Guest Author - Shelia M. Goss
DJ Blackout and Tommy Muzikil (aka Tommy Gunz) make up the producing team - The Blackout Movement. They have worked with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Teairra Mari, Ja Rule etc.
Shelia Goss: How long have you been in the music industry?
The Blackout Movement: (DJ Blackout)…My father was a deejay, so I’ve pretty much been into music all my life. I started producing about 5 years ago in New York.
Shelia: What were you doing before producing?
The Blackout Movement: (DJ Blackout)…I started off doing high school parties and clubs on Long Island. I hooked up with the Refugee Camp and was on the road with them. I was also a deejay for Jadakiss for about 2 years.
Shelia: Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with?
The Blackout Movement: (DJ Blackout)…Production wise: I produced a lot of local artists from Long Island and was making a name for myself, but wasn’t really able to touch major artist until about 3 years ago when me and Tom finally hooked up and formed Blackout Movement. Our first major artist was JaRule. It was track #9 on his Blood of My Eye album.
Shelia: Who are you doing now?
The Blackout Movement: (Tommy)…We’re actually in the studio now, but taking a break.
Shelia: What’s coming out this year that listeners should be listening out for?
The Blackout Movement: JaRule, Marley Marl, J Lo (Jennifer Lopez), Music on Cameron’s new movie/upcoming album, Pitbull etc.
Shelia: What inspires you?
The Blackout Movement: (Tommy)…We vibe in different ways. Sometimes geared to a certain artist; sometimes Black might have an idea and I’ll come in and finish it or vice-versa. A lot of the vibe might come from when we’re in the club and we see how a certain crowd reacts to a certain sound.
Shelia: How long does it take you to make a beat?
The Blackout Movement: It doesn’t take us very long. It all really depends on the vibe, but on the average maybe 2 hours or 2 ½ hours.
Shelia: In your opinion, what makes a "hit" record?
The Blackout Movement: My personal opinion—it has to be appealing. A major hit record is a record that stands out; one that doesn’t sound like anything else. There are a lot of records out that you didn’t think would be a hit record.
Shelia: What advice would you give to others interested in a career in the music industry?
The Blackout Movement: #1 Negative people in your circle, get them out of your circle immediately. It’s already hard enough getting into this business with the politics and who you know. If you have negative people in your camp, get rid of them. Try to make your music sound as good as possible. If you’re a producer, make your drums stand out. If you’re a singer, write what you feel from the heart. Always put 100 percent into everything you’re doing.
Shelia: Are you looking to working with new artists?
The Blackout Movement: We’re always looking to work with new artists that are trendsetters and don’t sound like anybody else. We like working with people bringing new flavor. If they want to get in contact with us, they can get in contact with us through email.
Shelia: I read you were going to be judges with BattleRap.com. How did that come about?
The Blackout Movement: We told them some of the stuff we were doing and they were interested in what we were doing.
Shelia: have you started receiving a lot of participants?
The Blackout Movement: (DJ Black)… I also deejay on the radio as well. We’re seeing some response. People are registering. I’m getting a little feedback.
Shelia: What are some of the criteria you'll be using to judge the contestants?
The Blackout Movement: Looking for lyrical, creativity and a certain energy. When you hear something and it gives you goosebumps, that’s automatic.
Shelia: Anything else you want to say to readers?
The Blackout Movement: We have an artist coming out – Pack n Star…a hip-hop artist/rapper from Miami that doesn’t sound like he’s from Miami—touches all regions.
Also have an alternative rock band—Purple Popcorn that we feel pretty good about . They are like Linkin Park, but with all black band members.