When shaping the sound behind Rollin’ Stone, Stevie Stone had just one thing in mind: pulse. The very pulse of the music had to hit the Strange Music emcee just right in order for it to find a place on his Strange Music debut.
It was this pulse that helped producer Tali Blanco of Makithrt Entertainment land a spot on Rollin’ Stone with his production on “Keep My Name Out Your Mouth” featuring Kutt Calhoun. Although this was his first time working with Stevie Stone, Tali Blanco had previously produced both “All By My Lonely” and “Child’s Play” for Kutt Calhoun’s Red-Headed Stepchild.
For Rollin’ Stone, the Midwest native cooked up a healthy dose of mean synths and trunk-rattling bass. In this exclusive interview, we caught up with Tali Blanco to discuss his production on Rollin’ Stone and his impressions of Stevie Stone as an artist. As we soon learned, when it comes to music, Tali Blanco is all about the pulse.
How did you come to produce “Keep My Name Out Your Mouth” For Stevie Stone?
I just played a beat for him one of these days that he was out here and he liked it. I named the beat “Bad As I Wanna Be”. I sent him the track and about 24 hours later he said it was dope and said he was using it. The rest is history. I was putting together some things for my project and some things for other people’s projects. It was a few beats that I was in the process of seeing if other people wanted to use them and once he heard that he was like, “Don’t give that to nobody.” It pretty much just went to him. Soon as he heard it, he told me he loved it and it was gone.
Low end was really important to Stevie Stone on this album. Is that something you pay a lot of attention to?
That just comes natural. I can’t listen to anything that doesn’t have a lot of bass. I want to be able to feel it in my chest when I hear it. I want it to be able to shake my head off. That’s basically what I start off with. I’ll start with some hard-hitting bass. I’ll play around with a bass line, maybe a 808 or 909, something that will give it that sound.
I feel like a lot of people associate that sound with the 90s.
Yeah, if you look at an artist like A$AP rocky and the beats that he’s choosing from Clams Casino, which is a dope producer, everything that Clams Casino gives to A$ap Rocky has that 90s feel. It has that hard-hitting bass. It’s just about giving the game what it doesn’t have right now. It has a lot of snappy, poppy, we’re going to party it out type stuff, but it doesn’t have a lot of that old school funk. That trunk music, the shit that makes the whole car rattle. That shit that everybody hears coming for blocks and is like, “What is that?”
You definitely have a Midwest vibe. Is that something you gravitate towards?
I really don’t try to box myself in. I do whatever feels right at the moment. Yeah, generally I am more a Midwest to Southern producer. I like to produce a lot of slaps. I want bass banging hard. I want claps and snares that are gonna smack your eardrums right off. I want to make sure that when you hear me, you know it’s my sound. I’ll do everything. I’ve touched on R&B, little bit of dubstep here and there, and some rock type stuff. I do whatever feels right at the moment.
A lot of producers wonder what it takes to land a spot on a Strange Music release. What have you noticed about their preference to music?
Something wild. Something that people have never heard before. I’ve noticed that when Strange Music artists pick beats, they don’t go for the average sound. Another producer they use a lot is Jomeezius The Genius, which is one of my guys out in Denver. Every time you hear something from him, it’s different. It’s never the same style. They don’t have a set trend of what they use for their beats like a lot of other artists do or labels. Everything is off the wall. They might pick something that you wouldn’t even think somebody would rap over or you wouldn’t think somebody would sing over. They go for that new sound. It’s always gotta be fresh. It can’t be something that’s been heard before, it can’t be something that’s been done before. They want it vibrant, they want new, they want loud, they want crazy – they want off the wall. That’s what makes them special.
Having worked with him, what are your thoughts on Stevie Stone?
I think he’s the next big thing smokin’. The sound of his voice is powerful, it’s incredible. When you actually hear that man rap, you wouldn’t look at him and expect that sound. His stage show is crazy. He’s raw, he’s gritty. He’s what the streets is missing. Stevie Stone, that’s powerful. I have to say, he is a powerful artist. I love his work. Just to hear him when he screams “Himmi Hyme” and you see people in the crowd go crazy. It’s bananas.
When fans listen to “Keep My Name Out Your Mouth”, what do you want them to take away from it?
I want them to know that there’s somebody out here still doing the sound that everybody misses from the heyday of Dre. I feel that’s exactly what everybody wants to hear. I want them to crank it up. I want them to play it again and again and again. I want them to play it until the people in the car with them get sick and tired of hearing it. I want them to play it until you don’t even have to hear the song anymore, you can be walking down the street and humming the melody, smacking your chest to the bass drum.
I want them to know that I still got way more to come after that.
-Interview by Victor Sandoval, Assistant Editor Strange Music
For more from Tali Blanco be sure to check him out on the web: