Friday, September 5, 2008

Bill Jabr-Man Behind The Music

If you haven't heard of Bill Jabr you have most certainly heard his music. The Atlanta-based music teacher, who's closely related to Atlanta powerhouse writing team The Clutch, has created production for the likes of Bobby Valentino, Yung Berg, Young Joc, Dirty Rose, Raven Symone and many others. Recently, the maestro took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to The Sophisticate.

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?
BJ: Well I just recently signed to the clutch who are some incredible songwriters and great mentors. I have just recently moved in their studio and started working.. and we have already gotten some great work.. from music for Raven Simone to stuff they are finishing up for the Bad Boy camp right now in Miami and a lot more coming! Shout out to the Clutch -- Zeke Lewis, Belawa, J Que, Candice!! because it is so incredible to be a part of such a great group of people.. They are my family.. On top of that I will be going back in with Young Joc, Bobby V is finishing up with tim and bob right now so we will be going back in top of the year, B Cox's Dirty Rose is starting to climb bds in the southeast and I will be doing more work with them.. and I will be doing work with the Clutch's hot new group the Goods.. and I have to say.. those girls are incredible.. wait till you hear them..i also just sold a record to an atlantic artist that i will leave TBA
TS:  How'd you end up with The Clutch?
BJ: Well I have been following the clutch for a while.. I love Mary J - take me as I am, Timbaland and keri - miscommunication and the way I are... among others their discography is incredible.. I first met Zeke Lewis.. I think Zeke and I instantly hit it off and see eye to eye on a lot of things.. Anyone who reads my producer blogs on knows that from the top of 07 I have been looking to join a strong production team.. Out of everyone I talked to the Clutch just felt the best. Beyond their success they are really high character people and musically and business wise we see eye to eye on a lot of things.
TS: Anybody you wanna shout out?
BJ: Really I want to show respect to a lot of people I've grinded with.. Shout out to: Chase and Dirty Rose, Joe Kane, Nati Q, Elz, Kareem -- my engineer, everyone in the society, PJ Butta -- he is a cold songwriter too! The Fraternal Twins - hot new producers! Tec Beatz and the Replacementz -- these guys are crazy check them out!! Sabrine - hot new producer and has always looked out for me around the studio! My cousin Greg Leveto/ mogal and atlanta sports enthusiast.. and My Mom more than anyone for providing me with the opportunity to follow my dreams.. I might have a few more hold up...oh yeah.. Evita.. Music is my business, Jessie Payo, Fernando Infanzon - My musical partner and best friend! and that boy Troy Clark. Haha man ok that is enough.. i just always carry my supporters with me every move i make.. it is important for me to shout them out
TS: Good luck on the projects!
BJ: Thanks! 





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