The Sophisticate: What's going on, Bill?
Bill Jabr: Working as usual.
TS: Speaking of work, I guess I should do mine and ask a few questions. So how long have you been producing music?
BJ: About 7 years, but I've been writing and performing music my whole life. I started out playing guitars when I was really young, but I didn't make the move to production until college.
TS: So how does one go from making beats in a dorm room to producing in the mainstream?
BJ: I had previous experience with Fruity Loops but that was it when it came to "making beats" although at the time I remember The Neptunes were so hot back then. I just thought it was incredible how they could be so minimal yet so musical at the same time. I gradually accumulated gear and kept studying the greats. After that, I did internships at DTP and Doppler Studios in Atlanta. That allowed me to hang out with a lot of big producers in the city.
TS: Is that how you met Bobby Valentino?
BJ: Umm.. I actually didn't meet Bobby at DTP. I was still interning at the office when Slow Down was picking up out west. I didn't meet Bobby until my manager at the time gave him a beat cd and he recorded a hook to one of my songs.
TS: And the rest was history.
BJ: (laughs) Not really. It took him a looong time to get back with me. I remember playing guitar for him in the parking lot and then going into the studio and playing him piano. Anything to just showcase my skills to him so he could give me a chance.
TS: What finally made him say "I gotta mess with this cat!"?
BJ: Well I think it was one night he called me at work and just told me to bring my guitar and keyboard cause he wanted to make a song. The first song we made was called Might Not Be. Bobby has great musical sense and we still collaborate on a lot of stuff. But whether its working with Bobby V, Dirty Rose, Young Joc, or The Clutch I feel its my job as the producer to figure out what they are looking for and give it to them.
TS: That's how music should be. What are your thoughts on the music industry right now?
BJ: The industry right now is crazy. It's really turning into a factory assembly line the way people are making albums these days. One of my goals as a producer is to get more involved and get into a position where I can give more talented, hard-working people with a tough grind the opportunity to make music and to change and bring it back to where it once was...
TS: What does the future hold for you? Any projects?