Exclusive: Jerry Wonda, S1, Kanye West's Engineer On The Magic Touch, "How's This White Dude Making Beats Like This?"

Friday, Apr 15, 2011 2:00PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

With producers like Lex Luger and Drumma Boy making names for themselves as they stamp out their signature sounds, SOHH hit up Kanye West's engineer Andrew Dawson, Fugees producer Jerry Wonda and "Power" hitmaker S1 for their take on ear-catching beats.

Dawson tries to immerse himself into various genres of music and avoids developing a signature sound.

"I produce, mix and do everything across the board," Dawson told SOHH. "I've done pop records, rock records, hip-hop records and the Chamillionaire ['When Ya On'] record was really like a super West Coast grimey beat. If you see the pictures of me, you'll think, 'How is this white dude making beats like this?' [laughs] But I'll do anything from pop records to alternative rock stuff. So I wouldn't say I have my own signature sound. I'd say I've been really good at being able to adapt to a lot of different sounds. I don't want to try to pigeonhole myself to just one certain thing." (SOHH)

Wonda, who recently made Mary J. Blige and Diddy's new "Looking For Someone" hit, takes pride in making people "feel" his music.

"With me, everybody knows I love drum and bass," Wonda explained to SOHH. "I love those two features right there and I love music. When I would go into meetings, A&Rs would say, 'Oh my God! Play me a record.' And they would be like, 'That has to be Jerry!' You know it's me. It's that sonic sound. I use the word sonic to describe my music. That's how you know if it's the 'Wonda Sound.' It's feel-good music, but hard at the same time. [My signature touch] is feel good music. It's that Wonda music, man." (SOHH)

While S1 hopes people can identify his music, he does not intentionally look to imprint a signature on records.

"As far as a signature sound, I don't know if I have one where my stuff sounds alike because my range is so broad," S1 told SOHH. "I cover a wide scale of music, genre wise. So I don't know if there's a pinpoint you could put down on my sound. People who hear my music don't usually say, 'Oh, that's him.' I guess from a listener's perspective, there's something in there that they can pick up. I'm always trying to do things that's me but that doesn't 'sound' like me. If that makes any sense. [laughs] I don't want to be put in that little box where it's like, 'S1 is just this.' To have international music, I think you have to have a wide scale musically and sonically of what you cover. That's what I try to do creatively." (SOHH)

Jerry Wonda also recently told SOHH about what new music projects he has in the works.

"At this point in my life, I'm doing albums. I've [done] about three, four, five joints on the Mary album and I just finished Musiq Soulchild's album. That's what I'm on right now. So when you hear a song like 'Someone To Love Me,' you can see that I'm hitting the streets hard. I'm knocking them. I love hip-hop and doing other sounds too. I love blending music. I'm all over the place. It's music." (SOHH Guest Star)

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