Monday, March 01, 2010

Producer Spotlight: Cory Bold

This post is going to be borderline difficult to pull off without cringing a little bit for me. There are very few things I hate sharing in the world...and I'm not just talking music wise, that's in life, I'm always asking friends to share in the same wanderlust for trying new things. Whether it be food related, vocabulary oriented (y'all know I like to find new ways to say the same shit, regardless of how corny it sounds), social scene related (hate goin' to the same place over and over) or even a new route to the same place you always go to that you never tried before because it would deviate from the comfort of the usual, that's my steez (please don't tell me you let Cha Cha tell you what's up). (Speaking of which, sad news with Guru of Gang Starr...get well soon goes out to one of the more inspirational MCs in Hip Hop history)

Taking what you now know from the paragraph above, you may be surprised why it would pain me to provide for y'all some of my Go-To remixes. When I say Go-To remixes, I mean those tracks that you know the audience (the club) will be familiar with, but they've been remixed so incredibly well that it you know even the wallflower in the corner is like "oh shit that's my jam, I gotta stop bein' myself for hot minute and cut a rug even though I look as coordinated as a grizzly bear on the dance floor". Every DJ has these remixes and most, like me, hold them sacred and only bring them out when you know you've got the audiences attention because these are the types of tracks the audience from the night before are searching limewire all day for to no avail after they heard it the night before and lost it.

Which brings me to Cory Bold, the 21 year old producer who is mainly a producer but also prides himself as being an aspiring songwriter and fitness advocate. His myspace clearly states that with his influence, "The Lines Between Music and Fitness Have Now Been Blurred". Having listened to a few of his remixes, his style comes predominantly from taking slower R&B and even Contemporary (see Maroon 5) tracks and making them into attention grabbing, synthesizer and bass driven anthems. The key phrase to pick out in that last sentence was attention grabbing, I don't know how else to eloquently describe his beats. They come off so crisp and contrast with the emotion laden tracks so well, it's like listening to a track in it's element or the way it was supposed to sound.

He truly is a magician when it comes to looping creative synth driven beats with heavy bass...he is to the digital keyboard as Timbaland is to digital percussion. Get what I'm sayin? As a taste, check out his hit with Letoya Luckett titled She Ain't Got Shit On Me...

The first time I heard that track it stuck to me like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth. Funny thing is, I never knew it was Cory Bold who produced it until about a year later when it all added up. I still regard this beat as his most noteworthy original creation with an artist to date, i.e. not counting the remixes.

...aaaahh yes the remixes, aka what plastered Cory all over my radar as one of the top young producers in the game. When I sit back and think about it, it has to be a challenge to try and tackle tracks that have become so entrenched into the contemporary radio audience because most people get so enamored with the way a track should sound because they are so used to it sounding that way. After my two paragraph long diatribe preaching individuality, you can see why I'd be one to support the latter and always be looking for more or a better sound to come from an already well done track. Usually I save the best for last, but I'll jump right in with my favorite remix done by Cory of Alicia Key's No One...

Alicia Keys - No One (Cory Bold remix) Hottt Remix!!!

The subtle but high pitched sparkling synthesizers augment the dramatic nature of the track and blend like rum and coke with the rolling percussion. Maybe I'm partial to the nostalgic feel of the track and craved a slightly more intense version...maybe I just love anything that involves Alicia Keys singing...either way this is one of my favorite remixes.

Coming in a very close second is a melodic, strings driven remix to Beyonce's If I Were a Boy. This one comes off as a little softer, harmonic and less in your face as the A Keys track. It's really hard to mess with crescendo of Beyonce's chorus combined with the ascending intensity of the beat. No doubt a good look...

Beyonce - If I Were a Boy (Cory Bold remix) Hooottt!!!

Finally, I would have been remiss if I didn't throw a 3-1 curveball at you with CB's attempt at one of Maroon 5's most well known singles Makes Me Wonder. This one comes off as more interesting considering the lack of proximity to Hip Hop/R&B. That's why I think it's one of his better efforts because it has to be hard to put a beat to a Pop track...and still make it sound good. He does that with his characteristically out of this universe sounding, high pitched synth throughout the track. Farthest from vanilla you can get on this post and very worthy of a listen...

Maroon 5 - Really Makes Me Wonder (Cory Bold remix) Hootttt!!!

To finish you knew I'd drop a new one on ya...and I'll admit when I first saw the studio video of Cory Bold creating this track with the Jackie Boyz I about fell out of my chair...then, after climbing back into my chair began a quest for the track as determined to get it as Tiger does waitresses Canada's hockey team was to winning gold. (How bout that by the's never quite as fun when you're expected to could just see the look of relief rather than joy on those guys' faces...shame how expectations can be detrimental sometimes). Anyways, I was able to find the track and it's without a doubt worth a listen since you don't get much underrated as the talented singer/songwriters the Jackie Boyz and Cory Bold producing.

Jackie Boyz - The Way You Love Me (prod by Cory Bold) Great Collab!!!

As a bonus, here's the in the studio look I was alluding to earlier where you can see the track being developed and brainstormed before it came to life.

Moral of the story - keep an ear out for Cory Bold since after listening to these samples, you should be able to pick out his sound in a crowd.


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