Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Cliffbangr™ began embracing his musical talents early in life as an instrumentalist (woodwind & brass). He went on to earn a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.
His musical background serves as a platform to become one of the world's most prolific music producers, composers, and arrangers. He continues to serve as an instrumental music educator in the public school system while teaching aspiring producers and songwriters the ins and outs of today's music business. Cliffbangr™ is experienced in audio and video editing, multi-genre audio production, music publishing and distribution, and film/tv production. He is currently seeking talented songwriters and raw talent to help develop and guide. Stay tuned for greatness from this world talent.
Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My biggest struggle has been finding artists with the same passion and drive as me, my best friend, with whom I began making music with was murdered in 2015. He was the reason why I learned to record and mix music.
His passing drove me to not give up on my talents and to continue to do what I’m blessed to do.
What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I’m most proud of my commitment to music education, serving the community, and the youth, while still finding the time to continually play is key to develop my skills as a music producer. What sets me apart from the rest is that I move with integrity and truth, I take risks with undeveloped talent and bring out their best, and I have a classically trained ear, coupled with a diverse musical taste.
How do you, personally, define success? What are your criteria, the points of interest you’re looking out for, etc?
For me, success is putting your absolute best effort into a task or goal, seeing it through to the finish, and leaving a positive mark, pass or fail.
The success is in the growth and leaving the situation wiser that you started.
How do you, personally, define happiness, in general, for yourself, and others?
Happiness is subjective and is never constant. I believe we all experience some level of it, however, I do not believe total happiness is attainable.
As a manager, how do you handle your job and responsibilities for your client?
I’m always honest with clients and give my best effort. Honoring people’s time is a priority. I’m constantly networking and finding new resources to help them advance.
What is your experience in the music industry? Do you have any formal training or schooling? If not, are you self-taught and how did you learn your craft? What is your learning style? What are your favorite educational resources (ex. college, Youtube, etc.)?
I began as a rapper in the late ’90s. I was apart of a group known as V.I.P., while in high school. We had a few songs with some buzz and ended up opening up for artists such as Pastor Troy, C-Murder, Big Mike & the 5th Ward Boyz; etc.
We had a few artists that made some noise out of our camp. After I graduated, I went to college on a music scholarship and relocated to Louisiana. I ended up majoring in music education as a lower brass musician. Education was big in my family, as my mother was an Atlanta Public Schools teacher. I started playing the keyboard by ear, at age 6. By 10 I had begun learning to play the alto saxophone. I played multiple instruments throughout my high school years. I also began to learn to make beats in an old Yamaha keyboard. I eventually made my way to a Korg Trinity, MPC 2000XL, and Roland VS1880. Around my sophomore year in college, I discovered a software called Fruity Loops (later known as FL Studio). I spent about 8 hours on it and learned to use it fluently. That was my introduction to the digital DAW world. I have been self-taught and learned to produce and recording techniques from watching others go to work. To this day, I spend lots of time watching YouTube tutorials and courses posted online.
Who were your biggest influences growing up and why? Who do you like to listen to now and why? Who’s on your playlist right now?
Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, my biggest influencers were Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, OutKast and the entire Dungeon Family/Organized Noize, Three Six Mafia, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, UGK, 8Ball &MJG, Scarface, Manny Fresh, Devin the Dude, T.I., Nas....the list is long! Right now, I'm listening to Dua Lipa, 3D Na’Tee, Young Dolph, 6lack, 42 Dugg, and Mayer Hawthorne/Tuxedo.
My playlist is a little different now with more local/independent artists. I’m bumping Donny Arcade, LoKii AD, Cozy, Ariana Grande, Smino, LNF Zae, Tobe Nwigwe, Moneybagg Yo, Nas. I purposely listen to more independent artists.
What are some of your goals this year?
I’m just ready for things to get back to normal, but I plan to release a project (DJ Khaled style), featuring the dope artists that I work with. I also plan to launch a partnership venture with my homie and fellow creative Decatur James. We call it Psi Phi Entertainment, where we focus on out-side-the box production and visual content production.
Who are the top 3 artists, producers, engineers, videographers, or others you would want to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?
Top 3 Artists: Ariana Grande, Drake, and Chris Brown. I’d also love to work with J. Cole, K.R.I.T., Kendrick Lamar, Alex Tumay, Mannie Fresh, and Justice League.
What’s your favorite go-to order?
Fajitas!! I can eat those every day!