Name: Base Jase
1) Your site is impressive. How long have you been selling your beats online?
I’ve had my music online since 98, but I didn’t officially have a store until 2006. That’s when Paypal made it easy to setup a site where I didn’t have to physically email tracks to clients. There are still a lot of clients who don’t have the net and want beat cd’s, but I refuse to give them out unless it’s someone that I’m really cool with. I’ve probably lost money by not giving out beat CD’s, but selling beats online is not where my main income is from, it’s from TV Licensing with MTV and Viacom. I would rather do that any day!
2) Sounds like interesting work. How did you get involved in that?
An intern was going through websites back in 2001 or so and ran across illynoise.com (my studio’s website) and I had an flash intro that was playing, they liked it wanted to use it on The Real World. After a few years it just started growing and they started playing more and more. Finally, the music supervisor at The Hills on MTV got me onto a license with the whole network, and I just put everything under my publishing company ILLYNOISE Music with BMI. Now I have some staff producers that I’m sending music out for also, and I’m always looking for new producers and more music!
3) You have established producers selling beats on Myspace on the cheap. Does that make your life harder?
No, it’s the mixtape producers that are making life hard selling (hot) tracks for 10 dollars! My experience with MySpace is that it’s not worth the time for trying to sell beats there. Youtube has brought me more business with beat making videos than MySpace. Having my own site where people focus on just my production and not thousands of other producers gives me a better chance of selling my brand and keeping loyal customers who come back. The difference is that I only sell exclusively and I don’t lease tracks, so when someone buys a track I immediately take it down. I tried Soundclick but I felt like I was trying to compete with a bunch of mixtape producers, selling downloads for 99 cents or whatever. I just wasn’t feelin that! Boon Doc is someone who learned from me in the studio, before he was into making beats, and he has done very nice with Soundclick and Youtube so I’m not putting that hustle down by any means!
4) You charge between $50 and $200 for a track. How do you determine what to price it?
I used to get 400-500 a track and maybe only sell a couple a month, but when I started selling more and having a bigger stockpile of tracks the law of supply and demand came into play, so I was able to sell them cheaper. It’s really a shame that I’m not getting more money, but I’m selling more and my name is getting out there. A 50 dollar track is usually something that I’ve had for a few months or something that hasn’t gotten enough attention. A 200 dollar beat is something that I think is hotter, newer and something that has more demand to it. I look at beats as a commodity and I don’t have an emotional tie to them. If I love a track I don’t put it up for sale.
5) Did you replay the sample on your “Taxi Driver” beat?
No it’s a sample, I always try to hide samples to a point. “Taxi driver” was originally something I sampled back in 92 for a group called PKO. They didn’t like it so I just held on to it, and remade the beat in 2004 on a ASR-10. I only played the bassline over the top of it and played the chopped up drums live on an MPC. I never play the main drums on separate takes, I always play the kicks, snares and hi hats in real time, unless it’s a dirty south beat. The other sounds are from an old Isaac Hayes sample.
6) When did you get started and with what equipment?
Back in 87 I got a Casio Sampler, with the yellow pads, then in 88 I got my first pro sampler, an Ensoniq Mirage. After that I just started building my equipment arsenal, mainly with samplers and drum machines. When I started getting really serious about production, I got a job at a label doing music for 100 dollars a week, and they had a EPS16+, and a SP12, so I just learned on the EPS16plus and sampled everything I could cause it had so much more sampling time. These days I’m using Logic 8 and all virtual instruments!
7) What is your record collection like? Do you DJ?
I used to DJ back in the day, but now I only have some Pioneer CDJ’s that I use in the studio when someone wants some scratches. My record collection is wack! It consists of mainly Sesame Street records, 45’s from my mom, and some jazz records that people gave me or I never took back to the library. Most of my collection is on CD’s and hard drive now.
8 ) Tell me about some of the independent artists you’re working with…
I’m working with Black Pegasus on a constant basis, we have a label partnership. His new album The Black Mexican is out and I’m doing the hook and singing a verse on a song called “Can’t Stay Around” we just put that song on Digiwaxx along with another song “Rep That” he did with Chino XL and Liquid Assassin. We’re also working on the Red Monkeys album (Black P and Liquid Assassin). I’ve also sold a track to Liquid Assassin, and he’s now on Strange Music. The Reminders, who consist of Samir and Aja, I’m just finishing up production on their album they have been working with One Be Lo.