There are four elements of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, and dynamics.
Yaa I Get It was Shad’s first single off TSOL, with a beat made by internet phenom EOM. The track held it’s own against storied producers Rich Kidd and Classified. His collaborations with rapper Wax have reached hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and his RockPaperScissors album (made alongside Emay and Remot) is just good music.
I got to chat with him over a couple of weeks ago. He’s an awesome guy with a huge career ahead of him. Aspiring producers stand to learn a lot from the way he’s marketed himself, lovers of music can trust most tracks with his name on them.
Geoffrey Granka: Hey, Good morning.
EOM: Good morning homie.
GG: For anybody reading this who isn’t familiar with you, can you give us a little break down of who you are and how you got here?
EOM: I’m EOM aka Elements of Music the hip hop producer from Virginia by way of southern Maryland. I got here by working consistently and getting lucky to work with Wax.
GG: Your collaborations with Wax is how I first started to hear your work. What were you up to before you two met?
EOM: I was making beats for 4 years before I met Wax. I was cleaning up my sound and hitting up Interscope beat battles around the area (losing in the first round each time), while making beats for whoever rapped on campus.
GG: Did the beat battle help you develop as a producer? Did you make any connections from them? I ask because I know producers who love them, and others who stay away.
EOM: I learn more from the battles now than I did back then. [They] definitely helped me realize that I become the DJ each time I step up on stage to play beats. [You’ve] gotta provide the ear candy and irresistible beats for the crowd. It becomes less about the producer and more on how he or she can connect with the audience.
I didn’t really make any connections through the beat battles. I was meeting emcees on Facebook at the time.
GG: How have the people you’ve collaborated with inspired your work?
EOM: Oh yeah. Two heads are better than one. The people that I work with are well into their careers and moving toward their dreams. Seeing them busting their asses for what they want is inspiring in itself. [It] constantly reminds me that the road to success isn’t a fast one.
GG: That’s a reeeeally good point. I think every producer has worked with someone who just wants to show their buddies the studio and look cool. It doesn’t bring the best work out of you.
EOM: Yeah, some people treat hip hop like a trinket on life’s bracelet.
GG: What’s the proudest point of your career so far? What do you hope to have accomplished career-wise in 5 years time?
EOM: Hearing the music I helped produced being played by a live band with Wax on the mic for the first time. That was super surreal. Especially when you add the crowd into the equation. Going from no one knowing you to people singing in unison over my beats blows my mind every time. I’m grateful and appreciative.
Career wise in 5 years, The plan is to make a humble living making beats, producing tracks and engineering. Hit up the Red Bull Big Tune producer battle too. Hopefully in 5 years, I’ll be well into making my debut album with artists I respect. But with the way things are now, I’ve gotta make sure I can be self-sufficient doing what I love instead of working for these crooks.
GG: That brings up my next question: most (if not all) of the music you produce is available online for free. How do you monetize your career?
As of now, It’s by selling beats. Most producers can get into licensing their beats to play in commercials and etc. Live shows as well.
A lot of producers are also DJs or use their MPCs (or any other piece of equipment) at live shows and rip it.
GG: Shad is pretty well regarded up here (in Canada). How did the collaboration with Shad and Me&John come about?
EOM: Well, I remixed his track “Quest for Glory” and my manager sent it to him. I ended up talking to Shad via email and sent him the beat for “Yaa I Get It”. A year or so went by and my manager tells me that Shad finished the song but they ran into sample clearance problems.
That’s where Me&John came in. They reworked the drums, replayed the instruments and mixed the track a lot better. The original was all sorts of compressed and raw. Me&John definitely did their thing. They made the “don’t sue me” version of the original beat.
GG: Have you heard the Oddisee remix?
EOM: Maaaan, it’s a totally different vibe. It allows the listener to focus on the lyrics. Real laid back. I like it a lot.
GG: As a follower on Twitter, you post a lot of socially conscious content. Do you think your view of the world comes across in your music, and how?
EOM: I’d like to think so. I try to work with rappers that are at least aware of the issues around them. I try to make beats that provoke that type of thought. I don’t think I can make those points with just beats.
GG: I mean this in the very best way, you’re beats aren’t glossed over like what sounds familiar on Drake or modern Jay-Z, what do you think of the most commercial hip-hop out there?
EOM: It’s more melody driven instead of rhythm. Besides that, I like some of it. Rick Ross, Jeezy, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Wayne and all them have tight songs. It’s real hard to deny that. The only problem I have with anything mainstream is the lack of balance from the stations that play the music.
GG: Is being on the radio an aspiration for you? Does radio matter anymore?
EOM: Not really. I’d be blown away if I did get any radio play. Right now, dreaming to be on the radio is like dreaming to see your album on the shelf. Everything is becoming digital. You don’t need those avenues anymore. You can create your own radio station with Ustream or podcasts. You see how successful people are with YouTube, but who wouldn’t want radio play?
GG: What’s next for you? I heard you’re making YouTube video?
EOM: That’s the plan. I don’t have a camcorder right now to make videos with quality. I’ll have to use the picture method for awhile until then. I’m pretty late to the whole YouTube deal, but it’s all about being everywhere the people are.
GG: Thanks for taking the time out of your day for us.
I appreciate the interview. People can check my music and news here at elementsofmusic.tumblr.com.
Thank you and be on the look out for Megaran’s Language Arts and Wax&EOM – Relax EP.
Interview by Geoffrey Granka for TheComeUpShow.com