What does the term “certified” mean to you? Does it focus on the ideology that social acceptance is vital for success? Or does it deal with the first law of nature, self-preservation? Whether you’re on the fence or just befuddled, let me help you with this calamity. The definition of certified is officially recognized (someone or something) as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards. This characteristic trait is apparent in Grammy-nominated producer, Cash Clay Beats. Not only is he cooler than the other side of the pillow, his talent is far beyond his age. With a resume longer than some rappers career, Cash is well on his way to stardom. Not only has he worked with many artists we listen to on the daily, he is extremely humble. Recently I have blessed the opportunity to sit down with him and really understand what it means to be “certified”.
JT: Before we start this interview, I want to say thank you for taking the time to talk with me today! I am a big fan of your music. Being from Saint Louis, how do you feel moving to Atlanta changed your sound as a producer?
CC: Its no problem. Thanks for having me. I’m from Saint Louis originally but when we moved to Atlanta, I adopted the ” ATLANTA” sound and made it my own. Atlanta is a very diverse market. As a producer, you have to jump on the wave and adapt to the sound.
JT: Was you feeling that “futuristic” wave in music?
CC: Yea, I really liked it! I was digging the snap and I was trying to catch every wave music has to offer. Last year was my biggest year and now it’s time for the world to catch on the Cash Clay wave!
JT: Why is it so important to have your own sound, The Cash Clay sound?
CC: It’s important to have your own sound because you want people to listen to your music and know it is you. When you look at some of the stronger producers who been in the game for a while like Timbaland or Pharrell, you know exactly what their sound is. I look up to many of producers that came before my time. I am still developing my own sound because I am so diverse and can do any kind of music and make it authentic. Having that specific sound brands you in a sense and it could be for the good or bad.
JT: Growing up, did you always want to do music?
CC: Yes! I knew music was going to be my life. I didn’t know at that time that I would be a producer.
JT: If you weren’t in the music industry, what would your career be and why?
CC: It would be what I am doing now. My music fuels other businesses. I am always thinking about ways to make more money outside of music. I like to work for myself and make money with my team. I own 2 barber shops, a production company and merchandising. I would definitely stay on the entrepreneurial side of things.
JT: “Certified” is your team. What made you come up with that?
CC: Atlanta is good and you have a lot of people who work with you but my team and I don’t really fit in. We stamp ourselves and we don’t need approval from the industry or others. We are surrounded by good people. #BEATCARTEL
JT: When did you feel you made it?
CC: I felt like I made it many times! When I did records with R.Kelly, Yung Joc featuring T-Pain, I thought things would have taken off but they didn’t. Definitely, last year was a very big year for me with the Kelly Price record off of Migos ‘Culture’ album. Not to mention, I received a platinum record and a Grammy nomination. This is only the beginning of the Certified movement.
JT: Do you feel like your music is feeding the streets, the Atlanta sound?
CC: It is. What made me focus more on that sound was my travels to LA. I was working on a deal there and all the artist wanted that Atlanta sound. I was just doing my own thing. I realized they wanted that sound so I have to give them what they wanted with my own swag and my career took off.
JT: What does True Urban Culture mean to you?
CC: True Urban Culture means to stand on your own, stamp yourself and certify yourself! You don’t need the approval of others to make it.
Check out this exclusive beat from Cash Clay below and remember certification comes from within.