Thinking outside of the box with Tall Black Guy
Tall Black Guy is one of the most influential producers steaming up the music industry today. Also known as Terrel Wallace, his stature is 6 foot, 5 inches, and we like to think it’s due to his diet which consists of Motown, Jazz, and early Hip‐Hop. Tall Black Guy's finely sliced productions are guaranteed to intricate your soul with his breath-taking EPs’ Tempo Dreams through Basatard Jazz, and recently Tall Black Guy vs Al Green. Currently he’s working on a new project coined "8 Miles to Moenart," and he reveals to Stimulate Your Soul what we can expect from his upcoming album, his production process and why you have to go outside of your hometown to get some good, solid support. Margaret Tra.
First of all, tell us how you came up with your name 'Tall Black Guy.'
Well I came up with the name Tall Black Guy when I was in college. I was studying graphic design at the time and I was given a project where I had to come up with a business name and logo. Since I was one of the few African American students in my class, I decided to make every one of my assignments "Pro Black." Everything I created had some type of black character in it. Tall Black Guy came out of one of those assignments and not to mention I am actually pretty tall, 6 feet 5 inches to be exact. (Laughs)
From what I understand you were from Detroit and you now reside in London?
Yes that is correct I am from the Detroit. I don’t actually live in London, I live about three hours out in this city called Norwich.
How has the music industry treated you here?
Umm, I think me not being from the UK has helped a great deal, because people are just curious about music outside of their country, city or state. Most of the time you always have to go outside of your hometown to get some good, solid support.
Your music stems from Motown, Jazz, and Early Hip‐Hop, how did you encapsulate your sound?
Just by listening to all of the great hip hop producers: DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Jay Dee, Madlib, Timbaland and the Neptunes. I would listen and study these cats, and try to figure out why they were so great at what they do. Then I would try and take bits from each one to create my own unique sound. Also, I would study music in general (genres, arrangement, composition, melody) It took a long time to eventually come up with something that I could say was me.
You won the Robert Glasper Remix competition, what was that like?
Yeah the Robert Glasper contest was pretty cool. I really had to think outside the box on this contest specifically because you had to include his original music stem from "Move Love," and yet still be original with your remix. That was a challenge for sure.
Tell us about Tall Black Guy vs Al Green.
Basically the 'Tall Black Guy vs Al Green' is just me taking some of my favourite Al's joints and remixing them. I had a lot of fun creating those tunes.
Are you working on any new projects?
The next project I have on schedule to be released is called "8 Miles to Moenart." The idea behind this project was my experience living there through sound. So whether I was sad or happy, you can definitely identify those emotions through the sound of each track. As far as other projects.... You know I can't give away all the trade secrets.
What are your production methods? Do you use vinyl, original beats?
I have a lot of different ways I come up with tracks. Sometimes I might just get on the keyboard and start practicing. Through the practicing I might come up with a few cool chords and then start building a track from that. Another way I might do it is, chop a sample into a melody and then replay that same melody on the keyboard and delete the sample all together. As far as the use of vinyl, I don't really use it as much as I use to. I mainly try to make original beats or just use samples to help me with the process of starting a new track unless it's a straight up remix.
Best vinyl you’ve found whilst digging? Why?
I haven't gone digging in forever. Mainly because I have been moving around in the last few years so I don't own to many records anymore.
What Stimulates Your Soul?
God, family, good new music, and basketball