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Conversations with Dylan “Donnie Cutz” Cortez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dylan “Donnie Cutz” Cortez.

Donnie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
As my mom says, “It all started when I pressed play on a mixtape cassette that featured MARRS’ hit song Pump Up The Volume. You sat in your car seat nodding your head to the beat and repeating the lines, Pump Up The Volume. I thought you might become a DJ or something”. Little did I know, her prediction would become somewhat accurate.

In 2012, I began my musical journey as a lyricist in hip hop, making songs/mixtapes with one of my roommates in our make-shift studio in Lawrence, KS. Shortly after, I was introduced to a beat-making machine called the AKAI MPC. It only took one night of playing around on that hardware to realize that I wanted a career in music production.

The rest is history.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
As any music producer/artist/engineer/mastering engineer/sound designer knows, smooth roads do not exist in the music industry. The industry is like a rollercoaster, there are always ups and downs. I’d say the biggest struggle for me, was the lack of connections. Being dead center in the United States didn’t help this struggle.

So, I used social media to my advantage. I reached out to artists all across the globe, literally. A majority of the time, I never heard back from anyone. As I kept improving upon my craft and staying consistent, I started to receive the responses I’d been looking for.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My specialty is in music production. I love being in the studio with an artist when they record over one of my beats. If the artist and I have a good working relationship, they will allow me to give them advice and even criticism in regards to their vocal takes, rhythm, and lyrics. I would say I’m known for my unique sounds and melodies.

Since there are so many great established/up-and-coming music producers today, you have to create your own sound to stand out. I’ve been working on my sound for years now and still have much to learn. Learning never ends when it comes to music production. I’m most proud of the artists I’ve had the opportunity to work with within the past 6 years.

They have helped me grow as a musician and as a person. The evolution of my sound wouldn’t be where it is today without these talented individuals.

How do you think about happiness?
For me, happiness comes from music. Being able to create music that inspires artists to make records is the ultimate high. It doesn’t get better than that.

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