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An Interview with Dylan Berry

There is no doubt that Dylan Berry is one of the hardest working individuals in the music business. A music producer, entrepreneur, radio and award show host, Mr. Berry does it all. Throughout the years, Berry has made himself a well established figure in the music industry. He has hosted the annual produced music for TV shows American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, America's Best Dance Crew, and The Academy Awards to name a few. Berry is also the founder and host of Bompop TV, a web series showing the realities of being a personality in the entertainment industry. It doesn't stop there, Berry's most recent project is producing music for BADNAMU, a popular kids program. His music for the program has generated over 4 billion streams and topping the album chart for "Educational Music." Berry is encouraging everyone to go out and vote for this album to be nominated for a Grammy in 2020. Stage Left had the opportunity to chat with the one and only Dylan Berry about making the BADNAMU record, his challenges for wearing many hats in the industry and the key to having a balanced life.

Mr. Berry! Thank you for giving me this opportunity! How’s life treating you so far?

"Great! Excited to be speaking with you today. Thank you."

Congrats on all of your success man. Producer, entrepreneur, composer..just the whole nine yeards. Do you get enough sleep? Haha

"Sleep is for rookies. Ha ha. No, I could use more sleep. :)"

What would you say is the key to balance your professional and personal life as you have so many hats to wear?

"Well, that is the challenge as I am passionate about all the things I am doing and with only 24 hours a day. I also have a superstar TV doc producer wife in Maria Wye Berry and two beauty little kiddos (9 and 12) so between her schedule and mine, it is a challenge but we make the time. To me there is no difference between personal time and professional time because I love what I do, the only difference is focusing on the experience at hand and of course, the family experience unplugs me from much of the professional efforts so it’s a great balance for the soul."

Between being a Producer, entrepreneur, and composer, Is there one job that is more time consuming than the other’s or challenging?

"At this point, as a producer, I have an amazing team I work with that helps me realize my ideas and elevate them in collaboration so I only carry a portion of the heavy lifting. Without my team, I would be working 24/7. Also, I truly believe my ideas elevated creatively and more inspired by surrounding myself with the best creators I. Together we tap more magic then me under a tree with a pen ya dig?"

You have made music for big named shows including The Academy Awards, So You Think Can Dance, American Idol, and most recently BADNAMU. What was the inspiration behind making a children’s record?

"My kids! It has been one of the most amazing gifts to be able to create music with and for my kids. My daughter co-wrote Ponytail for instance, she is the star in the PonyTail in Hollywood video. She raps on Fat Cat Mat with my Son Brixton. Just so fun to experience this with them. They grew up in studios and this is normal to them. My son is actually the lead voice for Pogo in the Badanamu TV Series, Badanamu Cadets coming out next year and I produce that TV Series so I get to work with him every few days. Such a treat for me personally and professionally! A dream really. So proud of my kids."

How does one make a children record? What is the writing and recording process like? With over 4 BILLION streams and being #1 in educational music, it is clearly working! Haha.

"The creative process goes like this. I think of a concept. Ponytail was easy, after Gracie , my daughter sang the hook after I asked her for ideas, I was inspired by the concept that a girl with long hair has two choices in the morning “Ponytail or no Ponytail”. I wanted young girls to remember this song when they had to make this choice and have it bring them joy to start their day. Also, I wanted girls to feel empowered to be who they are and be proud of it thus the “you KNOW I look good” intro. I live with a bunch of strong women and was raised by a strong woman so I wanted the song to be an anthem for girls that was also an empowering female anthem.

The process goes like this. I turn on Autotune (ha ha), program a beat and write the lyrics and melody on the fly. Then I send it to my team to punch out a track under it with my general creative direction, then we iterate and finesse until perfect, then I bring in the singers and produce the vocal sessions, send those back to my team and they finish up the mix, I advise, then we are done!"

What was the most challenging part about making a children’s record?

"Honestly, it was not challenging at all, kinda comes naturally since I prefer to live in a kids space anyhow, ha ha. That said, sometimes simplifying a statement is hard. Its like silence, sometimes saying less is most impactful and finding less to say is sometimes hard when selling a creative concept. Simplicity is an art form!"

You are also trying to get it nominated for “Best Children Record” at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, which I had no idea about and as well as it should. How does one vote to get the album to become a nominee? When does voting end?

"Basically the most votes for the top 5 to 8 Submissions gets “nominated” for a Grammy. Only “Voting members” of the Grammy’s can vote which is a pretty small pool but very hard to access and make aware of your album. For us, EVERY vote counts because we are the new kids on the block and so we are trying to make people aware of this work. Our music is different because we set out to make amazing Pop songs that anyone could like, they just happen to be for little humans. Ha ha. Also, our education music is teaching kids in Asia and across the world to read and speak English 50% faster than all other methods due to the progressive, inclusive and entertaining approach. This music goes deeper than just cute songs, it is having an impact on educating kids across the world and why we are #1 in Asia, UK, Korea and beyond. Plus, it would be amazing to share a nomination or win with my kidds. J"

Random question, it is a question that I like to ask every guest, what was your first concert? Who did you see and what was your experience like?

"Ratt – Out of the Cellar Concert at Key Arena in Seattle Washington. We had nose bleed seats and bless her heart my Momma wore a Ratt T-Shirt and we all stood on our seats for 3 hours pumping our fists. It was amazing. Ha ha."

What is next for Mr. Berry? More BADNAMU songs or?

"Hopefully a Grammy. ;) Also, I am launching an artist incubator for emerging talent. J"

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