DHH Exclusive: Life and Death Discusses Music


Indian Rap Forum (IRF) has been providing a platform for underground acts to showcase their talent, like the Open Mic emcee battle.  Today they introduce us to the producer who contributed his beats to the Open Mic battle, Life and Death Productions, with an indepth interview. Find out more about Life and Death here.

DHH: Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself and your company ‘Life and Death Productions’?
Life and Death: Sure! My name is Tero Jylhä (aka Life and Death), born in Finland Helsinki in 1990. Been making beats for about 5 years, more professionally for about a year now. Life and Death Productions is my music production company that I run myself. Providing professional Hip-Hop/rap/soundtrack instrumentals/beats for artists and companies. I’m also a producer at Anno Domini Beats, one of the most known producer groups on the internet. We’ve worked with legendary artists like Royce da 5’9, Canibus, Shyheim, Killah Priest, Tech N9ne, Styles P, Kool G Rap, Bizarre & Kuniva (D12) and the list continues.

DHH: Why did you name your Production House as ‘Life and Death’? What’s the basic idea behind it?
Life and Death: Back in the days when I started making music, my style on beats was really dark but in the same time I did some emotional beats as well. Dark = death, Emotional = life. So I thought the name works pretty well and it still does. I wouldn’t change it no matter what.

DHH: Why did you choose to become a Music Producer out of hundred’s other profession in this world?
Life and Death: Well I think it just happened. I started out writing lyrics and did that for couple of years and then just started making beats with my brother and cousin, just for fun. I didn’t have any idea that I would do it to make my living. After few years I started making money with my beats and here I am. Though I’m still seeing this as a hobby but at the same time it’s sort of my job.

DHH: What is sampling? Why is it such an important aspect of Hip-Hop music? What makes sampling different from stealing music?
Life and Death: Sampling means to take some parts from other songs and use them on your own to make a totally new and different song. I think it’s quite important thing in Hip-Hop music because from the beginning all of the producers have done it. I think I’ve even heard some people say something like “without soul/jazz samples, it’s not Hip-Hop”, haha. So that tells you something about how important samples are.

I don’t see sampling as stealing music. It’s kind of “re-using” older songs and making them to a totally different and new versions. I think most of the bigger artists/producers out there do ask permissions from the original song owners if they are going to use them for a commercial use so it isn’t illegal in that way.

DHH Tell us about your projects. Do you have a favorite musical project that you’ve worked on?
Life and Death: Hmmm, this is a really hard question! I’ve worked on so many projects that I can’t even decide my favorite. One of our upcoming projects is the Anno Domini Nation project. It’s basically going to be a website or actually a movement to take over the whole beat scene.

DHH: What is your association with Anno Domini Beats?
Life and Death: I’m a producer/beatmaker at Anno Domini Beats, been officially part of the team for few months now. Before that I did a lot of collab beats with Anno Domini and after that he asked me to join the team. It’s been an honor because Anno Domini was one of my biggest influences before I even started making beats.

DHH: What is Internet’s role in your business?
Life and Death: HUGE. Over 99% of my sales comes from the internet. For me it’s even more important because I live in a small town in Finland. It would be different if I’d live in US in a big city with lots of opportunities and artists to work with.

DHH: How is Hip Hop Scene in Finland? Did you face any difficulty while coming up?
Life and Death: I think it’s doing fine at the moment, there’s lots of new and exciting artists coming up all the time doing their own thing and that’s good. Finland is a really small country of 5 million people, so if you want to make your name known worldwide so that’s pretty hard. There’s not many producers coming from Finland and who are known worldwide in Hip-Hop scene so it’s been a struggle. But like I said before, I didn’t even think I would go this far at all when I started. So there’s been some nice surprises along the way for me.

DHH: Producing beats needs a lot of inspiration and motivation. What’s your source?
Life and Death: The will to be a respected producer.

DHH: What is your favorite instrument? What kind of softwares you usually use for making instrumentals?
Life and Death: Definitely piano. On beats I’ve only used FL Studio, nothing else. Sometime I tried using Reason but that wasn’t for me really. I also use Pro Tools occasionally on mixing and mastering.

DHH: What can we expect from Life and Death Productions in 2011?
Life and Death: A lot of beats! That is the main goal right now. And on Anno Domini Beats, we are also launching the Anno Domini Nation project.

DHH: How did you find Indian Rap Forum? What do you think about Indian Rap Scene and media houses like Bombay Streets who are trying to promote it?
Life and Death: One of the admins sent me a message if I’d like to judge their One Mic tourney. I’m not really familiar with Indian rap yet but I’m hoping to get a better view of it while judging the contest

DHH: Can we expect some Indian Oriented beat from Life and Death anytime soon?
Life and Death: Sure, that is possible! I’ll have to take a look at that asap!

DHH: What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?
Life and Death: Well I’m pretty much a normal guy in the end so just hanging out with friends, watching movies, gym etc. Everything that can get my mind of the music for a while. I’m also studying digital sound and commercial music on college along with my music so that keeps me busy, no doubt.

DHH: Any last words/parting advice for the next generation of talent?
Life and Death: Keep working hard and do what you love to do, there’s no stopping you!