backstage

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backstage

backstage

[noun]

musivv.com’s digital magazine dedicated to honoring the men and women behind the stars.

march 2021

Put Your Dream 1st and Don't Chase the Placement, Become the Placement! Keep Grindin' Creators!

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Don
Trunk

Dream First

Grew up in a considerably rough neighborhood on the westside of Baltimore, Maryland, his mother enrolled him in various art programs to keep him away from the streets — ultimately to find purpose. He started making beats in the basement at 12 utilizing a Dell computer his aunt gave him keeping young Don in the house to avoid getting into trouble outside. Record Producer & Owner of Dream 1st Studios, Don Trunk realized his knack for music production emulating The Neptunes & Timbaland. He recalls the love of making beats spending the whole day downloading drums and cracked software. He sold bootleg CDs and custom t-shirts to purchase studio equipment.

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"I recorded everybody around the way and save up all my money to buy every piece of gear I wanted like an MPC 2000xl and Korg Triton and as I started getting hot in the city, I got discovered by some of the hottest rappers in the city that were on the radio." Eventually getting hired as a producer for radio-exposed rappers that led to being known locally for his signature sound. Through the sequence of events, he signed a production deal outside of Baltimore that allowed him to work with bigger artists. Starting as a ghost producer for bigger producers allowed him to make enough money to do start a recording studio.

What got you into music production?

Don Trunk stands for 'Don' started his business out of the "Trunk" of his car. I started selling beat CDs out in front of the local malls, radio stations, clubs, talent shows and flea markets and I started being known as the kid with the crown VIC who sold beats for $200-1000 out of his car and had a studio to record at so that started my career and got me into music production as well as showed me how to be a businessman at the same time.

What's your music production process?

I like creating with an artist face to face once they book a production session. We get in the studio & just vibe off our energy. I normally chill with them, smoke, get a drink and start listening to something we both like and that gives us inspiration. I start with the melody if they are a singer to see where they're at as far as writing ability or I will start with the drums if it's a rapper cause that normally gets them excited to rap and throw out ideas.

I started business out of the trunk

What do you think of the music industry in Dubai?

I've never been to Dubai but I would hop on a plane right now if I could work with any artist from Dubai.

Name 3 projects that arespecial to you.

Dru Hill. My favorite R&B group of all time, Sisqo is my favorite performer of the 2000s and they are from my city so that was a lifetime goal for me to work with them. Nokio, the producer of the group, showed me the ropes and took me on tour with the group and I got to learn so much about tour life, got to build a strong relationship with my Dru Hill family and they introduced me to so many R&B Legends and had me recording all their albums from that point on so that meant the world to me and I really respect every last one of them for that opportunity during that time and appreciate the invite into their brotherhood.
Jim Jones. I always wanted to work with Dipset and my brother Bossman was signed to Myspace records so I got a chance to spend time with the Dipset squad in the studio while Jim Jones recorded his feature for Bossman so that taught me at the time what to expect from big artist, their crews and how to manage those type of moments. They got off the tour bus, super deep to the studio and that moment showed me how to set up my own studio policies.
Gucci Mane. I produced 2 songs that featured him and it taught that even tho you don't get to meet these big artist face to face sometimes if you work hard with the local artist who get money and build connections, they can get you placements with some of these bigger artists you dream of working with but didn't have access to and help you build up your resume.

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What are the qualities that you look for in an artist that will make you say "I would love to work with you"?

Outside of real talent, I look for authenticity and originality. I don't like to work with artists who just want to be trendy and copy everybody else. I get excited to work with artists who I can see will have a legacy for years to come and not just be cool for a month online. The Music is always right. Keep everybody bumping their heads and get everything you need from the artist before they leave the room so they can take the song home, play it for everybody and get excited to shoot a music video and put the song out correctly.

Dream first!

Would you consider yourself a procrastinator?

Procrastination has no space in his workflow. I'm a producer my job is to deliver a product and stay within the budget during the production process so I pride myself on being as productive as I possibly can be and making sure others around finish the task we were hired to do so I'm far from a procrastinator, especially when my name and my studio brand is on the line plus I'm a Capricorn so I love to work more than anything.

Among the big names who would like to work with?

I would love to work with Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, George Clinton, Pharrell (along with N.E.R.D) & Jay-Z before he retires.