There were no shortcuts in the rise of beat maker Bruce Waynne. But the veteran of 20 years in the music biz, and half of producing duo Midi Mafia, knows how to put himself in the right places and bide his time for the right opportunities. Best known for collaborations with Fifty Cent, Justin Bieber and for helping launch Frank Ocean’s career, Waynne started on the streets of Brooklyn in the 90s and says that his path in the industry hasn’t followed any straight lines.
Now part of a music-making apparatus with a team of 70 songwriters focused on music for film and television, he’s helping new talent find footing in a changing industry. He shares his thoughts about making a name for himself and making a place at the table all while following his own rules, and he recalls when Pharrell Williams taught him one of his most painful, and most important, career lessons. It all comes back to how you treat the people you meet on your way up the ladder, and how you learn from the errors you’re bound to make along the way.
The conversation isn’t just a recap of Waynne’s rise from making hooks to launching the careers of new talent, he lays down a lot of hard-won wisdom from his decades behinds the scenes, from how to invest in yourself in the beginning, why confidence is different than arrogance, and what to do when the clock starts ticking on your fifteen minutes of fame. He and Edge agree: right now is the best time to be in the music business for independent artists because of the opportunities available today that were unheard of before the time of streaming. The game is changing every day, and you have to be learning every day to keep up with it.