T. Major is a super producer and award winner from Toronto, ON who's got it going on. He’s been in the game for a minute and has learned a lot along the way. Starting off as a producer he has also picked up the titles of DJ and recently Vice-President of Motive Music Canada, an independent label here in the six where our friend Gee Wunder is president. T. Major recently put out a new and exciting project that showcases his talent, but also gives back to the community. “Dirty South Drum Loops” is a FREE DOWNLOAD available on tmajor.ca that allows producers to experiment with samples, loops and really get their creativity in motion. I wanted to talk to T. Majot about his many accomplishments and what’s next.
You’ve been around the Toronto music scene for a while, when did it all begin for you?
It all started for me in 2004, I had some trouble and mishaps and found myself on house arrest. I love movies, but that couldn’t be all I was going to do and I don't play video games like that. I knew of an old friend that was making beats on the computer so I thought I give it a try and got hooked instantly. With nothing else to do but watch movies, making beats became my reason to rush home from work, shortly after in 2006 I attended school for engineering and recording, the course was actually called "Sound Tech".
Do you feel that school really helped you? Should producers invest in a musical education?
Well yes I believe that going to school for music recording helped me, it helped a lot in terms of music knowledge and learning the the rules of music and/or sound in general, and equipment knowledge when it comes to signal routing, wires, connections, meter reading and acoustic design. But at the same time it isn't needed to become a successful producer at all, it might take a bit longer for you to learn and it always helps to surround yourself with good knowledgeable people that know about music as well as the music industry.
How did you get into DJ-ing? Was it easy for you to learn, given your background?
The very first time I even touched a turntable set was when I was 12 years old, my dad was and still is a reggae DJ with a "Big Sound" as they call it, the name of his sound is "Love Shack" he had a turntable setup with huge speakers and a lot of racks, he would let me fool around on it when he brought it home from time to time because he was always playing out. It's was so much equipment, I was young so I didn't know where he stored it but I know when he brought it home it took at the least an hour bringing it in and setting it up and that's with help from his homies, he even let me spin for a bit at one of his functions but I really thought nothing of it. Years later I'm a music producer doing a lot of shows with my team/ label mates and I see the need for one of us to control our performances from the DJ aspect. We would always have some "technical malfunction" as the DJ would say or get rushed by the DJ in-between our songs, not giving us time to have a drink, receive the applause from the crowd much less intro the next song, so I decided I'm going to control our performances from the DJ aspect, after all I have a head start being a producer; I know time signature, how to count bars, and I know all the terms on a mixer and what they mean so it wasn't hard to pick it up. I just got familiar with my new piece of equipment and this was like in 2014. So it went from that to other DJs I know asking me to play the intermissions at the performances so they can have a break and back in theses days I only came to DJ for Gee Wunder, just play his song for his performance that was it. I became Gee Wunder’s official DJ I didn't even have a lot of songs for a party but I never said no, I just made it work, to DJing other artists’ performances, to doing the whole night of performances, to full promoters asking how much do I change for a night at their club, because when I'm DJing a performance I treat the intermissions like a party and you never know who's in the crowd.
What’s your role as Vice-President of Motive Music?
My role as Vice President of motive Music is a mixture of things A&R, signing new talent, taking responsibility in the day to day operations as in emails, social media phone calls etc.
How did it feel to win “Beat Producer of the Year” from the CUT Hip Hop Awards?
To win “Beat Producer of the Year" 2016 at the CUT Hip Hop Awards in Edmonton was truly amazing, I did a big campaign on it with a huge push and the whole time I was just happy to be nominated and recognized for my instrumental album, Listening Session. I was good with that alone, so for me to win was so far from my mind it was unexpected which made it truly humbling, that's one of the memories and experiences I will always cherish, to make a project and across the country someone recognizes your efforts, and you get to travel and actually win an award? I think that is in every kind of artist’s dream, even if it was just a minor thought they thought about it I'm sure.
What exactly is Dirty South Drum Loops? And why did you decide to make it available for free?
The T Major's"Dirty South South" Drum Loop Kits is for free and it consists of 5 different drum loop grooves. With each loop you have a kick, snare, hi hat, open hi hat and sometimes cymbals. That makes up one loop (groove) you can use the sounds all together playing as one MP3/Wave, or separate the individual MP3/Wave and arrange the them as you please, then all you have to do to make a complete beat is ad your instruments/plug-in on top of the desired drum loop and your beat is complete. I called it "Dirty South" Drum Loop Kit because the way the pattern of the loop is sequenced, it's with a more Southern groove. This is great for beginner beat makers with as little knowledge as to what a correct 4 bar drum loop is, this will also help them to know the root of each sound in a drum kit and where it is suppose to be placed and this is all subconsciously getting them familiar with the names of the sounds within a drum kit and what they sound like. Now for a professional producer this is a great tool if they have road blocks on ideas, want a different idea than what they would normally come up with, if they want to make a beat real fast or just straight chop the single sound out of each loop to build their drum library. I give it for free because I get a lot of emails and messages from up and coming as well as professional beat makers/producers asking questions about sounds in general, bottom line I see the hunger and I know how it is when you can't find new drums or drum loops or sounds in general, I figure this is something that I CAN do to help the community and culture of hip hop producers or any music producer for that matter, if you can use it and it works for you go right ahead, music and sounds are here for all of us.
Do you feel that enough artists/creatives give back in Toronto? Why/Why not?
I do feel that a lot of artist/creative give back to Toronto, not necessarily physically but people are way more proud to be from Toronto and to be Canadian, the day has come when people are more patriotic to their country and city. Toronto is recognized around the world and our people are embracing it, but we are from the "screwface capital" so there's always going to be that group of people that are from Toronto or Canada that don't like the fact that you're an artist/creative from Toronto or Canada actually doing your thing no matter what level you're on, you're doing your thing and THEY look to America for a Co-sign or a stamp of approval to let THEM know what is hot or fresh, and you can't help, that all you can do is keep doing you because those people are not part of the masses so they don't matter plus you need haters because if you don't have haters then you're not popping. People usually hate on what’s good or poppin so you need that, use it for motivation.
What is coming up next for T Major in the new year?
So what's next for me is I just released a Drum Loop Kit titled T Major's "Dirty South Drum Loops" and is free via my website www.tmajor.ca, I'm working on a project with Frankie Payne for 2017, another Instrumental Album but it's a double CD called The Formula/Chemistry, this album will be unique in the way it's released one CD for free and one CD for sale, I'm always working on new beats, and I'll be at a club near you DJing, just book me or look out for my name on your favorite party flyer.