You might know of Ghet-O-Vision and its founder Kawan “KP” Prather. Maybe you’ve seen his A&R credit on albums by Pink or John Legend, maybe you know that his group Parental Advisory were the first Dungeon Family affiliated artists to get a deal, or you’re up on how he brought T.I. and the Youngbloodz into the game. But I bet that unless you’ve been hanging out on the couch at Legacy Studios you don’t know that Ghet-O-Vision has transformed itself into maybe the hottest new production team out there right about now. The other half of the coin is Malay: multi-instrumentalist, whiskey enthusiast, and (yes I know this is a term that’s used waaaay too lightly) musical genius. Together they’re going to bring Ghet-O-Vision’s stable of artists to a major label near you while hooking up custom-made sample free tracks for some of the illest artists making music today. Their anonymity will change soon, when John Legend’s new single “Green Light” featuring Andre 3000 drops. Produced by Ghet-O-Vision (KP is also the album’s exec producer and a&r), this song takes Legend to a place he’s never been before musically. In a time when music is dull as dirt and executives listen to songs on pink Samsung cel phones to figure out if they’ll be hits, “Green Light” is going to make a serious impact with its synth-era Earth, Wind, and Fire meets Mantronix sound.
DrBC: Okay, players, let’s start with the obvious question: the streets are littered with production teams made up of Malaysian martial arts enthusiasts who write country songs and multi-platinum a&r executives who go bowling with Usher. Not very original dudes, very cliche, so what sets you apart from all of the other dudes occupying your lane?
KP: What sets us apart from other “production teams made up of Malaysian martial arts enthusiasts who write country songs and multi-platinum a&r executives who go bowling with Usher” is that we both have had the advantage of being mentored from extremely talented people. So we both have a firm grasp of what “fundamentally” makes for good music.
Malay: HA HA Thats a great description! In fact that’s gonna be our bio from now on… But, seriously, we are really just focused on making the best songs we can possibly make. And in this process, we have been blessed in assembling an incredible pool of artists and writers to collaborate with. Oh yeah, and we have the most genius attorney ever to walk the earth (that’s a hint of sarcasm).
DrBC: Unlike a lot of so-called “producers”, you prefer to get in the studio with the artists you’re producing and actually WORK with them. What’s the big deal? Are you too good for the faceless exchange of pro-tools files? Are you special?
Malay: Unfortunately the term “producer” has been thrown around loosely in the last few years. With the massive movement of everyone having a “beat” CD or “beats for sale” it really changed the way records are being made. Great songs come from a collaborative effort. They come from an artist and/or writer with a vision, and a producer who can bring the vision to life. Not to say that there has never been a great song that came off a “beat” CD, but historically, songs that remain classics have been done in the traditional sense… get a group of dope people together and shit usually ends up being dope.
KP: (in the most Bassy voice ever heard) Yeah!!
DrBC: Malay, where did you learn to play all of those instruments so well? Do you come from a musical home? Were you in an accident at a nuclear laboratory?
Malay: Thank you… When I was young, my Dad turned me on to some classic records, and one in particular sparked something inside of me…Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix. Instantly I wanted to know how to make the sounds he was making, so within a week I had bought my first used guitar for about $100. I spent years literally listening and learning every song I loved note for note, from Hendrix, to Pink Floyd, to the Isley Brothers. My Dad has the crazy wax collection (still to this day) with the original Pioneer Spec Silver series stereo (the kind of stereo that takes a minute to turn on because it has tubes!!) so I became infatuated with great music and stereo equipment. The next step obviously was to get into 4 track tape recording, which brought on keyboards and such…so it became my thing, just sitting in my room for hours experimenting with sounds and practicing my instruments. Right before I finished high school, I hooked up with a local singer who had a really successful working band. He was from Trinidad so we were playing Calypso music. All of the other musicians were from different places, St. Kitz, Jamaica, Ghana, Trinidad…so I was literally getting a world music education every night at the gigs. Since it was literally a “working” band, we subbed musicians in and out when cats where busy, so I ended up filling in on bass, keys, or percussion when i wasn’t playing guitar.
And no, I never had an accident in a nuclear lab, but I frequently vacation outer space (just to get away sometimes)
DrBC: KP, you’ve been a part of the Atlanta urban scene since its inception, a crucial soldier in the LaFace Army, an unparalleled finder and nurturer of talent, and a top exec at a gigantic faceless Japanese corporation that occupies a monolithic midtown fortress. Give us some history on where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Don’t stint on the Tony Mercedes stories.
KP: Well, this is a long story but it all started when I was a young’n and a friend of mine introduced me to the Herbie Hancock song called “Rocket” in the late 80′s. Ok i’ll skip a couple of years….but I actually started out as a DJ in a group called Parental Advisory, actually the first group from the Dungeon Family to be signed to a major recording contract with Pebbles and LaFace Records. But after recording in L.A. and Pebbles recording studio I got to build a lot with LA who, along with Pebbles told me that they thought I had a good ear and good ideas for artists outside of my group. So after we released a couple of records and toured a little bit as P.A., I took LA up on his advice and took a job as A&R for LaFace Records. There, I worked with TLC, OutKast, GooDie MoB, Usher, Pink and Toni Braxton. And after having success at LaFace, started a subsidiary label there called Ghet-O-Vision Entertainment. Under Ghet-O-Vision I signed a rap group The YoungBloodz & a solo M.C., named T.I. and released the albums “Against The Grain” and “I’m Serious”, respectively. But around 99′ or 2000, LA sold LaFace and moved the operation to NY to run Arista Records, there we released a couple of records on Outkast, Usher, & Pink before I thought it was time to get another perspective on the record business. I then left Arista to go to Columbia Records, where I brought my label and signed a new artist out of Ohio named Ray Cash. I also worked with artists that they had there at Columbia but I also did a deal with Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D. Music i.e.: John Legend, Consequence,etc…(good move KP). Okay I’m getting tired of me now… let’s just say I’ve had an extremely Blessed career…Thank you GOD.
Oh yeah, Tony Mercedes and I put out the “And Then There Was Bass” Compilation which contained “My Baby Daddy”…clearly a career highlight.
DrBC: Malay, you appeared on the profound MTV program “Making the Band”, and also authored the show’s theme song. How was that? Did you have to walk to Juniors? Do you now find yourself providing ad-libs to daily conversations or referring to yourself in the third person?
Malay: Ummm…It was a valuable experience. I’m grateful for the opportunity. But I never got the opportunity to walk to Juniors. And I’m saving all the ad libing and the talking in third person until I get my gigantic Ghet-O-Vision chain comes in (for those who don’t know me, I already put it out there that if anyone sees ME wearing a icy chain, ROB ME!.. Lord Thank You!)
DrBC: Please tell the world what you’re working on musically right now, both as freelance producers and with Ghet-O-Vision’s roster of new artists.
KP: Well, as producers, we’ve been Blessed to work with John Legend on his upcoming LP, Evolver (look out for one of the records, “Green Light,” Ft Andre 3000), Big Boi from OutKast (song called “Something’s Gonna Have To Give” Ft Mary J. Blige) and a couple of things that we’re waiting on the ink to dry on to talk about. As Ghet-O-Vision, our roster consists of Ray Cash, YelaWolf, Wease Mac (a new mc out of Las Vegas, Nevada), Jessyca Wilson (solo female singer/songwriter) & Scar (solo male soul singer/songwriter).
But essentially, we are starting out on our mission to create quality art and give to the world…or at least people who like that kind of shit..lol.
- Dr. Brown’s Celray
** Dr. Brown’s Celray is America’s most beloved and hardest working sweetened celery-flavored soft drink. He writes his column on his blackberry on the train on the way back from his psychotherapist’s office while listening to old Kiss Mastermixes and mumbling softly to himself.