I had become acquainted with Dollarbin a couple of years ago through myspace. As a producer i’m always keeping my ear open to different and unique sounds and this is what I noticed when I had initially heard his music. The thing that has always struck me with his sound is that he’s not afraid to take chances, and he doesn’t particularly care about what others think. I find this inspiring and admirable for an artist his age. I had reached out to many different producers that I know personally to remix River On Glass, I knew from the onset that I had wanted Dollar to be apart of this project. It’s rare to meet a producer who really understands the concept of the remix in making the song their own and having their personality grafted to the final project. I’ve had the opportunity to watch him grow as an artist and I feel that he’s on his way to becoming a formidable talent to watch out for.
Tell me a bit about yourself
Uh I haven’t been making music lately. I got some people doing remixes and chopping and screwing for me. So I’m kind of in my relaxed “p diddy” mode right now. I need to get back on my feet though. I still have to like 2 songs to make for an upcoming EP, And 2 songs to mix. Who am I kidding, if I wasn’t doing this interview right now the public would never know that…Right?
So what got you into music?
I’ve always been keen to sound, I went to a specialized music school for 1st grade and I played the piano. I didn’t really like it at first so I put it down. But all throughout my youth years I would hear different things in songs that nobody would really pay attention to. Due to the fact I was young of course I didn’t know how to explain it. But now that I’m older I realized that I was learning song structure. Listening to a lot of alternative rock in the 90’s and watching a lot of MTV rock videos got me hip to understand pre-choruses.
You have probably one of the most distinctive styles that I’ve come across, what are some of your influences. What’s going on in your head when you have an idea for a track?
My influence currently is life. I just made the decision to drop out of school to fully pursue my music career. It sounds crazy right? I’m making such a big decision at the young age of 21 right? I got God on my side and i am fully prepared for this journey I’m about to endure in. All I do is music. I’m not into sports, I’m not into clothes, and I don’t play video games. I’m into reverse reverbs and sidechain compression. From what I’m hearing and seeing I’m pretty good at what I do and people enjoy it so why wouldn’t I make this a serious full time thing ya know?
When I first come up with a track I always put down the instrumentation on it first. It is extremely rare that I’ll do the drums first. Once I come up with the idea about what the song is gonna sound like then I’ll either add some more instrumentation to what I already have laid down already or just start to tweak my sound. Putting reverbs where they need to be, applying guitar amps where they DON’T need to be (laughing). you know just defining my sound, just doing what my ears like.
I’m at the point with making music where I can hear the song in my mind before I actually make it. This can be a disadvantage at times, it shows me that my mind is trying to “put me in a box” with how I make music. Its acceptable at times but for the most part I have to always rethink how I phrase things musically, I rethink the synths that I use and where I put them. You should watch me make a track on day…I’m like a mad man, I be talking to myself like I’m some nigga on the street. (laughing)
I’ve literally seen you transform from making straight ahead hip hop tracks into your recent foray’s into other genres (House, Dubstep). What prompted this change? How have these different influences affected your perspective as an artist?
Honestly now that I’m of the age to go clubbing and shit, that’s all I’ve been attracted to. The house thing started when I was DJing at this lounge in the lower east side of Manhattan named Sapphire Lounge. They would spin deep house tracks, I enjoyed the way people would respond to it, people would have dancing cyphers for like 20 minutes straight and it was all love and respect. Henceforth me releasing my "Deep Haus EP". An on the other hand I would go to these clubs like Le Bain & Webster Hall and get my daily dose of Electro House and Dubstep. I enjoy it all man. Those genres are still evolving and developing and I like new shit like that. Plus it gets chicks dancing…at least the house does. Can’t say the same for Dubstep.(laughing)
I’ve seen a few pics of you playing in a band? What instruments are you playing these days?
(laughing) I play the piano or just about anything with a keyboard surface. I wanna learn maybe a horn or a stringed instrument. But I don’t have that type of money. Nor can you practice those instruments in silence. (laughing)
As a New York artist, how do you feel about the current local scene? In particular is there anyone in the scene that you’d love to collaborate with?
Well this “New York” scene is really just Brooklyn. Nobody from any other borough has made or been making any real noise for themselves aside from cats from Brooklyn. The scene sucks man, I don’t know if its because I’m a person who like progressive music but…a lot of guys are just making the same old, regressive hip-hop/rap. It’s the same old sample based hip-hop over drums. And this is supposed to be the “next generation” of New York rap. The shit blows my mind at times that this is the music that niggas are making. I won’t give anyone promotion and drop their names. Just do your research…If you find one person in this up and coming “New York rap/hip scene” that makes Progressive original music please let me know…that’ll be the person I wanna collaborate with.
(You gotta start hanging in my circle)
If you could use three words describe what your trying to bring to the table, what would they be and why?
Unique, Original, and Different. I chose those three words because I truly think they define my sound. I flip my style all the time which I think would identify me as different. And when I say flip my style I don’t mean like “yea dawg imma throw a Guzheng in this track” no. I mean it in a “how about I try to make some Moombahcore, I haven’t tried that yet”. Original because I feel that word alone can define my sound for anyone who is “musically inclined”. You may or may not like what you hear but one thing my sound isn’t is fabricated or copied. And the word different because everything about me is different. From my personality to the music I make to the music I like. I can go from listening to Crystal Castles on my way out the door, getting off the train playing some Kaskade and be coming home bumping some French.
Why the name 1$ bin?
Let me correct you…My name is $1 Bin and when I can’t use the “$” sign its Dollar Bin. Not 1$ bin, abbreviate my name as if you were writing about money. You wouldn’t write “could I get 35$” it would be “could I get $35” right? But I got the name from back when I used to buy records…Basically when I first started making beats I didn’t have a name, I was thinking of something I could use that would’ve been witty. I thought about “!!!” I was rocking with it for a minute but then I was watching MTV or I think I was on MySpace and I had seen that there was some indie band who had that name so I had to trash it. After that I was name less for a bit, during that time i was only buying records from the $1 bin, so I just applied it as my name.
(you see this kid’s got a funny sense of humor lol)
Do you still view Ableton like that ex girl that you’ve never got over?
Not at all man I look at ableton like “damn now that I’m off it all these niggas is on it??? Crazy!” Live has some effects and features that I wish I had in my DAW but aside from that. Naw man old shit is old shit, I’m always looking for that new thing.
As a remixer, I feel lots of artist do them but they rarely create a mix that’s their own. I’ve seen you create numerous remixes and add your own character to them time after time. What elements do you feel go hand in hand to make a true remix?
Upon doing a remix I typically try to figure out what in gonna remix. Either the beat or stems from the original track or just the acapella. Once I figure that out and the key that the song is in (if it has one) then i just create the beat around that. Simple and plain. I add a couple of effects here and there, move this here, move that there, throw my signature tag on the track somewhere and that’s it. I hear remixes from cats all the time, a lot of hot stuff and way more bad ones. I really do enjoy listening to the bad ones though. (laughing) See a lot of producers/beatmakers misunderstand the word “Remix”. A blend isn’t a remix, a re-edit or refix (if you use that word) isn’t a remix. Adding your own element to a song that’s already is made is a remix.
What are you trying to communicate to listeners through your music?
I want people to hear in my music the originality & the creativity. I already know I can’t please everyone with my sound and people aren’t just gonna naturally gravitate towards my sound. But at least their not gonna say “oh he sounds like (insert a producers name)” or “this sounds like a (insert a producers name) beat”. If I keep doing what I’m doing now and continue to elevate on how I do, hear and see things musically in due time the masses will start to understand what my sound is and it’ll only be up to God to determine if I’m good enough for their ears or not.
Yea man. I really don’t know what to say. Shots for everyone is my main crew. I’ve met everyone in person in SFE minus Ryan Hemsworth and DK All Day but I think that’ll change by the summer. All of the dudes are cool and we all make great music. I just recently got hooked up with The Villa. Ryan Hemsworth is good friends with Corey Martin (Toboggan). Me and him both did remixes for a single that Ryan put out back in 2011. That was the first time I had ever heard of him. After having a couple of gmail conversations and us exchanging remixes for each other he just said, “you might as well be on the team” And he blessed me with a spot on the roster. There’s a much more to the story, but that was just the short and sweet version. My debut release on The Villa will be my “Electro Haus” EP that is set to be released early march. I’m excited about it. Oh yeah me and Corey also did a song together, I can’t speak much about it but just know there’s talk about it dropping as a single on a record label.
I’m curious about this collaboration you have with another young artist by the name of lunarfox. What led to this collaboration? (I’ll place a link the interview so readers can hear the track you have on soundcloud).
(laughing) Uh I don’t know…That boy nice. I may have something up my sleeve with him then again I may not. He’s his own artist and from what he tells me he’s still “searching for his sound” I respect that 100%. But who knows, we may see a lunarfox x $1 Bin song later on this year…or we may not. We talk from time to time. He’s always pumping out new music and I’m a huge fan of his. I don’t think he truly understands that though. He good though, he knows he’s talented.
Where do you see yourself in the next year?
God Willing on tour, or making serious money off of my music and finally getting the recognition from my music that’s been long overdue.
Any last words before we end this interview?
Yeah…Fuck school, get money, stay creative, pay your tithes and thank God for giving you life! It’s Dollar Three Times…I’m out!
You can check out more of Dollarbin’s music here
Unmixed and Mastered Vol. 1 - http://www.mediafire.com/?bcsqjqjxw1zzogc
Unmixed and Mastered Vol. 2 - http://www.mediafire.com/?z8drdjvxnwn0avj
Also keep in contact with him through his social networks:
Stay tuned to hear Dollarbin’s contribution to Nurthice and Lateef Dameer’s upcoming River On Glass EP!