Drummer Boy, also known as D Boy Fresh, is a renowned producer and artist who has earned the title of "the voice of Memphis." His ability to bridge the gap between different sides of Memphis and speak for the culture has garnered him immense love and respect from the streets. In this thought-provoking interview, Drummer Boy shares his insights on how he managed to stay focused on his music career while navigating the rough streets of Memphis. He also discusses the formula behind the magic happening in Memphis and the importance of putting pain into music. Additionally, he sheds light on his extensive musical background and the artists he is currently working with.
Staying Focused in the Midst of Adversity
Drummer Boy attributes his ability to stay focused on his music career to the guidance and support of his older brothers and the OGs around him. They steered him away from the negativity and encouraged him to pursue his passion for music. He witnessed the consequences of the streets firsthand, with lives being lost and individuals ending up in jail. This motivated him to provide a way out for others through his music. He became a big brother figure to many aspiring artists, offering them guidance and knowledge about the music industry.
"I had older brothers. I had a lot of OGS around me, man, that, you know what I'm saying, was kind of stiff arming me away from the stupidity and the bullshit, you know what I'm saying? And just like, man, look, this music ish for you, bro. Keep doing that ish." - Drummer Boy
The Formula Behind Memphis' Success
Memphis has always been known for its roughness, but Drummer Boy believes that the city's success in the music industry stems from the pain and struggle that its artists channel into their music. The desire to escape the hardships of Memphis drives artists to create powerful and authentic music that resonates with people worldwide. Despite the challenges, Memphis has a wealth of talent and opportunities that often go unnoticed. Drummer Boy aims to change this perception and shed light on the city's vibrant music scene.
"It's really the pain, man. It's the struggle. Everybody trying to get out this motherfucker, man, you know what I'm saying? It's so f'd up. But it's a lot of positivity. It's a lot of good things to do. I think Memphis doesn't get the credit it deserves, just with all of the stuff that it has to offer." - Drummer Boy
The Versatility of Drummer Boy's Production
Drummer Boy's extensive musical background, influenced by his mother, father, and grandfather, played a significant role in shaping his career as a producer. He wanted to do more than just play other artists' music; he aspired to create his own. Inspired by legendary musicians like Beethoven and Mozart, Drummer Boy honed his skills and began building relationships with artists he met in various settings. His versatility as a producer allowed him to work with artists from different genres and create a diverse body of work.
"I want to be the next Beethoven. I want to be the next Mozart. I don't want to just play their music all the rest of my life. At some point, I had to learn how to make my own music." - Drummer Boy
Breaking New Talent: "T - Rell" and Juvenile Collaboration
Drummer Boy has a keen eye for talent and is always on the lookout for promising artists to work with. He discovered T - Rell through social media and was impressed by his music and entrepreneurial spirit. T - Rell's unique approach to fashion and his ability to make the most of his resources caught Drummer Boy's attention. They collaborated on the track "Freak Sum" featuring Juvenile. Drummer Boy commends T - Rell's work ethic and his dedication to his son, who beat cancer. He believes in uplifting and supporting artists like T - Rell who are making a positive impact.
"I tapped in with him on the gram. I respected what he was doing with the clothing, with the fashion, you know what I mean? He's going to different walmarts, you know what I'm saying? Creative with the $40 outfit. $50 outfit. He was smart. He was spending his money in the right place." - Drummer Boy
Future Projects and Collaborations
Drummer Boy has an array of exciting projects in the pipeline. He recently released his book, "Behind the Hits," which delves into his journey and experiences in the music industry. He is also working with artists like K Michelle and Currency, producing tracks for their upcoming albums. Additionally, he is focused on developing his own label, Drum Squad Records, and nurturing the talent of artists like Spark Dog and Kdog. Drummer Boy's dedication to his craft and his commitment to helping others succeed are evident in his numerous collaborations and projects.
"We got a lot of things coming up. Obviously, the book just dropped, you know what I'm saying? Behind the hits. We got K Michelle dropping on the 22nd. I believe she got an album dropping I Am the Problem. I produced a record on that called God Knew, so I'm super excited about that." - Drummer Boy
The Importance of Business in the Music Industry
Drummer Boy emphasizes the significance of understanding the business side of the music industry. He advises artists to copyright their music, create split sheets, and register their records with performing rights organizations like BMI and ASCAP. Many artists miss out on substantial earnings because they fail to set up platforms like SoundExchange to collect their royalties. Drummer Boy believes that artists should take control of their financial future by ensuring that they have all the necessary systems in place to receive their rightful earnings.￼
"It's the business, man. That's the most important thing in the game, is the business behind what you're doing. We all want to make good moves. We all want to be successful at what we do, but you have to put yourself in a position to be successful on the back end as well." - Drummer Boy
The Power of Sync Licensing
Sync licensing plays a crucial role in an artist's revenue stream. Drummer Boy highlights the importance of securing sync placements for songs, as they can generate substantial income. He cites the example of Juicy Fruit, who earned six figures from her song being featured as the theme song for the TV show "P Valley." Sync placements can open doors for artists, allowing them to tour, invest in their music, and expand their careers. Drummer Boy encourages artists to explore sync licensing opportunities and maximize their earning potential.
"Sync can make you a million dollars. Now you're able to do so many more things and support your music in different ways because you would have a budget and you'll have money coming in." - Drummer Boy
The Power of Relationships and Networking
Drummer Boy attributes his success to the relationships he has built throughout his career. He emphasizes the importance of networking and making personal connections with DJs, promoters, and industry professionals. He encourages artists to attend events, introduce themselves, and share their music directly with DJs. By investing time and effort into building relationships, artists can gain exposure, secure bookings, and create opportunities for themselves. Drummer Boy's approach to networking has allowed him to establish a strong presence in the industry and earn the respect of his peers.
"Put the phone down at some point and tap in, introduce yourself, hit these events and introduce yourself, network and politic. That's really the biggest part of me is my relationships and how people know me to where I can call you." - Drummer Boy
Drummer Boy's journey to success serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists and producers. His ability to navigate the challenges of the music industry while staying true to his roots is commendable. Through his music and mentorship, he has become a voice for Memphis and a beacon of hope for artists looking to break into the industry. With his extensive musical background and versatile production skills, Drummer Boy continues to make waves in the music scene. As he works on upcoming projects and nurtures new talent, his impact on the industry is set to grow even further. The future looks bright for Drummer Boy and the artists he collaborates with, as they continue to push boundaries and make their mark on the music world.