With Tracklanta 2020: Virtual Remix running at full steam, you may already have heard of RENEGADE EL REY. You can find the Atlanta-based artists sounds in his exclusive Loop Pack on BandLab. Last year, he worked with our Tracklanta 2019 winners as the studio engineer at Stankonia, together with producer Young Chop.
Our collaboration didn’t stop there, because for Tracklanta 2020, he’ll be mentoring one of our winners. We talk to him to find out what he looks for in a demo and new artist.
Job title: Artist, writer, engineer
Years in the industry: 11
Artists you’ve worked with: A wide range of artists from Big Boi of OutKast to J Cole.
As a writer:
- “Kill Jill” – Big Boi ft. Killer Mike & Jeezy
- “Get Wit It” – Big Boi ft. Snoop Dogg
- “Made Man” – Big Boi ft. Killer Mike & Kurrupt
- “Rabbit’s Revenge” – Tom Morrello ft. Big Boi & Killer Mike
- “Momma Told Me” – Big Boi ft. Kelly Rowland
- “CPU” – Big Boi ft. Phantogram
- “Doin It” – Big Boi ft. Sleepy Brown
As a collective, these writings have landed on TV shows and video games such as Madden NFL 2018, UCF 2018, and MLB 2016, and movies such as 2018’s “The Predator “.
Career Highlights: I would say touring the US and getting a chance to perform, and touch the people – pre-pandemic obviously! This is a continuing highlight for me as I learn more every tour.
How did you get your way into the Industry?
Becoming a sound engineer by trade has most definitely allowed me to be in the room at all times. Not only did I get to build on my skill set, but I also got to build lasting relationships which is the real key in this industry.
Tell us about the biggest artist you worked with and how that happened.
Well, I’d have to say that though I’ve worked with a lot of artists and several that I grew up listening to, working with Big Boi from Outkast might still be the biggest artist that I’ve worked with simply because of his impact on music culture worldwide and especially in the South where I’m from.
Plenty of artists have taken their careers to new heights independently, and the difference is simply hard work, not giving up, and creating yourself a team that is geared towards the same agendas.
In your experience, what is the difference between an artist that takes their career to the next level and an artist that never makes it?
First I’d love to dispel the notion that you have to “get a deal” to take your career to the next level. Plenty of artists have taken their careers to new heights independently, and the difference is simply hard work, not giving up, and creating yourself a team that is geared towards the same agendas. This game ain’t easy and definitely takes a lot of moving parts to work.
What do you look for in a demo or a new artist?
I will suggest to anyone making a demo to make sure you’re giving a quality product and presenting yourself to be taken seriously. As far as the type of artists I like to work with; I really love people who bring their own uniqueness to a record, and someone wanting to create new stuff. Paying homage through works is cool but all the constant copying that’s going on seems a little lazy to me.
What are you hoping for from the BandLab contest submissions and being involved in the contest? Are you open to working with new talent?
I’m always open to working with and building new talent that moves me as an engineer and producer, but I’m also a new talent myself as an artist. I’m anxious to see how creative and innovative these submissions get!
RENEGADE EL REY is a mentor for the #TracklantaOG contest. If you want to be in the running to be mentored by RENEGADE EL REY, enter #TracklantaOG here.