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Accueil > Interview BeatzMaking : Focus… [English version]

BeatzMaking : Hello Focus…, how are you ?

Focus… : I’m good. Hope things are great your way…

BM : Can you make a small statement for the last people who do not know you yet?

F… : For those who don’t know who I am; My name is Bernard Edwards, Jr., son of famed bassist and CHIC producer Bernard Edwards. I go by Focus… and I produce music for Aftermath Entertainment

BM : Your instrumentals always got a lot of groove, do the musical legacy from your father who serves you in your approach to produce?

F… : My father has definitely been a heavy influence on my approach and a huge mentor with regards to my groove technique. I learned a lot from him and how he wrote and produced for CHIC

BM : Nile Rodgers has made a pretty strong return through his work with Daft Punk, will we hear, one day, a collaboration between you two?

F… : Honestly, I would LOVE to work with Nile and make a new CHIC record. If that were to happen, it would be a huge blessing but there is nothing in the works at this moment…

What is your favorite gear?

F… : My favorite gear to use at the moment is Logic X Pro. I still have my MPC 3000 but, at the moment, I am only using Logic

BM : How much do you evaluate the percentage of sample and composition in your beats?

F… : I tend to like using sampled bits and pieces, especially my drums. The use of samples really depends on what I am trying to create and who I am creating for. Samples and publishing can get really tricky so I try not to use a lot of them…

BM : How do you feel about the music performed only on software, do you consider it as production or programming?

F… : A beat maker who doesn’t understand the facets and parameters of production is only a programmer, in my opinion. I know a lot of producers who solely produce on software that are truly amazing and I know they understand how to produce a song from beginning to end. Like I said prior to this question, I am using software only and I feel that I produce, mix and compose just as good, if not better, than when I had a room full of hardware…

BM : What were your major influences in terms of Rap and RnB music?

F… : My major influences range from Stevie Wonder and Prince all the way across to Dr. Dre and D.J. Premier. I have a lot of producers on my list…

BM : Among all producers of nowadays, who are those you like?

F… : Some of my favorites in the game are Mr. Porter, DJ Khalil, Dem Jointz, Cardiak, DJ Dahi, The Olympicks, D.R.U.G.S., Terrace Martin, and Nottz just to name a few of the main ones…

BM : Through your work with Daks, you were approached by Aftermath, what was your mindset when you knew you were going to join the team of Dr. Dre?

F… : I was elated! Dre knew from the start how much he influenced me and I knew that this was all a huge blessing. I couldn’t believe Dre wanted to take a chance on me. I am forever grateful to him…

BM : After 7 years in the structure, you left to dedicate yourself a little more to your family life, is it difficult for a big producer like you to associate family and music? How do you manage to reconcile the two now that you’re back in the label?

F… : It’s funny, I don’t see myself as a “big” producer. I have been blessed to work with some of the greatest in the business but that’s just it, I worked with some of THE GREATEST in the business! I didn’t make them great, or even greater. Dr. Dre helped make Eminem great, 50 cent great, Snoop great and many, many more. I only know ‘family’! I only know what my duty is as a provider, a father and most importantly, a husband. Spiritually, I had to realign myself with my Heavenly Father and that is what keeps me focused, (no pun), on God first, family a close second and my career, third!

BM : This year is very auspicious for you thanks to your participation in « Compton » album. From our point of view, the way the different producers have approached this project appears similar to a Hollywood blockbuster. How was the period of realization?

F… : OVERWHELMING ! I am still a fan of Dre’s so just knowing that we were working on a project for the world to hear was completely overwhelming and humbling in the same motion. Everyone showed up for Dre and brought their best! The team is infallible!

BM : Just a few years ago, you produced for French rappers like Kamini but especially La Fouine which you produced six titles for, how the connection was made?

F… : I was working with a good friend of mine, Cilvaringz, and through his many connections I got to work with La Fouine, Salah Edin, Kamini and a few others…

BM : Did you feel a big difference in the approach to the music compared to US artists?

F… : Not at all! Music is a universal language and that was the only language we all understood in that studio. We had to make good music. I wish I could’ve made something bigger, more commercial for La Fouine but I think for our first run together, that was pretty amazing…

BM : Is this a good memory?

F… : A great memory! I wanted to go back out to France and work with Booba and a few others but we never had the chance to make that happen…

BM : Will we get to hear again French rappers on your productions?

F… : I hope so. Tell them to call me… LOL

BM : Apart from « Compton », what is your news and that prepares you for the future?

F… : I have some instrumental projects coming out, new music with Busta Rhymes, Marsha Ambrosius and I really just plan on working with whomever is ready to work. I am excited about the worldwide response to COMPTON and I hope it resonates for years to come…

BM : Have you any advice to French producers who are reading this interview?

F… : KEEP AT IT! There is no such thing as true advice because every situation will be different but the only thing that will help each and every producer around the world is consistancy and determination. Keep doing your music!!!

BM : Thank you Focus… we keep in touch !

Go follow Focus… on Twitter, Instagram and his website focus3dots.com .