Finatik N Zac Reflect On Working With Pac Div & Ludacris Under Jim Jonsin
Exclusive: Australian duo Finatik N Zac discuss their experiences co-producing under Rebel Rock Entertainment.
Michael “Finatik” Mule and Isaac “Zac” Deboni both swept the Australian music scene from youthful beginnings. Having mastered the turntable at fourteen, Finatik became the deejay champion from down under only four years later at eighteen. While touring clubs all around the world Finatik met his partner Zac, also a Perth native, who studied audio engineering straight out of high school after having started producing music at the age of fifteen, specializing in piano and drums.
Jim Jonsin brought Finatik N Zac under his label Rebel Rock Entertainment in 2010 and the partnership led the duo to the opportunity to work with artists A$AP Rocky on “LongLiveA$AP” and Pac Div on “Mania!” as well as Ludacris and Kelly Rowlands on “Representin’.” It appears Jim Jonsin has found producers that have come up on their own similar to his own background. Having grown up as a Floridian deejay and eventual music producer, Jonsin houses his secret finesse, Finatik N Zac, in Miami, Florida. The secret must be in their superior record collection where they are able to reach back into time to find that perfect sound.
“When we worked with Pac Div those guys were still signed to Motown,” Zac explained. The Australian duo has seen their share of label upheaval, as their Pac Div experience proved. “We had just moved over from Australia and that was one of the first sessions we did. Our headspace was just set to make a great track. Those guys are super-talented. It’d be great to get back in with them again next time we're out West.”
Under the tutelage of Jim Jonsin, Finatik N Zac have been privy to sessions where the likes of Lil Wayne, T.I. and Eminem have gone into experimental territory with their vocal range by singing. Tip’s “Whatever You Like” and Wayne’s Auto-tune heavy “Lollipop” saw both artists almost exclusively singing.
“There’s a bunch of things to think about,” Zac added. “For one thing we have to make sure that it’s in a key that the artist feels comfortable in, so they don’t have to reach too high or low for the melodies they wanna sing. Also, if we’re working with a top-liner, we might just leave some of their harmonies in the background, and get the artist to just to sing the lead over. Auto-tune helps too of course. We’ve learnt so much from Jim.”
Improvisation was apparently one of the things Finatik N Zac picked up from Johnsin. The long-delayed Ludaversal project from Ludacris saw all parties involved tapping into that aforementioned improvisational spirit on the Luda and Kelly Rowland Duet “Representin.”
“We tried a few different ideas that were catering (so to speak) to Luda’s sound,” Finatik added. “This is before Luda got to the studio. The ideas we’re cool, but then Jim just said, ‘Fuck it, let’s do us on this shit right here’ and just went in. He didn’t over think it. As a result a classic sounding Jim and Rico [Love] track came out of it, but like you said, different from “Motivation.” We’re just thankful and happy to be a part of it.”
Additional Reporting By Emmeline Kim