BROTHERLY LOVE: (L-R) U1 and O1 are Da Beatfreakz
THEY HAVE in some ways redefined what a successful family business can be. New York natives and platinum-selling music producers, Da Beatfreakz, are two brothers that have managed to turn their passions into prospects. Drawing their inspiration from the church, duo U1 and O1, also known as Obi and Uche, have converted their humble gospel beginnings into pop club-bangers for chart-topping stars like N-Dubz and R'n'B singer Jay Park.
Now in London to work their magic with British talent, we caught up with them to talk about working in McDonald's, Superstorm Sandy and brotherly love.
I know you guys are from Queens in New York, what is the atmosphere over there like since Superstorm Sandy?
U1: It has been pretty bad because a lot of things had to just stop. But it seems like New Jersey is the worst affected area, so it has just been really crazy from what I've seen so far.
Are you enjoying your time in London?
U1: It's cool to be in London right now. Well, we actually lived here when we were much younger so we are use to the whole London scenery. We love coming over here the city always has a good vibe, so it is good to be back.
Talk us through your journey into music, how did this whole thing begin?
U1: We started out pretty young. We both were in the church choir, our parents talked us into playing there and ever since then we have just had this passion for music.
During those times my brother (O1) started working at McDonald's just to get some money together. And after doing things we had to do we bought our first studio and we have not looked back since.
What is it like working as brothers?
O1: I think we see it as a blessing, you know. Being able to work with someone you know that you can trust and get along with helps and can make a lot of difference (laughs). So we don't see it as a bad thing at all.
What about the tough times, were there any knocks on the road to success?
O1: The whole music industry is difficult, I don't think anybody can say that they have not had any knocks coming into the game, but we try to focus on the achievements more than other things.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
U1: I would say the last project we did with Jay Park. We produced a few songs on his latest album New Breed, when it hit number one on the US iTunes; that was a great feeling. It even knocked Mary J Blige off the top spot so that was like a 'wow' moment for us. There have been a lot of other moments too so nobody doesn't feel left out, but I'd say for me that was our biggest thing.
Which music producers inspire you?
O1: I'd say The Neptunes, Trak Stars, Timbaland, Dr Dre… a lot of the people you'd expect. Everybody has their own sound and way of doing things and it's the same with us, but I'd definitely say they are all inspirational to us.
Finally, name your top three rappers (dead or alive)? You both have to agree.
U1: That's a tough one (laughs). If I had to pick and I am saying like off the top I'd say Biggie, Tupac and Jay Z…you agree?
O1: Yeah (laughs).
To find out more about Da Beatfreakz visit: dabeatfreakz.com. Or follow them on Twitter: @DaBeatfreakz