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Songtrust Spotlight: WayneOnABeat

Dewayne Kennemer, professionally known as WayneOnABeat, is an American record producer from Chattanooga, Tennessee. WayneOnABeat is best known for producing Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop, Film, and Trap music. He is also known for originally producing the hit single "DND" by Polo G.


WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC?

I ask myself this question all the time. I honestly feel like music was always in me. Growing up in a poor environment I didn't have many things. My father somehow always found his way around collecting radio receivers, so 94.3 or 98.1 was always going. The receiver speakers were never that great and I could only hear the vocals, so I would try creating instrumentals in my head not fully understanding what I was doing. For example, my brother and I were always tasked with daily chores, making sure the house was clean.

During these moments, I would use cleaning supplies as instrumentals and play them along with songs that were on the radio. The range was pretty wild when I think about it. Anything from Prince, MJ, Elvis, 2pac, Biggie, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Eminem to Twista. The list goes on.

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

I would say very versatile. Growing up I played the xylophones in middle school, then transitioned to alto saxophone in high school. Sonically, at a very young age, I learned how to bring sounds together and that is what defines my sound today. If you listen closely to my instrumentals, you'll hear the most random sounds(percussion) you wouldn't think to include. But when it all comes together it simply fits. I also have this passion for crazy 808's or low leads. It's something about making the low end stand out that really drives my work.

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

Creating music is honestly therapeutic for me. My day could be going terribly wrong but as soon as I open my laptop and turn on FL Studio, my heart rate slows down. It's wild because it's my comfort spot, it's a safe place in my head I'm able to go to and just express myself. At the same time, it gives me energy, motivation when I'm able to complete a project.

I believe success in music is when you accomplish the goals you set out for yourself. When I initially started making instrumentals, my goals were to simply finish projects. I was notorious for starting and never finishing projects and that hindered my growth. When you challenge yourself, there are no limits. Once I learned how to get past that hurdle, it opened up other windows(having content to send to artists consistently, building a catalog, versatile beat packs, etc). Oftentimes, people get lost with their own goals because they watch other people succeed online. It took me 10 years to get a song on the billboards. Not skipping any steps, setting and reaching those goals is what I consider success.

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

My two amazing kids Dewayne Jr and Jaleyah, and my best friends Clay and Trey. My kids are the most honest people I know. They're so young but will be quick to tell me if my work is trash or not. If an instrumental doesn't grab my son's attention in the first 8 seconds, I have to change it up. If he can't dance to it, or immediately start bopping his head, I will need to pull the project back up. For my daughter, when a track drops and it doesn't hit you, or if the beat is repetitive, she will tell me, "Dad this needs to switch or something has to change here." But when the track is fire, the expression they give me is honestly the most rewarding feeling ever.

My buddy Clay is literally my go-to for everything. Although he's never created music, his passion for listening, wanting to learn music, and the business side of things is an underrated superpower I never knew I needed until I met him. And for Trey, this guy is the most talented person I know. When we first met 10 years ago, he was an artist looking for instrumentals(we met in my washing room at the time where my studio lived). He purchased one of the first tracks I ever created and just believed in me from the very beginning. Not only can Trey sing, but he's accomplished on the keys and guitar. Fast forward to today, Trey and I decided to open a recording studio here in Chattanooga, TN called WaveLength Studios. We're excited to open the door here in our city to give other creatives the opportunity to pursue their music careers.

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

I can't express the importance of setting goals for yourself and sticking to your own timeline. Social media oftentimes can force you to rush your goals, I always try to remember that comparison is the biggest thief of joy. As a producer, if you see another producer get a win with a placement or opportunity, it's ok to clap for them, but then go back to the goals you set and stay on task. If you have a true passion for creating music and you're consistent, it's really only a matter of time before you start checking those boxes.

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?

Network, Network, Network. Coming from a corporate background, the power of networking is so instrumental to building relationships. It's not who you know, it's really who knows you. For the longest time, I was considered a bedroom producer. I would put my instrumentals online only and hope for the best. Once I got out of my house, started taking trips to Atlanta, LA, my entire world opened up and goals I set for myself in 5 years were being accomplished in 2 weeks.

If you don't have that flexibility, you need to be in everyone's dms. I'm a very strategic person. Once I DM you online, I'm documenting it in my Google sheets then coming back to it in the next couple of weeks to see if you responded. I'm reaching out to executives on Instagram, Facebook, or even Linkedin. I'm always networking, talking to people who know people. In order to build your pipeline of potential artists to get placements as a producer, you have to network with folks who work directly with that artist and folks who are affiliated with their camp. In 2020, COVID-19 opened up the world more online and folks started collaborating more, but it all required proactive outreach.

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

Support each other. We as Black people could have a strong foundation if we realize how powerful we are when working together. Hate, jealousy, greed, all have to be put aside otherwise we will continue to see people take advantage of our young Kings & Queens. How can we work together to put people of color, Hispanics, and other cultures in leadership positions to make key decisions in the industry? I think it starts with collaborating, supporting each other's ideas, and ensuring as a group we are aligned to find success inside and outside our community.

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?

If you don't have an entertainment lawyer, get one immediately! If you are working in the industry, paying to have a lawyer look over legal documents at an early stage helps set expectations. Having friends in the industry also helps a ton! Don't be afraid to reach out to folks, even if you have to pay for consulting, to get the assistance you need. Don't wait until the track drops and realize you weren't paid, credited, and didn't get the recognition you deserve. Be proactive and make sure everything is crossed off your list.

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

Do your research and stay consistent. If you're an artist, think about some of the artists you look up to and research what they did to get to where they are now. If you are a producer, go to youtube.com, or what I like to call "YouTube University" and spend at least an hour a day developing your craft. Learn other's best practices so you can then develop your own.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE COMING UP IN 2022?

Wavelength Studios just went live in December. Hoping to engage with folks in the surrounding area and assist with developing upcoming producers/artists/creators. I'll also be traveling to LA and Atlanta quarterly to work with upcoming artists, songwriters, and producers on some projects. I also have a few potential placements pending, but won't know truly until the tracklist is public. I have over 1000 instrumentals available to use(Rap, R&B, Latin|Raggaeton, Pop, Country). I'm super excited to see what the future holds and will continue to count my blessings.

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