Tri-C Student Up for Producer of the Year Award
May 09, 2014
When Eric Wilson was a teenager, opportunity literally came knocking on his door. A producer who goes by the moniker A-Dub was looking for the best rapper in Euclid. At that moment, it happened to be Wilson, so A-Dub visited him at home and invited him to lay down a rap for an upcoming release. Next thing he knew, Wilson was in the studio for the first time.
“I was 16. My voice was like a chipmunk,” Wilson said.
Nonetheless, the opportunity allowed him to make connections in the music industry, and today he is looking to make it as a producer himself. In fact, Wilson, who will graduate from Cuyahoga Community College’s Recording Arts & Technology program this month, is in the running for Seven Star Promotions’ producer of the year.
Wilson, now 40, runs Scratchpaper Productions. His roster of artists includes local rappers Mark Payne, Dream Committee, Nondi and Jay-Kool, who is an affiliated artist.
Wilson released his own debut album, The Warm Up, in 2005 via Scratchpaper Productions.
He produced the soundtrack to the film The Skip Thomas Project, and he is the reigning freestyle-rap champion of Cleveland, having dominated local “spit boxing,” or rap-battle, competitions. He has a championship belt and everything.
He founded Scratchpaper in 1999 and began writing beats for other rappers. Over the course of his career, he has worked with names like Layzie Bone, Midwest Mafia, Flesh ’n’ Bone, UKG, Master P, Too Short, Devin the Dude and more.
At this point, the infectiously upbeat Wilson has been working or performing for 29 years, but in 2011 he decided to “get serious” and enrolled in Tri-C’s R.A.T. program.
His experience at Tri-C has expanded his horizons. In January, he ran sound for and recorded pianists Luis Magalhães and Nina Schumann at Gartner Auditorium in the Cleveland Museum of Art. They were performing as part of Tri-C’s Classical Piano Recital Series.
“I went to Severance Hall on a field trip as a kid to see the Cleveland Orchestra. That was it! The second time I was around that (style of music), I was part of it, and I felt comfortable,” Wilson said.
His capstone project for graduation also involved recording an original jazz composition.
“Even though my core has been hip hop, [Tri-C] pushed me into other genres,” he said. “But if it wasn’t for rap, I wouldn’t be getting my degree.”
Voting for Seven Star Promotions’ producer of the year is open through Saturday, May 10. Vote up to twice a day via email to email@example.com or via text to 209-782-7772.