I introduce to you, Ronnie Notch, Co-Creator (along with co- creator Ira Dewitt) of the Audio Recording Program at University of Missouri St. Louis, President of recording company King of Twelve, Music Composer, Creator of program Notes For Life, husband, father and more. Thanks to Notch I have had the wonderful opportunity of featuring artists such as Colin Drew and It’s Wood on this inspirational blog you are reading. Also thanks to Notch I had the amazing opportunity to also feature music engineer Excel Cruz. Although, now is the time to see the mastermind behind it all.
The Wire Hanger By Winnie: So I see you do so much in your life when it comes to music, where would you say your love of music came from?
Ronnie Notch: I remember as a child, being in the car with my mom and singing Luther Vandross. My mom was also a master pianist when I was a child. She could play the piano so eloquently. So I probably have some of that talent genetically from her. My love for music changed at a point in my life, but it was reignited when I met Tiff, who is now my wife, at the music studio. I had just spent 96 hours at the studio and I’d gotten a call to come back to hear a girl sing. I did not feel like going back, but I went; and that girl who I needed to hear was Tiff. Before that moment, I was tired of music, the passion had been lost, then I met Tiff and that passion was reignited.
TWHBW: Awww, that’s amazing. So when it comes to your craft, do you call yourself a music producer?
RN: I am a composer because I am hands on. I am constantly making sure the levels are right. I am actually composing the music. The title composer, fits me best.
TWHBW: What are your thoughts on the music industry as a whole changing?
RN: I would think it depends on the genre…country music hasn’t changed at all. It’s funny because Colin and I are working on a song right now for Ashley and it’s like I’m fusing country and hip hop. Weird but it came out right. But the integrity of country music hasn’t changed. On the other hand, the power of Hip Hop is the most powerful force that has ever hit the music industry. To rap and to embrace the culture are two different things. The culture of Hip Hop is so powerful that you hear it in Pop music. It’s even heard in R&B so much that it’s hard to distinguish R&B from hip hop today. People say that hip hop has evolved, and yes, the culture is very much alive. The culture is still very strong, but the music is fusing over into so many different genres. What I would say what has changed is the laziness of the artists protecting the culture. The rap form has evolved and I believe it’s up to the ear of the beholder in terms of the appreciation factor of it.
TWHBW: What is your take on how sexualized Hip Hop is today?
RN: People have forgotten how to protect the integrity of a woman. The musicians are making the soundtrack to what people are living. They may think it’s okay to entertain ‘What girl can dance the best with the least amount of clothes?’ But the problem occurs when it transfers over into the music and then into the culture of Hip Hop. It then makes it look like that Hip Hop doesn’t respect women. Then the Hip Hop culture becomes misogynistic. Artists should be more socially responsible, but I do understand that they are in business and they create what will turn over profit.
TWHBW: You have a lot of knowledge when it comes to the music industry, how long have you been in the industry?
RN: I started DJ’ing at Saints Skating Rink when I was 13 years old. From there I got tired of playing other people’s music. But professionally I started in 2005. In college I traded my turntables for a beat machine, and that beat machine is the same machine I used while working with UGK [UGK Records]. Working with UGK [UGK Records} was nothing but God. It just kind of happened. I did tracks for the whole UGK camp and ended up working with Pimp C. Working with them helped me understand my role as a music composer. As far as publishing, how much you’re entitled to, and that it’s more than just making beats and sending them out.
TWHBW: Attending your King of Twelve launch, I heard you say that you don’t consider yourself to be religious. Although you are very knowledgeable of The Bible. Which is totally fine, but may I ask your viewpoint on religion?
RN: I was raised in the AME church. That’s who I was for most of my life. Until about the age of twenty. I then started asking questions about things that didn’t make sense. And the answer in the church was always you’re not supposed to understand everything, your faith is supposed to carry what you don’t understand. That didn’t work for me. Therefore I do not consider myself a Christian. Although, I am at the place where I understand God is the creator. I see the clouds, I feel the wind, I see the rain, I can’t do those things, so it had to come from somewhere. I understand what God is to me.
TWHBW: What’s your view on Jay Z being criticized in the music industry?
RN: There’s a quote from Jay Z that caused a lot of controversy.
“Question everything until them questions are solved,” Jay Z ‘Heaven’.
Jay Z was protected from backlash in the industry until Magna Carta Holy Grail came out. Now he and his wife apparently have marital issues. If people really paid attention to how things are laid out, they’ll really see what’s going on. People have a tendency to wish bad on really what’s good, and I will never understand why. I have heard “There’s no way they’re that happy. He has to be putting his hands on her,” when it comes to me and my wife (who wears no makeup and we post pics on social media every day). People are so unhappy and can’t believe true happiness really does exists.
TWHBW: I recognized Colin Drew and It’s Wood at the launch, but Ashley was a new face, is she a new artist of King of Twelve?RN: Ashley Stehle isn’t signed to King of Twelve Recordings however, as a composer I’ve fully committed to working with her on her musical development and her growth as a recording artist. As a company we fully support Ashley for the wonderful positive person that she is and that I’ve known her to be for years now.
TWHBW: What’s new for Ronnie Notch?
RN: Notes for Life is kicking off in October. It is a new program we are creating for Microsoft. The vision is for it to be a class at every Microsoft Store across the nation. Students ages 12-18 will learn the history of music and technology. It will explain how technology is the backbone of the current music industry, and how early music depended on technology. The dependence of music on technology has never changed.
Check out more of Ronnie Notch via: www.kingoftwelve.com
Also check out Valet by Colin Drew via http://www.kingoftwelve.com! More music coming soon!