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Production Breeding Ground: Stoni

Excuses are tools of the incompetent, they build monuments of nothingness and bridges that lead to nowhere. Fortunately for music lovers, Stoni doesn’t have any excuses.  Despite being part of an industry of notables that are overwhelmingly male, Stoni views herself as a producer with adversity parallel to her male counterparts.  The New York City native is on the rise with her neck snapping beats and intense knowledge of music production. Stoni placed her stamp on the world by becoming the first female to ever compete in and win a national and international beat battle.  Her talents do not stop with beat battling as Stoni is also a columnist for several production based publications,  a wizard with technical configurations, and an accomplished producer.  Currently Stoni is a spokesperson for Propellerhead’s new software Reason 4, scoring a soon to be released film, and preparing to release her Producer’s Passport, which will give insight to different configurations that even accomplished producers and engineers struggle with. Stoni took time out with AllHipHop.com to discuss her start in the industry, her new Propellerhead endorsement, and why she refuses to lean on her gender as an excuse.AllHipHop.com: How did you get started in music productionStoni: I got started in school with just love of music. Then from there I was interning at different studios to get the experience to see how records were made and how music comes together.  I was just exposing myself to different opportunities.  I went on to learning enough to get enough knowledge and then invested in myself.  I got my own drum machine and set myself up. Then I was convinced to do this beat battle.  It was for fun and I thought it was a great idea.   I never knew that there weren’t any other females that did it before until I got there.  That’s where it started.AllHipHop.com:  Do you still continue to battle?Stoni:  That was a one time thing. I battled and then from there I got exposed. I was the first female to do a beat battle in New York and  internationally.  Scratch Magazine reached out to me and wanted to know, “Who was this girl?” That’s how that started?AllHipHop.com:  What would you consider yourself ? A producer or a technical adviser?Stoni:  It’s funny because most of the things that I’m doing, people have reached out to me. I’m a producer first and as people started speaking to me, they would ask me questions.  The first questions are “Does she know how to use her gear?” I was in showcases and they would see my drum machine, and other people would be at the showcases, and I was asked to be on a panel.  When I was on the panel, I was exposed to all the technical people. So one day somebody asked me a question about something that they didn’t have an answer for. After that I was asked to do a review or a piece and that’s how that started. The first piece was a review of the MPC 500 so they were like “Wow! She knows her gear.”  My thing is to get my production out there though, I’m a producer first.AllHipHop.com:  You seem to be a really big fan of the MPC…Stoni: I’m a big fan of music.  I use the MPCs and I use the 2000 and the 4000, but I use all different gear. I’m not pigeonholing myself into just the MPC.AllHipHop.com:  So what else to you like to use?Stoni:  I use softwear. I just currently came back from Sweden and they asked me to do this thing for Reason 4 so I use all kind of software.  I also use the MV 8800, I got the SP-1200,  I got the Roland gear.  I use Logic, I use Pro Tools.AllHipHop.com: Propellerhead recently reached out to you to endorse their product. How did that come about?Stoni:  What happened was I was doing reviews for [another magazine].  I did a Q and A for people to ask questions about the MPC and I was able to answer all of them.  I was out there networking, meeting people. I’m in all types of magazines, I’m on all types of panels.  So just building different relationships, when they needed somebody, they knew I could get the job done, and I was what they were looking for.  AllHipHop.com:  There are a lot of females out there that have very good production skills. What challenges do you think you face being a female in this industry?Stoni:  I don’t think there are any different challenges that I’m gonna face that a dude is not gonna face. The only thing is that most guys don’t really talk about the challenges they are gonna face. They kind of talk more about their accolades.  So I know cats that do beats, that are guys, that don’t get acknowledged and don’t get no love either.  AllHipHop.com: But you have to admit that the ratio of female producers as opposed to male is tipped in favor of the guys.Stoni: A lot of that has to do with being exposed and someone willing to talk and write about it.  That’s where I come in, that’s where you come in, we’re gonna change that.  I’m gonna make it where people are gonna see a female banging these beats out and producing records.   We’re here! It’s a matter of exposure, it’s a matter of getting on these projects. I’m here, I got these tracks and I’m getting exposure.  Let’s take it back to Scratch Magazine.  I’m in the fourth issue with Eminem on the cover. Before me, I had never seen any female in any publication as a producer. I’m out there and I’m exposing it.AllHipHop.com:  Let’s talk beats then…What would u say your style is?Stoni:  There is no one particular style. I’m making good music that can go in any different direction.  I’m a music producer so I try not to pigeonhole myself into doing just “Hard” beats or just “South” beats.  I want to be able to work on a project and make that project come to life, and make great music.  For the most part I like to keep my music quality. My drums are always real tight and hard. My melodies I try to keep them right in the forefront.  My goal is to just keep people feeling good when they hear the music and just make sure the quality is up to par.AllHipHop.com:  You use a lot of gear. What is your process when you construct a project?Stoni: I do it all. If I hear a record and I hear an artist, I’ll go “Yo this is crazy, he’s on some New York type s**t.”  I’ll get a sample and chop it up. I try to tailor the track for the artist. If I gotta do a record for an R and B singer or a group and I have to play the melodies and get the synthesizers out…cool then. If I’m doing a dance record and I have to use electronic sounds, that what I’m going to do.  If I’m doing a record for somebody like a Smif-N-Wessun I’ll pull my SP-1200 out. I’ll do anything to make the record tight.AllHipHop.com:  How did you learn to use all this gear?Stoni: I think it’s just a natural gift. I didn’t go to school for it.  Like I said earlier, I interned at different studios, I apply myself, I read, and I pay attention.  Most of the stuff I figured out, I figured out on my own.  If you sit around waiting for someone to teach you, they can’t teach you how to be a hot producer.  So I just apply myself, it’s easy for me and it’s a gift. It comes naturally to me.AllHipHop.com:  Who are some of your influences?Stoni: Just the love of music. I cannot give any one person credit for that.  It’s too much great music out here. It’s too many different legends. I just think that being exposed to great music, I’m influenced by everything that I hear. From an underground artist that’s not signed, all the way to a Quincy Jones. You know anything that I hear that’s great music, I’m influenced by. AllHipHop.com:  Who do you work with and  who are you willing to work with ?Stoni: I’m willing to work with anyone who actually wants to work, and has the love for music.  If you want to work let’s work.  If you’re signed and you want to work and get it in , let’s work.  It’s about me just getting my sound out there, and getting my music out there, and exposing people to what it is I’m doing.  As long as it’s good music and it’s hot, I’m f***ing with it.AllHipHop.com: You have any last words for the world?Stoni: I mean get ready, Stoni’s coming.  I’m working on my album right now …AllHipHop.com:  Well, hey let’s talk about that then…what’ s up with that? Do you rap or….Stoni: Now see you trying to give away all my jewels.( Laughs)  Honestly right now I’m looking for like the hottest female artists. Any rappers, singers, if she’s hot, I want her to reach out to me. I’m looking to put different females on my project.  I’m putting this project together and I think it’s gonna change a lot of things.  My Myspace is http://www.myspace.com/stonisounds.  

“Sick”  Produced by Stoni  Featuring P.J.

Stoni  demonstrating  Reason 4 

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