In the Studio With Play-N-Skillz
Welcome to the first installment of In Session, in which nightlife photographer Roderick Pullum spends a little time with local producers in the studio.This week: Dallas duo Play-N-Skillz.
Photos by Roderick Pullum BabyBoi and Skillz
Tucked away in historic Deep Ellum, on the corner of Commerce and Malcolm X, the G4 Muzik compound looks nothing like the stereotypical studio session. No groupies, yes men, alcohol or any other substances were present. The only individuals in attendance were those essential to accomplishing the goal for that evening.
I arrived the same time as resident DJ/engineer Ski, and was taken inside through the garage, which housed a couple of luxury vehicles, into the lobby where the walls are filled with photos documenting their career, and directly into the studio.
Upon arrival, everyone immediately got to work. Play experimented with eclectic mixes for upcoming DJ gigs. Skillz worked on lyrics while Ski made adjustments to the track for a new single the G4 collective is working on. G4 Muzik A&R BabyBoi was busy finalizing the agenda for their trip to L.A. for the Grammys.
Finishing the aforementioned single was the primary objective for the evening. The Grammy-toting duo confirmed their reputations as perfectionists when they finally joined Ski at the mixing board to dive into their new single, which I guarantee will receive plenty of spins on the airwaves and in the club. They reviewed and analyzed every nuance of the track until it sounded just right, then recorded and revised lyrics until they felt the verses matched perfectly with the music.
Now, obviously, we've been in digital age of music for some time, but I'd like to mention that iPhones and laptops have replaced legal pads and spirals for writing lyrics. All revisions to verses took place on handheld devices, but I digress. The session was definitely a microcosm of work ethic and talent that's yielded a great deal of success for Play-N-Skillz and the entire G4 Muzik family over the years. All signs point to a trend that won't be changing anytime soon.
The MPC, a drum machine and sampler
See the whole slideshow here.