What's up, let everyone know who you are and what you do?
I go by the name Danarchy. I’m a hip-hop, pop, rock and orchestral music producer from Saint Paul, MN. I grew up playing piano and alto saxophone in symphonic and orchestral bands in middle school and high school and I have played guitar in punk rock and metal bands since 9th grade. I currently play guitar/keys/synths with a few different bands including a hip-hop group, Mr. Gene Poole and the Beast Company. In my music production, I try to use my background as a symphonic/orchestral musician and metal/rock guitarist to help me create interesting and innovative music. The beat I submitted to iStandard’s song submit opp was a “Trap Metal” beat, which is a style I created by essentially mixing high-energy trap style beats with metal/rock guitars, all of which I play and record myself. I also compose/produce film score-style music, and I recently have been working on a bunch of 100% original film-score hip-hop tracks for a Game of Thrones-themed mixtape with Pledge Empire Records, so keep an eye out for The Empire Remains.
When did you get started in the production game?
I decided to seriously pursue music production a little over 3 years ago during my junior year as an American Studies major at Macalester College, where I wasn’t doing anything related to music, and was struggling academically. I had been messing around with making simple beats, dance remixes and recording demo songs for my punk rock and metal bands starting in high school, but it wasn’t until I was on the verge of failing out of college that I fully realized that creating music was where I needed to focus my energy. My decision to focus on music production would not have been possible without the support of my family who have always supported and encouraged me musically. I also wanna give shout out to my professors at Macalester, who recognized and understood my passion for music and allowed me to part from the standard curriculum, and instead focus on learning about the connections between music, race and history as well as building concrete music production skills.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
As far as hip-hop and R&B, a few of the producers and artists I am influenced by are J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Scott Storch, Needlz, T-Minus, Big Cats!, DJ Pain 1, Immortal Technique, Dead Prez, Eminem, Drake, Tech N9ne, Yelawolf, Lupe, Boots Riley, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson and Ne-yo. I am also influenced and inspired by lots of different types of music besides hip-hop and “urban” music, for example, I listen to classical/orchestral music, various sub-genres of punk rock and metal, aggressive Flux Pavillion/Skrillex-style dubstep, and I really like the Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer styles of film score music as well.
What type of software or hardware do you use to create music?
I use Logic Pro as my main DAW, and then within Logic, I use some of its bundled processing tools and virtual instruments, but I rely heavily on a bunch of third party software like NI's Kontakt, Reaktor and Guitar Rig, IK's Miroslav Philharmonik and SampleTank and many other random virtual instruments and synthesizers. I record and control virtual instruments with an M-audio midi keyboard, and I recently got a Maschine, so I have been learning to integrate it into my workflow. For my guitars, I play a Schecter through a Peavey 5150 and/or Line6 interfaces and PodFarm in combination with NI's Guitar Rig.
Speaking of software, I forgot to mention that I also am a tutor/instructor for individuals and groups who are learning to use GarageBand, Logic Express and Logic Pro. I am currently beginning my third semester as the GarageBand instructor for elementary and middle school students at two different Minneapolis public schools.
If you could work with one artist who would it be and why?
I would say Tech N9ne because I feel like we’re on a similar page as far as the way we both combine rock and hip-hop, and specifically, I feel like we both have focused on trying to channel the aggression and chaos of metal into hip-hop. I appreciate that a lot of his tracks have pretty clear metal/rock influences and he is not afraid to think outside the box and try new things artistically. I like to chop up my tracks and manipulate them to create unique parts, making em even more the beats that Tech and the other “choppers” (like Twista, Busta, Yelawolf) would go in on. So yeah, if I ever get the chance to “chop” it up with Tech (and Strange Music), I think we could make some crazy, banging hip-hop records.
Where can we find you online?
I recently purchased a domain name and am in the process of building a full website, which should be finished relatively soon. You can check out some posts I've made from the landing page even while it is under construction:
Otherwise, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud and more:
Oh, and, if any of my fellow producers who are Logic users ever end up needing some assistance with Logic Pro or Express, don’t hesitate to hit me up and I’ll see if I can help out.
I wanna quickly say thanks to iStandard for giving less established producers opportunities and tools that can help us grow and progress towards perfecting our craft. Peace, Danarchy.