Leauxfi Talks Creating The TEN Music Group, Lil Tjay Using His Melodie on "Laneswitch", + More!
I connected with producer, Leauxfi. Leauxfi has placements with artists like Lil Tjay, Yung Bans, Boosie Badazz & more. If you're a producer looking to get your foot in the door Leauxfi has some of the best advice for you. Make sure you follow him and his music group The Ten they're taking over this year!
Where are you from? What was your upbringing like? And what was the music scene like in your area growing up?
I just moved to Atlanta in February. I’m a Florida boy by heart. Spent most of my life in South Florida and then moved to Tampa for college. For me growing up, I was into everything music-wise besides country. But the sound in South Florida was lots of sped-up music, LOTS of dance music. Crazy that dance music doesn’t really exist like that anymore. Dancing at parties and clubs isn’t even cool anymore, but I digress. But we listened to rap and RnB heavy, along with reggaeton, pop, and reggae. It was just like South Florida in general, a complete mix with a little of everything. It made my tastes in music well rounded for sure. I was into anime so I was even listening to an orchestra and J-pop stuff. ANYTHING but country.
How did you first get into producing music? How long have you been producing? Who did you look up to when you were first starting?
I was a kid who was always tapping his pens in class and at the lunch table making beats. I did it so much I used to get in trouble for it from some teachers, but I was doing it mindlessly. When I went to college at UCF I noticed someone making beats and just knocked on their door to ask about it. And voila. He gave me a crash course for the next hour, I ran upstairs to my dorm and downloaded like Fruity Loops 7 or something and went to work. I was working hypersonic 2 like crazy all night lmao. I think my second beat ever is still on YouTube. I didn’t look up to any producers because it wasn’t a thing yet. We didn’t even have tutorials online really except for WarBeatz. When I first started making beats, I had clear influences in mind though. It was the end of 2006, so I was trying to be Kanye with the samples. But technology wasn't that good so I was using a ringtone maker to chop and edit samples, it was crazy. I also was HEAVILY inspired by Polow Da Don. He was on an insane run at the time, and what inspired me most about it is that all of the tracks sounded different from each other. I would love a song on the radio and go see who did it, and it was Polow every time. So I carried that forward with who I wanted to be to this day. I want to be super versatile so you never know it was me until you look it up or hear my tag. Of course the gods Pharrell and Timbaland were also heavy influences. But my last one many people sleep on is Darkchild/Rodney Jerkins. He’s incredible.
As the founder of The TEN Music Group, for the people who don't know what that is can you give us a rundown of it and how you created/why you created it?
Definitely. So The TEN is a collective I guess you’d say. I don’t just want to call us a producer group or whatever because that’s just one lane of what we do and what we want to accomplish. That’s for later though. But right now we’re a group of extremely talented producers on our way up. We’re a close-knit group of friends with the same goal in mind ya know? A family. We’re racking up placements, having fun along the way, and want to fix a lot of the dumb shit in the industry and culture that we see. I still haven’t told the full story of how we came together, to be honest. But in general, after leaving the last group I was in I wanted to do things my way. So I started reaching out to the friends I had made over the years who were super dope and slept on. I figured that they should all know each other and that we should share our resources to try and move forward faster. Separately we all had connections here or there, but if we shared those, and shared our opportunities, we would move ten times faster. It helped that everyone was like-minded and cool down to earth people so we all clicked pretty much instantly. I still haven’t even met half the group in person yet. People always say they want to make or join groups out there, but underestimate how important it is that everyone meshes together. The group dynamic is super important.
I wasn’t there to build the beat at all. When the song dropped, someone who followed me reached out saying “isn’t that your melody in the new TJay song,” and it was. So I had no physical presence in the creation of the track outside of them using my melody/midi which came from one of my kits I dropped. So I rewarded the guy who gave me a heads up and reached out to their management. Shout out to everyone involved because even though we’re all in different parts of the world, we had the entire thing sorted out the same day within a few hours. Great guys. I’m sure in our future works I’ll pull up on TJay in a session and go crazy.
Same thing here, Goose had my midi and went crazy with it. He was cool about it though when I approached him and we had it resolved in no time. We’ve collaborated since then and have some DOPE stuff on deck and now that I’m in ATL we’re gonna do a lot more. Got some placements together that hopefully make the cut and drop as well. Looking at you TDE.
You and The Beat Plug produced "Late Nights" by Lil Mosey released in February of 2018. How did you connect with Mosey and The Beat Plug? What was it like collaborating on that beat with The Beat Plug, can you run us through making the beat?
Man, that beat taught me A LOT about myself. I originally made that beat and dropped it by myself on YouTube when I first started uploading beats online in 2016. It was like the 2nd or 3rd beat I uploaded online. I just knew that beat was THE one. That’s what my sound was around that time that Bryson Tiller, RnB samples with hard drums type of stuff. And when I dropped in online it didn’t hit. Nobody cared, barely got any views. I was frustrated thinking that I might be trash because I can’t get any views on any of my stuff and if THIS song isn’t catching attention… then maybe I’m not that nice with it like I think. But I had an idea to send the beat to Beat Plug who I was cool with through a discord chat. I told him I wanted to send him a beat, and if he liked it, have him sell it on my behalf. By this point, the beat was like 3 or 4 months old but I figured maybe it would sell once or twice if he put it out. He loved it and changed up the sequencing on it a bit. He uploaded the beat and I kid you not, the first sale came in under 5 minutes. I was like “BRO. This is crazy!” He didn’t even have a chance to post on his socials that he’d uploaded it yet. And then more sales, and more, and more, and more. The beat has not stopped selling since 2016. It was the most popular Bryson Tiller type beat (and Kendrick for a while) on YouTube for like a year or two. As of 2017, it was the 5th highest selling beat of all time on all of Beatstars, but I’m sure it fell off since then. But because of that, it touched a lot of artists on the come up. One of which was Mosey. So he got a hold of it and just did his thing. It's wild to think about it though. The beat was so popular that a lot of artists today have already used it before they blew up. I’ve been in sessions with artists today and they or the engineer brings up that beat saying they’ve heard it so many times. But this taught me a huge lesson about talent/product vs name. I had that beat out for months and nobody cared. He put it out and it became one of the top-selling beats on YouTube and Beatstars of all time. So…. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t that my beats were wack, they just weren’t in front of a big enough audience yet. It gave me a huge confidence boost and some direction. I knew I had to build my brand instead of thinking being talented alone was gonna be enough. I hope that last part reaches someone out there. It’s not that you or your beats suck, people just haven’t come across it yet because your name isn’t where it needs to be. So go handle that.
How did you get your first placement? Any recommendations for producers trying to get their foot in the door and get their first placement?
I don’t even remember what my first placement was anymore. It was either an unreleased Ace Hood track or Detonate by Richie Wess and Yung Dred, featuring Gunplay. For Ace Hood, I was working for a label called Poe Boy (Brisco, Rick Ross, Flo-Rida, Jacki-O) on Memorial Day Weekend which is HUGE in Miami. I was still in the chasing big placements but not selling online phase. At this party I was at, Ace’s manager (who later became VP of WeTheBest for Khaled) named Kiko was in the passenger seat of a truck leaving the parking lot. I recognized him and tried to get his attention but he ignored me. I eventually had to just name drop who I was working with/for and he took me seriously then gave me his number. Sent him a pack and there ya go. The song never dropped though. For producers trying to get their foot in the door, I’m going to keep saying this; The MOST important aspect to getting a placement is relationships. Build relationships. Who you know, and who knows you, will take you further than your beats can. Relationships will get you in the right rooms, at the right times, in front of the right people. Secondly, be prepared. Your beats need to be solid. Treat this like a business, because it IS a business. So make sure the product you sell (your beats) is packaged and ready to go BEFORE you go looking for someone to purchase it. And finally, stop focusing so much on getting your first placement. You’re probably putting too much pressure on yourself to get a placement and it’s hurting your creativity and outlook. Placements are cool but they’re not what you think or what has been sold to you online. Most of the time, it’s a headache. And then getting paid is an even bigger headache. Take a lesson from my late night's story. Your name will outweigh what your beat sounds like. If your name/brand isn’t bringing the attention and work to you, you’re just shooting in the dark trying to catch random placements. Build your brand so the work and opportunities come to you. So you start getting invited to sessions, so you start getting invited to events and label visits. So the A&Rs and artists are reaching out to you. At that point, placements are coming to you while you sleep. And as long as you form real relationships, and your beats are ready… you’ll start racking them up. I play Apex online with a popular producer and it's hilarious how often artists text him asking for beats and they all turn into placements. It’s a snowball effect.
Lessons you've learned that you wish you knew when you first started as a producer?
Stop chasing placements as I said above. Just work on building the necessary foundation so they come to you. Start whatever you want to do asap. Don’t wait. If I had jumped into online sales when I was first told to back in 2015, I’d be rich by now. Now the lanes are super flooded and it’s a crapshoot. Whatever you want to do or are considering doing later…. Do it now. Put your work out there. When the beats are just sitting on your computer, it benefits no one. And by the time you get frustrated enough to release that beat or send it out, it’s probably dated by then. Get your work out there as often as possible.
What differentiates you from the rest of the producers out there?
I hate this kinda question because I feel like I’m bragging on myself. I’m genuine and honest about everything. I am who I am. If you’ve met me in person you know I’m a real, fun-loving guy. I’m not playing a character and who I am online is who I am in person. And that’s usually not the case these days. A lot of producers push lies and sell dreams because there’s money in that. Selling the dream is a reason why there’s SO much misinformation everywhere. My team and I want to cut through all that and stop selling everyone on the dream, and instead, teach them the realities. So they can be prepared and not make the same mistakes we all did. As far as beats go, I’m diverse and my style changes by the day. I feel like my style is different but yet still dope. And if you follow me, hopefully, I can teach you something, or learn from you. I want to uplift and inspire whoever is around me to do and be better.
What's on the horizon for your music career in 2019? Any upcoming projects or songs you're on?
Well, 2019 is over as far as I’m concerned, so we’re focused on 2020 already. We had a couple of tracks get cut off some big albums that dropped recently, but we’re taking that momentum into next year. We’ve aligned ourselves with some very important people in the industry recently and we’re looking to have a huge 2020. I can’t talk about any upcoming projects or songs of course, but we expect it to be our entire group’s breakout year. We set up all the pieces this year, and they’re falling into place now. Keep up with us on Instagram or our Youtube channel when we start posting real content to see what we’re doing and more of who we are. Much love to all of our supporters and those who believe in us. Shit is gonna get crazy very soon.