While many artists have had to drop out of school to pursue their musical dreams, Bei Maejor was able to defy the odds by attending University and getting placements at the same time. Now that he’s finished with school, Bei Maejor is ready to make his mark on music. YouKnowIGotSoul had a chance to talk with artist, producer and song-writer Bei Maejor about his journey in the music industry, his single “Trouble” and his upcoming plans with his “Upscale Sound”.
YouKnowIGotSoul: First off, talk to me about the mixtape that you have out and what the reception has been like so far.
Bei Maejor: Man, it’s been such a blessing to see all these different people really gravitating towards it. I’ve been getting shows and all that just off not even having a song out, just people liking the mixtape which is a blessing. To be able to make something creative by producing and writing it and people to be able to pick it up and connect to it, that’s been the biggest thing. Actually, the best thing about the whole thing was I wrote a song on one of my mixtapes called “Tear Drops and Telephone Calls” which is about this guy who was going to kill himself, but he could not do it. I have this phone number up for everyone, so if you want to call me or whatever. So I have this phone number and one time I got this message late at night. I played it the next morning and it was this guy who was like “Yo I was going to kill myself last night, but I listened to your song ‘Tear Drop and Telephone Calls’ and I chose not to do it”. Just that alone was worth everything I did in the music.
YKIGS: I read you aim to create music that can positively influence peoples’ lives. Kinda elaborate on that if you could.
BM: Yeah, my whole thing is about being positive and influencing people in a positive way. Anytime I see anything going on, I think one of the things I strive to do is that I’m a college graduate and hopefully some kid can look at that and be inspired, not necessarily “Oh yeah I want to go to college”, but to not let people put you in a box and have people tell you that you can’t go to school and do music.
YKIGS: In your bio, it mentioned that you were producing and getting placements for artists like Trey Songz while attending the University of Michigan. Talk to me about how you were able to balance the school life with music.
BM: It was a crazy balance because I was living a different life than a lot of students. I had plaques in my dorm room. It was crazy, but I don’t really know any other way so to me, it was pretty normal. I would go to school and then leave and go to New York, Atlanta, L.A. and then work. Then I’d come back ready for class, so I was dead tired. I’d get off the plane and come to class. It was worth it to me because that’s what I wanted to do.
YKIGS: You have the single “Trouble” with J. Cole out right now. How did that song come about?
BM: I actually made up this vibe called “Upscale Sound” and I was just playing it for people and artists and hear people’s opinions. I played it for J. Cole to see what he thought and the song was from it, he got it. He just jumped on it instantly. From there, I gave it to the label and they just liked it. I didn’t even know if it was going to be a single or nothing, I just felt it was a cool song I did. It ended up being on the radio and stuff so that was cool.
YKIGS: Talk to me about the new album that you’re working on and how it compares to the mixtapes that you’ve been dropping.
BM: I’m really focusing on my Upscale Sound. I’m really going to go in on it. It’s going to have that feel. “Trouble” is the first example of that. I have other ones that’ll come out any day. Speaking of “Trouble”, I have the remix coming out soon with Wale, T-Pain and Trey Songz. That’s not out yet, but it’ll be out very soon. The album will focus more on that style, really trying to grow in on that. The mixtapes were just doing whatever I thought for right now.
YKIGS: A personal favorite that I know you were a part of is “Black Roses” by Trey Songz. Talk to me about the creation behind that song.
BM: I’m really proud of that song because even before that, there was nothing that really sounded like that. That’s something I really strive to do in my music. In a sense I like to blend styles like electronic and then the drums are hip-hop with some guitars. It’s kind of all over the place. For it to come together like that was cool. I made this track and I played it for Trey and E-Miles, they came up with the idea and we just finished it. That’s one of them we did. That was one of the very first songs for the album and everyone loved it. He performed it on the stage with Jay-Z and I got a chance to watch him when he went on that tour, so that was amazing.
YKIGS: Another song you were involved with is the Lloyd song “Cupid”. How did that song come about?
BM: I was in the studio with Polow Da Don and he was playing music and that was one of the instrumentals and I was like “I got an idea”. I did that song in like 12 minutes from start to finish like recording and everything. Lloyd was in there and we just knocked it off.
YKIGS: Lastly, could you give me the background on “Not Anymore” by LeToya
BM: I did the beat and Ne-Yo was the songwriter. He was writing songs for her and that was the first song he wrote and that was her first single. That was my first time seeing my name on Billboard and on the charts.
YKIGS: Talk to me about your creative process.
BM: At this point it’s all connected. If I make a beat, I’ll have a song in my head and sometimes I’ll have a song in my head, I’ll make the music. They all go together. I try to make sure I combine everything that I’m doing musically to where it can be a song. It could be an idea or just walking down the street or a crazy sound. All those things from conversations spark ideas and I just start to create music around it and hopefully write the soundtrack to what’s going on.
YKIGS: With you being a producer, songwriter and artist, how do you decide what to keep for yourself and what to give away?
BM: If I really love it, I’m going to keep it for myself. *Laughs* It’s funny because I want to keep all my songs for myself and people have to tell me “You should give it to so and so”. I ended up happening to give away songs that I really loved for myself, but what it is what it is.
YKIGS: What songs would you have kept for yourself if you could have?
BM: So far I’ve been on a good track. It’s something that might come out soon, but I don’t want to give away the title right now so I’m not going to say. So far, all the songs that have came out I’ve been really happy with. The artists have done a great job.
YKIGS: Who are you currently working with?
BM: I’ve been working with Mike Posner, Trey Songz, Justin Bieber and some stuff on Big Sean. I have a lot going on.
YKIGS: You’ve mentioned all these different artists and they do different genres. Is there kind of a shift in gear when you’re writing for a pop artist versus an R&B artist?
BM: No, as long as the song comes from an honest place, I think people will be able to connect to them regardless of what genre it is. I’ve been blessed to be able to do, like I did a song for Wiz Khalifa who is a rapper, Jazmine Sullivan who is a soul singer and Soulja Boy who is a young guy. All these different varieties come together. I think it all connects as long as it’s honest music.
YKIGS: Anything you’d like to add?
BM: Just stay positive. I’m just making a positive impact. Believe in yourself, don’t let people put you in a box and stay positive.