Introduce yourself. Who are you? Where are you from?
Brandan Shane Toledo, aka Miami Beat Wave. I’m a record producer & audio engineer and full time therapist to all my artist. I was born and raised in Miami Dade County weighing in at 7 pounds. My background is half Cuban half Syrian. I know it’s odd….but you have to be odd to be number 1.
How did you get the name MiamiBeatWave?
Brainstorming with my oldest friend and world renowned illustrator Johnny Robles. We wanted something that would pop and sound good when I walked in the room like, “Yo Beat Wave is here!”, thinking from a B-Boy perspective since we spent our childhood breakdancing. It began by putting words that sound cool together and at the same time I wanted to rep our city. I’d be lying if I told you some corny story about a “wave” of beats coming at you like a tsunami. After we had the name Johnny then went forth and hand drew my logo from scratch!
What is the first song you remember falling in love with?
Wow…what a question. I’m the type to say, “Happy Birthday” or “my ABCs” is the first song I fell in love with. (Fun Fact: The “Happy Birthday” song, originally written by a school teacher, still makes 2 million in royalties every year and holds the title for the highest grossing song of all time). Who didn’t love happy birthday as a child? I suppose I’ll go by genre though; as a kid the first rock song I learned every word to was “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. “Hallelujah” holds a special place in my heart because my grandmother played organ in the church for 20 years. Bone Thugs -N- Harmony “first of the month” changed my life with the singing and rapping together; but I loved Sugar Hill Gang before it. My first concert ever was Elton John, so “Candle in the Wind” & “Rocketman” are up there. Growing up my mother played a lot of dance/disco so Bee Gees and some Micheal Jackson.
Were you ever an artist or songwriter?
I think creating music is an art, so therefore, I am an artist but in the sense of what you’re speaking of no. Been a songwriter still a songwriter. I usually write with the artist, such as David Correy or Grammy nominated Itawe of Locos Por Juana and a couple of others. More world music, soul and R&B type rather than any rap. We go back and forth with the melody and lyrics they may throw an idea out and then I’ll write some lines and come up with a concept for the actual song. I’m really into figuring out the “catch phrase lyrics” and then writing the rest of the song around it. I write to compliment it with witty metaphors around it. I have my own stash of songs/poetry that haven’t been released and am currently working on a poetry book as well.
How much do you smoke a day? What is your favorite strain?
I smoke a good amount a day; a couple joints to myself and the wife, plus whatever goes around during the studio sessions. Definitely more than I used to as a youth; it helps tremendously with the anxiety I’ve inherited as an adult. Favorite strain?!?!?!?!?! that’s difficult… back in the day, it was sour diesel and we called it “studio weed”. It kept you up and creative. I really enjoyed the “Wedding Cake” Rapper Weed hooked me up with! It’s super fire.
Who is your favorite artist to work with so far?
I always enjoy my sessions with Dead Prez and the RBG family. Not only do we create some great music the knowledge and self Awareness always provided in the room is always educating. Producing for ¡Mayday! is always a good time, they are all such talented writers and musicians. I’ve also had great vibes in the studio with The Marleys family & Ludacris.
When was the first time you got high?
First time was on the railroad tracks in the hood with some friends from school. A blunt and a bowl of some fire chronic (but yes I have smoked reg after). Funny thing is I didn’t feel like I was stoned; probably because I didn’t know what the feeling was but the next day I smoked a little tiny bowl and I was lit!!!
What do you prefer to smoke out of?
Hands down Raw Papers or the homies, Roll White Boys. I did their theme song with Duivan!
What do you least like to smoke out of?
I can’t stand backwoods; I’m on my Wiz Khalifa tip!! Truthfully though, being raised in Miami, I rolled Dutch Masters my whole life. But I moved onto papers years ago.
Out of your 3 billboards, which are you most proud of?
Producing “Dancing With The Devil” ft. Wrekonize off the Bernz album was special. Strange Music is such a powerhouse, they always push that real hip hop and I dig that. Also, an artist I developed from the start, Ag Lyonz, was on the hook so it was cool to haev him share that experience with us.
As someone who produces and engineers for so many genres of music, is there a personal favorite?
Although most of my production credits are from Rap music; I enjoy recording anything soulful. A rock ballad or a soul song that breaks your heart. Songs with happy chords but sad lyrics always work for me or vice versa. Timeless music. On the other side of the spectrum; I dig the heavy metal and gospel albums I recorded as well.
Name 3 plugins you can’t live without.
Hmmmmm……production wise Kontakt, Omnisphere & Massive. Engineering wise that’s tough because I use so many. But if I had to choose; Waves SSL Bundle, Ugh……UAD Pultec eq and LA2A, and I have no choice given the sound of current music to go with Antares Auto tune.
Did you go to school to learn engineering?
Yes, I graduated from Full Sail University with an Associates in Science of Recording Arts and a 3.9 GPA
What is a good piece of advice for up and coming engineers/producers?
Don’t be in the music business; go be a lawyer or doctor or something!!! All jokes aside study your craft, put the work and hours in, network constantly. If you are in a position to learn from someone great just shut up and absorb and most importantly don’t ever listen to anyone and never give up!!! One last thing, always make sure you have your business right and you personally know what is going on and can handle it yourself if need be.
What would you say is the biggest mistake you used to make as an amateur producer/engineer that you look back at now and cringe?
I’d say that 16 year old Beat Wave in his studio room, at his moms house, was putting way to much reverb on everything!!! Also, fully understanding gain staging, not compressing enough or compressing vocals wrong. When micing up a band my choice of microphones for certain instruments took time to develop as well.
How can people contact you to book?Email is the best way MiamiBeatWave@gmail.com I’m also on all social media @MiamiBeatWave