How did you get
your start in the industry?
initial start came from doing a remix on a remix project for a group called the
East Flatbush Project. The song was called Tried by 12 released by Indie label
Chocolate Industries. it was the first project that I did that was released
internationally and it definitely got my name out 7 put me in the game.
Who were some of
the artists/musicians, etc. that inspired you to get into the music industry?
When I first moved
to New York from England as a small kid I remember hearing Run DMC and being
mesmerized by the beats and vocals.
as I grew older I was influenced by listening to HipHop, Drum & Bass &
TripHop but after I moved to Miami from
Barbados I remember taking a studio class with Mecca aka Grimo (he used to be
called Nasty Ness back then( laughs) and we had to do a studio project for
class. I had no equipment but I had selected some records to make the song.
Mecca gave them to his boy (Detrix) who had an SP 1200 and we put it together
and that was my first taste of production that led me to work with early Miami
HipHop groups and solo artists such as True & Living, Black Kaktus, Mundi
Dialect, Black Media, Ill seed, Brimstone, Da ALL, SAS, SLP, J Pure, Elohim, Science Room, Dynas, Skam & Shadow who really believed in my
production and gave me the co-sign to take the music game seriously.
What kinds of
equipment have you used in the past and what do you use now? I first learned to use equipment when I was
going to school at Miami Dade College in the sound engineering program they had
over there. I originally started out as a software nut using computer
sequencers with hardware like the ensoniq eps 16+, roland s330, akai s900,
s950, s1000 that the music lab had. But I didn’t have anything at home to make
beats with with. My boy Jose gave me his Mpc 60II drum machine to learn and
then teach him so after I learned to use it I sold some beats with it and
bought myself Mpc3000. I still use the
MPC 3000 (I like it so much i have 3 of them, i love the way it sounds and i’m
really fast on it) but I use it with Pro tools. I also use reason sounds,
keyboard controllers and other software synths. So I have come full circle from
software to hardware and back. (laughs)
Why do you want to
make a career in this field? I
love the creation process involved in music.
I started out as a DJ playing the music, then went to school and got
into Studio recording to find out about what it took to get the music recorded,
but learning about the production process is what really made me want to make a
career of it. Not to mention the money you can make from creating hit records.
You’ve been making
a name for yourself in the industry for over a decade. What would you say has
been your biggest achievement in the game so far? I have worked with a lot of different artists
from Wu-Tang Clan, Slick Rick, Anthony B, NORE, PitBull, Ras Kass, Thirston
Howl III, Skam2?, Wrekonize to GURU (RIP)
either as a producer or engineer however, when my Production company
landed a single with G Unit/Interscope Records on the Mobb Deep album I think
that was one of the Biggest Achievements because in truth and in fact the
record was originally for 50 cent but he gave it to Mobb Deep to use as their
What separates a
good sound engineer from a bad one? What qualities are required to become a
good sound engineer?
question! for recording, almost always attitude and the trust factor can
separate a good engineer from a bad one. Artists like to connect with the
engineer so if he is interested and enthusiastic about their music as well as
efficient they will have a good session and call for him to record them again.
If he is disconnected and a button pusher with no vibe, he won’t last long and
they will definitely not want to work with him in the future. For mixing, a
good engineer will make the record stand out sonically and make the artist
sound like a winner. A bad engineer will try to trick the artist by playing the
record crazy loud and the artist will think that it sounds good. Or worse yet he
will not want to make adjustments to the mix when requested to.
In my opinion a good sound engineer does his
homework on a artist or client he is going to work with. He must aim to please
the client which means if the client wants the high hat to be louder than the
snare he must do it even if it is against his better judgement. However,
technically speaking he should always be learning new ways to manipulate
equipment and sound to make his work better.
What are your
hobbies outside of music?
like to play Chess, Reading and Watching
You’ve been doing a
lot of work with Ghostwridah as of late. How did that relationship come about?
and I go back nearly 6 years. Ghost used to be signed to a production company
that I was a partner in years ago which was how we initially met. We spent a
lot of time together working on music, developing material & working on
mixtapes and dealing with life situations, to the point he practically lived at
my house in those days. We went our separate ways for a minute to work on other
projects which was necessary, but once we got back together it was like we
never left… plain and simple Ghost is like a younger brother to me, we’ve
been through our fair share of ups and downs but he is family at the end of the
What is it like
working with him in the studio?
have a very special insight to this question because I got to work with him in
the early stages when he was finding his sound, to hearing where he is now.
What I can say is this, Ghost has always been lyrical. But his growth from then
to now has been crazy. I compare his evolution to buying a computer that has
2gigs of Ram and then upgrading it to 16gigs…. he’s powerful in the booth
whether its for his own music or if he’s Ghostwriting for someone. He’s very
critical but artistic about his performances but I can also say that he is fun
to work with because I’m definitely gonna hear some lines that will make me say
wow! He’s really prepared in the studio so I have a jedi mind trick of thinking ahead when we record because I know
what he likes to hear when it comes time to mix so things move really fast.
Ultimately Ghost’s work ethic is what separates him from a lot of other artists
I have worked with in the past or currently. He’s always ready to put in the
work and deliver solid lines to make a hit record.
Who are some artist
that you would like to work with in the future?
and foremost I would love to work with DJ Premier on a track just from a
producer stand point. On my artist side, would be Nicki Minaj who has so much
energy in her performances which I like.
Janelle Monae, who I like because she is fearless about what she does,
she takes chances. I would love to work on a KRS ONE record just because he is
one of my all time favorite rappers. I
really want to work with Kanye West and chop it up with him. I can relate to
how he felt coming up in Chicago as a producer and the things he went through
to make it, so that would be a big moment for me to just vibe out with him and
build a banger. I just like to work with artists period so anyone who is
talented, focused and open minded can get a Nick Fury HD banger!! (as long as
we wok out the details first…laughs)
You have done a lot
of work in television as well as music. Will there come a point where you will
completely give up on one to completely focus on the other or have you been
able to balance out both?
Fortunately I have been able to balance both
although the technical demands for each are quite different. I don’t think I
could give up one over the other because creatively it allows me to be as
diverse as i can be. I am known for aggressive music but TV allows me the
freedom to do quirky and different musical vibes that fit in that area that a
normal HipHop artist might not take to if I was to shop it to him/her. I just
did some work on a pilot for a reality TV show called Party Rocka that allowed
me to use all kinds of material that would never really work in the hip hop
world so with the freedom to explore in that world I will never be inclined to
give up on either one completely.
Can you tell us
about the Face Off beat maker competition and how that came about?
my girl used to go to DJ competitions like the DMC competitions when they took
place in Miami. On the flip side I had a crew of beat makers that I would get
together with once a week and we would play the new beats we had made that week
and it was always on some friendly competition type vibe to see who had the
bangers. Anyhow, she came up with the idea that I should have a beat maker
competition, based on the energy she got from the DMC and seeing what my crew
and I would do each week and thats how it came about. I started doing them in
2003. The Liquid Shield BeatMaker Competition a/k/a “The Face Off” is
special in that the producers / beat makers don’t battle with a CD of tracks.
(thats too easy, plus anyone can go up to the stage with their boys cd and
compete) In my competition the producers bring their machines to the battle and
play the beats hot off the machine, laptop or whatever they used to make it.
There are 3 rounds that test the producer/beat makers on style, creativity,
remixes as well as building a beat from scratch on the spot. The two producers
who make it to the final go head to head in a beat for beat sound clash. We just recently started a new competition
series and I secured notably producer shopping company “Dynamic
Producer” to sponsor the 1st place winner with a prize of 10 beat
submissions to label A&R’s through their shopping network.
Tell us about your
company Liquid Shield Inc. and what
should we be looking out for from you this year?
Shield Inc. is a music / entertainment company, its been in operation for 10
years & we do production, song writing, mixing, music mastering, studio
engineering, live sound engineering, artist development and vocal production as
well as EPK’s Video production, Bio Pic’s and session singers. We have done
live show mixing for Grammy Award winning artists such as Sean Paul and Shaggy
and we recently mastered the new Don Cannon mix of the “Red
Bottoms” single for GhostWridah. Currently we have four of the sickest
producers on deck myself Nick Fury HD, TEN, MidiLord and M.A.D. Three song
writers (Ms Ellie, Shekira, & Jesus) A videographer and Photographer
(Ido & Simone) and three artists we are developing (J-up – a Rapper, Miss
M- Pop / R&B Singer and A.La.S.S – 4 girl R&B group). We are aggressively shopping tracks to a lot
of artists so hopefully look out for some placements this year with some big
name artists like FloRida, Brisco, Billy Blue, & Kulture Shock, PitBull as well as up coming
artists YG on the west coast and Big Sean signed to G.O.O.D music. We are
Executive producing an EP for a Gospel artist called Summer Jae thats going to
surprise a lot of people when they hear her voice as well as the music we
feature on there. We also have Co-Executive production on Miami Rap artist
Garcia’s LP called Shattered Dreams
that will be released May 6th for free download via CrazyHood.com and MacGyver
Speaks out of Tampa with singles I Do It
For and Put Your Hands Up
available on Amazon and iTunes.
for projects from me, definitely look out for a Ghostwridah / Nick Fury HD banger. I have an instrumental album out
thats available on iTunes called “The Grudge – Nick Fury HD vs.
Skilachi” I produced a remix
called “Plata O Plomo” that
will be released on Miami Alternative band Locos Por Juana’s latest EP coming
out through Universal Latina, I also have 2 records on Grammy nominated Miami
MC Omniscient’s debut LP called
“Social work” to be released soon. Plus a single/video from
female Miami rapper Slanted Eyezz called “One Chance” that will be
featured on the “Dawg Fight” Documentary Soundtrack. I also released
a dubstep remix of Miami group MayDay’s
new single called “They Told
Me” that is doing really well in Europe.
How can fans or
other artists get in contact with you?
on twitter as @Mr_Fury, reverbnation
as NickFuryHD, myspace as Nickfurylewis or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can
also check out Liquid Shield on
facebook and myspace to see and hear what we do as well.
Any last words?
wanna shout out my Liquid Shield team for all the hard work they put in on the
daily. My family, friends, fans and everyone who supports what I do musically
as well as all the people I have worked with in the past. I build from every
encounter whether it was good or bad and that has made me better for it.
A&R’s or Music supervisors for TV or Movies hit me up for tracks or hit up
my company, our music catalog is deep from rugged underground hip hop to
Mainstream, Southern, R&B, Dance, Pop or Drum & Bass or DubStep we get
it in!!. Any producers interested in competing in the next up coming Beat Maker
Competitions should definitely reach out to me through the various contacts I
listed before. I mentioned to you
earlier about the DJ Reality show “Party Rocka” that I worked on that
will be coming out later this year, but I am also Co-Executive producing a
Producer Reality Show called “Beat Rocka” that will feature producers in their creative
states as well as competing against each other like the “Face Off”
would also like to thank you Breeze and 24hourhiphop.com for the interview. I
like to let my music speak for me but I appreciate that many people may never
have had the opportunity to get to know me, my music or what i do on a more
intimate basis. Thank you for letting this happen.