Producer, songwriter and musician Cisco Adler descends from a lineage steeped in music. Multi-Grammy-winning producer Lou Adler is his father. When Cisco discovered hip-hop as a child, he transitioned from consumer to contributor. He started with beats but craved more. He expanded his repertoire, became a Grammy nominee and has worked with rapper Shwayze. In 2010 he founded Bananabeat Records.
Adler begins new projects by understanding each musician’s history and aims. “I write with nearly all of my artists,” he says. “For an album, I try to get into the psychology of where they are, where they’ve been and where they need to go. It’s crucial to understand their musical insecurities and musical strengths. I have to play to both. If it’s an emotional artist, I want to hit that chord that makes them cry when they sing.”
A producer’s vocal chain can be as distinct as their fingerprint. The choices made help shape their own distinct sound. “Mine is a Tube-Tech CL1B, Neve 1073 and a Sony C-800,” the producer explains. “I don’t think you can beat it. I’ve got an API 1608 that I do drums on and with plug-ins I’m a fiend. I use SubBoomBass that I found when working at [Georgia’s] Tree Sound Studios. I’m addicted to that, especially for hip-hop or [Roland TR-] 808 stuff. Every time I go into a new studio I type the word ‘kick’ and see all the kicks they’ve ever used and decide if I want them.”
Perhaps his most ambitious project has been the soundtrack for The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again, which premiered Oct. 20 on Fox. He landed the gig in part because his father executive produced the original 1975 cult classic. “It’s in the family,” Adler observes. “I like to say I always knew I’d have to do this. The timing was right for the film to be made [and] for Laverne [Cox of Orange Is the New Black] to join the cast. When my dad asked me to produce, it wasn’t a question. It was my duty.
“We started cutting last November, well before casting or shooting was even finished,” he continues. “I recruited several guys I use on almost all my records. People like Cody Dickinson, the drummer from North Mississippi Allstars, and Khari Mateen, who’s played with the Roots. We rehearsed and cut the initial tracks live. From there, I began to carve out the sonic bed that I felt would modernize these classic songs. I didn’t listen to any of the previous records. I simply relied on my intuition.”
Rocky Horror represented a unique challenge and learning experience in that Adler had never produced a musical before. “There are 21 songs, which is almost two albums worth,” he explains. “There are multiple singers, multiple keys. And at the same time, casting was going on. I’d find out who was singing and we’d either have to make adjustments with key or go back and completely change the arrangement. We’d hear that it would be one person, change course and then it would turn out not to be that person. I’ve done that kind of thing before, just not on that level.”
Recently Cisco Adler released his own singles on Bananabeat Records. He also signed Canadian hip-hop artist Goody Grace, whose song “Memorie$" dropped in early September. G-Love and Donavon Frankenreiter are recording an LP Adler is producing and he’s working with Rob $tone, whose song “Chill Bill” has captured nearly 20 million YouTube views.
Contact Gina Schulman at Press Here Publicity.