BEHIND THE BEATS – Interview @ Rockefeller Center, NYC.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: My name is Fernando Castillo and I’m a California based Producer and Recording Engineer.
Q: What are you working on right now? Tell us about your latest project.
A: Working on my official website where I sell beats and blog about music production, audio engineering and entertainment.
Q: What where you working on right before this?
A: Working in the studio with an artist from Brooklyn. Before that I was mixing an album for a major rock band in Mexico.
Q: Tell us about your credentials.
A: Formally trained Producer & Engineer with over 20 years in the game. Los Angeles Recording School Alumni. Law School at the Autonomous University of Baja California. World Touring Musician. Food Entrepreneur.
Q: Please tell us about about a project that you are very passionate about.
A: I am very proud of the outcome of my first instrumental album, it took me places that I never imagined and met a lot of amazing people because of it. I’m also very passionate about my former band’s discography which consists of three extended plays filled with ambient-electronica tunes. These early works shaped my sound.
Q: What’s the thing you love the most about your job?
A: I can do this all day and it never feels like work. Being in the studio is all I think about.
Q: What music genres do you specialize in?
A: I mainly produce post-trap, trap-soul and r&b instrumentals. As a mix engineer I specialize in all hip hop genres. I also have a strong rock & reggae background and spend a lot of time in the studio recording bands.
Q: Who would you like to work with?
A: There’s so many great artists but I would have to say Drake, Eminem, Future, J.Cole, Migos, Rick Ross, Bryson Tiller, August Alsina, Chris Brown, The Weekend, etc.
Q: Please tell us about your studio setup
A: For cooking up beats I usually start in my basement studio using Logic Pro, Fender Rhodes Piano, Moog Synthesizers, Nord Keyboards and Virtual Instruments. The second session always takes place in a professional recording facility. This is when I record real instruments and collaborate with other people. For mixing purposes I have permanent access to SSL Duality Console with a state of the art monitoring system and a wide selection of outboard gear.
Q: Describe your process.
A: I usually bring up Logic and start working on melodies from scratch. I personally don’t use samples. After I have a decent eight bar melody playing in loop I like to add some basic drums, just a simple kick, snare and hi hats to establish a bounce.
After this I usually add a tuned 808 or synth bass with a basic progression. Once this is done I like to add a synth pad or an element that creates tension and create additional loops that complement the main melody. At this point I start thinking about arrangement and putting the pieces together in an order that makes sense.
Once I have an arrangement that I like I usually go back to work on drum variations, fills and one time events. When I’m done with drums I like to do a rough mix just to get a better idea if any sounds are clashing. And after this I like to bring in other humans to collaborate. When the collaboration stage is done I edit and mix the instrumental so it’s ready to showcase.
Q: What do you expect to accomplish next?
A: Produce a hit, get certified, go after a Grammy and claim a place in music history. Music itself is way more exciting than money and fame.