Matthew "U-Dub" Jacobson is an internet-based music producer and owner of "NY Bangers, LLC". U-Dub is known for his successful online beat selling business, as well as for producing two of New York's biggest break-out records in recent years: "Don't Run" by Casanova and "OOOUUU" by Young M.A, which has been RIAA certified 3x Platinum. Validated recently interviewed U-Dub and amoungst other things discussed his early musical influences, sacrifices, goals and accomplishments.
VALIDATED: Growing up, what kind of music was played in your household?
U-DUB: When I think about it, it was a pretty eclectic household with a wide range of music. Mom had the vinyl and Dad had the tapes in the car. I grew up hearing everything from their era, so the 60's, 70's, and 80's mostly. A lot of folk music, rock n roll, soul, jazz, and movie soundtracks being played.
VALIDATED: What makes a great producer?
U-DUB: In my opinion, a great producer has great taste and a vision that they are able to protect and hold onto throughout the creative process. But basically having beats that are good enough to inspire an artist to write and put out their best energy is key.
VALIDATED: How do you feel New York has influenced your sound and outlook on hip-hop?
U-DUB: Well, I'm a direct product and long time fan of the New York sound, so every beat I make is somehow influenced by it. New York is basically the mothership where all the other genres stem from, so you really can't lose by keeping New York as your foundation when making Hip Hop. To this current generation, New York is definitely the 'under dog' in rap which always inspires me to push harder.
VALIDATED: We all know that you're a multi platinum producer, but can you think back, what was the name of the one beat and the artist that changed everything for you when it comes to your success?
U-DUB: It was definitely the beat I had on my website that Young M.A famously made into "OOOUUU." Before that, she had used some others, but that's the beat that did it. And funny enough, that was around the same time Casanova found the beat that would become "Don't Run." Those records really changed my whole perspective on life and made me realize I could reach a level of success I hadn't even dared dream of before.
VALIDATED: What was the first peice of producers equipment you owned?
U-DUB: Technically it was a laptop with software. Fruity Loops 2.0! Back in 1999. My setup hasn't changed much, I still use Fruity Loops to this day. I use version 11 now because I'm afraid to upgrade.
VALIDATED: What is your perfered piece of producers equipment now-a-days?
U-DUB: I keep it really simple. All I need is a MIDI keyboard and Fruity Loops, but I love digging for records and flipping them into something unique. I also try to keep up to date on popular VST sounds and services, such as Splice and Tracklib, which are two great companies that are really helping modernize the game for producers.
VALIDATED: What did you have to sacrifice to excel at your craft?
U-DUB: Oh man. Well I loved making beats so much from the beginning that I'm not sure if it was all sacrifice, but I definitely adopted a hermit lifestyle, and tried to capitalize on being an introvert. You really have to enjoy being alone in a dark room for 16 hours a day. But keep in mind I was doing this for fun for 12 years before deciding to try to make this a career. When that finally happened, I was sacrificing my health, my body, and risking a lot career-wise. At one point I was working 2 jobs, an overnight shift and a morning shift, while finding time to build my beat selling business from the ground up. It was stressful at times but it's safe to say I have enjoyed the journey.
VALIDATED: What major goals did you have set before you started your career and how have they changed since you've progressed?
U-DUB: First and foremost, I really wanted to make a living at this somehow. And I always try to be realistic with my goals. It's definitely a step-by-step process. My first major goal was to make enough money from selling beats online so that I could quit my regular job. And once I thought I was close enough to that, I made the leap of faith at the end of 2014. My goals haven't changed all that much really since then. I basically just aim to stay consistent and constant with new beats every week, and keep the engines running. I want to be the guy you go to for the NY Bangers, so I have to stay true to my sound while at the same time evolving with the times. It's a balancing act.
VALIDATED: Who is one of your mentors? How did you first meet them and how has working with them influenced your own production?
U-DUB: I've never really had a direct mentor to be honest. I'm self taught in everything, so for a long time I just made beats inspired by my favorite producers. Back when Youtube came out I started getting extra tips and tricks from tutorials when I needed it. I guess you can say my mentors are the producers I was the biggest fan of growing up.
VALIDATED: Who would you say inspires you most?
U-DUB: I'm inspired by passionate people in whatever their field may be. People who are doing what they need to do in life in order to support themselves or their family, all while at the same time expressing their personal Art is incredible to me.
VALIDATED: Who are your top 3 hip-hop producers of all time and why?
U-DUB: Hard to pick only 3 but I guess it would have to be Swizz, Just Blaze, and The Alchemist. Throw Kanye in there too.
VALIDATED: Which major artist have you worked with and which hits have you produced?
U-DUB: Young M.A is the biggest artist that I've worked thus far. Otherwise, it's a huge list of big names that were either features on some records, or hopped on an OOOUUU or Don't Run remix.
VALIDATED: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give the younger you pertaining to your craft?
U-DUB: A lot of people might disagree with this, but I'd tell myself to cherish my comfort zone. It's obviously necessary sometimes to step out of it, but not 100% of the time. Infact, my beats got better once I fell back into my comfort zone.
VALIDATED: What is distinctive about a production?
U-DUB: My brain always checks for a melody. Is it a snare or clap? 808's or acoustic bassline? The more beats you make the more you start to pick up the little details of what you're listening to. Overall, I think a good beat has to be edgey in some way.
VALIDATED: What upcoming projects can we expect for the 2nd half of 2018?
U-DUB: Expect a lot more new beats every week on my Youtube channel and website plus, nothing I can speak on at the moment, but more placements on the way as well.
VALIDATED: Where can the fans support you and your music online and social media?
U-DUB: Be sure to check out my Youtube channel at Youtube.com/NYBangers and subscribe for new beats every week. You can also find my full production catalog at NYBangers.com as well. And while you're at it follow me on The Gram (Instagram) @udub_nybangers.