The Anatomē of Sound
By MissCallMe Cris
After the release of the sizzling hot “Mambito’s Percussion Loops” Sound Pack, CREATE.Digital was excited to catch up with Artist, Producer, & Musician, Anatomē to talk about the release and how the authentic Latin influenced percussion kit came together.
So, let’s begin by telling the world a little about yourself.
My name is Michael “Anatomē” DeLeón, originally from Lorain, Ohio. I was born into a musical family, where my father and his siblings were
musicians and singers. I grew up in a Salsa family. Half of my uncles
were DJs. So, there was always live music influence growing up.
The influence of music started when I was 10 years. My dad gave
me my first shot at being a percussionist and musician, playing
Salsa, Mambo, Merengue.
How did your journey transition into becoming a producer?
I was always intrigued by rhyming, listening to a lot of classic hip-hop albums. It wasn’t until I started rhyming that I starting diving into the hip-hop part of what I really enjoyed about music. After rhyming for some years and listening to beats, admiring the history of hip-hop, and being a musician, a couple of people asked me if I thought about producing. I hadn’t at the time, because while being a musician and MC, the mental approach wasn’t the same for me. It took a few more people to convince me to try my hand at production. That’s when I jumped on my bro, David Cordy’s Roland XP-80. He showed me the ropes as far as sequencing and tracking, and that’s how I got my start.
With all of your cultural and hip-hop influences, how would you describe your sound?
When I got into production, I was digging in the crates and chopping samples. It took me a while before I began to incorporate musicianship, instrumentation, and performing with my hands. The two didn’t connect right off the top for me. It took some time. But, if I were to describe my sound now, there’s definitely more influence on what I played most of my life. I incorporate more bongo, conga, a lot more percussion. If I’m not playing it live, I’m still incorporating the timing to give it that type of feel.
Do you think playing percussion is a skill, or can anyone pick up a percussion instrument and start playing?
Yes, it is a skill. There are a few different variables between those who play by feel, those who are professionals, and those who play as a hobby. For someone who has a natural knack for rhythm, it doesn’t take long for them to figure out how swing works, and where to find the pocket. That’s a natural gift! But, in terms of skill, a lot of old heads always say to practice. Especially for me! Even though I grew up in a family of percussionists, singers, and musicians, the thing that always separated those who excelled was practice, studying the arts, studying the craft, diving into different sub-genres like Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin sounds of songs. So, it’s pretty much like anything else. You get what you put in. If you have a knack for rhythm and can connect with the instrument, it’s really doing the math, the history, and enjoying yourself from there.
So, you just dropped “Mambito’s Percussion Loops” with Native Instrument’s Sounds. What was the inspiration behind it?
This is my first official sound kit. Quite a few people have been encouraging me to do it sooner. In some ways I wish I had but, I know everything works out the way it does. Just as we were talking about skill, that was one of the things that motivated me even more to do it. The history and feel of the music were just as important as the chops someone develops. I just wanted to translate the culture. I heard different packs out there that had conga sounds, bongo sounds, timbales sounds... and typically, they just came off as sounds. I never felt any cultural relevance. I never felt anything that I connected with, or felt like “Yo, I grew up listening to these rhythms, or to music that involved this particular style”. I didn’t find any packs that had that. So, that was the goal. I wanted to connect with people. I wanted the people to connect with the sounds. I tried to include different textured strikes. In terms of loops, I wanted to give a variety. So, there’s things in 3/2 time signature, which is typical in Puerto Rican Salsa. You got 2/3 time stuff which is more Afro-Cuban and Cuban style timing, and I threw a couple of 6/8 time things in there. For the people into Jazz, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Afro-Latin Jazz, they’ll definitely be familiar with those sounds.
Special Thanks: Courtney "Cizzurp215" Carroll of 2ew Gunn Ciz, LLC.
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