Anees has been making his mark on the music world, and BeatStars Publishing producers Tantu Beats and Sekko have been going along for the ride! Our Social Media Associate, Owen Postma, recently got to sit down with them and learn more about their success with this music project.
Owen: Guys! Excited to finally make this happen. First things first, can you tell us the story of how you initially connected with Anees & give us an inside idea of what it's like to create together?
Tantu: Been looking forward to this, Owen! I discovered Anees in 2019 because he did a couple of freestyle videos on Instagram to my beats. They were fire, so I reached out to show some love. He hardly had any following at that point. We kept in touch over the years and last year when I was in Los Angeles, we met up for the first time. This was the bridge to me inviting Sekko to fly out to Virginia together to work with Anees in-person. The creation process was an amazing one. All 3 of us respect each other's work and listen with patience to our ideas. It's a safe environment to create in.
Sekko: Likewise, this is really cool! I first connected with Anees in the beginning of 2020 when he wanted to use a beat of mine that I posted on YouTube. This ended up becoming the song “slip”, which he released a year later and is also on his album summer camp. From this moment, we kept in touch and I would send him beats, or he would use my YouTube / BeatStars beats. This led to one of my beats becoming the beat for his song “sun and moon”, which took everything to a different level. I also met Tantu through Anees, and we decided to fly him into the US to work on the album. Working with both Anees and Tantu was amazing; we each complement each other very well. It essentially happened like this: I made a melody, Anees came up with lyrics instantly, and Tantu laid a foundation for the beat while we all helped each other by gluing it together. It was truly a beautiful and fun process to be a part of.
Owen: I love it, thanks for sharing that fam! How has working with Anees made an impact on your career as a producer & what has the reception of the songs/project been like?
Tantu: The biggest impact I've felt from this project has been the amount of love I've received from older people. Usually my family doesn't fully understand the music I'm creating with young artists. However, the sound Anees is capturing from his songs resonates a lot better with people with more life experience, causing my direct family and older friends to show more love than usual, haha.
Sekko: To me, working with Anees has made a big impact in several ways. We've created songs that have been recognized worldwide. From being appreciated by Justin Bieber, to Anees performing live on Jimmy Kimmel, to our song charting #1 on Billboard in the Philippines, it's safe to say I've reached amazing milestones through working with Anees. Also, the reception of the songs is always very positive. I've received amazing feedback for summer camp from a lot of people. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check it out!
Owen: What non-musical skills/factors helped create the feeling in this music?
Tantu: The respect and friendship Anees, Sekko, and I built. During the three trips we made to Virginia to work on Anees' album, we spent a lot of time just having fun. Playing basketball outside, hanging out with Anees' friends and family, and just having good conversations in general. This amazing, friendly environment puts all of us in the mood to create warm music. Music that translates love.
Sekko: While I only had remote contact with Anees, he always came across as a very friendly person through our conversations. Once we met him in person, he was very hospitable from day one. When we were all kicking it together, he introduced us to his family and showed us all the places where he had his best childhood memories. I also spent a lot of time traveling and making beats with Tantu while we were there, which was a lot of fun. It allowed us to understand each other on a different level, and I feel that really resonated in making the music.
Owen: All facts! Can y’all give some music production-related sauce to the community?
Tantu: When you're working on a song with an artist, listen to the vocals. The subject matter, melodies and vocal intention of the artist tells you A LOT about the decisions you'll have to make in the production. Try not to fall into your habitual choices. For instance, we decided to tone down the drums on some of the beats for this project since we all felt it helped the vocals stand out more. For one of the tracks “so long”, we didn't even use any drums at all. Something we would never do when making 'just a beat'.
Sekko: Firstly, I would say learn how to play an instrument, haha. At least for me, playing guitar helps a lot when coming up with melodies. I incorporate guitar melodies frequently, and I always use the RC-20 plugin to make them sound nice. It's magic, haha! Also, I would suggest recording your guitar melodies panned separately left and right. It’s a bit more work, but sounds amazing. Lastly, what worked well when collaborating with Anees was making a lot of small song ideas (guitar, voice, beat) and then quickly moving to another idea. In this way, you can let the ideas rest while starting a new idea, and when you're done, you can listen to them with a fresh ear and make adjustments. With this process in mind, we were able to come up with a lot of great stuff while also quickly learning what didn't work.
Owen: Super smart! How large of a role has BeatStars/BeatStars Publishing played in getting to where you are today in your career, and what has your experience been like since joining the team/platform?
Tantu: BeatStars has had a big impact on the way I'm able to automate and handle my beat selling business. I can actually easily run artist sessions, like the ones with Anees, while uploading and selling beats on the side. If it weren't for the BeatStars, this would have been so much more time consuming to do and I might not have been able to work with artists of this caliber.
Sekko: BeatStars has played a big role in getting me to where I am today. In late 2019, I joined BeatStars, and through the platform I’ve been able to make a living off my own music. Through BeatStars, I’ve been able to connect with a plethora of different artists and producers around the world. BeatStars Publishing has helped me immensely when registering my songs. Also, my contacts at BeatStars are super trustworthy and helpful; I know I can always count on them when I don’t understand something.
Owen: What is your advice to up-and-coming producers who hope to make a living off their music, get notable placements, or have such a strong connection with an artist someday?
Tantu: Take this story as an inspiration and don't be afraid to invest in an artist early on. If you truly feel that an artist has potential, follow that gut feeling, because growing with an artist is the easiest and most fun way to expedite your status as a producer. It will add more weight to your beats and the willingness of other artists to buy them.
Sekko: Work on your craft as much as possible, and try to make and find a sound in which you can express yourself with the best. Also, don't hesitate to share your music with the world, because you never know who's watching. BeatStars is a great platform for that alone, and I highly recommend using the platform. If you use it consistently and try to connect with people, you'll find yourself growing quicker than you think.
Listen to Anees’ album summer camp on Spotify and make sure to follow Tantu and Sekko on socials to keep up with their music endeavors!