As we continue to scout the country looking for talented artists, we stumbled across a young producer from east Knoxville, TN. We first caught wind of his production on Zip K‘s “Clouded Judgement” mixtape and ever since then, we’ve had our eye on the skilled hit maker. What makes this producer so unique is his ability to be versatile with his sound selection. He can go from the uptempo trap sound, to using a wide variety of sounds with ease. Painting a picture with sounds is only a skill that few can master and since he’s been studying the art since he was a youngster, he’s definitely working his way up in the ranks. Without further ado, check out our exclusive interview with L3no below. Stay current with his campaign, future music releases and more by following his campaign via Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud.
TFR: For those who aren’t familiar with you, please introduce yourself.
L3NO: I am L3NO (Previously known as “Jaleno Beatz”). 23 year old producer from the east side of Knoxville, TN. Also, Zip K’s in-house and go to producer.
TFR: How long have you been creating music?
L3NO: I have been creating music for about 14 years now. Every since I was a toddler, music has been a major part of my life. You know that little cousin at every family function that would dance for everybody when music came on? That was me. I was a HUGE Michael Jackson fan as a kid. All they had to do was play MJ or anything Jackson 5 and I would dance instantly. I didn’t actually start creating my own music until I was about 8 or 9 years old. From that age to my middle school days, me and my older brother used to rap lol. We would download popular instrumentals from bearshare/limewire and record to them on my dell desktop. I had always been curious about how artists would get the beat that they rapped on. I was completely uneducated on the producing process. I was born in 93, so software was becoming more popular than hardware like MPC’s by the time I understood what making a beat was. I didn’t create my first beat until I was 13 years old.
“Say It Then” – Translee (Prod. By: L3NO):
TFR: At what stage in your life did you know that being a producer was the route you wanted to take?
L3NO: I knew I wanted to start a career in producing from the very first time I made a beat. One day after school, my brother’s best friend introduced me to Fruity Loops. He downloaded the demo onto my computer, showed a few beginner tips, and told me to go at it. No lie, that day I made about 20 beats! They were God awful, but I was so obsessed with it. Everyone who is familiar with Fruity Loops knows that you can’t save projects on the demo version. I had to finish the entire beat and export it to MP3 right away lol. I would come home from school every day and make beats for hours. I was so infatuated with creating music I hadn’t even thought about getting the beats I was making to an artist. That’s when I knew I had found my passion.
TFR: Seeing that you have an impressive resume, what is it like working with the artists you’ve worked with?
L3NO: My passion for creating music becomes stronger when I work with people that share the same love for music. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the hottest artists out. As well as some of the dopest unsigned artists. One of the most popular aspects of my production is the sampling. I appreciate, respect, and do research on every piece of music that I sample. Everyone that I work with loves that about my beats. I love playing a beat for an artist and seeing that curious “what’s that sample from?” look on their face. I’ve seen to have better chemistry with artists who are truly music heads. Like Translee & Kelechi, who I frequently work with, they both have a love and respect for music that goes far beyond just laying vocals on top of a beat. It’s been dope working with the artists I’ve come across. I’ve had an album placement, as well as a placement on MTV Jams. Along with creating great music, comes with creating great relationships and friendships like what I have with Zip K. We’ve been creating music since 2010, and the formula has not changed. Both of our unique styles compliment each other.
“Tempo” – Zip K (Prod. By: L3no):
TFR: In your opinion, how important is the chemistry between artist and producer?
L3NO: I can’t stress enough how important it is to have chemistry between the artist and producer. Sending beats through email is cool, but making sure you get a chance to lock in the studio with an artist is key. You must have the opportunity to feed off each others energy. It’s all about building relationships. It’s also important to find an artist to attach yourself with. Attaching yourself with a main artist creates an identity and sound for yourself and the artist. All of the great producers have been part of an artist and producer combo. If you have a dope sound and the artist is dope as well, you’ll definitely succeed.
TFR: What advice do you have for aspiring producers that are seriously looking to make this the main source of feeding their family?
L3NO: I’ve always thought telling someone “follow your dreams” was very cliché. I thought that until I realized how short life is. If music is what you want to do, put your all into it. Even if you have a regular 9-5 job, give it everything you can. When you clock out of work, head straight to the lab to get some work in. You’re going to be tired, but that’s what it takes. You’re going to have to make a lot of sacrifices to make it. Women, parties, etc. If you truly want to make it, you’ll make the time for it. Second, create your own sound and identity. Be creative. You don’t want to be or sound like anyone else. Once you create your own wave, you’ll stand out and things will fall into place. Lastly, keep God first.
TFR: Lastly, when can we expect some new music from you?
L3NO: You can expect a lot of new music coming from me ASAP. As you know me and Zip just released our latest single “Tempo”. He also has a new project coming within the next few months. I have some DOPE production on there. Me and Zip’s sound has evolved into something MONSTEROUS. Also, I just dropped an EP with a new young artist called ErybodyJones called “You’ve Been Blessed”. We’ve have chemistry very similar to what me and Zip have. Be expecting more music from us too. I’ve recently started working with DJ Scream as well. I can’t really tell you too much about that, but I advise you to be ready when everything involving that unfolds.
“Coach” – Phay (Prod. By: L3NO):