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Songtrust Spotlight: Producer 20

Antwain Fox, also known as PRODUCER 20, is a multi-talented producer with a story of triumph. This Charlotte native got his start in music production when he wanted his brother to make beats with his PlayStation via the music generator game. From becoming a father at a young age to becoming homeless, 20 fought to create a worthwhile life for himself. He was always inspired by artists and producers like Timberland, Dr. Dre, 9th Wonder, Just Blaze, The Neptunes, and RZA.

With talents as a videographer and photographer, 20 decided to focus on being a music producer. That direction helped him land a placement with Da Baby on the track "4x" featuring Stunna 4 Vegas in 2018. He would work with Da Baby again in 2019 on tracks “XXL" and “Walker Texas Ranger.” While building a working relationship with Stunna separately on multiple songs like “100 or Better,” featuring NLE Choppa, “Double D’s” and “Intro" co-produced by DeeJayTrap. 20 would tap back in with Stunna in 2020 to work on “Wet" co-produced by Sean da Firtz.

United Masters held a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for artists to win $15,000 and have their original music included in the film’s promotional campaign. Rising Hip-Hop artist Quantrelle tapped 20 to help him create a song specifically for the open call. The creation of “Back to Life” was the result. Quantrelle and 20’s track won and was selected as the lead song out of thousands of entries.


WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC?

My brother, Monte Fox, inspired me to get into music as I watched him work for the dungeon family with artists such as Outkast, Goodie Mob, Future, Ceelo Green, etc. My high school friends, Joseph Appiah and Shadrick Walker, inspired me as well as we were all learning how to make music together.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY AND STYLE AS AN ARTIST?

My style of producing is simply driven to give the artist more creative space to use their ideas with not a lot of sounds or noise. I aim to give them free movement without being constricted to certain melodies.

My philosophy as a producer is to make sure the artist is comfortable with being themselves and to get the best verse for a record.

WHAT DRIVES YOU TO CREATE, AND HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELF IN MUSIC?

What drives me to create is a little bit of everything -- from my mood, to hearing a record I like and wanting a recreate the vibe that song had given me, to being in tune with an artist to convey how they want to be heard.

THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER, WHO HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST WITH DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT?

I took a crash course into what I wanted to do in terms of producing, so I kind of had to learn to do things on my own with the help of a few friends along the way. The major part of my development was due to learning things on my own.  Most of my support came from my close friends. 

SOMETIMES BEING IN THIS BUSINESS CAN BE OVERWHELMING. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR MAINTAINING PERSPECTIVE AND NOT SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF?

Have patience and serenity -- It plays a BIG part in how I maintain perspective. I usually think about what I can change and what I cannot, and that usually gets me to calm myself and focus on what needs to be done next to improve my situation.

WHAT CAN OR SHOULD THE NEWER GENERATION OF MUSIC CREATORS, AND MORE SPECIFICALLY BLACK MUSIC CREATORS, FOCUS ON AS THEY ENVISION A NEW MUSIC FUTURE?

Promoting themselves. Focus on finding or building a team to grow with. Get a lawyer so you can focus on solidifying your business. Improve your financial literacy.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY DO TO TRULY BE A REFLECTION OF THE CULTURE AND COMMUNITY IN WHICH IT CREATES?

Not control what the artist wants to put out for the world to hear and let them be free to try new music and sounds. The industry has a way of trying to predict what the people want but that does mean that it is true. The industry creates a small window of what is acceptable for the public and that is not right. 

BLACK ARTISTS, SONGWRITERS, AND CREATORS HEAVILY INFLUENCE MOST TRENDS IN MUSIC, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SOCIAL MEDIA - BUT THEY OFTEN DON'T RECEIVE THE RECOGNITION THEY DESERVE. DO YOU HAVE ADVICE FOR DEVELOPING CREATORS WHEN IT COMES TO PROTECTING THEIR WORK?

Yes, whenever possible trademark your work! Copyright your sound and/or whatever you’ve created.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER ADVICE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS JUST STARTING THEIR CAREERS, BASED ON WHAT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED?

Entertain, inform, and inspire. Get their attention, inform them about you, and inspire them to be greater.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING UP IN 2022?

I have a few movie placements, tv show placements, new music, new artists, and a platform for producers to flourish in an industry that does not cater to the needs of the producers who are trying to find their way through the system.

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