Interview with Multi-Platinum Producer Adrian Boeckeler
Today on What On What’s Good, we are here with Adrian Boeckeler. Boeckler is a multi-platinum producer of Hip Hop artists such as 50 cent, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, Wu-Tang Clan & many others. He has scored numerous Film & TV productions for companies such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, UFC, MTV, VH1, NBC, Disney, Fox, Sony, and more. He is the winner of the 2020 Business Excellence Awards and the 2-time winner (2018 & 2019) of the prestigious 2 Comma Club award by ClickFunnels. Today in our #cinqque5tion interview we discuss the music business, music licenses, working on projects with artists, collaborating with multiple industries, and his business Anno Domini Nation and the courses you can take to learn how to become a music producer.
1. Tell us about how you got into the music business.
I never had any real designs of getting into the music industry. You could say I fell into it. I started making beats on a laptop with some free software, bored in between college classes almost two decades ago. I’d always been a huge music fan, growing up on that early 90s East Coast Hip Hop sound, but I never put much thought into the production side of things. As soon as I got started though I was hooked! Making beats was my creative outlet and I started posting them online for feedback. Before too long artists started hitting me up to buy my beats, and this lightbulb moment happened where I realized I could do something I genuinely enjoyed AND get paid for it. So that was my gateway into the “music industry”, just having fun. It’s crazy that that eventually turned into a fully-fledged career and everything that followed!
2. Describe how you helped pioneer the sale of music licenses online.
Back in the early 2000s, collaborating on music online was still a novelty. Nowadays of course it’s pretty much the industry standard. For producers, the early days of showcasing their work online and connecting with independent artists were through sites like MP3.com and MySpace.
If an artist wanted to buy a beat from a producer, you’d have to message one another, trade banking info, make a manual payment, and then wait for a physical CD to be mailed to you containing the beat files and ownership contract.
It was a really clunky process, so what we decided to do was automate the entire process by adding an instant PayPal purchase button to our profile page and issuing non-exclusive licenses to “lease” beats to multiple artists at the same time. They would then immediately receive a direct download link to the files and their licensing agreement.
We were the early pioneers of that model and really popularized it. It basically meant producers could scale their businesses online and created a whole niche industry that eventually evolved to where we are now, where most major artists and labels are now licensing tracks from producers online.
3. What was it like working on projects with artists such as 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Tech N9ne, Rick Ross, Wu-Tang Clan, Kool G Rap, Royce Da 5’9″, D12 and many more. Any interesting behind-the-scenes stories while working collaboratively with others?
Funny enough my first major artist placement came through MySpace. Back in the day, you could literally hit up an artist online and they would get back to you. Now there are so many layers of managers and A&Rs in the way. For me I didn’t have much choice when I started out, stuck in the middle of nowhere out in Germany with no real connections to the US Hip Hop scene. So I just started building relationships online, and it worked! Vinnie Paz (Jedi Mind Tricks) was the first artist that hit me back, he loved my beats, we did a track together and things spiraled from there.
Of course, once I moved to London, UK, and then eventually Los Angeles it was much easier networking with artists directly, going to studios, taking meetings, and all that. It’s a blessing to now have worked with so many artists that were my idols growing up. The great thing is, now more than ever, music is so democratized through the internet, that any artist or producer from anywhere can connect with others and get their foot in the door of the music industry. You just have to be willing to take action!
4. You worked on several films, TV, video games, and advertising projects including Coca-Cola, Adidas, Nike, Ford, BMW, NBA, NFL, MLB, UFC, and Rockstar. Can you describe how to start a campaign for the types of projects?
Honestly, the best path forward is always taking matters into your own hands. For TV, Film, video game productions, and so on, the best thing to do is literally reach out to the decision-makers who place music in media directly. In other words, music agencies, or music supervisors. You can find their info by skipping to the credits of a show. Then look them up online, connect with them, provide value upfront, and forge a mutually beneficial relationship. That’s how 90% of my placements came around. Of course, once you have a couple under your belt it becomes much easier through word of mouth.
5. Can you tell us about Anno Domini Nation?
Anno Domini Nation is our multi-platinum production company. It consists of 11 producers, including myself, from all over the globe. It was founded by me back in 2003, and over the years we’ve grown a massive community of independent artists. Anno Domini Nation is about more than just creating great instrumental music for artists to license though. We provide mentorship, guidance, resources, contests, and more to help elevate artists and give them the tools to succeed.
6. Please describe the courses where people can learn to become producers.
I see it as my duty to not just give back to the artist community but also my fellow music producers. Just as I had opportunities that allowed me to become a self-made and successful music producer, I want to give opportunities and resources to other producers that will allow them to do the same. From that simple idea my second business, Modern Producers, was born. We provide tools such as production software, production courses, marketing training, and more.
Today we are one of the largest online platforms for music producers, and since I love to teach it allows me to reach a wide audience and really make a difference. A lot of these kids with a dream to be an artist or a producer just need some guidance. They need to learn not just about the artistic side, which is what they exclusively get from music schools, but also the business side – how to actually make money doing what they love. So that is what I primarily focus on.
It’s been an endless source of motivation for me and I’m continuously inspired by seeing others become full-time musicians through our training.