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Teflon (Ruff Ryders producer) Interview

conducted by Hugo Lunny

Mr. Lif Interview

MVRemix: How did you begin making beats?

Teflon: I began making beats one night that my father came home and said ‘lets go’ and took me to buy a synthesizer because he knew that I liked being in the studio listening to music. That was my first step towards becoming a producer.

MVRemix: Did you have any formal teaching about chord progression and things along those lines or did you learn it all by experimentation?

Teflon: Everything I learned was basically through constant repetition. You know just banging on the keyboard every day until I developed my own unique style.

MVRemix: Do you remember the first beat you made?

Teflon: No I don’t, that shit was so long ago, but I’m sure it sounded like bullshit [laughs]. One of the first beats I do remember making was made using a Kawai keyboard. It had about a million sounds in it because I didn’t know how to properly put together instrumentation.

MVRemix: What about the first beat you sold? What’s the story behind that?

Teflon: The first beat I sold was to an R&B group on Universal – I forget their name. I sold it for $3,500, but the song never came out. I was happy though.

MVRemix: How did you end up meeting with Darrin Dean and hooking up with Ruff Ryders?

Teflon: Well I met with Darrin through my boy Big Mike from Mt. Vernon, who introduced me to Darrin’s brother Wah first – Darrin was in the streets more at the time and Wah was always in the studio. I let Wah hear my material and eventual it got back to D, who signed me and put me around Swizz as well as other experience producers to develop my talent. It was like a Ruff Ryders’ training camp.

MVRemix: How did the name Teflon come to be?

Teflon: My real name is Sheldon and everyone would call me by it at first. One night I was in Sony studios with Swizz and he said I needed an alias. We came up with the name Teflon because he felt that my sound was impenetrable – something like a superhero [laughs].

MVRemix: What made you decide to start C.P.R. Entertainment?

Teflon: I started C.P.R. because I felt bringing my own entity in the game would add to the greatness of music. A lot of what we hear today is cliché and I believe my sound is distinctive and needs to be heard.

MVRemix: What inspired the company name?

Teflon: C.P.R. is an acronym for Cash Pulls Respect because if you don’t have any cash you don’t have any respect. Everyone knows money makes the world go round. The name is also a metaphor for breathing life back into the game.

MVRemix: Tell me about the compilation you’re working on.

Teflon: So far we have Baby, Tego Calderon, Elephant Man and we are talking with Juelz Santana, Loso (Fabolous), and Kevin Rodolph, who is signed to Lil’ Wayne’s Cash Money. I want the album to have versatility I don’t want it to sound like everyone else’s albums.

MVRemix: How far along are you?

Teflon: Everything is looking good right now – I was just in the studio with Wyclef [Jean] and Makeba; who’s the number one song writer in the country now. I’m looking at a mid-summer release. It’s going to be a hot summer.

MVRemix: Are there any videos in the works?

Teflon: No not as of yet but when I do it’ll be in your inbox.

MVRemix: Tell me about the songs you’ve been working on with Fabolous and Jadakiss for their new albums.

Teflon: Unfortunately I haven’t heard the tracks yet. That’s how the industry is right now – labels don’t let producers hear their tracks until they’re on the official album.

MVRemix: In a sentence or less, what do you do to relax?

Teflon: I like to cook. I like to be creative in the kitchen; that’s my form of therapy.

MVRemix: Have fun with this one, a la “Fight Club” – if you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?

Teflon: I’d fight myself because there isn’t anyone else for me to fight. You know like Edward Norton and Brad Pitt did in the flick. I’d fight my alter-ego; there’s Teflon and then there’s Sheldon Michael.

MVRemix: Would you win?

Teflon: One way or another I’d win, although I’d have to whip my own ass too I guess [laughs].

MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the current state of the economy and how as a producer do you feel it will affect you?

Teflon: I’m not an economist but I hope it don’t get any worse because people are hurting as it is. As a producer I’m affected because music labels and companies spend less money on everything including production for their artists’ project – they become very restrictive about their budgets. I’m glad Obama was elected into office though; I’m looking forward to him turning things around.

MVRemix: Do you have any non musical aspirations?

Teflon: Yeah, I’d like to start my own blogging network site to provide people with a creative and diverse avenue for them to express their thoughts and opinions.

MVRemix: Any last words?

Teflon: Yeah, I love music so keep on the look out for me because I’m continuing my journey to the top. Shout outs to MVRemix.

Teflon Interview