Redah, please tell us about your background, how did you get into music?
I was born in Casablanca, Morocco, and grew up with two sisters playing music and singing. I never really took it seriously until high school. I started posting videos playing guitar and singing American hit songs on social media platforms when I was twelve.
My peers at school and family really liked it, which pushed me to keep doing it until it became my addiction. At first, the sound quality was pretty bad as I was comparing my recordings to top cover bands videos. Since then, I kept trying to improve my sound and productions to match their level. That was certainly my first step into the music production world.
After graduating from high school, I moved to Paris to study Architecture as I have always been drawing, painting; and also because studying music wasn’t really an option for my parents.
After moving to Paris, my apartment quickly became a home studio where I was playing, recording, and producing music every night after school with artists I would discover online or at music shows. After a few months releasing several cover songs singing featuring other local artists, I’ve had my songs played on a few radios in France, Morocco, and Spain.
Eventually, I have been contacted by several French music TV shows to participate in their programs. All of these events made me and my parents understand that music was more than a hobby to me. I’ve been able to convince them to let me apply for music schools, and soon after, I have been accepted and given the scholarship to study at Berklee College Of Music, a day I’ll never forget.
I majored in Music Production & Engineering, graduated with honors in 2016, and moved straight to Los Angeles to live my dream: produce and create music at the highest level.
It has definitely been tough as I had to leave the ones I love the most, but nothing else makes me happier than being in the studio making records.
Could you tell us about WAX LTD?
WAX LTD is a multi-platinum production and songwriting team founded by Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry. It is also a world-class recording facility, and record label with millions of streams worldwide from artists including Zella Day, Blondfire, Family Of The Year, Miley Cyrus, Best Coast, Redlight King, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Muse, The Rolling Stones and many more.
In January 2019, we formed the label AUDIO WAX, a label under Universal Production Music. It is part of the top 10 Universal Production Music labels with the highest amount of downloads worldwide. I’m today proud of being part of such a successful team producing and composing records at the highest level.
You have a key role at WAX LTD, with outstanding achievements in less than four years working in Los Angeles. How did you get this opportunity?
Moving to Los Angeles, I started looking for work as a music producer in several recording studios and ended up meeting Wally and Xandy at WAX LTD studios. I started working with them and eventually proved through my hard work that I had something to bring to the table on bigger projects.
I had briefly worked in other recording studios in LA before, but I didn’t stick to it as I was only given audio engineering tasks in which I didn’t have any creative input. It wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to be a part of the creative process as a music producer and WAX LTD understood that. The team knew how to challenge me to higher my standards and get me to succeed in producing big projects.
Could you tell us more about your most successful productions?
The most successful production I’ve done is probably the song “To The End” that I produced with the team for the movie “Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse”. The song is introducing one of the main characters (Gwen), and the movie did really well winning a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and was nominated for a Grammy.
I knew it would be a successful movie, but had never imagined a few years ago that I would be a part of such a big project in such a short amount of time.
The song I’ve produced for Adaline, featured in Season 3, Episode 6 of “Wynonna Earp”, created a buzz and has been massively shared on social media. The show’s fans made it the most memorable songs of the season, which I didn’t expect at all.
The song “Something Good” I produced for the band “Modern Monet” has been synced by Wells Fargo for their “Rose Parade”.
The song “Chasing The Light”, one of the songs I composed and produced for Universal’s Production library has been one of the top AUDIO WAX downloads, used by major companies such as FOX SPORTS.
The latest one would be the song “Simplicity” I produced for the band “Fake Life”. It recently won the “Best Producer / Best Production” category at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards.
What are you now looking forward to? Any exciting projects?
A few years ago, I didn’t understand how some of my music producer friends could be so busy. I used to take it personally assuming they didn’t want to hang out or collaborate with me. Today I understand better, realizing the insane amount it takes when producing music at the highest level.
I’m looking forward to finishing my ongoing projects, and to keep collaborating with recording artists and songwriters. With WAX LTD, we’re working on some promising records that we’re very excited about such as the upcoming “Creeper” album under Warner UK. With Universal and AUDIO WAX, we’re planning on releasing dozens of albums per year for film and TV.
It is a massive amount of work ahead but I’m very excited and looking forward to it! This lifestyle, although very intense, is what keeps the smile on my face each day.
Inside the Life of Model : Liudmyla Tkachenko
Liudmyla is a Ukrainian model and actress living in Los Angeles. We believe she is the next best thing and we decided to ask her some questions :
Where is your favorite place in the world to take photos?
My favorite place in the world to take photos in Hawaii. I went to Hanolulu for the first time this winter and fell in love with the nature of this amazing island. I love taking bikini photos on the beach and in the forest. Hawaii inspiring me for creating a beautiful photo. I’m looking forward to discovering all of the Hawaiian islands and create an amazing photo there.
Who is your role model? Who inspires you?
My role model is Natalia Vodianova. She’s a top model and a mother of five kids. Very inspiring and strong woman. She does a lot of charity work and helps people. She has a very given and loving personality. Natalia Vodianova really inspires me that everything is possible. Her amazing career and a lifestyle it’s what I’m looking forward to.
How do you stay fit? What tips do you have?
I do some kind of activity every day. One day could be lifting weights in the gym and another yoga or hiking. I am a vegetarian. I really love eating healthy food. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.
What is your beauty regimen?
I do face mask a few times a week and sauna sometimes.
I think the most important for beauty is healthy food, sport, and good sleep.
Who is your favorite designer?
My favorite designer is Chanel. I totally love Chanel! Very classy and super beautiful designs.
What does the future hold for you?
The future holds for me a lot of wonderful moments. Dreams do come true!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
On the covers on Vogue Magazines.
You will see me in a lot of TV shows and movies.
The Man, The Legend, The Musician , The Producer: Bubba McCarthy
Delivering The Xfactor To Our Ears Every Week: Bubba McCarthy, The Musician and Music Producer That Makes All This Possible.
Bubba drums in the popular DJ Antics vs Drummers events which are a monumental part of The Antics Residency which is held at the Famous Koko Venue one of London’s biggest club nights. He has been nominated for a Brit Award.
Bubba performed with Jennifer Hudson, Cyndi Lauper and even arranged and programmed tracks for Simon Cowell’s girl group “The Girls”. The views for the songs that McCarthy has worked on have passed over 200 million views on Youtube.
Hi Bubba and Welcome to The Hear Up.”
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
I’ve had many highlights in my career but I would say playing with Jennifer Hudson has been amazing. She’s an Oscar winner and arguably has one of the best voices in the world. I remember the first rehearsal with her was incredible. I was blown away by her talent.
Out of all the keyboard players in the world, she chose me, so it was humbling!
You’re a hugely successful musician, and producer, what is it like working for some of the top artists in the world?
It’s a huge honor and I have to pinch myself sometimes. No doubt, when I’m working with people of this caliber, it’s very high pressured, but the more you do it, the more you get used to it. The responsibility is huge working for some of these artists. The shows are big, the TV shows are high pressured, so you just have to be consistently at the top of your game.
You are constantly on TV. How does TV performances differ from normal gigs? I’ve done a lot both of which have been very useful. I would say that TV gigs normally have more pressure on them. It’s life, so there is no room for error so everything, from your monitor mix to your instrument set-up has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong on TV. On a gig, there are techs who are there for any problems that might ensue. Experience does help.
You’re the Musical Director/keyboardist for Ivor Novello winner John Newman? What are the key attributes you need when working for A-list artists?
I would say the key to working with A-list artists is to: have done your homework and be a great communicator. Homework-wise, preparing the set and individual song arrangements are incredibly important. The artist, the band, the management team, the audience. Everyone relies on you to have put everything together. There is no room for error. I’ve played to shows in front of more 50,000 people. My responsibility for each project is very high.
How do you get the work that you do?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest names in the world, from Jennifer Hudson, Cyndi Lauper, and John Newman. My industry is one of the words of mouth so once an artist has seen you work with another big name then they are more likely to call you. My reputation is hugely important to me, and so every project demands my full attention and the best I have to offer.
You also worked as a music director for years while also a music producer. Do you find that those two jobs are very similar?
The two jobs are indeed similar and I think you need the same qualities. Your attention to detail has to be second to know and you have to be super-creative. Everyone is looking for something that helps them stand out, whether it be a track or a musical performance.
You’ve played on the MainStage at Glastonbury. How was that experience?
This was one of the craziest experiences of my life. I was playing drums and I had over 30,000 people watching, screaming and dancing. To be on one of the most iconic stages in the world performing was a humbling experience. A very small percentage of musicians in the world get to experience that, and I was one of them.
You have been the principal keyboard player for Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson. How was that experience?
That was a great experience. Jennifer is one of the biggest artists in the world. She is also one of the nicest humans in the world. She made my job easier. It was a great experience working for her.
Why do people keep coming back to you?
I believe you’re only as good and relevant as your last job, so I try my best to put in the work on every job and also maintain a high standard of excellence. The aim is that people keep calling me back, which amazingly most of my clients have done.
Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
I would say, number one is to become a master of your craft. Secondly, make sure you’re prepared for every job you get so you’re able to deliver a high level of musicianship to your client. Be creative, be a troubleshooter, and be humble.
Anything, in particular, you’re looking forward to in 2020?
I’m looking forward to a lot of stuff. I’ve got quite a few production projects booked. I’ll be working out of Neilaproduction studios with the producer Nico Farmakalidis and the artist Aika, which I am very excited about. I’ll be also working on albums with Alessia Cara, Tori Kelly, and Demi Lovato. Massive love to Milk & Honey for setting that up. I’ll also be working with the amazingly talented George Solonos on a cool instrumental project! It’s going to be a fun year!
Meet Dang Tra Xuan Minh, A Guitar Player With High Likes On Social Networks
When interviewing Xuan Minh, with full name in native language “Đặng Trà Xuân Minh”, I was surprised by this talented boy. He is still a student at FPT University but he has multiple talents. He not only has a beautiful voice but also can play diverse musical instruments like piano, guitar… However, he is most interested in playing the guitar.
Thehearup: Can you introduce yourself?
Xuan Minh: My full name is Dang Tra Xuan Minh and you can call me Xuan Minh in shorten. I was born in 2002 so now I’m 18 years old. My hometown is in Da Nang City.
Thehearup: What is your work?
Xuan Minh: I am still a student at FPT. I am pursuing an Information Technology (IT) major at school. Besides, I also work as a freelancer by creating a personal music channel. Accompany with studying at University, I play some instruments such as the piano and guitar as well.
Thehearup: What got you to pick up the guitar as your passion?
Xuan Minh: When I was in high school, I used to have a lot of depression from studying because of facing up with too many tests. Sometimes, I felt so stress and I came with playing guitar by chance. At once, searching the internet, I accidentally met a guitarist who was playing guitar so professionally. I could not take my eyes off him and luckily, his sound made me felt so relaxed and energetic. Therefore, I decided to try this instrument after that. Day by day, the guitar comes along with me like a best friend. It makes my life more exciting, appealing and colorful.
Thehearup: You are well known for a handsome talented person at a young age. Have your parents also followed the art industry?
Xuan Minh: Neither my mother nor my father is an artist. They just do normal work that does not relate to art. Nevertheless, they are my influencers in music as well as my life. My parents always stand by my side, support me and give me helpful advice. I appreciate them so much. Especially, thanks to my father because I can not pursue my interest in playing the guitar without him. When I was in 10th grade, he realized my ability then he sent me to a professional guitar class that helps me develop my possibility at most. I started to learn guitar from then.
Thehearup: How do you feel after attracting attention to many teenagers in social networks?
Xuan Minh: I have never thought about it before so I’m very surprised. When I posted singing combined with playing guitar video on my Facebook, Youtube, and Spotify, I just thought it like a way to mark my memory. Unexpectedly, it immediately received lots of reactions and praise from my friends, even from people I had never met me before. It seems like luckiness and motivation that always remind myself never gives up.
Thehearup: If you could choose one of your favorite quotes, what would it be?
Xuan Minh: “ You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough”
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