A studio engineer at Outkast’s legendary Stankonia studios and an artist, producer and songwriter in his own right, RENEGADE EL REY helped run some of BandLab’s legendary sessions with Young Chop as part of our Tracklanta initiative with A3C Festival last year.
RENEGADE has now returned to work with us, delivering a brand new, free artist Loop Pack available now! We caught up with him to talk about his career, working at Stankonia, making the new sample pack and how he’s been coping during the lockdown.
For those who don’t know you, introduce yourself and tell us about your journey into making beats and becoming RENEGADE EL REY
What’s happening world! I go by RENEGADE EL REY. For those who don’t know me, I’m a performing artist, songwriter and audio engineer. It’s been a blessing to actively do all three because it allows me to look at musical creativity with three different hats, which is what got me into producing more.
You’ve worked at Outkast’s Stankonia studios in Atlanta for a long time, how did you get involved?
Honestly, I asked God to get me an internship here, then I sent my resume. And believe it or not, they called me 30 minutes after I sent it in. I hadn’t even graduated from my course at Full Sail yet, so I just kept in touch while finishing my program. And they literally called me the day I pulled into Atlanta. The rest is history.
You’ve created an exclusive sample pack for us at BandLab.com – tell us about it! What can people expect?
I wanted to make things simple and user friendly so I made these loops form EQ’d drums and sounds. I kept the patterns simple enough to be great building blocks for anyone looking to use them as quiet accenting pieces or as the main parts of their music.
Tell us about your sound, and the authentic sound of The South. What do you think makes a killer Southern-style beat?
My sound is influenced by many musical factors but definitely has what I think to be core southern values like hard-kicks, 808s and fast-moving hi-hats – which is a Memphis, TN signature – I think a super dope southern beat has to have emotion in it. We were all raised off of the blues or some derivative of it. So hard-hitting drums and melodic emotion is definitely the recipe for a sure Southern banger.
What do you hope people get from your sounds?
I hope people are able to get strong building blocks from these loops that will lead them to create a major production.
Tell us about some of the gear and techniques used to make these sounds.
When making these I decided to go old school, so I brought out my hard drive of sampled sounds and processed and EQ’d them the way I wanted. Then, I manually made these loops on to Pro Tools’s grid, no drum machine. For the melodic sounds, I used a cool old Yamaha Motif keyboard and played them directly into Pro Tools.
How were you coping during lockdown?
I honestly was thrown off for the first two weeks when the lockdown took place. Then I started to focus my energy on staying productive as positive as possible. So, I started making beats and writing songs. Which is when I came up with my latest single GOD, Guns and Groceries that’s out on all platforms.
What’s coming up for you?
Well like I was saying I just released on a single called GOD, Guns and Groceries from my next project that will be released later this year. I have so much music ready that I might release another project after that! [laughs]