The House Speaker series consists of lectures aimed at offering empowerment, networking, knowledge sharing, encouragement and grooming for emerging talents. Our guest speaker is Andre Vibez, a talented music producer, composer and arranger, and son of Highlife music legend, Sir Victor Uwaifo.

His presentation is titled “Making music that matters”

Q: If you produce something in your method which is to be innovative, how do you strike a balance in making music that matters between the requirements of the market of familiarity and your own goal of uniqueness?

A:  As much as I am trying to be innovative with it, there is still always something that makes it very familiar. I don’t ignore that. Firstly you have to acknowledge that there is nothing new under the sun, you need the alphabet to form a word. So for me to create what I am creating, there is always a guide and element of that in there, but what I do is bring together different elements. The main core element is hip pop and then I will bring an R’n’B touch to it. 

Q:  It just seems like you started getting your flowers recently. How long have you been producing?

A: I have been producing for seventeen years from 2005 till now. In all that time I have been working. I never really thought about the patience because, for every effort I put in, I was moving in the right direction. Sometimes you make mistakes but how you can circle back and stay focused is always important. 

Q: What is your process as a beatmaker, arranger and composer? Do you, first of all, make a beat carcass and when the artist or hook comes you begin to develop by way of arrangement into something fuller, or is the whole beat ready then when the artist comes you remove elements and work backwards? 

A:  I would say I work forward, taking things out doesn’t mean I am working backwards it still means I am working forward because the end goal is what is important. It’s like, okay this element is nice but I don’t think it’s nice with what this artist put on it. Sometimes the artist doesn’t have to jump on it.

Q: You spoke about making beats simple. How do you handle an artist that wants loads of elements in a song?

A:  So, what I do sometimes is I will listen to them and add what they want me to add. I will just add it for them to see and hear it. I also want you to understand that adding more things doesn’t mean the beat is not simple, and also some of the simplest beats have a lot of things in them. It still comes back to the arrangement. It’s how you stack them up that matters.

Q:  Give us an insight about the tools you use to make your wonderful hits. 

A:  I still work with Fx Studio. It’s easy to navigate and understand. It is easy for me to also experiment. I also use logic. I have used every workstation. I use logic to take my vocals and FX studio to make my beats. 

It doesn’t matter what you use it depends on the individual.

Q: What about your patches?

A:  I mess with a lot of things. Today I am using this, tomorrow I am using something new. There is a base element to what I do. I like to move on from doing the same thing for a long period. For you to be relevant you have to know when to switch. 

Q: Speaking about movies do you see yourself going into original sound composition for movies?

A: I see myself doing that but I don’t know when. I just feel like if that’s going to happen it will happen at the right time.  For now, I am focusing on the music and making more songs, beefing up my catalogue regardless of if I have three to four hits now. It’s still not enough. The goal is for me to make as much music with the right people as possible. You can educate yourself on things. You don’t have to wait for people to tell or teach you everything. The information is out there for you to use, you have YouTube you can learn new things. Just listen to songs people put out and try to replicate there is no wrong in doing that.