How did you two come together to form NL?
Term: I was running Flatline studios and Sonny came through as a client looking to record his artist. Once I heard his style of production I thought it would be a good fit to take my music into another direction. A more commercial direction.
Sonny: At the time I was putting together tracks for my Artist Mac Smiff and began working with Term on the recording end. As we got more familiar with each others work we kind of naturally came to the conclusion that a collaborative effort would not only bring us both up to the next level as producers but also benefit the region by creating a more distinctive sound than has been heard in the town recently.
When you two are in the studio, how does it all come to life? How does the magic happen?
Term: Usually we start with a drum beat and decide if we are going to flip a sample or to do a synth beat. Once the drums get laid we go through sounds until something sparks that creativity. From there, we just trade off on who lays the next melody line. After that we sequence it into a song and start to come up with song ideas and write hooks for the tracks.
Sonny: Difficult to encapsulate how the creative energy is born, but usually we go through drums for a while, lay those down then surf patches or chop up the sample if were using one. The melody creation is kind of a jam session most times we bang out till we spark something hot and work of that, reefing as we go. Term is a beast on the mixing tip and I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to synth sculpting so we just kind of go in on it and a banger is born.
What initiated or inspired you two to create music?
Term: What inspired me to make music was listening to a lot of underground hip hop. The way they had taken samples and turned them into tracks really amazed me and I had no understanding of how it was done. The group Jedi Mind Trick producer, Stoupe, was who really made me want to make tracks. He had a really dark style that incorporated a lot of asian/spanish/rock samples.
Sonny: It was a little more practical for me I suppose. Being a recording artist myself I’ve always had an admiration for beats, and producers but the desire was born from necessity. When I first dabbled in the art, there weren’t that many producers that fit the style we where looking for so I started making beats, little did I know it would inevitably consume every free moment and seep into ever crevice of my life. Music is just like that you know?
You network through the net, (twitter,facebook,myspace) are you able to reach out to other artist you would normally not run into? How is that going? Want to share how successful it has been?
Term: We were able to connect with a few of the artists on Cut Em or Pay Em thru myspace and twitter. I had been getting at Punchline for a minute to do a track and eventually we had something that was the right fit for him. I met Playboy Tre through a friend of mine out in Atlanta. Once we got in touch with him and he heard the tracks, he was super excited to get down on a song.
Sonny: Yeah what he said!
It has been awhile since we heard from NL, I posted some stuff a while back now, at that time you two were in the works on a project titled Cut em or Pay em, how is that coming along? Would you like to share some of the artists you are working with on the project? What should we expect from the project music wise?
Term: Right now the album is almost done, we are just waiting to finish a couple more songs with some local artists before we release it. It should be dropping in later September or early October. We are working with:
Braille, Theory Hazit, Liv Warfield, Illmaculate, Dain, Top Shelf, Grynch, Toni Hill, Serge Severe, Dain, Punchline, Playboy Tre, Vic Dastardly, Destro, Arjay, Element, Knuckles, Kenny Mack, and more.
Sonny: Yup! And Luck One, Seventh Science in the building. You should expect great music we’ve made it a point to connect with as many of the great regional artists, and nationals too, as possible. You’ll great production, songs, the whole nine. Expect a sound for every taste; it's a real eclectic representative of Portland, I think.
What is the future looking like for NL?
Term: We are headed to NYC in September to shop our music and get in touch with some artists to possibly collaborate. Our trip to Atlanta was successful so we just plan on keeping it moving and grinding with the tracks, even if that means we have to go to other regions.
Sonny: We expect for the NY trip to be just as successful and more as ATL. We're just trying to connect with like minded artists, make good music, and Rep the Region!
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