Noah 40 Shebib interview

March 4, 2014 2:48 PM
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Noah 40 Shebib interview

Being a heavyweight name in the music industry, Noah “40″ Shebib comes by Pensado’s Place to talk about various topics. With pushing beats for┬áDrake, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx, Alicia Keys and many more, 40 joins Dave and Herb for the 151st episode of “Pensado’s Place”.

Noah starts the gather up explaining the main concept behind his music, agreeing with the visual element helping the listener see sound not just hear it. Instead of starting with a set of drums programmed for a new song, 40 visualizes the melody starting with sound progressions aiming to create a emotional impact. The next step is passing the instrumental to an artist and hoping the feeling will grow with a set of vocals sending the same message. “The feeling” takes priority according to Drake’s source for numerous hits.

His background as a sound engineer is also mentioned as an organic way to come up. With the engineer experience, Noah developed into a legitimate producer acknowledging every trick there is to know. Some insights for the style he pushes are shared, stating that a key fact in making it in this business is to be creative and original. Another break through his music is the space left for the artist to shine, a cutting lane for the vocals.

The discussion moves to Drake next making a parallel line between the Toronto rapper’s success and Noah’s major break through in the music industry. 40 says that Drizzy is a very talented person that can handle more than making music with covering a lot of grounds. The minimum criteria to make a solid impact in the entertaining business is to be amazing for one thing at least. Drake’s huge success is explained this way because he gained the “artist” title being great at more than just “singing”.

The “Marvin’s Room” track gets the spotlight next being placed as something to break the rules but creative and intelligent. The song was released on the OVO blog and around the net before the official album dropped. Even if the record had major success, “Marvin’s Room” is just Noah “40″ Shebib and Drizzy Drake “havin’ fun” (” drop all the other stuff we’re supposed to do today, let’s just enjoy ourselves”). The song’s success seems to come from the passion and the emotion invested. “Marvin’s Room” held the no.1 spot on the radio for several weeks even if the format was not destined for airplay.

If you’re wondering if Noah himself writes music the answer is no and he’s actually “terrified” with writing lyrics. This develops into the symbolism of writing your own lyrics in Hip Hop and the importance of an artist handling his own raps. However receiving help with the instrumental part is accepted in today’s Hip Hop and Noah focuses on doing just that, helping the artist share his story.

The 40-Drake duo were working so hard in the music scene they didn’t even noticed the pressure on them until lately when it became obvious with Drake being one of the biggest artists in the world. The success comes in with a bit of wait and a lot of pressure. The key question at this point seems to be “diversity or consistency?” according to the music producer.

Drake’s major breakthrough “So far gone” is also scanned along with holding the bar high for a second equal release. “You get your whole life to make your first album but you only have a few months to make your second”. When the project was put out the duo had no idea if it was going to be successful but they sure managed to create a powerful chemistry. “So far gone” was made on simple laptops in hotel rooms with pillows used for noise isolation. 40′s room mate shared apartment in Toronto was also a place where “So far gone” recording session took place.

Noah is asked to state the difference between “So far gone” and “Thank me later” next and the producer says “Thank me later” is a more polished project with club hits and more radio friendly records. For “Take Care” a going back to the roots scheme was set out, incorporating more significant moments, feelings and atmospheres with more noticeable moods. The radio side was not left behind so this project bounced between commercial use and custom OVO sound. “Nothing was the same” is also described as the perfect match between “both worlds”.

A significant problem for producers popped in for Noah when mixing “Nothing was the same”. With a song that had it’s momentum while being un-mastered and came back polished with its special feeling lost, the producer had to choose which version will surface the album. In two nights while visiting Jamaica, Noah did some final tweaking to the un-mastered version and let the song live as it was. Even if insecurity stepped in, the OVO team gambled on momentum and feeling. “Going back to the Mac books” was the motto.

When it comes to song structure the producer receives a lot of help from his super star emcee Drake. 40 praises Drizzy for his implacable hearing when it comes to detecting glitches and errors, stuff that he doesn’t even sense most of the times. Another personal objective when it comes to rap music is to make tracks audible for the public, a fact generated since way back from Noah’s mom opinion on Hip Hop songs. The song message gets main priority.

Noah states that he’s not really a fan of sampling and he’s aiming rather for original content, using few samples for atmospheric effect. Yet the producer agrees with sampling mentioning that it’s a tool and it can make a song better. After taking a sample, he chops it, reverse it, loops it and asks a fundamental question: was something new created? If something great comes out then the composition remains.

The well debated Aaliyah record becomes a subject and Noah talks about his point of view on the song. The producer starts off by saying that Aaliyah is a huge influence for him and he was honored to work on the record but things got a little political when Drake got involved. The experience came with some struggle but his intention was to be respectful to the r’n’b singer and her family.

The sit down becomes a intense producer test for Noah next. Watch the rest of the video to see if the man proved himself!




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