Priority Beats: The hottest producing duo in music
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Husband and wife producing duo Priority Beats, is the hottest producing duo in the music business. From being the go to engineer at Quality Control, to churning out some of Hip Hop's biggest hits, Priority Beats is showing the world that love, music and hard work, is the recipe to longevity and success in the music business.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the dynamic duo for candid conversation to discuss their success, placements and working alongside your significant other. Check it out below.
How did you all get your start together?
Derrico: Ashley and I met on Instagram. I was home from college and I was eager to work with various artists/songwriters because labels would inform me that they needed songs with hooks or more instead of just instrumentals. I say this all the time to everyone that’s asked me why I don’t record to my own beats. I know my talent/lane and it’s not singing or rapping.
Ashley: I was an aspiring engineer and artist at the time, He (Derrico) was a producer and he Direct messaged me on Instagram. Ironically, he played college basketball with my cousin who vouched for him, so I gave him a shot and we began working together. He taught me the production side while I taught him how to engineer.
How has Priority Beats been able to find so much mainstream success with landing placements?
Derrico: I received my first placement when I was in college and that was solely off of social media. Due to technology, everyone has access to each other. Ashley and I were both consistent when it came to finding new artists, engineers, producers, songwriters, etc.. I would always encourage her to reach out to any and everyone who is working on new projects to see how we can get our hands involved. As a unit, both Ashley and I are constantly looking for opportunities. The work doesn’t stop. Many people are aware of the placement game. Being a producer in this industry, you can easily be discouraged if your heart and mind are not in the right places. Music is opinionated. Placements fall through so often that you have to continue to find various new ways to stay relevant as a producer.
Ashley: It has been a process of hard work; from working with new and established artists. Networking and building with other producers such as BuddaBlessedThisBeat changes a lot of things for us. That initial relationship enabled us to get our start of placements with Young Dolph. It just became greater from there.
What is it like working alongside your significant over to create some of hip hops biggest records?
Derrico: It’s surreal! You rarely will find someone that loves the same craft as you. The biggest blessing we both have is that Priority Beats is more than just a production team. We are a family. We challenge each other and when records are requested we both are able to put our best efforts into the music and let the music speak for us.
Ashley: It's a challenge, but a blessing. The challenges are more so the criticism that we give to each other, but also a blessing because with the criticism we are also able to teach each other and learn together.
What does it mean to you all to be Platinum hit makers?
Derrico: To me, every record has its own story. People get distracted looking at the numbers and lose focus. That takes away from the fun you should have while creating.
Ashley: Well for one it shows us that our hard work is paying off, but it also motivates us, I believe, to work harder and to keep doing our part to push out hits.
Are you making music for yourself or for the people?
Derrico: That’s the biggest question I had to ask myself. Music is therapy and when you are able to enjoy it versus stress over your results, the success will soon follow. We have both been very hard on ourselves but as we let go and let God. Our success followed, and those numbers kept climbing. Looking back on it, I laugh at the fact that my wife was a platinum engineer for at least two years before we found out she was able to receive a plaque for her work. In a sense we both were so focused on creating the next hit that we simply did not know these records were climbing in numbers. And I say “these” in particular because we have both been a part of some huge placements and counting.
Ashley: Both. I make music for myself because I like to express myself through my music, some of my deepest and/or darkest, and happiest moments are exposed through my music. But you would have to know me personally to identify those situations. I make music for the people because I know they will relate and feel it as well. Everyone has experienced pain, heartbreak, love, etc. Music is expression and everyone deserves to express themselves in some way.
What are some of the biggest records you have worked on?
Derrico: Our most recent placement is the song "Antes Y Después" via Latin pop star, Anuel AA. We also co-produced Polo G’s "Wishing For A Hero" with our production partners “The Superiors”. The song speaks heavily on our experiences as black men and women with all the chaos that’s going on today. Even crazier we worked on Lil baby’s new album on his “My Turn” single which was released earlier this year. We also co-produced "Live Off My Closet" featuring Future. Quality Control artist Bankroll Freddie released his new album in which we produced Backend featuring MoneyBagg Yo.
As I am looking back on it, we have a lot more placements than I thought. It still blows my mind on how involved we have been since we stepped foot in the industry. It was never easy but hard work has paid off. I am confident it will continue to do so with our work ethics. My partner is the Ying to my Yang. These placements mean nothing without the support of your home team.
Ashley: Thats hard to say because we are blessed to be apart of some big records this year, but as of right now: Anuel AA "Antes Y Despues" is pretty big, Polo G's "Wishing for a Hero", and Lil Baby's "Live Off My Closet", and working on many more.
What has it been like working with Quality Control and Lil Baby?
Derrico: Ashley can speak on this more than I can. She’s had plenty of sessions with Lil Baby. I normally am working on other projects while she is in the studio at QC. This is another benefit to our team because we can work simultaneously being that she loves to engineer and I produce. While the artist is recording on a beat we just finished. I can start working on the next hit.
Ashley: It has been a growing experience, with me as I am just taking a risk and diving into engineering. I was given an opportunity that I was not sure I was ready for, but overtime that changed. The more I worked with artists such as Lil Baby, the more confident I could feel myself becoming. It has been fun and enlightening but I have also had some hard times.
What is up next for Priority Beats?
Derrico: If someone was to ask me this, my normal response is “How much time do you have?" The sky will always be the limit and we are just now getting started in all honesty. We have so many placements/records in the pipeline that have been cut by the artist. We are just waiting on the paperwork, release dates, and for the artists to let us know that they are dropping our records! We are signed with Sony ATV and their list of songwriters/artists alone can help answer that question.
We are now signing producers to join the team and we are constantly looking for new artists to work with. Our goal is to help change the narrative on the culture around the music industry. There are so many musicians that are unaware of how the business is handled within the industry. We simply want to make sure that whoever is interested in working with us understands how the business is actually supposed to be ran. Like I mentioned before, we are a family and it’s our duty to simply share our story to help others learn from our mistakes!
Ashley: More placements, more plaques, and continuing to grow in the industry. We are continuously networking and building relationships with artists and executives every day. One of our current long term goals is to build a successful music label.