Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive! Podcast Episode 019
Superstar producer Timbaland was at the Collision Technology conference in Toronto with Masterclass co-founder David Rogier to promote Timbaland Teaches Producing and Beatmaking. At the press conference, I was able to ask one of the first questions, which was fantastic so you will hear that along with some content from the public Q&A.
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SHOW NOTES: *Transcription will be edited for errors soon
Diane Foy: Hello and welcome to episode number 19 of Sing Dance Act Thrive. This episode is a good one. We have multi platinum grammy award winning producer artist, Timberland. Since the mid nineties he’s received over 18 Grammy nominations, four rammy wins and 200 ASCAP music awards. Timberland was in Toronto for the Collision Tech Conference with Masterclass cofounder David Rogier. Masterclass is an online education platform that has managed to attract the biggest names in entertainment to teach. In Timberland’s producing and beat mixing course, he takes you behind the boards to teach you his process of creating iconic tracks with artists such as Jay z, Missy Elliot, Justin Timberlake, and Beyonce. In his first ever online class, learn how to collaborate with vocalists, layer new tracks and create hooks that stick. It is a great opportunity to learn from one of the industry’s most innovative hit makers. At the press conference. I was able to ask one of the first questions, thanks to Esma for the question I asked him about female producers.
Diane Foy: 2:02 So you’ll hear that along with content from the public Q and A. Timbaland is a great motivational speaker, as the answer to many questions was work ethic and to never give up. I want to gather all the, never give up speeches he gave and put it into one audio and then whenever we are having a bad day, just let Timberland tell you to get back up. We’ll also hear from David about how masterclass formed and how he convinced legends to teach online courses. First up, Timberland talks about mentorship and why he shares his tips and tricks so openly.
Timbaland: A lot of producers and people that I work with, it just comes from feeling what they tell me, what I have explained to them as really move their career forward. So for me, what I experienced is I’m not selfish. I give up all my tools, I tell all my producers, you go through my computer, take all my sounds. Yeah, because I’ve tried. I tried to, yeah. And they just look at me as like, it’s unreal that I do that because I try to tell people God made you and you only. So I could give you everything that I have but is not gonna sound like me because God made just me. For you it’s going to inspire you to go further in so you can have a identity of themselves or yourself. And so when I explained that to all my students that work under me, they just be in awe because they call me Timbo the King, but I don’t really, I’m like John Snow, I don’t walk, like in the Game of Thrones. I just give the information because I see something, I tell them, you are the next one. You are greater than I ever was. I just broke the wall for you to come in to show your ability of who you are.
Diane Foy: Hi, I’m Diane Foy. I have a performing arts podcast called Sing Dance Act Thrive. And I’m a publicist and one of my artists has a question for you. She wants to know there’s only 7% of female producers and engineers. And if there’s anything that you can suggest to kind of help more women get into the industry
Timbaland: I don’t think is, I think before used to be stereotype, but like you have one, the girl, she’s a girl, she works for like Travis I think is all about your work ethic. You know, I, I’m, I’m looking for the best female producers and I’m trying to like start something different because you always see male dominance and for me, I’m trying to bring the awareness of women understanding sound because as men, I told this, a group of producers, it was one girl in the room and um, it was two girls actually and I told the men whatever y’all are doing, you’re bobbing to your own beat. If they don’t bob to it. Trash.The women make the world move. They know what sonically, what is great, what moves them, because as men in music, we follow the women. We won’t say that, but a lot of men, like they’re not going to the club and start dancing first, but if they see their girlfriend then they’re going to react.
Timbaland: But I feel like the women producers are really going to take over. I feel like as women understand sound and understand the movement of another woman and what the world needs to hear, they understand, they even understand kids. Because you know a woman is a mother by nature and I just feel like we’re going to see more women. They are, I know they say 7% but I feel like, women should never give up Because the same advice that go for women, go for men. I mean it’d take a lot of men just as long to get in the business just as a woman. So I think, oh, it’s just all about perseverance and just breaking down those barriers.
Diane Foy: Next. He was asked about his thoughts on the relationship between technology and music
Timbaland: it’s easier. But you know like everything in life, you know is now when she, if you notice like when you go to customers, their machines, one Samuel substance still it was a customer or my point, what I’m trying to move this technology is just growing. Not that makes the human touch if your group, but you have to be aware of that. Artificial intelligence is around the corner. So that will be, oh what about my, cause I have a friend that’s developing a program where it constantly, and I thought that was incredible. How does a computer make sound? And he cut it off. So he was explaining to accurate and than all these, other than that I didn’t know. So it made me think that one day they’re going to have,
Timbaland: I heard they already have making where like you grow ram on able to lead starts to study how that, so that’s a good thing and it’s a bad thing because they can appreciate it. Produce more than if you’re good, you can keep up. But nobody’s on to the beach, the human touch. But it all goes on to to be as your work and how after like just because technology is moving forward, I don’t mean that you stop, you still keep going because your mind is still, you know, make it move things. And some people might get the scariest because especially with trap music, everybody grew the sun now that’s that just people have to be willing to change, you know? And that’s all I tell them. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box, not be like us produces down. Always hear, oh everybody sounds the same. Each step outside the box. Everybody had the same program. Everybody has to say Dow. But you can do something different with yours. But I think you know, it’s building, you get accustomed to one thing and repeat. So for being, I’m not afraid of technology, I embrace it when I was a kid, when all wanted more technology so I can do things more easier. Have it.
Diane Foy: So up next is the first of many never give up speeches he gave that day and afterwards I’m going to play another one. I have random audio from the public Q and a that I don’t know what he was answering, but it’s another don’t give up, so we’ll just play those back to back.
Timbaland: There’s really just one. No matter what is in front of you, you always have to pick this up off the tribe. It’s like, I made that song, got yourself off and try again. I think that’s all it means more to the world now, did it ever cause a lot of people? How do I do this? How do I get back up? I can’t tell you how to get back up. I try to share my stories on my Igt TV, especially with my transformational weight loss to be at my age and mom and boardies. You know, you’d be like, wow, that’s like, I’m not giving it up. So that’s the only thing that I could tell somebody is doing anything with music that goes with anything. Don’t give up. No matter what is in front of you, you’re going to get stumbling blocks. What can you get over those stumbling blocks that determines who you are as a person? Can you personally, do you have sheer, we’ll do you really love what you’re doing. So if a Pippa don’t gets thrown at you, you walk away or do you stay on course? You know, being until a person really have a strong mind and stay on course it will happen. Might not happen to the way you want it to happen or something will happen.
Timbaland: 10:55 That’s the whole purpose of going to have some folks to take the bumps. You go to the mat. Because I had this big problem for me at first school. You gotta beat that bus.
Diane Foy: David was asked about the master class business model and how he convinced the legends to agree to teach. And Tim Bowlin is asked what attracted him to work with David and masterclass.
David Rogier: I mean, you know, I tried to launch this probably about five years ago and at first I don’t come from this world. So I was like, Hey, am I actually going to be able to get the best in the world to actually teach? And I mean everybody I talk to said no way. It could be a possible, right? And for people who have achieved that level of mass, you got top bar of acids three. It isn’t about the money. There wasn’t an amount of money to offer it. What you folks, all these homes had to really believe. The inside is that I want to teach and I want to share my, everything that I have learned. I think the one, the one, the one thing I learned from work to work with all holy smokes is that there was somebody in their life that changed.
David Rogier: It’s more that there was somebody who was a mentor, was a teacher and every single one of our intro of, out of, of the instructors want to get, want to share that back. Um, and so it, it’s not about the money. It isn’t about what the up, how much they earn or what the upside is. It’s how many people am I able to get to really love this class. And so inside the company question, do we always ask everybody who takes our classes is how you liked it? Is it’s something that you talked to, you learned a lot. Is it something that changed your change? You, um, and the staff that I’m most proud of is that one fourth of the students who take our classes say that that class changed their life. Um, which is a sad, I don’t think there’s any school in the world that ever thinks like that, but that’s I can of I want to happen. Um, and I think if we can make it that anybody has access to learn from the best in the world and isn’t just a small few, few, I think the world is a much better place.
Timbaland: 13:33 You weren’t honest. We’ll be honest. Answer. Some things are just meant to be. And this was made by God, David. I mean God brought David in my life because I wasn’t thinking about a masterclass. I wouldn’t think about sharing my art, but he like, have you thought about doing stuff like that? It registered to me too. Like let’s try something different. You know, I’m always in the studio goofing all this, filming the show, what I cause everything. The thing that really got me is everybody always asked me about me and Justin, Justin Timberlake. And it likes to, what is it like in the studio? We friends. I mean, I don’t know what to tell you. How did you meet grandma? I said, you have to be there to see it, to witness it. I can’t explain like what I was feeling. It was all love from you know, friendship, real love and you know, you and know that that room stuff comes out. So master class was a way to share the magic that people ask me about.
Diane Foy: The rest of this is part of the public qna. So here’s another question about the relationship between technology and music.
Diane Foy: 14:50 I think that’s an individual question for somebody or me. I embrace all the technology so I don’t see the flaws in it, you know, say, but now that has been brought to me. I’m going to start asking the same question. You as me, but me being a producer, it me being always ahead of my time, I needed technology to come about. So I feel like I’m caught up. So what, it wasn’t happening. I was criticized like I hate this stuff. But once I realized this is what I always prayed for when I was a kid. I’m just older now, so I’m like, why do they have is when I was 21 do you know what I’m saying? So for me, I embrace it. I don’t think it’s changed. Nothing I think is helping. You know, everybody want to look at something what is new because it’s new. They already, everybody’s going to judge and say, ah, that’s not good as not. That to me is the most it has. The thing that, that this happening to us as creators is given us ways to create either different with the technology decision happen.
Diane Foy: 16:02 The collision tech conference was fantastic and I made a lot of new friends and contacts and one of them was part of the timberland public Q and a and axel villa mail. I will have him on the show at some point because he’s a fellow multi-passionate creative and we’re going to talk all about that.
Axel Villamil : I’m actually a dancer first and foremost, but I did computer science. I saw you had something in the water. It was amazing. So created an AFA formation management for choreographers and what we do is we sync the music together with their movement so they can share it to them ahead of time before rehearsal and you paved the way for a lot of us dances and
Timbaland: that is genius.
Speaker 8: Wow.
Timbaland: So I’m asking you questions so don’t have to go to rehearsal. You can just send something. They can do the dance steps on that. That’s exactly what we want, man. See you. Some people are going to get mad at you because of that because that’s my question right now actually because everything has a pro and a con. I will say to me the con or the negative side of that is fellowship. It takes away the fellowship, the fellowship of people, US coming together. So if I got my app, I’m just doing the routine at my house and then I’m still on the teeth. That is the only downfall I think that I see. But some people can’t go or travel or fly and meet up with the choreographer, you know what I’m saying? And how you’re going to do learn your steps or something can come up. But that I think the only thing I see wrong is the fellowship part. Because feel like dances. That’s your way of happiness. Showing joy. You can have a bad day. We all y’all get in the room, everything goes away. That APP that, that ain’t going to be there.
Axel: We want to save time and not take a rock group. That’s why I say it’s like, wow. Well my question, would you want the, exactly. So my question is what is that balance between bringing technology into the creative spirit, especially for things like masterclass and you know for yourself as a producer who brought it all together, what’s, what’s that line? I think you have that. Anything is like a meal. You’ve got to have a balanced meal, got to eat the right stuff. So everything has to have a balance. Now I don’t know the balance in that world. You have to figure, like I said, fellowship. So you know, that’s a big part. So maybe y’all fellowship Weiss, which I might do five times. You know, you have to just put a limit on certain things. Don’t go full in on something because available still keep the traditional way you do stuff,
Speaker 9: Eh, Eh, do evolve in what you’re doing. That’s what I said
Diane Foy: next. David was asked. So celebrities are harder to get in touch with and to convince, um, that he was asked how, how did he get that first celebrity to sign up with masterclass?
David Rogier: I’ve slept outside of his house for like six feet, eight.
Timbaland: Dave’s a kid, the bag.
David Rogier: 19:25 I mean, I don’t come from this world. I mean I just cold called, I send a cold email to everybody I could. Um, every single person said I’m crazy and nuts. Um, which also brings some really dark days, right? Because you actually think you’re crazy nuts. It also, when it all clicks and also find that that might be a great idea because everybody else thought that was going to be impact, but you weren’t, you weren’t going to be able to actually do it. Um, and so it probably took me a year to sign our first person. Um, and it was funny. Um, everybody who said that like, I can’t do it or isn’t going to work or this person is going to say no. Now every single one of those folks, like I told you, it was really a great idea. Uh, and so as long as we’re wanting things you’d have to take is like, I believe something that everybody else thinks is wrong. Um, I believe it so much that I’m still going.
Diane Foy: 20:22 This is a fun one because Timberland was asked about the hit with Jay z big pimpin and he had a great story to tell.
Timbaland: You want to ask about that, right? Yeah. Roosevelt had a big lawsuit. I actually want, but I’m on is about something, you know, it wasn’t that I was walking in New York and I heard it feels good and I read my phone, like I always do grab the sonics and I try to recreate it, you know? And I found where the sample came from and I didn’t know that, that I know it felt good to me. But when somebody who knew about the record days, like, do you know how big that record was in our country? I said it had to be cause it’s big here. You know what I’m saying? They felt good to me and I, and what happened with that song on the tape about that? So with that beat, I was working on Jay, he was leaving the state, he was about to leave. The studio was all about the league. And I actually had that beat save for Tim and Magoo.
Timbaland: 21:29 Right. And I like [inaudible], we [inaudible]. So Jay was walking out the door and I said, man, I got something I want to play, but I don’t want to play it to you, but I think I should play it to you because this is the right thing to do. He said, man, this play. So I played it. He had a jacket on him and he’s got a hip hop. I played it. He got to the door, he took the, took the jacket off and I w we had this discussion, this duty I, this track going to beat your ass. This is one of these tracks is gonna beat you and you have to come back the next day and finish it. He’s like, I got this idea. And I was sitting on the couch and he was like, all right, I’m gonna come back tomorrow. So, so he came back, he called me actually, he said, you’ve got to come in.
Timbaland: 22:21 It is. So I get a studio on the first line and the things you said love and leave. And I was like, come on. This is insane. In. That was only the first two miles I’d heard of the song because he captured the villain of that, capture that and make it brought it to life. So that was a proud moment for me because he made, he saw what I saw in that song, but I know I couldn’t do it and I knew he was the right guy to do it, which was, which was my brother Jay z.
Diane Foy: 22:56 The songwriters in there in the crowd wanted to know how best songwriters could shop there. Music to artists and producers. And it turns out Timberland is working on an APP for that.
Timbaland: 23:07 You know, that’s a good question because I think a lot of people have that question. Right now I’m on the cross platform because the title called from club, and I feel like all on leaders such as yourself, just like how Apple Creek connected us to bond music. You know, until I created this, we don’t have an outlet for us to share our talents. So if you had a place where you grab a beat, which is all in a place of where you can hear it, anybody can it, the artists, I think we’ll see this in our query because we don’t hear about producers as well as media about an artists and even write songs on that we create as we not in the last few tight with behind the scenes. So I’m working on that. I heard that question a lot and I really don’t have, the only solution I can say is, is create a tool for creators, the writers and beats you gotta create. Some people say, Oh, who’s the hottest whiter? Well, she’s not have your profile. I’m thinking it was a cool way is going to be cool.
Diane Foy: 24:22 Thanks. David talks about the early stages of master class, how he got that off the ground and how he kept going after receiving so many nos.
David Rogier: 24:33 Um, I have a bit of a treat story there. So I wasn’t working. I would work. Um, and I decided I didn’t like to invest in front. It was like a weird thing to say, you’re black. She didn’t like him. I wanted to build again and I went to my boss and I told him this. Um, and basically he was like, I’m going to fund you. And I was like, I don’t have an idea or team. He gave you a check for about half a million dollars and told me you have to think of an idea. And like I was floored. It was so kind. And I remember I called my best friend and she goes, verb first response. Right. I’m thrilled. Right. This is like once a week, once in a lifetime chance. I call, I call her up and she goes, is he is an idiot. And I was like, excuse me?
David Rogier: 25:16 She’s like, I really care about you. I think you’re a smart dude, but this makes no sense to me. Um, and you think it’s really awesome year. It probably took me a year of your idea. You think it’s really awesome. It’s tons of pressure because like this my once in a lifetime chance to create something great. Um, and that’s really hard to, on the spot. I can’t, I can’t go gripe about it to anybody cause how am I going to gripe? I have a half a million dollars to do whatever I want. I’m not going to get, you know. Um, and um, I met somebody who gave me a great constraint and the constraint was picked something that, that eat that if the thing fails, you are still going to be proud of it. And all of a sudden all my crappy ideas went away and I knew that it was going to be in the education space. Um, and to me that works because then I was like, hey, that actually is a sign of what I actually care about and I’m gonna work my ass off for it. And there are days is entrepreneur. They’re really, really shitty and hard and those days are awesome. And I think the only way you deal with the shitty ones or that you actually really, you actually care about it.
Diane Foy: 26:20 You gotta love it. Next up, Tim Berlin just learned about him. Imogen heap, I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that right. Um, and her creative passport app for musicians. So it was kind of validation for timberland about his APP and how maybe they should all get together and
Timbaland: 26:44 uh, really make it take off. Those are people that are trying to get together for this one takes one is she, she is amazing vocals, her vocals. So you said this platform, I’m in shock because that lets me know that back to the, to it is common is like they started with masterclass. That’s the next step. It just imagine he connected with her, everybody connected and we making it be that would show that will help change your perspective. If you’re talking about music industry, the music business is everybody connected that are doing cool shit. Like she,
Diane Foy: 27:29 you’re David talks about the mission of master class and where he sees it going from here and will it always be major celebrities teaching the courses and he had some really great thoughts on that. I think about it as [inaudible]
Timbaland: 27:44 if you do a poll and ask people we is the best in the world at something, odds are what they are going to say is an old white man. And what I, the whole mission of master class was we can change what people see as being not as B rate as being masters the best. And if we’re able to collect the best of the world, we can then start, keep, bring folks that are less, are actually less well known and show them as being the national world. So what my hope is through through this and forget the folks like Tim involved, is that we can start to create a brand and the best in the world that then allows us to bring in folks that you might not have worked, that you might not know that actually is a master. And we can start to make things more easily.
Diane Foy: 28:31 So wrapping up, the last question was about his production style and if he always let the beat rock for a bit, kind of before the artist came in onto the track.
Timbaland: 28:46 I feel like for me personally, I feel like my beat is the audit. So this is my way of letting me shine without speaking. My music speak for itself. So I think I always done that or the artists got old. So I sometimes I maybe had too much on the track because like I said, I believe be his artist. So I’m creating to say to you, but I’ll take some stuff to get the songwriter. So what’s in it again, it’s my time to let it shine
Diane Foy: 29:26 and there you have it. It was so fun to hear from him. It’s funny that if Timberland and a con and these superstars came to Canadian music week, I probably never would have gotten anywhere near. It was really cool. I timberland, here’s a question and only be one of a few people that get to even ask a question. Be sure to check out master class and Timberlands beat making course for transcript and lengths. And I also show the video trailer of Timberlands masterclass on the website. So if you want to check that out, it is at Diane [inaudible] Dot com slash zero 19 as always, I’m building a community of performing artists on Facebook. If you want to join the group, it’s sing, dance, act, thrive. Com asked me a question and participate in the group discussions and I hope to see you there.