Music spotlight: Producer Austin Millz sits down with theGrio

theGRIO Q&A - Have you heard of Austin Millz? The 2010 Penn State graduate finished school has been making waves in the industry over the past few years and now he's beginning to see the fruits of his labors...

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Have you heard of Austin Millz? The Penn State graduate finished school and has been making waves in the industry over the past few years; now he’s beginning to see the fruits of his labors. Coming of the heels of a successful gig at  New York’s prestigious Fashion’s Night Out, the Harlem beat maker sat down with theGrio, to talk about his path in the music business, his production influences, and what’s next on his busy plate.

What drove you to pursuing a path as a music producer?

Just the creativity and how you can express yourself through music and be artistically different. I feel like music is so transcending and you can change anything with music. That is something that always inspires me to be versatile and show my craft. That is what music is there for; it keeps me on my toes artistically.

If you were to describe your sound in five words, what would that be?

My sound in five words…I would definitely say powerful and versatile. I wouldn’t put my sound in a box because I can work with an R&B artist, a Hip-Hop artist, some dub step. I always like to go out of the box and do something different. I’m versatile, powerful, and innovative; those three words.

Austin Millz & DJ Supernova: My Trap of Party:

In your career so far, what has been your proudest achievement?

I feel like I’m an underdog, I still have a lot of things that I have to do in this game, that’s why I called my instrumental debut project Earned. There are things to get in the game that you have to earn; like respect is earned, it’s not given. There are so many things that you have to do to earn your spot. I would say that my proudest achievement thus far is the Jim Jones placement on his mixtape, Vampire Life 2. Coming from Harlem he’s someone I look up to with a higher regards in this game. To have my first placement with him was something that was definitely prolific to my career and I would say that’s a standout moment for me.

Jim Jones – Vamp Life (Produced by Austin Millz)

Is there anyone in the game right now on the production end that you admire? 

There are three producers that I would say are an inspiration. I would definitely say Just Blaze, The Alchemist and The Neptunes. Just Blaze’s sound is very versatile and can always transform and flip his sound. That’s something that is very much inspiring and I respect him for that. Alchemist’s sound is really dirty and it was something that when I was coming into the game I respected. It was something that was different, dirty, and yet that was something that was unique. The Neptunes are very versatile as well; you always knew when you heard a Neptunes song, and that’s something that is always good to have.

What is the back story behind your latest project, Earned

Earned was my debut project that I was working on for a while in the summer 2011 to put my foot in the game.  I started early in 2005 and took a four-year break and went to Penn State in 2006. I came back in 2010 and I figured I needed something to reintroduce myself, like a debut. I started branding myself on twitter, and went to a lot of events last year, did networking to meet the right people; bloggers and writers. I used that as leverage for me to show people what I’m doing. I compiled beats that I was working on that year and mixed them in the studio. I wanted to have an instrumental journey, to have someone hear beats, with no raps, no words or anything. I wanted to brand myself as a producer, so I sent tons of emails to artists with beats hoping I could get a placement. I’m doing this thing now where I’m remixing tracks and I got a couple live shows lined up, so that’s where I’m going at right now.

If you could give someone any words of wisdom into handling your craft, what would it be?

I feel like you really have to remain humble in this game and keep up the positivity because you’re going to run into the evils of people trying to make you do things. Remain humble, keep the positivity, and keep positive people around you that are there for the cause.

Be sure to follow Austin Millz on Twitter and download his latest free project, Earned, here and let us know what you think of his sound in the comments below.

You can check out Kyle’s musical coverage on theGrio music page, and follow Kyle on Twitter at@HarveyWins.