Julian Nixon (of Best Kept Secret)
American producer, singer, and songwriter Julian Nixon has worked with many of the biggest artists in Hip Hop, from Dr. Dre, to Kindrick Lamar, Wale, and many others. He’s done so as part of Best Kept Secret with fellow Power User Craig Balmoris, as well as on his own, and he also has his own artist project, Kennix. We recently were able to learn a bit more about how he got started and how FL Studio has impacted his life, and you can read about it here.
DUCKWRTH – Kiss U Right Now (prod. by Julian Nixon & others)
Tell us about yourself and how you got into music.
I was born and raised in Silver Spring and Hyattsville, Maryland. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with music and music production. My parents played music around me all the time. At the age of two, I could name the artists and titles of my favorite vinyls. My uncle, who was a professional musician, had a home studio I was fascinated with when I visited his home in Virginia Beach. He bought me my first four-track tape mixer. With that and my Yamaha keyboard, I started making my first songs. Since music equipment was so expensive at that time, I focused on dance instead and made music on the side with limited resources. In 9th grade, I won a talent competition where I danced and won $2000. I used that money to buy a Triton Extreme synth. At that point, I focused on improving my music production and playing keyboard in local gogo bands.
How did you start using FL Studio & what does it mean to your productions?
In 2004 my neighbor, who went to school with me and was also into music production, introduced me to FL Studio. I was extremely impressed by his production because it sounded so clean compared to the music I was making on my Triton. From that moment, I begged him for a copy and went over to his house almost every day to learn techniques and get sounds. FL Studio is a priceless tool for me. It gave me the vehicle to fulfill my dreams and bring the ideas I had in my head to life. It’s also expanded my creativity with groundbreaking features like the Fruity Slicer. FL Studio is extremely versatile. I feel like there are no boundaries in my music production when I use FL Studio.
ScHoolboy Q – Hands On The Wheel (prod. by Best Kept Secret)
Tell us about your work and some of the artists you have worked with.
Fl Studio became my main music-making tool. At that time, I would burn all my music to CD and take them to my high school to show off. That’s when I caught the attention of my classmate Craig Balmoris who also made music. We became a production team (Best Kept Secret). I then went on to work with Wale, Shawty Lo, Rhymefest, Mark Ronson, Mike Posner, ScHoolboy Q, ASAP Rocky, Teyana Taylor, Tinashe, Jidenna, Nipsey Hustle, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosia, DUCKWRTH, Lion Babe, and many more, all using FL Studio.
Tell us about your production environment and the gear you use.
I love making music at my home studio. There is a big window next to where I work to look out on nature for inspiration. I use Fl Studio as my DAW. I have and play a Fender Stratocaster guitar, a Fender acoustic guitar, a bass guitar, a Roland XP-60, a Tascam Portastudio 488 MKII, a Slate microphone, a Numark turntable, an Alesis MIDI controller, and an Apollo Twin X interface.
Julian in the Studio
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I started as a beat maker but have become a producer, and now an artist. Through the journey, FL Studio has been like a teammate I’ve grown with. I look forward to what Image-Line has in store next, and I hope I can help bring it to the world.
Julian Nixon Links: