TripleHQ talks about social media, music projects, and mental tools that artists can obtain to be successful in entertainment.
Will A Fool is one of the industry’s hottest go-to producers for trap, rap and hip hop beats. The platinum and award nominated independent producer consistently works with major artists like Future, Gucci Mane, 21 Savage, and Jeezy, to name a few. Will A Fool helps artists hear where the energies need to be and makes sure they’re hitting on each beat. He’s more than your average music producer – he’s more accurately described as a music connoisseur.
1. Can you tell us how you got the name Will A Fool and what’s the meaning behind it?
Back when I was first getting started and building a name as a producer I was in the studio making a beat and someone blurted out, “Will you’re a fool,” and it stuck.
2. Tell me about the biggest project you’ve worked on so far in your career.
There are several big projects that I worked on, and a few stick out for different reasons.
Future’s original Dirty Sprite mixtape (2011) was a big project for me personally because it was the barrier breaker that elevated my producing career. Up to that point I had been producing for a bunch of up-and-coming artists in Atlanta, but no one that was really on Future’s level. I also have several placements on Future’s debut studio album, Pluto (2012), but it was the relationship and vibe we built working on the Dirty Sprite mixtape that opened the door for us working together up until this very day.
Another big project that I worked on is Jeezy’s Seen It All (2014). This project stands out to me because I was involved in the process of arranging the album. He was working in his studio and called me down there to give my input and feedback on the overall project and different records while they were mixing. I felt really invested in the album, despite only producing one record on it.
3. What was the biggest challenge that you faced working on X?
My biggest challenge when working on the Dirty Sprite mixtape was just getting my foot in the door. I didn’t really have any major credits or a catalogue of music to back up my name. At the time, I was more known by local Atlanta artists and the music industry. Working on Dirty Sprite was both a blessing and a challenge, but I knew I had the chance to be a part of something big that was a part of history.
4. When you first started producing, did you have any doubts in your mind that you weren’t going to be successful?
Everybody has doubts at some point, but I trusted my work ethic, hunger and grind to see me through. From a young age I grew-up playing instruments and making music, so I knew this passion came from deep within and it was up to me to make it happen.
5. How long did it take you roughly to start seeing results you were looking for in your career?
It was probably about 2 years until I started securing big placements on major label albums and projects. I was 16 when I first opened my studio and 18 when I met Future and made Dirty Sprite. From that point on it’s been a consistent grind. I’ve kept my head down and put in the work necessary to build from there and never allowed myself to get complacent.
6. What are some of the biggest mental tools you can obtain to be successful in entertainment? Why?
Believe in yourself and in your work and always keep in mind the things and people that make you go harder. Don’t let anyone too close to you become a distraction. Sometimes your family or close friends might not get the music or entertainment industry and start looking at you crazy for not going after a regular 9-5 job. And even though the music industry is a tough industry to break into, once you’re in, you’re in if you keep your quality of music up and consistent, so don’t let anyone tell you you can’t or get in your way. Keep your motivation high and stay focused.
7. Can you come up with one habit that could possibly ruin or stall a person’s career? What would that downfall be?
There are so many producers and artists out there, so you have to be someone that people want to work with. If you get a reputation for being unprofessional or having a bad attitude or ego you’re gonna burn bridges and make people not want to deal with you.
8. Maintaining a successful career takes a lot of work and commitment, how much time do you dedicate towards your work?
There’s 24 hours in a day, so I’d say about 24 hours each day.
9. How has social media changed the game for producers?
There are pros and cons to social media. The good side is that you can get more exposure and reach people all over the world. Social media is helpful when you’re building your brand and trying to engage with your fans and followers.
The downside to social media is that it makes it harder for upcoming producers to standout. Also, you have “beatmakers” — not producers, who put beats for sale online for $1 or something crazy like that. That honestly ruins the game because it waters down the industry. Plus, you see a bunch of copycat producers who attempt to knock off your sound and style and sell those beats for less money, which affects your brand if you’re the one being copied. If an artist can’t get to me, they may go to another producer who will try to make a beat similar.
10. Can you give us 3 tips on ways producers can utilize social media for marketing?
Engage more with fans — the live features on IG and Facebook are great for that
Specialized content — you can give your fans and followers and inside look on how you made a certain a beat, and even drop exclusive music
Sponsor ads to reach a larger audience and run commercials when dropping a new record or to reach artists who are looking for producers
11. Before social media was a big deal, how were you connecting with potential clients and other people in the industry?
Before social media I relied on word of mouth, networking and hitting the streets to meet local artists in Atlanta. At the time when I was coming up, everybody would come to my house studio because it was before house studios were the wave and everyone had one. My studio “Will’s House” became real home for people who were coming in and out all the time, talking about personal stuff and building together.
12. What are two pieces of advice you would give to an artist breaking in the music industry?
Create your own wave. Don’t ride anybody else’s.
Recently, Rich Homie Quan dropped his first studio album, Rich As In Spirit, and I produced a track on that project, “Bossman.” Also, this past Friday, both DJ Esco and Lil Durk dropped projects with records produced by me. I produced “Warzone” featuring Future on Esco’s Kolorblind album, and the hot single off of Durk’s project (Just Cause Yall Waited) titled “How I Know” featuring Lil Baby. Next month get ready for some bangers on Gucci Mane’s album that I produced, also.