was never really around that whole culture and everything like 100% to like I started doing that, and that’s really where the love start happening. And I started seeing like a lot of differences between E g m and hip hop cause the whole process for even making beats is complete different.
I think that’s super interesting that you’re saying that because I’ve always pictured as being very similar. When you’re starting a hip hop B, are you just kind of focusing on like an eight bar loop?
Oh, you know what? That kind of process is similar, but when you’re in an e d m d. J r lisi and producer, you were the focus, right? Like that. I’m supposed to take the shine here and whatnot. But when you’re producing hip hop and it took me so long to get my head around this because you know, I was eat producing ADM for so long, I would overproduce the hell out everything where we come from. We’re supposed to kind of fill every pocket of space, every frequency that you can think of. And I just you want to, like, not put all our cards on the table, but show a lot of them in flex kind of in a way so that you like you like you can see I’m skilful and talented or whatever. Hip hop guys don’t give a fuck about that. Like there’s been times where I played hip hop beats and hip hop beats that I made in the studio. They’re literally like, overwhelmed, like holy crap that was most epic should have ever heard, But I have no d I’m gonna wrap over that. So it took a long time to figure that out and like to really realize man, hip hop ease and RBB stuhn can be really simple and like it’s, you know, the artists that you do have to leave a lot of pocket of space for them toe to be ableto right to that record and take it to the next level. And you cannot to humble yourself quite a bit for that.
What you just said right there is very well said. And I think that is an extremely important point to this episode. That producer should take especially hip hop producers, because if you’re a fairly new hip hop producer and you’ve only been producing for, you know, one, maybe two, even three years, you might still even be in that frame that that mind frame of oh, well, I’m the producer. I want to make money. You’re coming in with selfish region reasons. I think that’s how ah lot of producers and audio engineers come into the field. They’re coming in with selfish reasons. They want to make a name for themselves, they want to make money. But I think you evolve when you flip that script when you go. Oh, you know, it’s not about me. And I think as audio engineers, that’s how it is to. It’s not about us as audio engineers. It’s about the producers were mixing, mastering, for we’re trying make them the hero. Their story. I think it’s the exact analogy you mentioned. That is the exact same way. If you’re a hip hop producer, it’s not really about you. It’s the voice that’s on your track. You want to make them sound good.
100%. Yeah, it took forever to get that wrapped around my head, unlocking a lot. A lot of that was the eagle, right? Even when I would meet, especially just getting into, I would meet other hip hop producers. I would be making beats for the artist. The artist would be choosing there being no reminder one on I’ll be thinking like man, but like their beast is so simple. And mine, just like minds are awesome. Like when I like these guys, are using like nexus preset. It’s almost 80% sample. Barely any sound design going in for me. I’m like making all my son from scratch and, you know, I mean, like, I was like, there’s so much ego and pride and I just took forever toe to really humble the fuck out of myself and be like, Yo, it’s not about me, man. Calm your tits. The artist is supposed to sound good. If there’s like tips and tricks, you can give them to make them sound good to be be grapes, that it’s not about you 100%.
Yeah, and I think the preset thing is a big big one to like. People are so shame to use presets. They feel like they need to make these complicated sounds, and that’s what’s gonna drive everything and make it sound better. But I don’t know if you know this or if you see if you’ve seen it before. There’s a preset in silent that Mac Miller used. I forgot what it’s called. I can’t remember what track it was, but you literally it’s an art. And he hit one note, and I want to say it was just the middle C note, and that’s the entire song. It’s a preset in silent that you just help and that was one of his biggest tracks ever. I can’t remember the name of the name of the track. Yeah, I think simplicities is probably It’s a huge thing in making hip hop beats and r and B make it simple so that the rapper can make it complicated. How long were you producing for? Before you realized. Oh, you know what? I think I could sell this. Be
okay. So I started when I was, like, 16. 17. You would like the last year? High school. Ah, again, it was Apple studio. I saw a body producing on that, and I was blown away that you could record your ideas and change Sounds up. So took a while to get to wrap my head around that. But from that time, up until about the age of 2122 that’s when I discovered the whole beats selling thing. So up until that point, you know, I was just like, doing a lot of DTM stuff. I thought, like, again, major label to go to pay me, right? That was my route. I was like, Oh, I’m gonna get big enough that I’m gonna get noticed by one of these labels. I want to get noticed by Ocilla or mousetrap all kind of shit. And then like, and I’m gonna get signed to them, right? But But, you know, it wasn’t until, you know, it was like, 22. I think we’re 2125 right now, by the way, 21 or 22 when I discovered the whole beat selling thing online, and I was like, fucking blown away by how people are getting paid. Right now, it’s up. And I thought it was illegal. I was like, How can you sell the same beat to fucking 100 or 200 different artists? That makes no sense to me gets fucked up again. Eagle was in the way. I was like, I’m better in that. I’m not gonna be one of those guys are just pumping out beats nonstop. Nonstop, right? So even though I heard about that, I wasn’t doing it. And then it wasn’t until, like I would say, two years ago, let me just humble myself and even start wasn’t Hubble because it was a whole nother process after that that that had to get rid of, for example, that the whole tight be thing right? There’s a lot of controversy, wrote tight beat producers. So if you’re a type B producer and you’re just a sellout, basically like you have no creative juices just basically following the trends in one night and you know, you just you don’t really have your own sound, you basically just trying to emulate whatever whatever else is out there with. All right, there was that that was getting in my way, because again, like I was so prideful of my music. My music is personally me. I don’t want to be that, you know, that it’s not gonna be fun anymore if I have to do that right. So, yeah, I finally got rid of that stigma. And again, I guess the main reason and that’s tingle was I thought that all type producers were just basically doing that. They were just finding whatever hot tram was, you know, popping at the moment and and I’m trying to make a beat to that. But I decided, Okay, so again, like I think I started uploading beats around two years ago, six or seven, or you think even eight once again and I was like OK, nothing’s happening. I have, like, three subscribers. But at the time, like I was in marketing, right, I was I would up with a beat with just a title like my producer name and that was it not like hip hop R and B type bead or so in so artist I’d be like, I was trying to go the opposite way. I was going to be original, but guess what? Nobody give a fuck. Nobody knew what hell I was even when I would work in studios and stuff a time I was just getting to recording to I was just trying to find a way to make money in this frickin loss that I’m getting older and, like, I gotta find a way how to, like, make some money in this in this game and went out right. So I got into already engineering at the time. All the orders have come to the studio. Just I’d always asking me, like, you know, where did you find this beat? I would say 98% of them said YouTube. They’re all like, Oh, yeah, you can find any beats on YouTube and I just whatever sound you want. You just do type, eat. You just scroll through and find one that you like. Man like this is clearly with the market is finding their sound. There’s one or two guys. There’s like a sewing club. Everyone was out You to everyone’s doing type beats. Okay, let me do this. I decided to go back to some of my older beats that I produced. And then I would like trying to reflect and think about, like, who would fit over this beat? Even though when I made this B, I wasn’t think of any artist just like me making just from my heart who would fit over this beat. And I would try to try my best to go thieving my own music library just to see my influences and wear like that came from. And I’ll be OK. You know, I would start running though daft punk or something, because a lot of my big influences are like I would say, daft punk. Even like the current pop culture right now, like Maggie Jordan was a big one to like a massively inspired by Maggie Jordan and their beats and one that is something that maybe like Majeed might be able to go over the weekend or, like Calvin hair. So, yeah, I just started labelling. My beats is such and I never forget, Man, the gate was like the day of my birthday. Eso like I start uploading beats like the year before, like November and I slowed down. And then, at the new year, like February ish, I finally starting to get consistent with him. It was around that time I decided to start using tight beats. Only had about 10 or 20 subscribers of the times. Whatever. Let me just continue uploading. And hopefully one day something’s gonna come out of it. The day of my birthday. I remember the first sale and it blew my I got so and it was my Calvin Harris type beat called Freedom Finders. And somebody bought the $200 unlimited lease to that 200 us. Look, I’m in Canada, so to us, that’s like 500 bucks. I’m fucking around. It was like to 60 to 70 Canadian. I remember like I couldn’t sleep that night. I got so pumped up the day after another like $50 lee, somebody bought a wave lease. I start seeing these trends to because they’re older beats that I’ve made when a new artists are not know yours. But when an artist would put a new project out, for example, like, I made a McGee joining beat like maybe like a year ago. But this year, they released like a small many E p that beat that I sold a year ago. All the sudden starts picking up more sales. Oh, yeah, because because people are looking for McGee Jordan tight visa because that is what so is create is cool to see how those trends would happen. Like some of my old beats. We just start boom racking in sales again, and I’ll be like, Holy crap is
pretty cool. What’s great is you put in all this work is a producer. You’re busting your ass in the studio, and if you’re marketing yourself right and you’re trying to sell beats when you get that first sale, I remember when I got my first client as an audio engineer, I got my first mixing project, and it was like I think it was 40 or 45 bucks. I charged for cheapest fucks. I was just trying to get clients in the door. But I remember when I made that 1st $45 go. Holy shit, This is crazy. I even remember what I got my first sale through, like an ad. Someone who has no idea who I am. They just listen to my portfolio and they go, I want I want you to work on my ship. See how the adrenaline like the appreciation you have for that. After all the work you put in it just There’s nothing like it. So I wanna step back a little bit to what you were saying before about becoming more humble, getting rid of the eagle. How did you get over that wall? Because I feel like that is a big barrier where producers are like, I don’t want to make fucking tight beats. I don’t want make these cheesy s beats that other people are doing and looking for. How do you get over that kind of barrier? You
know what? I had a Basically, I tell myself that I’m not better than anyone else and no one else is buried in me. We all have an equal playing field, and it’s like, yo, and then they were all humans While trying to figure out our way in this world, we all have our own path, you know, this is what the market demands. Like you got to provide, you know, so the market, I’m not better than the market. I’m not gonna find some revolutionary. And you wait some to market that should people are spending thousands of millions of dollars trying to figure it. Figure this shit out right now. And and this is this is what is working right now. So I figure I’m like, I just got a humble my passages do it.
There’s no point in waiting. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel at all. Eso How did you How do you overcome such? And it’s a very competitive market to sell beats to hip hop producers. How do you differentiate yourself? I know you’re we just talked about how, like you got to get over the ego of you can make tight beats, and you can make money off it. But so many people are doing that. How do you work with in that competitive field? Is it kind of a rule of numbers like you put out enough type beats out of there. Someone will buy it.
Ah, yes. There is that route to YouTube. You know, the obviously their algorithm. It makes people who upload more often more noticeable. Obviously Just caveat today for putting 20 things up. But one day, they’re gonna look kind of like
they’re gonna be like, Is that bought?
Exactly? Yeah. Is that a new enjoy that? You know what I mean? Yeah. Um, so So, yeah, I know. It’s like you gotta work with the system by the same time, I would say to stick out, man, And this is what did it for me, too, Because every time, literally, if I go through all my beach right now, the beats I didn’t sell where the ones that I specifically tried to market for or do for the market. Every beat that came from the heart that I made that was like, Yo, this is just what What I want to listen to this is what I want to hear. This is just like, what inspiration flowing to me right now In this current moment of my life, those every beats that did the best going the other way man. No. You have a better chance going the other way. Don’t go with everyone else. Just go the other way. Because if you look at my subscriber car, I only have, like, 600 subscribers on on YouTube. I’m making these kind of sales, and it’s like I’m thinking about like Holy fuck. Imagine that people will have, like, 500,000 right? I mean, they have a whole plate complete, different kind of ball game. There’s people who still DME right now because I haven’t made beat in a long time. I’ve been just really focusing. On the whole are geo engineering thing, people who like message me from Australia for fucking Bennett’s well out from some guy from German ago from Japan. There’s people like, Yo, why’d you stop uploading beats two beats that I’m making and I’m not okay here. I’m gonna start blowing myself to be sort of making out there very inspired by, like, retro eighties since, and one Not so like it’s not even really hit poppies there. Like mostly like R and B. Slow Jam kind of beats very synth pop retro things again, heavily influenced by by eighties since, and soundtracks and that daft punk and whatnot. So people people like that shit people want. People want to hear that. But like, I have my own twist on that right, like it’s not just it’s like that’s got those sounds, but I like I like the modern day and age of McGee, Jordan’s heavy hitting based on one that right. So I have all my influences pulling from all these different things that were not. And then that’s what makes my sound. And then from there, when I make the beat, I just marketed that such I just go. Okay, this is the beat that I made. It came from my heart. Now who do I think and fit over it.
Okay, so So I didn’t mean to interrupt, but now I Now I see the direction you’re going. You’re pulling in your inspiration while you’re making these beats. You’re just pulling the inspiration from artists that you really love. And you’re making a track that you want to hear. Now, when you go to market it, you’re thinking Well, what rapper is gonna want what rapper would want to hit this track? Who would want to wrap over this track who would want to record over to this, and then you go. Okay. This is this person type beat that
exactly? There’s been many times, like I really couldn’t figure out, like I don’t know Who the hell with it Over this. I literally couldn’t figure it out. And I was like, fucking Let me just put this artist name and hope for the best and have people correct me in the YouTube chunk, commenting big. Only that doesn’t sound like this person, But it does not like this. I’m like, Oh, you’re right. Let me change that. And that boom numbers are going up like a There you go. Yeah, but yeah, I know it’s
a very useful marketing technique that I guarantee most producers aren’t doing. So you want tell you? Yeah. You want to focus on your creative energy, what inspires you put your twist on your own track, but then think about who would wrap over that track so that you can market it as such. Sounds like most of what you’re doing is on YouTube. So you’re kind of are you up? Like when you were heavily in this game and you were making two grand a month doing this kind of work. Were you up loading the YouTube like weekly one B a week? So you’re kind of staying within that algorithm. It
was about a beat a week. That’s all I was able to output. There’s a couple of weeks where I did like to beat in one week. It was about a beat a week, and I got, I think, I think for sure, like to get better results. You know, if you had two beats a week, I’m sure like you beginning better results that way. But for me and also part of reason why I’m doing already engineering is because I find that it’s hard to get in the zone. It’s hard to get and and hard to finish a project that I liked. I will put out there. That’s where he’s a lot like I can’t rely on might be selling Teoh. I guess being 100% of my income, like I got to find something that’s going to give me, you know, just like the bottom line, which is Artie Engineering, which I actually personally love to like. I love audio engineering to love, working with an arts, and the great part is is like a double sword. A lot of bars that I work with have also so beats to them. So I’m recording them, selling the beats, mixing and mastering it. So it’s a package. It’s everything for full package. Exactly.
So what are some other websites that you use? Because I know it’s not just YouTube where people are finding your tracks messaging you, and then you’re sending, like, a PayPal link or whatever. What other sites are you using to sell beats online?
Yeah. So the main online retailer that I’m using his beat stars and I’ve actually keep small that out beat starts, So it’s ah, B e a t s t a r s dot com So beat stars dot com Remember? The 1st 1 I use was called My Flash Tore, but I think they’re called air bit now. Ugly GeoEye Absolutely terrible. The reason why I switched to beat service cause I was like, Holy crap, he had their YouTube content. I d program for any astral. Every tries to rip off your beat. Can white list your video? So it’s like, Hey, this is like my video, anyone that uses it, they can monetize off. The monetization comes to me. I like that. I was like, Oh, that’s pretty cool. So I’m gonna choose be starts for that but also that they had a really good flash player. So it’s really good for mobile. They could create a loop between a certain amount of time and pull out the no pad in the same app. And you can start writing lyrics to the song right then and there averages treatment. And so I thought, You know, that’s fucking dope, my Flashers and have that. So I got switched. So I’ve been with them ever since. But you know, like I’ve made some sales just off of the beast, our weapons alone. Because even when I’m in the studio, for example, there’s a couple of songwriters that they don’t always come prepared. They just go on and get into the flow and get inspired. Will just go on beat stars and we just start flipping through beats. I just start playing with non the thing I want next one on bazaars and then, like Wednesday, quite attractive *** that we got to get this one or whatever so downloaded right then and there. There’s like an option. Most producers have an option for a free download, but it has your voice tackle over it, Um, and and when when you finally, like decide if you want to choose the track, if it’s going to make the e p or is going to make the single than it’s like OK, and then that will buy it right and that will buy, like $30.40 dollars lease
a question I have for that is thes leasing agreements that you’re talking about you mentioned earlier. There’s a wave lease you can dio, or you can actually lease the track. So if is it set up, So if they Lisa track, it’s like $60 they can you just use it for one
song? Yeah. So, um, when you buy a B offer you, for example, salmon artists and I go on your be storing on that will come looking for a B right? You offered them different packages that you can choose from in each of, um, costs like anymore, and it gives you more benefits in the most basic one isn’t an MP three license. This will give you the, uh you know, the ability toe monetize awful extreme platforms like Spotify Apple Music Area. You gotta sell units on iTunes and yeah, but it gives you, like, a limited amount of streams that you’re able to do that before you have to renew the lease and and, you know, upgraded down the road or whatever and be able to get the only ministry in package like I have. Ah, my own my own limited lease, which is essentially, you get the MP three wave master and in all the stems. But you get royalty for you, right? You pay me up front 200 bucks and then you could do where were the fucking on the track. But at the end of the day, I still own 100% of the publishing rights alone. Distract the reason why you’re ableto create this song and uploaded on Spotify have $20 to the exact same thing in because the contract legally allows you to make a derivative copy of the song. That’s that specific words. The reason why this is all legal because you’re creating a derivative copy of it. So the moment an artist buys that create his own lyrics or whatever and puts it over the beat. That’s a derivative copy and the Leeds grant from the rights to do that.
And are there contracts in place on beat stars that basically people are signing an agreement as their purchasing your track?
Exactly. So in doesn’t matter just why lobby starts to do. They had this firstly, for anyone else and the reason why I love them because they have a template contract that you could go in and also added as well to so the moment you pay for it. Uh, when you put your information like your legal name and your artist name your address your IATA it automatically auto fills that contracts. Everything’s automated. So the moment I’m an artist, I like to be from information cash flow through PayPal and and boom like the sales made. I mean, I am merely make the money, and they need to get the download for the for that B. That’s on tagged and also a copy of the contract with exact same dates and minute to the second that they bought it.
So okay, so you get a copy of the contract that they sign and they do is well, now does beat stars have some sort of automated script that scan Spotify so that once they hit a stream cap, they’ll get in the email saying, Hey, you are no longer allowed to use this. You need to upgrade. How does that work?
No. So I would be pretty cool if he did, but they don’t have that. So at the end of the day, the way I see it is if some person bought your MP three, you know, I think mine’s only grant you like 30,000 or 40,000 streams. But you start racking in, like, three or four million plays like they just blow up for some fucking reason, right?
And you you hear the track, you’re like, Wait, that’s might be
exactly. And I’ll probably go through my records on like, Okay, let’s say you go to my PayPal and try to find out what you know. What license did they buy if they even bought a license? Right? And I see like, Oh, they only bought a wave. Li suddenly gives you 50,000 streams. But here I am seeing five million. I mean, yeah, I have the legal rights that I could see them. I just fucking follow subpoena and, you know, see him in court. And 61 someone not or I could work out a deal with, um you know what I mean? Like, it’s There’s so many different ways you can go about doing it. So it’s not 100% perfect, right? And yeah, like, this is something that you cannot to keep an eye out on. Occasionally I get sometimes people trying to flag my video because, like the management that bought my be tryto do all this hectic legal stuff on it and now, like, you should try to remove my video. And from there I just followed claims saying, Hey, you know, this is my original copy. They haven’t bought an exclusive rights of it. I still 100% rights. They have a good fucking the information to see that, because they see that might be was uploaded, like fucking eight months before they put their shit up. So, um and plus, I have be stars. YouTube content, I d. So the moment whenever I upload a beat boom automatically gets signed with YouTube, and it’s like I’m the 1st 1 I have it. So
this is a very important lesson that producer should learn and learn. Now, if you’re small and still kind of new to trying to sell, beats be organized. When someone buys your track, take a copy of that invoice, have a folder set up, maybe even print the invoice and print the contract and make sure those two are together. Organize some sort, some sort of file system on your hard drive or even better, on Google driver Dropbox bees. That’s on the cloud. So if your computer crashes, you’ll still have. You know, if you’re set up on Dropbox and you’re organized, well, that’s all going to be set up there for when you’re for your filing system. So make sure you have a filing system in place for when someone buys your track, put a copy of their contract a copy of their PayPal invoice and maybe make a folder for their name because they might be a returning client so you could build up kind of a big file of everything that they’re working on. And if they end up becoming a bigger artist and their track is still playing on Spotify and later on in five years they blow up. You still have that contract organized and you go, OK, well, hey, we need to re negotiate a deal here where I’m taking a royalty percentage. Let’s go into the higher tier of leasing because I think you you also mentioned wave leasing. Is that basically they outright by your track for a higher dollar amount and they get unlimited everything and you kind of take a step back and it’s no longer yours, so
that would be the exclusive rights. So I’ve sold a couple of those and one of almost two Universal Music group, so they haven’t really see. It’s I don’t know if I can say the name but, like one of my beats called Freshii, that if you’re going you two, it’s still there on YouTube. It’s has sold. So one of the artists on their by their manager contacted me through, um, my email that we move the conversation to like it’s all over the place of Instagram. They asked me, you know how much to buy the exclusive rights to it? Only exclusive, right? Beat up. I sold before that was found. Your bucks that is, kid from the Maryland. You just basically set a higher price. So there’s a good unlimited one, right? So you can still sell a bunch of unlimited ones. I still own all the rights to it, but they can still make unlimited sales from EC streaming platforms and selling on iTunes. And why not? What they don’t get is the ability to sink it to like Fillmore, who makes a say, for example, um, big movie budget. Find your song and they want to, like, basically pay you for that, right? They don’t have those rights. I have this right. So, like from there, we can work something out with the artist would be like, Okay, um, you know, we do it’s percentage or something, right? Until that day happens, they don’t own the rights to that. So, yeah, you can split the publishing rights. So for the first few exclusive right beats that I sold, I did like a 50 50 with the artist and then for like, the one that she just to that I sold to Universal Music. But the 1st 1 I give him 100% the 100% I can see the reason why and because I’ve had another encounter with another guy was trying to do this with me, too. They don’t want to have to deal with trying to get everyone who is involved in trying to get them to sign. Because it’s a fucking pain in the ass, man. And even
cutting checks is a pain in the ass to when you get into the royal to world.
Exactly. Even just getting that paycheck. Just today, exclusive rights took for ever Manhole. My God, I think like seven or eight and wants to get that paycheck like I thought I was gonna be. Oh, yeah, When one or two I’m gonna have that money is like No, Like, I had to keep following up with them and everything like, Oh, you You have felt this tax form And it’s kind of like fucking how alligators took forever, right? So you retain all the rights until you sell an exclusive rights. And then from there you have the option of splitting the publishing rights Either 50 50 or 30 70 whatever option wanna go, Or in the Universal Music Group case, I did it like 100%. So they took all the rights. But I gotta pay the higher price where they bought it for 2000 which is like the most I’ve ever saw that before.
So let’s let’s just kind of recap thes kind of these tears on this is on beat stars correct the Detroit And do you get to set these tears? Or is this something that beat stars has?
No, you just you said to tears. So what I do is I just found the market value. So like I heard my beats and I McGill, I know my beats are pretty quality. They’re not just like five minute beats that somebody can make in an uploaded right. And these Air $5 based on like now they have some value, like so I did some market research for the producers were putting up really high quality beef stew, and I found out they all have around the same price is something that might be like fire bucks more or $10 less. But I decided to like position myself with another artist who are really like and admire or not sorry artists, producers also uploading who I really like and admire. Hey, goes by mantra. So my prices basically are almost exactly the same as his. I think he’s updated his So, um, his air slightly, I think a bit more just cause, like, he’s got some big placements with, like, Fucking Future and Rihanna and always kind of should so follow with the market like, don’t just be like that one asshole selling an MP three license for 100 bucks, right? Like no one’s doing that. Everyone saying that. Be three license from anywhere from like 10 bucks. 40 bucks, right? So from mine, mine’s is a $30 MP 3 $50 wave license. $80 stems least $200 unlimited license. And I like the exclusive rights. There’s like a make an offer options. So it’s like, Do you want to buy it or not? Are like how much you’re willing to pay for it. And I get like, people were tryingto make an offer all the time and I always a little bombing the hell out. But I just say, No, no, no, until finally, like, I see a good price of like Okay, fuck it. I can part ways on this, be it
That’s super important. If you’ve got a producer or a rapper who’s tryingto haggle you and bring you down to a lower price, stay with your price point. Know your value and you can negotiate. Definitely negotiate, but don’t under sell yourself or undervalue yourself because as soon as you undervalue yourself, that producer went boom, I’ve got him. That’s where I’m going to keep him at. I’m never buying another track from him over that price point. So know your value and stick to your guns when you’re negotiating those kinds of values. So, uh and with, I mean, we kind of briefly touch into it with, like, publishing rights. Um, but with royalties, have you ever signed a track where you’re getting a royalty cut
yet? So for some of the exclusive rights beats that I did, um, actually, in the couple of them weren’t even exclusive. They were the artist just nice enough to do this for me. I was like, Oh, you’re fucking dope. You just basically,
Bill, once they signed the track, they basically signed you with the record label and you get a royalty.
Not even record label is the largest guys. Air India rates so they just distributed through, like, the distributing platform. So I find the like, almost everyone eyes using destro kid. So I’m already part of dislocate. So they’re like, Oh, let me address All you do is like, basically send the email confirmed you’re part of it, and you get your percentage. So So I meet some world TV money 20 or 30 cents. Here, there.
Hey, Money’s money, man. If you’re making a little bit, you never know if attract blows up and you could be actually generating some income, are you, ah, part of being Meyer ASCAP?
Yes. So because they’re in Caddo, it’s a little different, But
let’s let’s go into that a little bit, though, like setting up publishing, especially with these beats. How do you go about that? How do you set up copyright, um, publishing rights for your tracks? When do you do it? What kind of tracks are you doing it with? Whether it’s you know, these wave lease is a lease exclusive. When do you go to ask capper b m I and set your sign your track up for copyright.
So the moment of finish your beat, there’s two things actually. So You know what? Actually, there’s one thing that the new beat stars thing I haven’t figured how to do again because of the update. Either app, it’s a little different out. But before you can create an I s our C code with beat starts that basically becomes like your digital thumbnail. So if anyone ever uses your track be started like his partner with you to to be able to track your song, why not? But, you know, if you for my p r o, my publishing rights organization, while we use so can, then I’m gonna finish it be I just, like, put the name in there by Hays. Would this be called this name filling information? And then from there, I’d say, like, basically like right before upload.
Just to make this clear for producers, you never know when someone can snatch snag that track and they sign it up on a site like that. And then you could be shit out of luck, where you now have no rights to that track at all. And if that track blows up, you could be losing millions of dollars, and you could just fucked yourself over right there. make sure you are on top of registering your tracks on these publishing sites.
Yeah. Taken extra safety net, right? So
yeah. No, no. Let’s let’s say someone signed. They want exclusive rights. Are you able to go into those publishing sites and basically remove your rights to those tracks, or do you stay on those?
You know, I’ve seen on them, actually, um, there is one that I should removed. So my fresh you one like I had to get rid of that one.
Yeah. Obviously. Because that was with the Universal, right?
Yeah. And I had also had the email. Um, fucking what’s his kilt? I had email be started. Let him know, too, that they hate this beat. Ah, bought by this record level of one and that they want 100%. Right? So wait. So I believe I pay, like, five bucks to to remove it. There’s some stupid feed that I had to do, but basically to remove the ice, our C code.
So let’s kind of make this point clear. It sounds like what you can do as a hip hop producer. If you If you If you sign your track up for these publishing sites, you do not need to remove yourself as the sole owner to the rights of that track unless you are signing the exclusive rights over to someone else when to sign exclusive rights over to someone else. And you’ve accepted that payment that payments now in your account and you guys have a contract that’s written out an agreement, you will need to remove yourself from that. Otherwise you’ll get into some very shady legal things. And if you sign it if you if you sell, attracted universal and keep yourself on there as the rightful owner, you don’t want to get lined up with their lawyers know to dive into this a little bit further. But I think this is a very important topic. Is rightful ownership of these tracks when you have samples in samples that you’re using and tracks and you’re selling those tracks and those people are using them for commercial use? Are you licensing samples? I haven’t man. I haven’t heard of licensing samples for a while. I mean, I think licensing samples was an issue 15 20 years ago, but I think now, with so many, there’s so many websites are selling royalty free samples that you can buy for 30 40 bucks. Uses samples all day. Sell the tracks all day and you won’t get hurt. But now, with spice, you pay $8 a month and you can download over 100 samples that are royalty free. I don’t think there’s that issue anymore. Have you had an issue with that? Have you had to license samples before? Do you know much about that?
I’ll be honest with you. I know a little bit about it, but I never had to deal with it because I would say I would say all my beats actually did. They don’t have any melodic sample that I’ve used. There was one that I got from from Spice. It was like a guitar lick. Sound like a little bit, just like chopped out up. So, like there’s no single core progression raining and any of my beats out we’re from splice. It was like be generating midi chord patterns and 19 and he’s playing it on my piano. Um, so I have used like drum samples from supplies, only percent Muslim examples, drums, air coming from splits. And when that a couple of loops that I’ve used also, like high hat loops and whatnot that come from this place. But, like there’s other people out there who, like solely rely on, like, sampling like melodies from old films or like some obscure videos on YouTube Or like the sample pack Libras you’re talking about like kings with music lively, for example, it’s a big one. Frank Dux is like one of the creators of that. So, like, if you wanted, you can literally be buying melodies from like the weekends producer. You know, the weekend, Um, a lot of his biggest tracks were coming from this guy called Frank duties like really big in our city, too. And, yeah, he’s got that option. If you wanted to do that, I don’t know how that works. Never looked into it. Three. Fucking sound amazing. There’s nothing on splits that sound like probably having spent time. Ex place. Yeah, but, you know, like he I just has, like, really don’t melody packs that were not that you could buy. And they’re like, they’re royalty free. I don’t even know, actually, so you have to look into that. I never took that around.
I think if you’re buying samples or like you’re saying melodies from a producer, um, you’ll definitely want iron that out. Ask, get details written down over an email or something. So if they’re saying, yeah, you can use this on anything and make money off of it, you’re good. But I think for the most part there’s the creative rights you have as an artist. There’s somewhat of a gray area, but let’s say you take like a sample from a movie. I think if you just pitch that up and octave, don’t quote me on this. I am not a lawyer. If you just take that and you pitch it up an octave, that’s you’ve changed it enough. But there is this gray area where, if you if you chop it up enough and you get creative with it where it’s not, you can’t really directly associate that with where it originally came from. You’re usually in the clear now, that being said, I do think the best route to go, forgetting samples that you can legally use in commercial products and sell spices. Probably envy your best option. Royalty free looking up royalty, free samples, loops that kind of stuff. Just Google it. You’ll find packs that you can buy where you get completely. You get all the rights to him. You have no issues as long as you have again. You want to take that invoice from when you purchased it. Put that in a folder. So it’s there, just in case anything happens in the future. Just make sure you stay organized like that. You started off what around 18 is when you started producing. And then around 2122 23. That’s when you kind of figured out. Or you know what I need. Start selling some of these beats. Sell these type beats. When you started selling your beat out, you were 23. You said, like 22 22 2020 from from From the very first time on your birthday, you sold that one beat for 200 bucks. How long was it until you started generating $2000 a month?
I would say that the whole another eight or nine months after that because like it was when I was like on my 23rd birthday, when that money came in and I was like, fucking blown away I was like, Oh, my God. And that’s when I got that fire. You know, this is possible we could do this. I went from making, like, I’ll be every two months to like. Okay, now we’re making, like, three or four beats a month out like five beats a month. Now I want to see you. Even if you go back to my music, you can kind of hear, like, not the quality go get worse. But I was trying to learn some things. I was, like, not over producing things much that really like that Calvin Harris beat was not over produced. I’m going to be perfect just to write about a complex that separates good balance. Exactly. Was good balance. And I was like, It wasn’t too simple. That was boring. It wasn’t too complex, I think. Okay, I want to do it. It how did just the right melody and everything going on. And I made me realize because up until that point other beats that I was like experimenting with two. I was trying to figure out, like, you know, she should I just be like the guy that could make all different kinds of sounds and one that or should I be like that with a guy that has that sound with, you know, this is just my preference. I like smooth R and B retro synth inspiring music. I find that like when I started focusing more on that, my sales went up. You know, like I have, like, other beats, trap beats that I try making that have not sold us, having made a single sail off of any of the trappings that I made.
When you’re trying to be successful in this, I think this is kind of the direction you should following. This is all about niche ing down, finding what you’re good at when you, you know when you’re starting out, make a bunch of different kinds of beats, make a bunch of different kind of tight beats that are different artists and infuse genres together. And once you have a big enough portfolio that you’ve built up for eight or nine months and it’s out there on the Web, you’ll start once you make that first sale go. OK, what track was that? What kind of tight beat was it? Let me try working on that a little bit more. And if you start seeing more sales on that kind of genre or specific style, you’re working on double down. Stop working on everything else, hone your skills and that one genre or that one tight beat and just focus on that because that’s the market telling you we want more this. Keep delivering this and you will start to rise to the top of being that person for that style.
Yeah, man, 100%. Like I know you and I both got this from From Brian Hood from the six figure record. Because I get was because of him. I maybe other like man like I was trying to appeal to everyone. When I even from like my recording and my mixing services and one that I was trying to work with more Pop R and B guys, the hip hop crowd just wanted to fucking work in the attic. Part of reason. I’m really good at tuning vocals and really good at training. Really Michael. Terrible performances, but, like really like flat like I started being known for that, and that’s what’s keeping me booked and busy. Right now. It’s mixing those kind of records and I’m like, man in the crazy part is at the time, I didn’t like listening to those songs that much, but after working them so much, actually like that kind of Jonathan that I actually like, I actually like the fucking ignorant ratchet track I because is crap, right? But now it just like, not my marty started double look like I just like I’m feeling kind of shit now, right? So, yeah, I like niche down 101 100%.
You have an appreciation for it.
Oh, you know, that’s exactly what it is. 100% committed. Listen to those records. Now I realize I’m like, man, like I just bought a new auto tune pro. I’m really trying to be the best in my city attorney vocals And I want a fucking boy One of the water on video. If you want the perfect sounding vocals that you got to come to secrets out, niche down. I have 100%. I’m a firm believer in that I even removed This is gonna be a counter intuitive the way trying to right now. Like what? Your podcast. Why even remove the option toe? Hire me as a producer in a studio.
Well, it’s just not what you’re doing right now. It’s and that’s totally acceptable. That’s cool. You decided to focus on something else that you’re more passionate about that you really want to get into. But I mean where I’m having you on the episode because you’ve done this and people want to know how to do it. So it’s and what you’re saying is it’s speaking to my heart entirely because when I was producing, I fucking hated mixing. It was a nightmare to me. It was the worst experience ever. I dreaded doing it, and because of that, I never did it. I would produce a track and then kind of mix it and then just move onto the next one, which is terrible. But then I was taught how to properly mix and what a mixed does for you in a mixed can make or break your track. When I learned how to do it and I started teaching, other producers had do it. I realized I actually am not that bad at this, and I fuckin love doing it. If I get a client’s track and they send me their reference mix, and I’m like, oof! Oh, I’m gonna blow. Yeah, Yeah. Like like there’s a lot of great elements in this, but I can hear what you’re struggling with. Let me take care of this. In about two days, a day or two, I send them this cinema track and I’m listening to the before and after. I’m like whole leaf buck. This is I mean, it’s it feels so good to experience that. And through that, I realized this is my passion. This is what I love. So I mean, I’m in the same round where, you know, I was producing for four or five years and I thought that’s what I was going to do. And then I realized it just wasn’t what I wanted anymore. I kind of transitioned out of
that. Yeah, you know what? For me? The way I see it, this business of recording and mixing people really just start popping off like this year. So I’m in the process of, like, really trying to organize my schedule to be like the most efficient every learning process, right? So the way see doesn’t go like producing is never going to be go away like there’s people still emailing me, like, asked me to make make more beats and without Tom, I tell my situation to him like I’m currently dealing with this right now. What? Pay me right out when the time comes and I’m ableto start charging like higher rates where it’s like I don’t have to be working as much and have that extra time. Then I’ll go back into this again like rekindle that love for, like, making beats and stuff again. And that’s apart, like it ties into what we’re doing anyways, right? Because, like I’m working with Artisans Studio right now, you know, and the cool part is like You can kind of hear the sound that they like and whatever And one day show, that’s what I did. I mean, it’s still this way, like one day I should’ve with the beat that you know, I can tell. Like they were kind of trying to look for where they couldn’t find forgetting, tried to be in the only garlic, but how you could make peace. I’m like, Yeah, man, And like they bought in and I was only like that. So, like double whammy Pam bought might be now I’m still recording and mixing your tracks. Just become kind of the man, but at the same time. But there’s got to be a point. Time will get like that, Love. Look for me. At least I think it’s gonna be a point time I’m gonna have, like, the level of success for I’m able to do that again. But right now I’m finding, like fulfillment, Enjoy, just from mixing and mastering people’s music and recording them. So
just toe touch back on our point before about niche ing down. You do want a niche down is very important. But don’t niche down too soon. Don’t start off by going. I’m just gonna make this type B and spend eight or nine months doing that because that might not be what the market is looking for. So your best scenario is to make a plethora of multiple genres infused or not. Put him out there, find out what cells and then niche down on that. I know you haven’t transitioned into running your business full time, and as a producer, you never actually took that step of just being a producer full time. Can you get into that a little bit. First of all, I want to know why you didn’t make that step in second of all, did you ever think about that? Step in What? What did you do to attempt to transition into that? If you did that at all,
why didn’t go into making beautiful time? Was because when I did attempt to do that de anxiety and, like, stress that I got from tryingto make creative ideas Number one that I liked that I thought was like, Hey, this is good. This is going to go out there and number two to get enough. You know, music out there that is gonna sell. I couldn’t do it. I would freeze into, like, anxiety and whatnot. And like, and ah, Yeah, like I figured, like Fox like that. I need some kind of bottom line, you know, like money’s running out and I’m gonna need to find a way to start making more money soon. Fuck. I gotta go find that a part time job again. Onda And like and? And the beat sales start coming in again. Okay. Almost have reduced hours. I’m gonna try doing this again and time and time. I kept trying to do it again. And I couldn’t really have that kind of anxiety and pressure that, like, I need to be ableto especially like as you’re getting older and like, you gotta really figure out a way. How toe provide for yourself and one Not so I figure I’m like, No, there’s something clearly that the markets tell me right now and it’s artist trying to get with me in the studio that you want to recording me. They want me to make the master your music. And I kept saying no to people man like, Why do I keep denying like I like doing it? But I was trying, really, Um, I guess I was like knitting down before I even knew anything. That was I was really just trying to pigeonhole myself and focus on producing. Let me try something else. Let me try the opposite when you try doing something that I still really love, which is mixing focus on that and what Whatever spare time I have, I’ll start making beats again. Everything. Just start working out now. My cold calendars, complete busy like I have a hard time find pockets of time and I think part of that is because I’m going to go hustle period now where I’m tryingto get a new spot for, like, my girl now, to move out, get a bigger studio. So that gets reviews. And, like, I’m really saved a ton of money for that. So when the time comes, like all Selden again and like, you know I have more free time and then I’ll start going back to making beats and whatnot. But I’m literally just in that hospital ran out. So
the most important thing Teoh I realize and understand when you’re trying to transition from doing this is part time to full time and quitting your job. The most important thing is to save up money you want to pay. You wanna have at least minimum three months of all of your bills, all of your groceries, anything you spend money on. You want to calculate that? How much is that gonna cost for three months and you want to save that up? And the other thing too, is do not even think about transitioning into doing this full time until your entire calendar is filled up. If you have producers hitting you up that are wanting you to make beats for them. You can start booking them in scheduling them for sessions and have that calendar start to fill up. And the other thing, too, is how Maney beats. Are you selling a day? Are you selling a B today? If you’re selling a B today, you can consider that as filling up your calendar, and you can start to reduce your hours at your job. But do not do that until you have that saving set up and you don’t have Don’t touch. Don’t touch that savings unless it is an emergency and you have no choice. And usually for the average person you’re gonna have to save up about 10 grand. It’s usually about 10 grand. Is that what is what you’re gonna need saved up and that usually pays for about three months of expenses. And then you can start talking about doing that transitional period, and I highly recommend just cutting hours. Don’t just go. I’m quitting. Cut your hours so you can focus more on your business. Focus more on the marketing side of things, and you do you relieve yourself of the stress that is held against you when you your money is running out and you’re trying to creatively come up with things to sell, because just like you said, you’ll freeze up. You’ll get anxiety and you’ll get that writer’s block because you’re so focused on trying to make the next track that’s gonna make you money. And that takes away from the creativity and in return takes away from you selling tracks. Because if your tracks aren’t creative enough, people aren’t gonna buy them those air. Some points that you really need to keep in mind when you’re working on transitioning from part time to full time as a producer. So, Danny, can people still buy your producer tracks? I know you’re not taking requests, but can people go online? Can they go to beat stars and license your track still?
Ah, yeah, So I leave it up there because, like, even though I haven’t made beats in a long time, I still make like monthly sales every now Then I still make, like, a couple of 100 or 500 bucks every month from small leases here and there that people keep finding so, you know, I do leave it up there pays for itself off. It’s a $20 a month subscription. My fuck, I’ll just leave that there is going to appoint time. I’m gonna go back into this again. Fuck it, You know?
Yeah. Let’s Ah, let’s get some plugs in for you. Then what’s your what’s your beat? Stars account working. They find you on beat stars for people to license their tracks. If they’re looking for a producer
Little baby stars like home hyphen Um, life and slash cinco sound And and I see my page there.
Okay, so www dot beat stars dot com slash cinco sound And that c i n c o S o u and D
on my website also is ah cinco sound dot com.
So, yeah, you guys confined at www dot beat stars dot com slash cinco sound. Www dot cinco sound dot com. And if people want to email you and re chow and they have some questions for you, what’s your email address that they can reach you at? Yeah,
So it’s ah cinco at cinco sound dot com. So what? Dispelling is the same way And yeah, I feel Frida tol me anytime. Honestly, I’m probably gonna recommend you some of the sources that I’ve I’ve found that Help me and a lot of that. Actually, if you set up with beat stars, they have a whole bunch of webinar tutorials on how to set everything up because I thought that was amazing. I didn’t know that until, like I pay for it and boom like it took, twirled, popped up. And yeah, that’s how you want to start setting things up and tell you everything about market how to create a Google ads campaign. And I was, like, holy blown away about it. I was like, Shit, this is amazing. So I know what that will be very, very helpful. And there’s, like, tons of other guys who post constantly online, and you kind of to be around that support. So people like Kato on the track, D J pain one even like superstar Or just get these, like industry beat star not be stars. But I got producers who, like are making fucking a hell of a living Selling beats online. Like if you look at superstar, all these guys gotta go fuckin like Lambeau like houses. And I was kind of it’s stupid and It’s just like he’s making money off of just selling these little leases here and there. But like to his volume, though, that he’s clearly found some way this system icing so like there’s no doubt about it. He probably has, like a mixing guy was mixing the B train because you probably don’t have time to mix music anymore. He’s like, Yo, you know, like he just has to keep put putting out ideas and one not so
well If there’s our third producers out there in that situation where they’re just making a shit on a beats, they’re not good at mixing or mastering or can’t do it. Uh, I mean, Danny, you’re kind of the guy to go to for this kind of thing, cause that’s this is your niche. This is your genres, hip hop and R and B. So go to sink of sound dot com. I’m sure you have a quote form on their that they can fill out for them to hire you as a mixing or mastering engineer. I’ve heard your stuff. It is unbelievably fire people. What’s your YouTube accounts of? People can go listen to Samir beats because that shit on there is unbelievable.
I appreciate that, man. Thank you. Um, same thing. Just cinco sound. I make sure everything with congruent and consistent. So if you single sound anything, whether it’s instagram twitter fucking Facebook handle name slash cinco sound. Anything is going to be, um I’m gonna pop up right away, so I make sure, Like when I chose that name, I got everything.
Yeah, And you guys got to go to his YouTube channel and check his shit out. It is unbelievable. When I first started talking to you because I we started got we got into contact because I had a hip hop, Um, a rapper that was looking for a producer. And he said he listened to your shit, and he was like, This is a NBA believable, so ah, highly recommend you guys go check Is youtube out? Um, and I’m you mixed and mastered all that stuff to write all of it. Yes. So I mean, there’s his portfolio right there. You guys can check it out if you need an engineer. Well, thank you so much, Danny. I appreciate you taking the time to ah record this interview with me. I definitely want to bring you back on for another episode where we can kind of get more into the business side of things. Because I think this episode was more of a set up of How do you get on the market? How do you sell beats and what do you need to do to get these things in place? I would love to do a follow up interview where we really talked about the business aspect of things, all the really technical, nitty gritty stuff, because that’s just as important as getting your stuff online to sell.
I’m down for that. And I want to thank you as well for bringing me on and for the plug. You know, appreciate that. Ah, it was a good conversation. And the and the future. Many free down for them down for that too.
Oh, yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, and I appreciate it. And then you take care. P two, bro, I hope you guys got something from that and learned a few things that you can apply to yourself as a producer and start making some money online. Right now, as we speak, I have one quick favor to ask you guys, if you got anything from this episode at all, anything was helpful. I would really appreciate it if you went to iTunes, gave this show a rating, reviewed it and also subscribe. Don’t forget to share it with your friends. I really need to know if you’re even listening to this and taking anything away from it. Because there are a 1,000,000 other things that I could be doing with myself and my business than making a podcast for my girlfriend and my mom. Go to envious audio dot com slash podcast to check out the show. Notes. I’ll have links on there for you to follow to check out the stuff that we talked about on today’s episode, please again Head to iTunes. Give it a review. Raid it and I’ll see you guys on the next episode where we will be talking about the importance of Mentor ship. I’ve got Cameron Basha from Nia Logic Studios on that episode. There’s a lot of great information in there about how to approach your mentor, how to provide value to a mentor and things that you will get from a mentor again. I’m Christian Casino from NBS Audio. This was the first up so of electronic dance money. Take care