Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron McAfee.
Aaron, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My interest in music and producing began around the time I was 12 years old. Drumming was an outlet I discovered I could grow relatively quickly in. I had previously attempted to learn guitar, which to my dismay required more discipline than my adolescence would allow. Nonetheless, drumming afforded me a truly captivating journey into the sounds I eventually fell in love with.
I experimented in many different genres during this period of 10 years or so; Latin, Jazz, Rock, and fusion. By the time I had reached University, I knew music and percussion was something I wanted to–at least in part–incorporate into whatever career I found myself in. While in film school I connected with a group of hip-hop producers who were looking for videography assistance, and for the first time, I was exposed to the chaotic world of producers and artists desperate to have their voice heard. I loved it.
Through indirect mentorship, I learned these skills myself and discovered what areas within hip-hop I wanted to focus my drive. I also followed trajectories of these artists I had come to know, and sought to incorporate more practical skills relating to networking and obtaining exposure. Within several months, I felt as though I had figured out where to begin, as a monikered artist and producer. I began to collaborate with artists such as Rhymesayers’ deM atlaS, CZARFACE, and up-and-comers like Chester Watson and Burroh.
Has it been a smooth road?
My journey has been one of the most powerfully disruptive and insightful experiences of my life. I’ve gone through periods of euphoric highs when all seemed at my fingertips, to crushing lows. Much of this flux was caused by the presence of supporting creatives around me. Overtime through these experiences of feast and famine, I have learned to be more measured and self-reliant, and I am more comfortable in my own skin now than I ever was. I am convinced this is a shared experience among every organic creative, and I feel no special amount of burden.
Please tell us about your work.
I am a hip-hop producer for artists particularly in the avant-garde or experimental niche. My influences include boundary-pushing producers such as Knxwledge, Iman Omari and great poetic minds like W.B. Yeats and Robert Frost.
I am proud of the sound I have cultivated myself through years of trial and error, and I have been told many times by collaborators that it is unlike anything they have ever heard. My goal is not to interest as many people as possible, so much as it is to speak profoundly to a few. The artists I choose to work with are complex, careful lyricists who have a natural affinity for the unrefined, yet meticulous sound that I offer. Their vision is just as crucial for me to understand because it gives what I do much greater purpose.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the opportunity. I don’t particularly like the traffic tickets.
- I sell beats within the range of $25-100.
- Instagram: @atrphy_prod
- Twitter: @atrphy_prod
- Other: https://soundcloud.com/atrphy