True Magazine Exclusive Q&A With Producer Sensation Cash Clay Beats
Super-producer Cash Clay Beats has stamped his imprint on the music scene producing for superstars since 2003. His production has helped create hits for artists such as Migos, Travis Scott, Young Thug, K Camp, Rick Ross, Boosie Baddazz, Yung Joc, T pain, Money Man, R Kelly, 21 Savage among many others. After moving to Atlanta from St. Louis, he adopted an “ATL” sound which has poured the foundation for his career. “I’m most comfortable with rap music but my R&B records are epic. I have a big sound, it’s hard to put me in one category. It’s very edgy, aggressive but at times it’s calm and soothing. I like to play on people’s emotions.” He explains. Cash Clay knows what truly drives him is his genuine love for creating music and the desire to leave something for his kids/family to enjoy long after his days are gone.
The TURNT Documentary was an great oppurtunity and the expericnce that I took away from it was that I can use my experiences to educate others that my need help. I realized how much knowledge I have gained throught all of the years that I have been producing. I always felt like im the one that need advice from others. I didn’t realize that my story is an learning tool in its self and I can reach people in a more relatable way.
2) What do you expect people to take away from TURNT ?
I want people to be able to understand from the early stages of the industry. Like how I touched on how important to register and sign up with ASCAP, BMI or SESAC for example. I want people thinking about getting into the music industry to know how important it is to learn the business and not just get into it and have to learn the hard way.
3) Can you describe what sounds/ artistic influences you pick up from Atlanta? Do you think you would be where you are if you hadn’t moved out there? Please elaborate.
Atlanta has greatly influenced my music. From the sounds used in the music to the artist. I have followed every wave of Atlanta’s massive track record of hits. From Lil John’s crunk music to Future’s billboarding, chart topping hits. Atlanta seems to be an melting pot of hitmakers. Im initally from St. Louis MO, but even there we played and was influenced by Atlanta music. Atlanta sounds change up all the time. Every wave that came by I tried to catch it. Like when most of Atlanta music had heavy horns. I use to use horns in my beats. I would follow every wave that came out untill I said ima make my own wave and that’s why the Migos record Kelly Price stands out on the album. I don’t think I would have had the same oppurtunities if I would have not moved to Atlanta. Being here is like a kid being in a candy store. Most of the artist live here or come here to record so your chances of running into someone that could change your life are high.
4) How do you tailor your beats for the artist that you work with; making sure you are keeping the artist vibe/ sound while still being creative? What is that process like?
Im the type of producer that will study an artist sound for weeks or even months to get something similar to what they have or push the envelope and try to step outside of their norm but still something that I could hear the flowing (rapping) to. If I don’t know the artist I would put a picture of them up like a target at a shooting gallery lol. I would focus on them the whole time until I made enough beats to submit or play for them. As a result of that, a lot of the times the first two or three beats I play the artist have already picked the one or ones they want to use. My process for making beats consists of taking a nap first then when I first wake up my mind is clear. That’s when I’m at my best. A sober and clear mind makes the best beats and music for me. I like to already be prepared also before I go to a session. I prefer to make beats alone or with my team and the play the finish product for the artist. The reason behind my methods are because I take hours at times selecting sounds. That’s an very important a part of making beats way before it gets to the mixing stages. Sound selecting is everything. I just don’t go with the first sound I hear unless it catches me like that. Anther tip I use is when I do find a good sound ill listen to it over and over and if it never gets old to my ear I know it’s the one. And that’s why I prefer to make beats alone or with my team because most artist want their product asap.
5) Producers tend to carry the sound of music from generation to generation, what do you think your signature sound will influence this culture?
I think the next generation would be influenced by my drums and how they hit. I look up to Timberland and that’s what I took from his production style.
6) How do you think hip hop can contribute to ending certain social issues within our community?
Hip Hop is definitely an powerful tool to get people to come together. That’s why companies endorse artist because they know they will bring people together and buy their product. Hip Hop artist can influence communities in good ways or bad ways. I cant say they can end any social issue in particular but they definitely can help the process of ending certain social issues in the community.
7) What other projects have you been listening to this year?
I have been listening to Future and Young Thug, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Drake, DJ Khaled, K Camp, Migos and everyting on the Billboards top 40.
8) What do you consider success in the music industry from a producer standpoint?
My personal view point of success in the music industry is when I can take care of my family off of music solely. Now from a industry/producer viewpoint, I believe its when you obtain certain placements on albums that do well or go platinum and you receive plaques/ awards such as a grammy. Then at that point you have accomplished industry success.
9) With the recent placements that you have, which studio sessions or tracks were the most memorable for you? And why?
It Had to be when I was at Boosie Badazz house with his artist Juicy Badazz. I came to record some of her vocals for the song Stay On Your Hustle witch features Boosie. So while we were recording Boosie comes down to the studio then Juice introduced me to him (very cool dude). I didn’t know what to expect. He asked me to play some beats and the first beat I played he started writing to it instantly. I was like wow. Mind you it was like 3am and He finished writing in like 20 mins and he was like you ready and I said “Lets Get It”. It was a good thing that I knew how to engineer because the person that usually record them wasn’t there, so that record would have never been recorded if I didn’t have that skill. So I ended up recording him on two of my beats. That was great night. The other song is titled Boosie – I don’t know what to do.
10) The political environment is at an all time peak, specially geared towards gun violence and race. Do you think issues in our society have an impact on your music or vice versa?
I definitely believe music influences society and society influences music so its both ways. There use to be a time where studio gangsters existed. Well not any more, lol. These artist are really about what they rap about and if their not they have to do something to prove they are. Its really getting out of control and we are loosing some great artist in the process.
Check out his latest collaboration with K Camp Below: