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backstage

backstage

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march 2021

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Reuben
Rubdope

Young & Lucid

It all began with a keen sense of intrigue by how a song is produced "behind the scenes." Over the succeeding years, he was able to discern this passion which ultimately led him to music production. A particular moment during his journey was a realization that if he can bring change in an individual's life through music, this would be something he wanted to do as a career.

This may seem like a story of an old man sitting on a rocking chair reminiscing accolades and accomplishments in decades past. Quite the contrary. Born into a family of musicians Reuben Mathew, known professionally as Reuben Rubdope, is a 22-year-old Dubai-based music producer. His music production resume includes a 2016 headstart, primarily for the local Indian hip-hop artists in the UAE and eventually branched out to different regions of India.

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Please tell us about your music production journey.

At the age of 16, I had downloaded a bunch of music software off the internet and had begun experimenting with them by trying to make beats which I had thoroughly enjoyed. By the age of 17, I had met a couple of Indian artists and had started producing beats for them. I was also able to pick up ideas from a copious number of audio engineers and had simultaneously kept on working towards improving my music. As months passed by, I was presented with the opportunity to collaborate with various artists from different genres and this allowed me to begin my journey in music production.

What's your process like working with aritst?

I start my production process by making the beats first and then moving on to the melody. Once this is done, I move on to adding the vocals of the artists into the track, and then you have yourself a completed song.

Before working with an artist, I try to figure out whether their lyrics/wordplays have a story to tell. I believe that is one of the main qualities I would look for in an artist as that would allow me to build a bond with him/her. Another important quality would be whether the artist and I are on the same wavelength throughout the track. If the lyrics/wordplay as well as the wavelength match, I'd love to work with him/her.

have a story to tell

Biggest lesson learned in music production.

I would say that the biggest lesson I have learned during my journey in music production is 'Patience'. Producing music is a time-consuming process as it requires multiple alterations of the beats, making sure the artist's vocals fit in smoothly, etc. If one doesn't possess the ability to have patience, I can assure you that one will not be satisfied with the output displayed.

Projects

Name 3 projects that are special to you.

I had produced a track called 'Janaam' with an artist named Araf Tisspy which is an Indian/Urdu Hip-hop song that narrated a story about love and the reality of life. The song motivated me and the artist to do more because several listeners had related to the song and were moved by it.

'Club Rain' was another song I had produced with artists Itsdilligaf and Bushra Barday which was my first dance/electronic song. This track was different from what I had previously done; the overwhelmingly positive response from people enabled me to explore a new genre of music I hadn't thought of.

Recently I had put out a song named 'LUCID' with artists Araf Tisspy and Even Verse which was a song aimed to raise awareness on depression during the COVID- 19 pandemic. While producing the track in the studio and filming a music video for it, I felt the artists and I were able to portray on screen the seriousness of depression.

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What do you think of the music industry in Dubai?

The music industry in Dubai is filled with a plethora of talented artists, producers, instrumentalists, and sound engineers. However, I feel that the music industry in the country would be referred to as a sleeping giant. For the music industry in Dubai to reach its potential, I think a stronger market is required which would allow every musician/ music producer to grow and present their music to the world.

I think a stronger market is required

Would you consider yourself a morning person?

No. I would consider myself to be an inveterate night owl.

Among the big names who would like to work with?

I would consider it a dream come true to produce music for India's two well-reputed music artists - DIVINE and Bohemia. Karan Kanchan and Metro Boomin are some of the producers whom I would also love to work with.