We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful DeJuan Boyd. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with DeJuan below.
Alright, DeJuan thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Learning the craft is often a unique journey from every creative – we’d love to hear about your journey and if knowing what you know now, you would have done anything differently to speed up the learning process.
How did you learn to do what you do?
Wow…very good question. It wasn’t until I was older is when I realized I’ve been doing everything wrong…Lol. When you’re younger you just want to do what you see other people do who inspire you but there’s no manual so you create in your mind that there must be some type of official structure, protocol and/or outline to follow…only if we knew whatever & wherever that lives, right?..Lol. As a small child I learned the notes on my aunt’s toy air organ that had been stored in a hall closet at my grandmother’s house. It had the notes written on the white keys so I would play & match them according to the letters and play that way. I learned what octaves were without realizing it. Fast forward when I started to play trumpet my lip form was wrong. There is a certain way that you have to hold your lips & I couldn’t do it that way. I figured out a way to make the sounds & notes necessary to make it happen. In doing this…unknowingly it gave me the advantage to hit certain high notes that others couldn’t. I would later become section leader partially because of this. Keep in mind when you’re doing things in a way that you don’t feel comfortable you will develop insecurities. So, from there you’re already self-conscious which cause more insecurities. From there I began DJ’ing…and because of my limitations…i.e. no equipment…I learned the best way I could. I would scratch on my mother’s component set but the tone arm wasn’t weighted. I’d have to place quarters or sometimes jelly beans on the tone arm to keep it to stay on the record while I was scratching. At first I would use the volume knob as the fader but later I would hear a different technique of scratching called ‘Transforming” that I knew I couldn’t do with just the volume knob. Once a fellow DJ from the neighborhood whom I shared a friendly rival with ( Felix Cotton aka DJ Cat…R.IP. ) showed me how it was done. At that point I realized I could use the volume knob but it would be more effective if there was a way to not gradually turn down the sound but for it to be instantaneously turned off and make it crispier. This is when I decided to experiment & take the RCA speaker wire connection & close the three prongs slightly to just make contact with the connector to make the sound needed as I made contact with the speaker wire & connector. This taught me to be the best scratcher I could be because I’m only working on one turntable/component set. The exact same thing happened when I began producing. You learn however you learn and you have to recognize the power in that without comparison to anyone else & what they’ve done prior. . As a creative you will always find a way to create despite your limitations and/or environment…It’s a part of your nature & peace of mind. You will always find a way…it’s just your innate nature to figure it out and make it happen. The lessons are you can figure anything out and you can do it differently from everyone else and there’s power in that. The way McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King make burgers are totally different but yet still successful as separate entities. You don’t have to do it the same way anyone else does….just have confidence in how you do things.
Knowing what you know now, what could you have done to speed up your learning process?
I don’t think there is anything you can do to speed up the learning process other than being open and even then the pace would depend on the individual.
What obstacles stood in the way of learning more?
You’re always faced with figuring out what it is that you need to know that you haven’t learned as of yet. That will always be an ongoing pursuit as long as you’re breathing.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.Can you please tell our readers about yourself, How you got into your industry / business / discipline / craft etc,
I got into the business thru DJ’ing. I was one of the DJs for a group called 1st Degree…consisted of the M.C. Jack Frost, DJ Napom & myself DJ Rabbitt at the time. We were part of conglomerate that consisted of other artists & groups. The headquarters was at this DJ’s house that was new in town from St. Louis & worked at the record store in the West End Mall. We know him today as the legendary DJ Jelly. From there I caught the producing bug…producing is a natural progression from DJing so that’s where my passion shifted.
What type of products/services/creative works you provide?
We provide custom music production & specialize in urban music production focusing on TV/Film. Our sound is generally HipHop based infused with other genres with dark overtones and driven percussions. We provide music ranging from independent projects to major releases. With over 20 years of experience, we will provide a soundscape or musical backdrop for your project be it TV/Film, advertising, album projects, etc. We also provide mixing & mastering services, graphic design & logo services and our merch is pretty cool…lol!
What problems you do you solve for your clients?
We may have a client that comes to us with the acapellas that they want new music for. We always ask what was wrong with the original production. We hear the previous producer(s) may have lost the session files, couldn’t get certain samples cleared, couldn’t find the producer(s), couldn’t reach an agreement with said producer(s), etc. so they may want something with a similar feel & vibe or they may want something totally different. It’s our job to bring that to life for them.
What you think sets you apart from others.
We work with a network of some of the most talented & creative songwriters, producers world wide as well as right here in the ATL. We’re simply different…we operate without limitations…we believe that anything is possible.
What are you most proud of and what are the main things you want potential clients/followers/fans to know about you/your brand/your work/ etc.
I’m proud to have figured out how to navigate in this business and remaining sane…lol! You have to reconfigure how you think & process things in the music business. It is its own beast. I’m proud of remaining honest & doing good business. I’m proud of the relationships & connections I’ve been able to nurture & maintain because that is the lifeline. Being a good person with good relationships can get you in rooms you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
What are the main things you want potential clients/followers/fans to know about you/your brand/your work/ etc.
What we want potential clients/followers/fans to know about us/our brand/our work is that everything we do is rooted in us being true to ourselves, being professional & delivering quality work.
What do you find most rewarding about being creative?
The most rewarding aspect of being an artist or creative is the ability to create or bring forth something unto the world that didn’t exist the day before that has the power to affect people.
Can you share your view on NFTs? (Note: this is for education/entertainment purposes only, readers should not construe this as advice)
I think NFT’s are dope & game changing for creatives. I haven’t gotten too deep but we do have a crypto website that we’ll be launching some NFT projects from in the near future.
- Website: https://www.rabbittproductions.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Rabbittpro/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rabbittproductions/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rabbittpro
DeJuan Boyd & Bam Savage