Despite his age, Jahlil Beats is hardly a novice in today's music. In fact, Roc Nation's 24 year-old signee is well on his way to becoming a certifiable super-producer. After linking up with Meek Mills via MySpace in 2008, Jahlil has been emitting his unique sound on domestic and international radio airways with hits for the Philadelphia native rapper like "I'm A Boss" and "Amen." Having earned an A-list roster of credits - working with other artists such as Diddy, Rihanna, Busta Rhymes, Big Sean, J. Cole, Leona Lewis, Lil' Wayne, and Chris Brown - he has transferred his exceptional talent to the silver screen, providing original music and scores for the movies Streets and Battlefield America. Read on for the inside scoop on his rise to success and exclusive looks at his creative process.
There is absolutely no doubt that you are one of the hottest young producers in the music industry right now, yet you are also an artist. Can fans expect an official solo debut from you soon?
Yeah, I'm actually going to drop a free album in February. I just dropped my mixtape, Legend Era, which had over 70,000 downloads on Datpiff.com and was the top mixtape of the month. I have a video out called, "Get Money" and another video from the mixtape called, "Pay 'Em No Mind" which is on MTV Jams right now.
You have been involved in music for over a decade now. How has your musical style evolved since you were first introduced to it?
When I first started making beats, I looked up to dudes like Kanye and Just Blaze. I hadn't really been anywhere, so my style was really east coast hip-hop. I started to travel a lot and that really helped to evolve my sound. I got to hear how the music was in LA, Miami, Atlanta, etc. I kind of took elements from dudes like Dr. Dre, Manny Fresh and Swizz Beatz and just turned it into my own style.
I read that you became involved with music in order to escape living in Chester, PA. Still, you made it a point to stay connected to your community by giving back. How have you helped your former community to thrive?
I got a non-profit organization called Amari Tucker Foundation [named] after my daughter. I had a turkey drive last year and a toy drive. This year, I actually sponsored families in Chester for Thanksgiving, and I'm going to do another toy drive and a coat drive right after that.
You have worked extensively with Meek Mill. Any plans for a collaboration with him?
Yeah, we actually got a record called, "Register" and I'm going to drop that in February with my album.
How would you characterize the difference in your musical chemistry with Meek versus other artists?
My music is sort of like tailor-made for Meek. I developed my sound around his flow. That's why most of my best records are with Meek.
In a previous ASCAP interview, you mentioned that Jay-Z was not initially interested in connecting with you. However, he eventually signed you to Roc Nation, admitting that he had become a fan of your work. How has your experience with the Roc Nation been since you were signed?
It's been great. They have a wide range of resources and actually helped me get on Leona Lewis' album, Glassheart. They got me working with a whole bunch of artists, so it's been good over there.
You have also branched into the film industry by scoring music. How is your creative process different in this aspect from your creative process when composing a song for an album or a mixtape?
You've got to actually match the music with the scenes. Some of it's got to be hype and some of it's got to be hardcore. It's totally different than being in the studio with an artist. I enjoy scoring more, it's a lot easier.
What are you working on for 2013?
I'm working on albums for Fabolous, French Montana, Jadakiss, Young Jeezy and Lil' Wayne. I'm also working on Meek Mill's mixtape, Dreamchasers 3.
Fill in the blank: _____ is the only thing I love more than creating music.
For more information on Jahlil Beats, visit: http://rocnation.com/jahlil-beats or follow him on Twitter at @JahlilBeats