Producer's Corner: Georgia Anne Muldrow

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Producer's Corner: Georgia Anne Muldrow

The producer for Mos Def, Erykah Badu and husband Declaime speaks about the spirituality and humanity of her studio sessions, and honoring our ancestors.

As the first lady of our Producer's Corner, speaking to SomeOthaShip’s female Captain was an enlightening experience. Georgia Anne Muldrow’s unadulterated passion for the sounds she creates and the movement she is a part of is apparent in all that she says and does.

Her relationship with her partner in both love and music, Dudley Perkins a/k/a Declaime is what has encouraged the growth of her both musically and spiritually. Driven by self awareness and her substantiated understanding of what came before, Ms. Muldrow has brought a somewhat ‘mother earth’ approach to production.

Pinpointing what inspires her would be unadvisable with so many forces encouraging her craft. Proud of and bound to her native West Coast Georgia is basically one of those purists who stands by their beliefs in every aspect of their being.

Not one to hinder the true progression of music, it is the balance of her own mindset and that of her musical experimentation that allow her ‘ship’ to visit new territories; setting down its anchor while she makes sure the flag for authenticity and originality fly high.  

HipHopDX: Congratulations on being the first female featured in HipHopDX's "Producer's Corner." How has your journey been thus far in the music business as a female?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: In my life, the role of me being a female, the biggest part of it is not that I am not a guy. But because my synergy through the faculties of learning through the ancestors, and learning through life, and through my husband [Declaime a/k/a Dudley Perkins]. I’ve been very receptive to learn and I think a lot of people misconstrue that it’s me wearing the pants, and that just isn’t me. I’m a woman, I am a girly-girl, I follow my man and I got rhythm. It’s an honor and I think the success is being receptive to what is actually trying to come through. I don’t really claim credit for all the music I create. All praises due to the elders of rhythm who work through me and get the message across that needs to get across.

DX: Is it this organic approach that enables you to continue doing what you do?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Yeah, it helps me survive and helps me face another day. This is my way of prayer, my job, and also how I heal myself  and hopefully other people can participate with me. That’s what I am doing this for. It’s not about me being this banging producer, I don’t think like that.

DX: You play most roles, producing, writing, singing, how do you personally interpret each of those roles?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Everything I go through starts with the silences and it comes down to what I need to say, what I need to hear and what needs to be revealed. I don’t do it where, "It’s going to be like this" or "It’s going to be like that." I think it’s kind of corny, but I am not trying to down anyone else’s effort, I just don’t stay in the brain like that. What I use my brain for is to absorb information, information to listen. But when it comes to expression, it has to come from my feelings and the truth of who I am and be from what I think I know otherwise it is going to come out like something someone else is doing. You know I don’t say "What do I think Hip Hop is" and make a beat, I don’t think that helps Hip Hop at all. It has to be about people being true to their expression and themselves and knowing that who they are is someone special.

DX: But do people really nurture their creativity like that nowadays?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: There is a general carelessness and lack of consciousness, and I think my first duty as a producer is to promote consciousness. I feel like it is my duty to reach out to the receptivity that is already available to put something good there. This is my ancient African awareness. The most wonderful thing about being able to have a creative outlet is I get to learn how to apply my talent creatively into the rest of my life and that is a gift. I learn so much as to how I surrender to the process when I am not in front of a computer or an MPC.

DX: Was this always what you envisioned yourself doing?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Yes, I mean I started playing drums and piano and just kept going. You know drums are the first things that’s available; you can turn pots and pans upside down, you can get tone out of them. You find that great producers can also sing too, as the first instrument you encounter is your voice.

DX: This understanding has to enhance your studio experience...
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Well everyone has a unique and individual process and this is why things are possible for me. I don’t get all-intellectual when I am producing someone. I am reading into their spirit and surrounding them with an atmosphere that matches their vibration. I am not telling them what notes they should be sing. I mean there are times when I do sit with people and we build on what tone is and what we are trying to get out of our sound. That’s about as far as I will go when it comes to intellectualizing because I feel like who feels it knows it and doesn’t have to choose.

DX: Working with Dudley Perkins on everything and sharing so much does that ever become problematic or is it that what encourages so much cohesiveness and continuation?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: This is what makes me stronger every day. I think a lot of people get their math wrong on me, I really do. Dudley [Perkins] is the mastermind behind all these albums coming out, Dudley is the mastermind behind my message refining itself. He is my greatest teacher and I am 200,000% better because of Dudley and I feel so blessed to have a kinship like that with somebody. I can be a difficult person to tolerate at times, but I don’t see it as being no type of problematic thing; he is the perfect ‘yang’ element. He is a genuine person and that is what he brings; a genuine love for the world, a genuine love for the planet and he shares it wherever he goes. I am devoted to him and he has taught me everything.

DX: When you are involved in any facet of the entertainment industry it is hard to work together, live together and love together and still make shit work, so I have the utmost respect for you both.
Georgia Anne Muldrow: You can do it, but when I first met him I knew he was going to be "the one." Five years have gone by so quickly, and before then I didn’t believe in myself and he would snap me out of it with simple truth and a look to match it. What I have seen is that it has helped me having someone who is so strong and truly a man, it has made me be truly a woman. I don’t have to take care of man things, I am able to cultivate my female side and energy [that] allows me to be productive and make all these albums. My man is leading, and we come up with so many ideas, there is probably a project on the table every week at least. Me being in support makes it all come together. It is like riding a bike, once you find your balance you can move forward and that’s the metaphor for me. I found my balance and now I am moving forward.

DX: Your track ESP is a personal favourite and I know you directed that video; do you do most of them? Is this something you plan on doing?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Not most, I’ve done two; ESP and another one that’s not finished yet. I did that one because I just love looking at my daughter and what I see in her every day.

DX: Yes, you really captured the innocence of her too.
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Art is art.

DX: How did you and Mos Def come together?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: He wanted the song ("Roses"), so he got the song and it was already on my album but he wanted it on his and that was it. It was cool.

DX: What emcees do you admire?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: I guess I am a lil bias because I love Declaime, he raps like a man. I like people who say what they mean and I say this in general. With Declaime people cross generations can understand what he means, even though it is still complex in nature. I just think that Dudley is slept on as my collaborator. I mean Holy Smoke is my [favorite] record ever made and I feel like I really put my foot in it with that one. I notice a lot of the time; certain people aren’t prepared to make a certain switch. You know there are times that compel you to throw out prior info, what Dudley gives people is a certain style and a certain fearlessness.

DX: Do you think that scars people to a certain extent?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Yeah, and a lot of people don’t want to clean house and be accountable, some people just want to do their own thing. But at this point in time, I think the most thuggish thing you can do is speak the truth, as that is what puts your life at risk. Upholding a mediocre thought form is not putting your life at risk. Talking about how you getting money is self-incrimination and I don’t think that’s fearless, I see that as cowardice. When a man is truly a man he seeks to protect humanity, he seeks to protect the welfare and the mental state of humanity that is how a man is truly a man. So when a lot of people hear that it, it strikes a chord. It caused me total self-realization when I met him and I am now aware of being here, this wasn’t no easy quick fix for me. You know I didn’t like myself and I did things to demean myself and now I am at a place where I feel myself emerging because someone is really protecting me and they believe in me. A lot of brothers don’t want to be real, a lot of people are afraid to be real because they ain’t seen it and they don’t want to be something they ain’t seen. A lot of people are afraid of mystery. We dabble in the unknown and that is where we get a lot of our stuff from.

We have been doing this wholeOthaShip stuff for so long and it is about healing and it is about movement, about true revolution, a ship of the tide and that is what we are anticipating and what we are enjoying the possibility of. Participating in the shift of awareness because we really need it to happen right now. If people have nothing to offer over that beat then I can really do without it. If it is someone who is spitting their heart out about what’s really popping, then come on; that is going to really help us. What we are leaving is for the generations after our kids.

DX: Yes, but a lot of people tend to forget what comes after.
Georgia Anne Muldrow: I am still prospering from what was carved up on the wall. I’m still prospering from the people who didn’t know me, well at least not in this form and they thought about us and what they did. They cared for it with their heart and with their soul. Because I am a part of that I must know that I am participating in it in some kind of way. I have to be that somebody. If in the future they figure out how to use a CD, I have to leave something that shows we strive for spiritual improvement. It is important that we show we can transform.

DX: Is that important to you?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: I want people to see the story of my life and be inspired by it, I’m not living my life just for myself; that’s why I don’t dig that message coming off people. Not trying to be judgmental, but that is what has caused our kids to be like that. I am not just talking about the music, I’m talking about immature ass parents, you know parents that think that life just revolves around them and it’s not even like that. You have masses coming through you and all you got to say to them is about what your Love Jones is doing or how much money you want. Even if you are doing this to feed your kids, it’s not all the kids. I feel honored when people come and say I’m the first sister to be doing this type of thing, but I don’t consider myself being the first sister being a producer, as a woman is the first re-producer. When you are producing someone you are creating around them, it is not a masculine thing. It’s all about the emcee’s message. Instrumental music, yeah that’s fine but I am talking about producers and not just instrumental musicians. A lot of people get it twisted between an instrumental musician and a straight up producer and someone who can take a person in the studio and help them get their vision out, like [Dr.] Dre and stuff. There’s a lot of people who can make a beat in their bedroom, but can they really produce?

DX: [Laughs] We always get on to this topic during these interviews.
Georgia Anne Muldrow: I mean you got people like that. The west coast specializes in that.

DX: Do you think the west coast is slept on?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Yes, a lot of the time. I mean I am not going to say everybody on the west coast, but I am going to say the west coast is known more for production with people. When you think about Battlecat – these are producers, they can make any type of music you want and I am happy to be a part of that west coast lineage and I fully represent the west coast. I wouldn’t want to be on any other coast except for the west coast of Africa [laughs.] The west coast sound is what I love. It’s a principle to be able to listen to somebody and listen to where they are at and bring them your best, not just give them a beat and they over the beat.

DX: Is that something you do?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: That is not really my favorite thing to do. I mean people buy beats off me and I appreciate it because it supports my family, but my favorite thing is to get in the studio and start something from scratch. Or have a beat and the person does their thing but I come back and add the effects, add the atmosphere, bring it to life. For me, I have all types of vibes going on at the same time and I have learned to fuse all of them into one awareness over time.

DX: Do you find to be productive you must be able to absorb everything?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: I think the biggest part of the mistake is not just trying to sound like everyone else, but the bigger loss is by not bringing something original to the planet because you want it to sound right or just like this person or that person, I don’t believe in that. I don’t feel like my whole thing should sound like Dre’s Chronic or like DJ Premier.

FULL SCREEN
The Sounds of VTech / Georgia Anne Muldrow Remix: Untitled/Fantastic   

DX: So you are saying people need their own ID basically?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: I feel that it goes beyond that. How are you going to hear the ancestors trying to speak to you if you have your own agenda? How can you do it? That is what I keep seeing, people plotting ahead of the ancestors and worrying about what they are going to do for money and I am like "Wow you don’t think they got that covered?" And the money that they will experience will be limited and they will pay for it with awareness and I don’t care where you come from, rich or poor, poor awareness is the worst.

DX: What is the situation with Stones Throw?
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Oh man, I don’t even want to talk about it. I am trying to create something of a different reality.

DX: You move on to better things.
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Oh man my life is beautiful, I mean my life in '05 [when I recorded The Worthnothings EP] – how much it has bloomed in five years, but its really made a woman out of me an I am just blessed . I give all praises due to the laws that allow these things to be and to the spiritual soundness of the universe as that’s what enables sound to travel and the waves to carry. I’m doing it on behalf of that grid and matrix. I am just proud to be able to stand fast and improve myself as a person.

Purchase Music by Georgia Anne Muldrow

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