The Grammy’s. While not the only pinnacle an artist aims for, the prestigious award is definitely one that nearly every artist longs to attain before the end of their career. It’s an honor that instantly puts your name into an elite category. How does it feel when you get your first nomination? I for one could not tell you, but accomplished talent Max Perry knows the feeling all too well.
The multi-platinum producer, engineer, composer and musician has been in the game a while but 2018 marked a high point as he received his Grammy noms for his work on the heralded Black Panther Soundtrack. Max Perry has gone on to work with several high caliber names like Post Malone, Migos and others. In 2020 we find the musical wizard standing on his own two with his debut EP set to release soon.
Max kicks off the rollout with the lead single which has been rapidly catching on, “Turned Into Sumthin”. It finds Flipp Dinero acting in the feature role. As the record continues it’s rounds we were happy to get the chance to talk to him about the new release, what to expect on the upcoming EP, how it felt to receive his Grammy nomination and more.
Thanks for joining us today, to start for anyone who is new to you and your work give them an introduction.
No, thank you! My name is Max Perry. I’m a Producer, Engineer, Publishing Administrator & Musicians Rights Activist. I’ve worked with Post Malone, Kendrick Lamar, J Boog, Wiz Khalifa, Berner, Flipp Dinero, Twista, Migos & Snoop Dogg to name a few. More recently I started a full service Publishing Administration Company called Intellectual Property Collections to help songwriters collect their royalties and help fully maximize their publishing revenue. I’m also an advisor on the board of the San Francisco Chapter of The Recording Academy.
When did you get your start in music? Did you always have a passion for it?
I’ve been doing music since 2001. A good portion of my family is in the music business. I grew up around studios & running around backstage in my diapers at concerts. My parents have been taking me to shows since I was about 3. I’ve always been very passionate about music. My parents fostered my musical taste and upbringing and never stifle my creativity or prevented me from ever listening to any type of music.
Who were some of the people you studied when creating your sound in the beginning?
DJ Premier was definitely my first idol. All of Nas’ beats from his first 2 albums. The Rocafella era was definitely my biggest influence though. Just Blaze, Bink and Kanye were all doing classic records. Of course everything Dr Dre & Timbaland did had a major influence on everything I do.
You’ve gone on to accomplish a lot to say the least. Was there a moment in time when you felt like you had truly made it or is that a feeling you still long for?
Thank you. I feel like that feeling never goes away. I’m NEVER satisfied. I’m always trying to be better. It’s all just different plateaus one goes through. For me it was “The 1st placement”, then “The 1st big check”. Working with a lot of different artists that I grew up listening to and respected is definitely a huge one. I’d have to say though that my 1st Grammy nomination was a serious one that I’ll never forget. The whole Grammy thing is a surreal moment that we all dream about as musicians. Still hunting for that big W though. At the end of the day these are great honors but it’s not what we do it for but it’s a nice validating moment to solidify the feeling that “you’re on the right path KEEP PUSHING”.
You just mentioned it so I want to dive into it a bit more. You received a Grammy nomination for your work on the Black Panther soundtrack back in 2018. That’s a huge accomplishment that many only dream about. What was it like to find out at that moment?
That was surreal. I engineered “Paramedic” for SOBxRBE which was on the OST. At first I thought I was doing a session with SOB. Then I find out it’s for a song with Kendrick. Then I find out that it’s for the Black Panther Album. Then I find out about the legendary cast and the magnitude of the movie. My first thought was “This is about to go platinum, win a Grammy and an Oscar” lol. It was a big honor to have even a small part in an extremely legendary event.
With you doing work with so many artists are there any in particular you feel as though you have more chemistry with than others?
I wouldn’t necessarily say a certain artist, but more a certain type of person. I mesh with artists that listen to constructive criticism and are dedicated to not settling for the instant gratification and pushing one’s self past the point of what they think they are capable of. We owe it to ourselves to be great. This requires a lot of trust in most cases so communication and building rapport is huge. If I had to pick one artist that is just instant magic with it would be my brother Vital aka Shawk Cook. For those that are unfamiliar he is featured on “All In A Day”, “Faded” & “Go” for Berner that I produced.
Your debut EP is set to drop soon. How does it feel to finally be stepping out with your own project?
Wow this has been years in the making and I couldn’t be prouder or feel more fulfilled. Rebranding myself as “The Artist” was a total “level up” as a producer. I feel like the artists & labels under promote the Producer and sweep us under the rug. The Producer/Composer is an extremely crucial part of the final “sound” of any record. Especially if the producer “actually produces”. We’re coaching the performers through the song. Choosing the final takes of the vocals, the arrangement and very often the mix.
What can people expect from the project when it drops?
They can expect a certain treatment. A solid body of work from top to bottom. Dope beats and production value, dope artists and vocal content, great mixes and sound quality in general & Great artwork and visuals. I feel like people stopped caring about the process. They see other people short changing the game and sometimes are successful and then use those examples as validating factors for their own shortchanging. You can tell when people put time into their work or when they just slap it together.
The lead single is out now which features Flipp Dinero. Tell us about how that one came together for you?
I’ve been working with Flipp since about 2016 when my boy Jonny Shipes from Cinematic Music Group signed him. The first song I worked on was “I Do” off Guala Way. I always knew he was a star every record I heard from him had a vibe to it. We were both in LA and got in the studio. We cut 3 records that day. They were all heaters.
How has the reception been to the single so far?
Man I’ve been super thankful and blessed. It did 50k on Spotify in the first week and is now closing in on 100K. For a brand new revamp and being a veritable unknown in the artist realm I’m very happy and the sky’s the limit. Everyone has been loving the record and really supporting, which I’m incredibly thankful for. I just wanna push the boundaries on every record.
What made you want to lead out with this single in particular? Were there any others that you considered kicking off the rollout with?
This record just had a certain energy to it. Not every song can be a “first single”. It has to have a certain explosive unignorable energy to it.
What is one thing you would change about the music industry if you could?
THE WAY IN WHICH ARTISTS ARE PAID!!!!! I can’t stress this enough. #1 Distribution companies need to make Master splits MANDATORY!!! There are countless situations where the artist takes the Distro check and keeps all of it. There were rules and regulations to this game long before any of us existed and it’s time everyone is aware and adheres to them. #2 The rate at which these DSP’s pay artists is disgusting and should be criminal. Getting paid “micro cents” is an absolute joke and these companies are making billions of dollars off of our intellectual property and using it as their “inventory” and it’s wrong. #3 Redistribute and account for ALL Black Box Royalties. These are royalties that have been unclaimed throughout the years and belong to the creators. What does the all amount to? Leveling up!! I’m personally here to bring balance to the game regardless of who likes it or not.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?
That I’m an asshole. First of all I’m from Brooklyn, New York. Yelling and cursing at one another is a pleasantry where I come from. That being said we grew up with a very thick skin. You need to be able to mentally navigate through shark infested waters in NY. Second, I am a very decisive person. I don’t like to waste time. Effectiveness, efficiency and impact is paramount. Winning is not the end all be all, but I definitely “play to win”. Our time on this earth is very finite and we have to make use of our time while we can. I speak very as a matter of fact, I’m very blunt, outspoken and I’m not afraid to say the things that most people keep inside but need to be said. I know who I am and what needs to be done in order to achieve a certain effect. I feel totally unapologetic about the way I am. I use my powers for good not evil and real change is never welcomed and takes a certain kind of person to muster up the courage to do something that hasn’t been done thus far.
What else should fans be on the lookout for from you in the near future?
I’ll be releasing multiple projects this year. My debut Production EP, Million Mile Journey, probably at the end of the 3rd quarter which will include at least 3 singles.
Any last words before we conclude?
Thanks so much for your time and energy. Really looking forward to bringing great music into the universe and to give people a vibe.