Hi TUC Family, my name is Mary and I am a contributing writer at True Urban Culture. Welcome back to our NEXT UP interview series. Let me introduce you to our next guest, a renowned producer from New York City, Eddie Deuce.
How are you doing today?
I’m good; I’m glad you guys have me here, appreciate it.
So I saw that you were born in Hawaii, and raised between Maryland and Florida. I would like to know what was the catalyst behind you moving to New York City to take your career to the next level?
The catalysts, I would say growth, you know what I mean? And in Florida, there wasn’t a lot of music and money to be made. However, there’s a huge music community and a lot of great creative people, but it just wasn’t growing professionally, and I know I had more to bring to the table. So you know, if you want to play in the big leagues, you gotta go to the big leagues.
Are your parents still living in Florida, or are your parents back in Hawaii?
My mother lives in Florida, and my father lives in Maryland.
When did you get your start in the industry? And like, who was the first artist you’ve collaborated with?
Oh, so I’ve been making music since I was almost 18 years old. As far as being in the actual industry, I could say that probably about 12 years as far as really being involved professionally. Concerning the first artist I’ve ever collaborated with, I’ve worked with a lot of dope people, man, like Freeway, RJ Payne, and Mickey Factz…
I see, and you should also meet a lot of people in this creative industry, right?
For sure. I mean, you have to know that music changes a lot. So you have to meet new people and keep your eyes and ears open. And I guess in New York City, it is even more like that. It’s easy to meet people in your community, you know, there’s a lot of artists, a lot of great people here. It’s just about being prepared. You’re gonna meet the person you want to meet as long as you’re here. It’s about “Are you going to be prepared when you finally do?”.
Great, and at what point like, did you know that pursuing a career in music production was your calling?
I mean, to be honest with you, it was from day one that I really realized that I did have the skill and the talent to do it. This gave me purpose. I can’t say I had a whole lot of purpose before that. I don’t think I knew what I was gonna do. But once I sat down and I did it, I was like oh man, I’m actually good at this.
How did you begin? Was it as simple as just buying some equipment and everything, and then learning via tutorials?
Not even. I wasn’t thinking about this at all. My cousin brought FL Studio, you know, early fruity loops over, like a demo version; and I used it and I worked on it. It didn’t take me much research, I literally turned it on and played with it. You know, after one day, I was making music, I was amazed by it. When you first start, you may not know what’s good or what’s not good and things like that. But then you start to compare it to other stuff and you’re thinking “I actually am doing this right, I think I have a hidden talent”. I mean, I’ve always been a musically inclined type of person, with a very eclectic background musically, so I always had a good ear. But to know that I could get it from my brain to my fingers- to the people – that’s a whole other different journey, you know?
Do you play any instruments?
No, I’ve played the clarinet for about five years, but I don’t play anything other than my keyboard now. I can play any instrument that I want; I have it on my computer.
I checked out your Instagram and I noticed that your style gives off a lot of groovy vibes. Who are your greatest inspirations and role models that you get inspired by?
I mean, Quincy Jones is at the top of the map for me. He’s always been an orchestrator, holding things together, and pulling people together. And that’s what I do. I like to bring artists together that do different things. You know, I’m a big fan of Polow Da Don, who made Promise for Ciara, and Throw Some D’s from Rich Boy, those are probably the two biggest songs that people would recognize. They’re the ones that people would recognize. I’m just inspired by art in general. You know, I mean, I watch a lot of movies, probably 15 movies a week. That’s what inspires me; I’m very inspired by my movies.
Speaking of movies, would you like to have, or is it a goal for you to have your music featured in TV shows or movies?
Yes, that would be awesome; that would definitely be a dope thing to happen. I’ve done a few things in the past, and I actually have my own short film coming out very soon, and I did all the music for it. So yeah, that’ll be awesome. Ultimately, my ultimate goal is, as I get older, to score like a feature-length film.
So the next plan is a short film with your music, right?
The movie is going to be coming out probably most likely next year. I also have an album coming out soon – a reggae rap album with one of my guys BAY- C from the group T.O.K; I’m not sure if you’re familiar with them. But definitely, some dope projects coming soon. That’s the two immediate things amongst some other things.
I saw that you released Deucember 2022 last year. And I was wondering if you were planning to release a Deucember 2023?
I’m not, But that album signified a growth thing for me. I created my first album when I was in college, way back in the day in Deucember 2005. That was my first project in school. I made all the music, I made the graphic for it, and I recorded it. I gave it out at school and in the same kind of format, whereas different artists came together. So this project for me was really a reawakening of my youth, and my beginnings in production. Because when I was young, you just had that beginner’s luck, that fire. You can spot that overzealousness and that’s what I like to listen to. So this project was basically an Ode to My First Project.
I think the people from the school were impressed to see that you produced a whole album.
I went to art school. So a lot of people there were doing a lot of amazing things, but I can definitely say me and my partners and my team at the time definitely opened a lot of different lanes and doors for a lot of artists at the time, so I hope they were impressed.
Did you study in New York City?
That was in Tampa, Florida. I didn’t finish school; I lasted like six months. I went to school, I think it started in July, and my first album was out in December. So I was in school for four months, I had already recorded 17 artists, and put out an album. That’s all I was ever focused on, just making the music. I took my school loan money and bought musical equipment; I didn’t buy any books or anything like that.
For sure, I have co-producers, and I work with other producers. We are always doing new things. I actually had a beat performance this past weekend, I had a beat set at Lower East Side, shout out to SmokeNBeatz. I’m always around dope, creative, awesome people, I mean you have to be. Sometimes it’s hard to find, especially when things are happening, kids over here, girls over here, family over here, all these little things. You have to stay around people and around things that keep that energy, that keep you poppin.
Speaking of this, like, what were some challenges that you’ve encountered or that you are still facing regarding ways of producing music and art?
First of all, making music at a high level in general is challenging. My last album, that Deucember 2022 album- I worked on it for almost two years. It takes time to really go after what you want, and to not allow the circumstances of life to dictate your art. So when your family member dies, you have to keep up with it. You know, when you lose a bunch of money, you have to keep up with it, and if you break up with your girlfriend and boyfriend, you have to keep up with that, because that’s what you chose to do. This is your plan, this is what you decided is important. So, in a sense, that’s one of the challenges. From more of a professional standpoint, I would just say that getting people to understand what you bring to the table. It takes a concerted effort from a group of people to introduce something that doesn’t exist. Like, if you’re there, following what everybody else is doing, it’s not as difficult to introduce it because people have already digested it in a way from somewhere else. But when you’re introducing something new, a new concept, it is a challenging thing to change the landscape. But if you love the art, the challenges, and shit, man, it’s different.
I see, it takes a lot of discipline.
Discipline is everything. A lot of things take your mind away from getting your music done. So definitely discipline is key if you want to succeed. But for me, music is my safe space.
It is the thing that speaks my language, for me it’s like therapy; I can talk to it. I can make it say whatever I want to say and I can be angry, I can be happy and I can channel it and hopefully make something that makes me some money.
Yes, combining both is nice. And what is your creative process like? How do you get inspired?
I said earlier that movies are a big part of my mind. It’s just how I work. So I put movies on mute sometimes, and I just have them playing, and I’ll watch them in silence, and I just feel the energy from it without hearing it. That’s probably like the main analysis for what gets me motivated because I always want to make things big. I want to make things with cinematic qualities, I want to be able to make stuff that people want to perform. I’ve been to many shows of artists that I thought I didn’t like, and then you see them perform live, and you’re like, “Oh wow, this is fucking amazing”. I try to incorporate that level into everything that I do. So I would say movies are definitely where I start.
I don’t necessarily even know if it’s that anymore. You know what I mean? Because I can watch Goodfellas and make R&B music. There’s something about stories, you know, beginning to end watching stories. It just gets my wheels in my mind moving.
I saw that you collaborated with Black Milk and Rico Beats. I would like to know who else you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Shout out to Black Milk and Rico Beats, we have yet to work, but we’re trying to get there and make things happen. I would love to collaborate with Missy [Elliott], she is legendary. There’s nothing that she can’t do. Eric Bellinger is a great artist, very consistent. Ty Dolla Sign, he’s super super fire. I mean, if I can get in the studio with Polow Da Don, that would be really awesome as well. You know, I love everybody though. But those are the ones that I would like to do a feat with.
Maybe one day, you will look back on this interview and be like “Oh, I did everything!”.
Oh yeah, it’s gonna happen. It’s definitely gonna happen.
And how would you describe your type of music in three words?
I would like to use two words, actually. “futuristic soul”. That’s what I’ve called my style since I was young. Because I grew up in an R&B/gospel household. I grew up with a lot of melody and a lot of musicality. My mom played a lot of different things, she loves bands and orchestras, and stuff like that. I’m also a futurist in a way that I always think about the future and have very forward thinking. I don’t want to say prophetic or anything like that because people will think I’m being conceited, but I definitely think about the future with everything. So I like to add melody and incorporate melody into everything that I do, but I also like to take it to the future. So it’s soulful, like R&B music. Even my hip-hop is soulful in a different kind of way, not sample-based soulful, more spiritually soulful. But I bring that soulful energy, my music is a very soulful, spiritual thing. That’s kind of like what I do, I bring it in everything that I do, but I’m not going to be singing anytime soon.
Where would you see yourself five years from now?
Funnily enough, my son will be 18 years old in five years. So that would be my biggest accomplishment in five years. My daughter will be going into high school. So that will be the two most important accomplishments of my life. But musically, in five years? I’m not sure exactly. I want to make my mark to be honest with you, I’m going to be making a lot more movies and a lot of scripts and things I’ve been working on. I’m a creative person in a general sense. And then as the time comes, it’ll manifest itself. But I definitely see myself doing more movie types of things five years from now.
And besides music and everything, what would be your other plans? Because I saw that you were making many different things.
Like I said, movies, definitely. I also have a book that’s coming soon – it’s an adult book, but in a kid’s format – a parody book. I also like cooking but don’t know if I could ever do it professionally but I cook as often as I can. My family is Trinidad – West Indian Americans so there’s a lot of cooking and a lot of partying going on in my family.
That’s a great name. You know, sometimes the word urban gets confusing for some people, I mean, they don’t necessarily know what that means. In my mind it is true, grassroots. I don’t wanna say independent, but authentic is the word. It’s grassroots. It’s authentic. Everybody, you know, for the most part, creatively comes from a true urban culture, thought process, because you’re describing things that everybody has to deal with. So when you’re talking about true urban culture, it really describes all of us, it describes the authenticity inside of us, I love it. I love the name.
Do you have anything that you would like to add for all of your fans out there ?
You can follow me on everything @EddieDeuce on all platforms, if you haven’t checked out Deucember 2022, go listen to it. Shout out to RJ Payne, Freeway, Nature, Doggie Diamonds, and a lot of dope artists that you know and some you don’t. I just look forward to 2024 during which we are going to drop a lot of music, and then I’ll be back here to talk to you about it.
All photos courtesy of LL Crawley