Q&A: SOUNDSBYMOON GIVES ADVICE TO UP-AND-COMING PRODUCERS, "LIL TJAY" PLACEMENT, AND MORE..
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Can you please tell us, who is “Soundsbymoon?” and how did you get your name.
Soundsbymoon: My name is Kelvin, born & raised in Perth Amboy, NJ. My birthday is actually today (Nov. 4) as I’m answering this, haha. Just turned 28. Growing up in Amboy wasn’t as bad as people make it seem. I just stood in my own place and kept it moving. I have like 50 cousins in the area too. So the fact that I had these people in my life by default definitely made me appreciate the way I was moving through life.
Soundsbymoon (Continues): How I got the name, I’ma be honest, I tried a name before “Soundsbymoon.” It use to be “Kelviin” but I didn’t want my name out there at first, only because I wasn’t feeling it at all. So I thought of new names and I picked “Soundsbymoon” because I feel like the beats I make are night time or late night vibes. Plus the moon happened to look nice that night too lol.
When did you get into producing and how did you find your passion for it? Who were some of your early influences?
Soundsbymoon: I got into producing sometime back in September of 2016. I remember a moment in which I was really tryna figure out what I liked doing. I was an avid music listener. Like I would always be listening to something new on my iPod back in the day, haha. I thought to myself “Hey, I can probably learn music and how to make beats & songs.” It made me want to start immediately before I end up brushing it off to the side.
Soundsbymoon (Continues): My Dad used to play guitar and sing for the church. I had a few cousins on both sides of the family that are into music. Actually, I have a literal Twin brother who produces his own bachata records as well as produces for others. His name is ‘Melvin War’ if y’all are into wavy Spanish & English music. That guy is my best friend for real. We grew up listening to Spanish music like bachata and merengue. Then when we figured out computers we branched out to Hip-hop & R&B. Such as the likes of Dipset, Usher and Ludacris. All music 28-year-olds would know, haha. Back in high school I went to hardcore and death metal shows and really loved that time in my life. It was just a great time. Almost every day we went to shows.
How did you come up with the producer tag “Straight up to the moon!”
Soundsbymoon: “Straight up to the moon!” tag was originally an adlib on a song I was writing. But it sounded like such a dope ass tag. Like a unique one. So I just ran with it. I sent the file to my homie, fellow producer ‘NDRSN’ and he edited it to sound like how it sounds today.
Do you strictly do beat production or do you also have other traits? If so (or if not), are there any other occupations you wouldn’t mind learning in the near future?
Soundsbymoon: On top of making beats I also engineer music. I make my own songs if I’m inspired enough but I’d rather be behind the scenes. I drop music on all platforms from time to time under ‘Soundsbymoon.’ A song just dropped called “Party” featuring ‘LESISMORE’. Bump thatttttt!! Aside from music, I really wanna get into graphic design. I just like art in any form that I see and can understand. And marketing because everyone needs a little marketing knowledge.
In your early stages of your production career, how did you find your position in the industry and what do you think separates you from other producers?
Soundsbymoon: The early stages were rough for me, because I was trying to see where I fitted in as a “beat maker,” producer. I linked up with ‘Cliff’ very early on in my process and I still have the first track we ever made. I think when I started building with an artist like Cliff we started to develop a sound. And I think that alone separates me in a time where YouTube producing is at an all time high. Not knocking it though. I may be getting into it in the very near future. That’s why I want to learn graphics design and get better at video editing.
What is your list of artist credential placements? How did you get in touch with Lil Tjay for “Forever?”
Soundsbymoon: I got a few placements in both the English & Spanish music scenes. For Spanish: Ivy Queen, Toby Love, Alejandra Feliz & Jay Ramirez. Im working on more but won’t name them unless it’s set, haha. For the English scene: Lil Tjay, TJ Porter, Fivio Foriegn, Cliff, Amaru Cloud, David Lee, LESISMORE, Moslikely, Kayeandre and a few others..
Soundsbymoon (Continues): I never had the pleasure of linking up with ‘Lil Tjay’ but the record “Forever” was produced by myself and my bro ‘Papi Blanco.’ Right now it’s on YouTube with a little less than 13 million plays! And we got that placement through Blanco because he knows Lil Tjay’s manager JD. We were just making beats one day and this had to have been the 6th beat we made that night, haha. Shit was hard ass hell. We finished that beat up and wrapped it up for the night. The song came back like I ordered it on amazon prime lmao. Literally the next day “Forever” was made. It blew my mind. At that time he was still independent and now he’s all over the globe. It’s definitely still a special song.
What is some advice you could give to other up-and-coming producers that are in the same situation as you or are trying to get their placements with artists & labels?
Soundsbymoon: Don’t get discouraged when a placement doesn’t fall through and make sure your beats are properly mixed. There are so many other producers trying to do the same thing. Just make sure your tracks are mixed correctly and stand out. It took a while for my beats to sound how they sound today but I’m still trying to improve my quality and sound. Also, mess around with new sounds. Approaching placements, It’s all mental and perspective to some point. But having your beat mixed well and presentable goes a long way.
What is your take on “Type beat” and “Industry” producers?
Soundsbymoon: Type beat producers, if it’s working for you, great! If not, focus on the sound first before the brand. I’ve made type beats before and nothing wrong with it. A lot of artists I record that also look for beats always ask “can I get a beat like…” and then they show me this song and say “something like that.” I wouldn’t say it’s outdated, maybe just over saturated. There’s probably 100 Drake type beats added every other day, lol. For me though, I’d prefer just to go and make a beat with nothing in mind and see where it takes me.
Do you feel that producers are getting the proper recognition they deserve nowadays?
Soundsbymoon: I think that a lot of producers nowadays are getting the recognition. And it has a lot to do with how we’ve been maneuvering. For example, with Cliff, his fans know that I produce his records. Being that on SoundCloud he puts the credits in the song title. He tags people involved on the song in an IG (Instagram) post. And I respect Cliff for being this way. A lot of producers have it this way because we are responsible for half the song. If other artists wanna work with a producer it shouldn’t be a big secret. Let them know “Moon made that!”
What can we expect from you in the near future and what is your goal going into the new year?
Soundsbymoon: You’re going to hear a lot of things soon man. Got a lot of dope records with dope artists. My goal is to continue to make vibes for the up and coming R&B wave of artists and networking a lot more frequently.
Lastly, what is one positive thing that you would say about yourself?
Soundsbymoon: The most positive thing about me is my willingness to work! I worked with many people already and it only makes you better when you work with the right people.