Producer Dojo’s newest partnership with World of Dance is an exciting opportunity to have our music broadcast on NBC television.
I had the chance to sit down with Vaedynn and pick his brain on his experience curating the latest Producer Dojo World of Dance Cypher 009. It was no small task shepherding 32 songs to completion as well as the videos for each of the incredible new tunes with visuals by Professor Light W AV. You can watch the full Facebook video here and the full 48 minute audio mix is now available on SoundCloud here.
Vaedynn, when did the World Of Dance Cypher idea become a reality? Did you pitch this or did they ask you? Why do you think it is a valuable learning exercise for Producer Dojo members?
I heard Dylan mentioning he wasn’t sure about what cypher he wanted to do after the Audio Scrabble cypher. I had asked him if there was any interest in a WOD cypher. He seemed interested so I went back to WOD to see if they were interested in something like this and they were highly interested.
You see one of the biggest challenges for dancers and WOD is the music. Each dancer has to dance to music otherwise it is gymnastics or miming, not dance. The only way for dancers to get exposure is to post videos with tracks they like. However, if the producer, or label, or management have a problem, then the video gets pulled. There can be a variety of valid reasons for this. This happens to dancers a lot. So part of my job at WOD is finding tracks that are pre-approved from all parties for dancers to do performances to. It just seemed given my new job and the concept of a cypher with Producer Dojo just made a lot of sense.
There are several reason why this is a valuable learning experience. 1. It helps your production. Learning a new way to approach making a track helps a lot. It gives you more tools in your tool chest when you have a good concept that you’re working on. My rhythms have gotten much better because of it for example. 2. A project like WOD helps give producers more options to get their music heard. Some dancers have lots of followers. There have been many music careers started because 1 dance video made a track popular. 3. To play off the last statement, this also helps producers get their heads out of the box. There are a lot of ways to make money producing music, and everyone’s path is different when it comes to art. This very cypher could help shape some of our careers to making more dance related music. This cypher could also be the very thing that makes another producer get an idea of where to get his music licensed because of a random connection he has that he wouldn’t have pursued before because he didn’t think of it until this cypher.
How many songs have you personally worked on for the WOD cypher? Can you share stories from each of these experiences?
I think I started about 7 or 8 tracks for this cypher. Some tracks were made specifically for this cypher and a performance concept I had in mind. Some were tracks that I had already started and felt they were on the path to being a good submission. I pushed myself really hard to get as much content out. Not everything got finished in time. There’s some collabs from me and Like.Water and me and Matter that just couldn’t get finished in time for the due date, but are still going to be really fun tracks that dancers can get down to. I knew timing was tough because the cypher due date Was October 14th, and my son’s due date with October 24th. He ended up being born on October 15th. Timing was crazy to get everything done.
Out of all of the students that you worked with on the Cypher, do you have a shout out for most improved on Cypher 9? Can you share the story of the student’s progression?
Nick Taylor aka Gangsta No. 1 had the most improvement. He submitted something early on and kept at it. I know there were points where he was frustrated with the feedback from both Dylan and myself. He must have resubmitted his track “Battles” maybe 10 times. However, he listened to both of us and kept applying feedback and making adjustments along the way. I can’t wait to hear what he submits next because I think this may have been a major growth spurt for himself after making that track.
What do you think was the most common recurring struggle or obstacle shared by most participants?
Being able to take feedback I think can be the most challenging for all of us. I appreciate the trainers much more after doing a cypher. There are lots of producers in this that are MUCH better than I am at making music, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have good feedback. I think it’s easy to dismiss feedback and not understand the feedback. Some people think they did a poor job when they get a lot of feedback, which is not necessarily the case. Each track has its own set of problems, kind of like a puzzle. Some puzzles are harder than others, but it doesn’t mean the puzzle sucks. So just because you submit something that has feedback doesn’t mean you should be upset with yourself or give up on it, it just means you have more steps until you finish the job.
What is it like working with World of Dance?
I work for World of Dance who have many different outlets for performance, including a show on NBC. World of Dance is amazing. They have a commitment to expose new dancers and musicians to the world. Having that as your mission statement is very rewarding. Every day I’m giving a chance to new producers by way of promoting a track, an album, or a performance. It’s very fulfilling.
Have you spoken to any dancers to learn about what they value and look for in a song in order to create a great routine?
Dancers are looking for something to inspire them. This can be incredibly subjective. Every dancer has different taste, but dancers seem to pick more cutting edge stuff and sounds than most people. Having said that, there are definitely some common themes in the music they pick. The music needs to go somewhere. You can’t come out on the stage with your guns blazing. Boogie Frantick mentioned you need have a “landing pad” for your performance. How does the dancer come to the stage? How do they begin? Then the music needs to transition from an intro to a place where the dancer can show the audience some really cool stuff and make them go “wow!” A dancer can only do this for 20-30 secs maximum. So how do the dancers continue to wow at a break while they rest? In each of these spots, the music needs to give dancers clear moments of which instrument they are dancing to whether it be a vocal, a drum, the bass, or a synth. Other than that, clear drum drop outs are always appreciated for dancers. It allows them to do what they call a “freakout”. A spot where the dancer can do something completely out of the ordinary from the rest of their routine. A spot where the crowd can cheer.
Please enjoy The Producer Dojo-World of Dance Cypher 009 Curated by Vaedynn with visuals by Professor LightW AV. Please share with your friends to support our effort to get Producer Dojo producers heard on NBC. We are incredibly proud of the incredibly talented Producer Dojo team!