What a difference three years can make. Producer and MC Bernard “Focus…” Edwards has rejoined Dr. Dre’s Aftermath entertainment. Focus…left the label in 2009 after working as an in-house producer for six years, but has reunited with the good Dr. to cook up some classics.
“Last year my brother Ty Cannon started working with Dre and started sending him new music. He sent him some stuff I was doing and Dre was interested in the music. He wanted to get back in the studio, so me, him and Ty got on the phone and he asked, ‘What do you want to do?’,” Focus.. tells Nodfactor.com. “I told him that this time around I want to work WITH you instead of just FOR you. So he put me in a situation where he was putting together a production team and that’s where I’m at now. That was October of last year and it’s been crazy.”
The producer behind tracks like Busta Rhymes “Respect My Conglomerate” and Schoolboy Q’s “Light Years Ahead” is a self-contained music machine, but is never above getting some guidance from the right place.
“‘[Before] I was a staff producer. I worked by myself in my own studio doing my own thing. This time when I go in the studio he’s there,” he says of his working relationship with Dre. “This time around I’ve been directed by Dre. He’s a lot more hands on with what I’m doing instead of me just doing it and bringing it to him.”
In the years since leaving Aftermath Focus…put out a project with Sha Stimuli, knocked out a few tracks for Bustah’s “ELE 2,” and co-produced tracks for Marsha Ambrosius’s Friends and Lovers (“Cupid” and “Love”) and is excited about the new work he has coming with Aftermath.
“Our main focus has been Dre and his endeavors,” he says. “I know that will be the biggest thing for us. But we also have John Connor, which is a a huge record, and Kendrick’s sophomore album. I’m a big fan of Kendrick. I really hope that I can get on his sophomore album but I know that TDE is pretty self-contained. Right now we’re just making music and it’s a wonderful place to be able to do that. The sky’s the limit. “
In addition to his reunion with Dr. Dre, Focus… just released a sound library called “CKIXENSNAIRS : Volume 1ne”
“I had a kit out before with iStandard and it had some monetary success, but I know that a lot of the kids who follow my career and like my sound always ask about my drums,” he says. “I’m not one to say it’s a secret, so here are drums from various songs I’ve done with the SSL EQ on them. Working with my engineer Oscar at the time we put together a really nice sound library and I never did anything with it. So here it is. “
However, with all of the new work he has taken on, don’t expect to hear any new rap projects from Focus… anytime soon.
“There is no real demand for a rapper/producer that doesn’t want to perform, that doesn’t want to make videos or glorify the sadistic parts of the industry,” he confesses. “There is no room for me. They’d rather label me a Christian rapper than take it for the fact that I don’t want to fit into the misogyny in rap. I still have something to say though. I’m just kind of rebuilding myself, writing with new writers. That’s where my head is at. I’m trying to genre hop. Get my hands and feet wet in the R&B and Pop world and score some films.”
Sounds pretty Focused to us.