1. For the readers who may not be familiar with you, who is Frankie P?
Wassgood drumbroker fam! I am a New York based music producer and musician. I really just consider myself a creative and try to make art in any medium I feel inspired by at the moment. I have been producing music for about 10 years now. Some of my credits include A$AP Ferg, A$AP Mob, Juelz Santana, Cypress Hill, Onyx, GLC, Bodega Bamz, Aston Matthews, Camron and more. I also create original samples as well as music for television and movies (MTV, CNN). It took many years to make this a full time profession. Its really a combination of a lot of hustles in one. The days of producers simply making the beat are over. You need to find creative ways to keep peoples attention and stay in demand.
2. Many know you from your work with A$AP Ferg. Can you elaborate on your relationship as a producer for Ferg?
We really just bounce ideas back and forth. Every situation is different. He might send me a voice note and I will build a concept around the vocal, or sometimes I might have a batch of beats we vibe out to. We usually only play music at the studio and we create based off of conversations and the mood. It’s important not to force music or relationships. My role is really to provide the backdrop to what he is trying to convey musically. Sometimes it might just be presenting a melody or concept, or sometimes we are just making brand new beats on the spot. The most important thing is having that mutual respect for each other as creatives. Nowadays, producer rarely get to have input in the creative process which is crazy. Up and coming producers need to find artist that respect their craft and want your opinion. Once that happens, the music happen effortlessly.
3. When it comes to making beats, do you still sample heavily or do you focus on creating original music?
I started mainly as a sample producer. That's where my heart is because I am inspired by soul & funk and Sonic's that provide a feeling. Once you have a sound that sparks an emotion, that's when you layer that up with hard hitting drums and all the extra sprinkles. I still sample heavy but I try my best to hide the sample so the regular listener wont be able to tell where I got it from. I recently started creating my own samples so its a combination of both. I bounce back and forth so I wont get bored but it really depends on the projects I am working on and what is inspiring me at the moment. Its important to stay in tune to what's out and certain tempos and bounces.Be aware of how certain beats move people... all that matters.
4. We loved your recent sample packs, “Feels Vol.1 and Feels Vol.2”! Can you give the readers some insight into the creative process you used when producing these compositions?
Thanks! I usually take about a week to knock out all the instrumentation and then another week to piece it together and arrange. I really approach them from the perspective of what I would sample if I were digging or looking through records. I usually send my musicians some examples of songs that I want to make similar vibes to a few days before and we discuss key signatures, tempos, etc... Once we get into the studio, I have templates ready and we literally jam with those records in mind. I never tell my musicians what to play... its really based on the feeling and free form jamming. I respect what they do, so I never want to tell them what direction to go (the magic is in the mistakes and imperfections). After the jam session, I take the files home and start to piece everything together before my last session with my engineer to make everything sound perfect. After that, I listen to each piece of music and ask myself, "what is this song telling me and what does this piece make me think about" and that's usually how I come up with the names for each. You can check out all the instruments used on the packs on The Drum Broker website. The majority of the instrumentation are all live and analog instruments. I have a few placements that will be coming out soon where I used a lot of pieces from the packs. DONT SLEEP!!! there's gems in there!
Drum Broker: Many bedroom beatmakers and aspiring producers often worry about sample clearance and publishing issues prior to creating music. There is a ton of misinformation and seemingly not enough information regarding these topics for up and coming producers. It often feels as if people are putting the carriage before the horse when it comes to the ins and outs of publishing and the legalities of sampling.
5. Do you think the music industry’s business and legal climate have sabotaged creativity? That is to say, are people worrying too much about getting sued for sampling?
Yes but only if you let it stop you. There are many ways to work around it if you want it bad enough. The majority of my placements on the Trap Lord album were samples. Some didn't clear and I had to replay certain parts which takes away from the feeling but you have to keep in mind that the rest of the world doesn't even know what that song sounds like yet. I don't let that stuff bother me anymore because it does get in the way of the creativity. As a producer, you need to know what your getting yourself into before you even touch the keyboard. At the end of the day, this is 100% a business so move accordingly. Don't rush into any type of deal... once you have the leverage, the pieces will fall in place organically.
6. You’re an FL Studio guy. Can you walk us through your beatmaking workflow in FL Studio?
I went from FL9 to FL12 a while back. That was a much needed move on my part. Its important to stay current with your sounds. We are all competing with each other whether you like it or not. Make sure you have the weapons you need to win the battle feel me!!! My workflow is pretty simple. I usually start with the melody. Once I have a melody that is strong enough to stand alone, I start building my drum patterns over it. Sometimes I might be making 6 or 7 different beats at the same time and jump back and forth (that way I don't stay stuck or get bored with one idea). Or sometimes I might put a 5 minute timer and just cook up until it goes off. If you don't have something that's moving you within 5-10 minutes, you might as well start on something new. Don't stay stuck on beats for too long, you want to be as productive as possible with the time you have. I also mix all my beats before I bounce them out. That way I know no mater what studio I play them at, they are gonna knock!
7. Do you do your own engineering on your projects/music or do you work closely with an engineer?
I do my own mixes when it comes to my beats. Most of the time, we don't even have to track out the beat because I have already mixed it. I like to let a different engineer mix my sample packs though. It allows me to approach it more from the perspective of a musician & listener and not a producer. I usually catch things I didn't notice before when someone else is engineering that. When it comes to vocals or songs, We usually have an engineer that takes care of that so I can focus on the production and bringing the song to the next level.
8. Walk us through a typical day for Frankie P the producer
Maaaaannnn... everyday is different. Follow me on the gram and you can see for yourself lol @uptownfrankiep. I am usually in my producer bag from about 8PM all the way until about 5/6am. Sometimes I am cooking up beats, or sometimes in the studio making songs and concept ideas. I try my best to stay busy and to do something daily to keep moving forward. But really I am searching for inspiration the entire day... listening to what's out or studying old classic songs and albums.
9. When you’re not working on music, what does your life look like?
I am a pretty chill guy. I watch a lot of movies and work on design ideas. The majority of my time goes to music or administrative music task. I have been managing myself for the past 2 years. Some days are just filled with emails and calls, paperwork... the not so fun stuff that producers don't really talk about but are 100% necessary.
10. What can we expect from Frankie P for the remainder of 2017 and beginning of 2018?
Be on the look out for A$AP Ferg’s Still Striving mixtape. I have a few songs on there with some pretty big features. We are also finishing up Ferg’s next studio album and other projects with the mob. I will also be releasing Feels Vol. 3 before the year is over.
11. How can the readers learn more about you and stay current on anything Frankie P?
You can find me at frankiepmusic.com
Instagram - @uptownfrankiep
Twitter - @frankiep325