An UrbZoo family exclusive
Interview with producers JR and Golden Child of Surround Sound and Golden Age music
URBZOO: Tell us first how you got your start in music, what inspired you first and what keeps that spark going now?
JR: I’ve been a playing instruments since I was 12 years and my homie
Pat’s been doing his music shit since he was like 3 years old so music
has definitely come naturally to the both of us.We grew up around the
world so we were both inspired by a lot of different unique sounds and
elements from different countries. I personally didn’t get into
producing until early 2004, during this time, I was doing other side
hustles while attending college at CSUF. One day at school, I met a
promoter named Steve Williamson. He had mentioned a rapper from
Compton named, The Game. He was said to have inked a deal under Dr.
Dre’s Aftermath record label when he was just getting started with
his venture as the final member of the G-Unit team representin’ the
West Coast. Throughout the month of June, my homie Pat (aka The Golden
Child) and I put together a demo of beats and for that same month
straight, Game’s camp kept calling us but we kept brushing them off
cause we weren’t really buying the hype at first. But through the
persistency we decided to give it a shot so we went down to Compton to
Game’s crib and when we began recording at his home studio. Sure
enough he caught a cool vibe so from there on we just started grindin’
heavy on the music shit.
GC: Steve called us telling us about a rapper named The Game and how
he was recently signed to G-unit, but at this time no one really knew
who he was in the mainstream circuit. Several people on the street
team were hyping him up and they kept calling us to come down to the
studio to record some beats. We finally said fuck it and decided to
go over there and we took the opportunity to work with Game. The crazy
shit was that on our very first day and first session, we helped Nu
Jerzey Devil produce a track which eventually made it on Fat Joe’s ,
“Me, Myself and I” album with the song called “Breath and Stop”. From
then on it was a wrap, we had some dope ass chemistry with Game, NJD
and the Black Wall Street camp. Game actually gave us the name
“Surround Sound” cause at that time we used all live instruments with
a dark symphonic and epic sound. We was trying to do something
different cuz everything during the time was real synthesized and
sample based. Game was really down with having something uniquely
different to fucks with. JR and I play everything from guitars, keys,
bass, drums to band based instruments so our main goal was to
incorporate a lot of live instruments into our production and finding
new ways to take it a step further.
URBZOO: What artists inspire you the most (past and present)?
GC: As for me, I’m a big rock dude and my biggest influence as far as
rock would be Incubus. As for present, I got a lot of respect for
Kanye. Dre will always be number one in most peoples books as far as
producing and everything, Timbo is also a really big influence in what
I do. Kanye sure is a cocky motherfucker but he definitely doing it
the right way so we can’t hate on him for that, ya know what I’m
JR: Hands down I gotta give props to the legends in the game who
inspired us to do hip-hop to begin with. Mad love to J-Dilla one of
the greatest producers, rest in peace. Artists-wise, Elzhi, Lil
Brother, Pete Rock, Alchemist, Ninth Wonder and all the known
underground cats who bring that flavor and soul into hip-hop music,
cause the list goes on. I can’t forget the heavy hitters in the game
like NWA, Dr. Dre, Snoop and the Dogg Pound from the West Coast. Last
and not least the biggest ups to Nas and Jay-Z, Biggie and Tupac and
Eminem for revolutionizing the rap game to date.
URBZOO: With so many artists in the music biz right now do you find it hard to stay original and do your own thing?
JR: I wouldn’t necessarily say that its hard, its just a matter of
finding your ow signature sound that you know comes from your heart.
Nowadays we got producers makin’ hits who don’t necessarily got a
musician’s background but yet they hire dope ass musicians to help
them make amazing melodies and song concepts that sell. To me, making
music is like creating a rhythmic heartbeat from scratch, when you
make good quality music that people vibe to and once you realize that
your music inspires the masses, that’s when you know your doing
GC: Realistically man everyone is trying to come up with a new sound
and the industry right now is crazy, its like a big ass pot and
everyone is just throwing in their input. I don’t think the music is
the same as it use to be. Like we are doing our own thing and our own
music label while workign with Black Wall. We started our label
called, Golden Age Music cause we trying to go back to the Golden Age
when hip-hop music was soulful and it wasn’t watered down ya know?
Don’t get me wrong I got a lot of respect for the people doing their
hustle, getting there money but like I said music aint the same
URBZOO: We at UrbZoo find inspiration from the art and design on the streets of LA, how does the crazy urban world affect your music?
JR: We creat music as an expression of self. As for the urban world,
we all come from different walks of life and we all have our shares of
struggles and goodtimes. Obviously, hip-hop is a culmination of people
who have been thru and still go thru the ups and downs, the good and
bad that life has to offer. Overall, our music is intended for
everyone who can vibe out to soulful yet powerfull ballads. When
heard, we want our music to remind any individual listening that he or
she will get thru their everyday struggles whether good or bad and
whether you have a great ass day or a shitty one our music intends to
remind you that it sure feels good to be alive. The way you hear our
music can be an expression of however you feel at the time your
listening to it, I’m not one to judge.
GC: My whole definition of urban is underground but it still has that
class to it.
URBZOO: How important is fashion to you guys?
JR: Fashion is important because it is an expression of individuality
when it comes to clothing and it incorporates a lifestyle, like art
GC: Fashion is very important nowadays people look at you differently
like if your suited up and lookin’ like a million dollars people wanna
work with you and also look like you cause you carry yourself like a
million dollars! Fashion is important in the public eye, you gotta
look good to get noticed ya know? If your music is up to par but your
fashion ain’t then realistically people don’t want to fuck with you,
ya know? That’s just how it is man.
URBZOO: What's your style, fashion wise?
JR: Im into all kinds of shit, I wouldn’t say I have a limit to a
particular style of clothing but as long as it ain’t some super tight
pants or shirts and shit like that then I’m good, I’m a guy, I gotta
let my fuckin’ goods breathe dammit! No offense to the emo kids with
tight jeans, I just can’t do that shit feel me? Regardless, you gotta
dress in a way that expresses yourself, period. I tend to wear gear
that’s not too uptight, not too conservative, something in between.
Fitted caps, white-t’s, denim jeans and some fresh ass kick’s will do
the job any day. I also gotta give big props to Urban Zoology clothing
for coming out with that fresh gear too and lacin’ us up with a dope
GC: I like to just keep it simple and edgy, like I like to keep my
music edgy you know so my fashion gotta be on the same level. If you
have a plain shirt with a simple design or a simple saying that’s
chill, but if you tryin to hard to make it crazy it gets too
URBZOO: What do we have to look forward to from you guys? Any projects you can tell us about?
GC: Right now this summer were trying to build from the ground up you
know, we starting our own music label called Golden Age Music so yall
should be on the lookout! We trying to some original sounds with our
rock/hip-hop styles but with a little more on the edge to it. We will
definitely incorporate a lot of the rock shit in our music without
being too emo, we don’t want to come off too weak but that’s what the
hip-hop element is in for you know, to give it that edge. Right now
were working on a track with our homie named Ya Boy on it called,
“Bleed Inside”, yall can be lookin’ forward to that in the near
future! Its gonna be a Golden Child feat. Ya Boy fire track! We are
working on ideas for doing the video in the next few weeks and when we
get our creative ideas perfected we gonna drop that shit ! As far as
other future projects my boy Nu Jerzey Devil is coming out with his
album this fall called, Mr. Red Carpet and The Game is working on his
senior album called, The Red Album due sometime in 2010,everyone..
yall look out for that too!
JR: Shit.. GC pretty much summed it all up… lastly big ups to the big
homie Ash at Urban Zoology! Surround Sound has left the
We look forward to what you guys are doing in the future and wish you the best of luck from the UrbZoo family.