(July 2008) | Interview By:
Jonathan Hay &
Rising West Coast producer C Major, known for his studio work with Ca$his
(Shady Records), sits down and gives an exclusive interview with Dubcnn. He
talks about some shady topics – everything from Ca$his, Eminem and Dr. Dre -
as well as sharing excellent tips about the music business, including
valuable detailed info and some technical angles of recording.
Since hooking up with Ca$his, C Major is quickly emerging into his own brand
and finding himself in high demand among America’s most influential and
highly sought-after hip-hop artists.
…so, stay tuned in…the future of hip-hop is destined to see major things
come from this brilliant mind.
As ever, you can read this exclusive interview below and we urge you to leave
feedback on our forums or email them to
Interview was done in June 2008
Jonathan Hay &
C Major Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout!
The C Major Interview
By Jonathan Hay and Chad Kiser
Dubcnn: First off, what is reason you chose the name C Major?
C Major is a name that was given to me at the very beginning of my career. I
was running a recording session and one of the artists stopped recording and
said, ‘Yo C Major, this song is gonna be hard!’ It’s funny too because I was
looking for a name at the time, so I was like, that’s a tight name…and he
said, ‘Well, your first initial is ‘C’ and everything you do is MAJOR!’ This
track is gonna be crazy! It was a dope name so I stuck with it.
Dubcnn: Can you tell us how you hooked up with Ca$his & Shady Records?
To be honest, it was completely unexpected. Last year around May, I moved
from the Bay Area out to San Diego to change scenery and get away from music
for a while…if not permanently. My boy Vas hooked me up with a job and while
I was there, he introduced me to one of his homies named Will. Will was
doing promotion for Shade 45 XM and had a gig to do promotion for Ca$his. He
took me up to the studio in Orange County one time and I kicked it with
everyone. Obviously, I didn’t tell him the first time that I was a producer
or even an engineer because that dude gets people telling him that all the
time. So I made a couple more trips up there and one time I was talking to
Ca$his’s producer Rikanatti about engineering and then we mixed some songs.
Ca$his came back to the studio the next day and was like ‘Heeeeyyy, you
mixed those songs yesterday! Those songs sound incredible!’ And ever since
then I’ve been Ca$his’s head engineer and another one of his producers.
Dubcnn: During that divine intervention, did you have a feeling when you
first hooked up with Ca$his that it would turn into such a great working
We had a great working relationship from the get-go. We work well together
because we share the same work ethic. Even beyond music, I get along very
well with everyone in the camp. There’s one thing that I leaned as an
engineer…the first impression you make isn’t your talent, it’s your
Dubcnn: Can you share some stories about you and Ca$his in the studio?
One time we were in the studio and the intern for the studio was wasted. She
was slurring her words and was interrupting our recordings. She even came
into the control room and tried to tell me how to mix the song. Eventually
she left me alone ‘cause she knew she was pissing me off and went to the
other room to continue drinking. We left the studio at like 10am after an
all night session and her ass still wouldn’t leave. So we told her to get
something out of her car, locked the door to the studio and bounced. I think
she got fired the same day.
Dubcnn: Can you give us any information we might not know about the upcoming
Ca$his Loose Cannon debut album?
The Loose Cannon is going to be crazy! He’s got features from Em -- of
course, Dre, T.I., Jay, 50 and more. He has a song he recorded when he was
at Em’s Studio in Detroit about a real personal situation he had while ago.
The song is out of this world. I can’t even give you the low down on it, but
you’ll definitely know the song when you hear it. It’s crazy!
Dubcnn: How much is Eminem actually involved in the career of Ca$his?
Eminem is always there for Ca$his whenever he needs him and vice versa. When
Ca$his got signed, him and Em had an hour-long conversation and didn’t even
talk about music. They are folks, so Em will do something if needed, but he
really gives Ca$his a lot of freedom.
Dubcnn: Will there be any Dr. Dre tracks on Loose Cannon?
I know he’s recorded songs to some Dre tracks...
Dubcnn: Do you know if Ca$his will be appearing on Detox?
Same situation -- he’s recorded some tracks with Dre, that’s all I can tell
Dubcnn: Have you personally submitted any tracks for Detox?
I submitted some tracks a while back to Aftermaths head A&R Alonzo Jackson,
so if he likes anything then he’ll forward it.
Dubcnn: Can you give any insight or information on either Detox or King
From what I know, Detox and King Mathers are almost done. I mean, they could
both put out those records tomorrow and they would sound amazing and sell
through the roof. They just have extremely high standards for themselves and
they have to meet those standards before they release any records.
Dubcnn: Being that you are Shady Records affiliated, what is your personal
opinion on the 50 Cent and Young Buck beef?
I wouldn’t even call that whole situation a beef. It all seems like a
misunderstanding. Once in a while, the media will grab hold of something and
blow it out of proportion. There are plenty of misunderstandings that get
taken care of and no one ever hears about it.
Dubcnn: Switching gears… what is it like working in the studio with
He’s a great dude to work with. He stays focused on the song(s) we are
working on and will even get involved with the engineering aspect, which is
great to get from another producer. Especially if it is one of his tracks we
are working on; his input is very important. He produces some real dope
tracks, too. I’m feelin’ that song that just leaked, called “22,” featuring
Dubcnn: You’ve done a lot of engineering for cats like Too $hort, Dangerous
Dame, Mistah F.A.B. and V-White. Who are some of your favorite bay-area
artists and producers?
I’m a big fan of Bay Area music and always have been. I grew up listening to
C Bo, San Quinn, JT Tha Bigga Figga, The Delinquents (V White), Too $hort,
Richie Rich and so many other artists. You can definitely hear the Bay Area
influence in my engineering because I like my Snares/Claps up front with the
Kick and the Bass real heavy.
My favorite producer from the Bay Area is hands down Rick Rock. I guess
because he isn’t one of those guys who is always out there and in your face
like a Swizz Beats or a Pharell; he hasn’t gotten as much recognition as
them but he has done hit records for numerous artists. Just about every
popular artist has gotten a track from Rick Rock, and now even G-Unit has a
new song from him. He’s got a very unique sound that people like to hear.
That’s something I take with me and apply to my own music to stay unique.
Dubcnn: On your MySpace page, you have an impressive list of influences.
However, it wasn’t Dr. Dre, 2Pac, or Quincy that stood out to me, but Green
Day & Mozart – they’re names we don’t normally see from a hip-hop producer.
What about those people influenced you?
My parents loved classical music so Mozart was pretty common to hear in the
house. Other composers such as Mahler, Wagner and Beethoven were amazing as
well but not all shared the same passion Mozart did. Mozart made music
because he loved it and it was all he had. Most musicians can relate to the
idea that music was their first love and in some cases their only real love.
Mozart’s passion for music really shined through in his compositions and
passion is something that is missing in a lot music you hear today.
Green Day has been an incredible band for over a decade now but the reason
they made my list of influences was for the latest album American Idiot.
Everything on that album is amazingly creative and is full of sonic
character. Everything from the song writing to the recording, mixing and
mastering on that album is amazing. Every time I play that album, I get new
ideas for my own music. Plus as a producer and engineer, you always have to
keep an open mind about music and be ready to challenge yourself. The more
you challenge yourself, the better your music will turn out. You can grab
ideas from any genre of music if you’re really listening.
Dubcnn: Many people overlook the engineering aspect of recording. With
today’s technology allowing people to record at home, on their computer or
in their closet, why is engineering so important?
Engineering is becoming the new ‘producer’. It used to be that when someone
called himself or herself a producer, they knew how to run a session -- they
would be there during the mixing process to give ideas, or in a lot of
cases, actually be the one to mix the records. A producer used to be someone
who knew how to guide a song and than guide an entire album. Now there is
just a bunch of ‘beat makers’ and really producing records is now, for the
most part, a thing of the past.
Engineering is going through the same process. Technology made is possible
for people to start making music at home very easy and it’s become the same
for recording, mixing and even mastering. Although I don’t think there is
anything wrong with more people having a chance to do what they love. But
with records floating around that were recorded at home, getting a
professional mixing and mastering engineer [is] more important than ever!
Mixing and Mastering will make an okay song a great song -- and a great song
a hit, plain and simple.
Dubcnn: Explain the “3-Second Rule”.
It’s an industry term labels use to describe how much time your music has to
grab their attention. The first 3 seconds of your song better grab their
attention or your CD is going straight to the trash. I know it might not
sound fair, but imagine being an A&R and getting into work one morning with
a pile of 1000 CD’s on your desk with a note next to it saying ‘Listen to
all these before you go home today’. How much time would you give a song to
grab your attention?
Dubcnn: There are so many people looking to make it in the music industry
these days. What advice would you give to an upcoming artist?
Build a team. With a team built around you that believes in what you are
doing, you can’t lose. Don’t go looking for the deal, a good deal will
always come to you. Make noise locally and then start to spread outside of
your city, don’t try it the other way around. As an artist, you have a lot
of pressure to ‘represent’ where you are from, especially in hip-hop. Also,
invest some time learning the business. There is plenty of literature about
the music industry out there. And don’t record a demo if you are recording
hip-hop; these days hip-hop expects an entire album from you. Labels don’t
have time to groom you and teach you how to be an entertainer. It’s rare to
have the situation Ca$his does, even though he didn’t ever need to be
‘Groomed’ for anything, the label didn’t expect an album from him upfront.
That doesn’t happen very often anymore. So make sure you have an album ready
for the Labels when they do come knocking on your door with a contract in
Dubcnn: What other projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on an EP with Danny from Sobrante. He’s a cat from Sobrante Park
in Oakland, CA. I met him on his first day out of jail and he had the most
raw and uncut delivery I had seen. He also has great song content; so I
think most people will grab on to what he’s saying because they can relate
to him. I’m also working with my boy Ducktape, from Berkeley, on some
Dubcnn: Final thoughts for Dubcnn?
Look out for that new Ca$his & Young De album Homeland Security. Their first
single, produced by Rikanatti, “Can’t Move Me” was mixed and mastered by
yours truly. Stay updated with music from Danny from Sobrante at myspace.com/dannyfromsobrante.
His debut album Tha Lion’s Den is already available on iTunes. You can check
me out at myspace.com/cmajor21. Jonathan [Hay] and Chad [Kiser], you guys
are the shit. Dubcnn, we keeping it west coast all day! Peace!
C Major Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout!