Just Beat It
The Blackout Beat Talks Tango, Labels, and The X-Men
Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 23:08
Marcos and Armando Garibay are the founders and minds behind The Blackout Beat, a music production company that provides multimedia for many types of artists.
The brothers, originally from Pueblo, Colo. started their concept in high school with a simple recording studio in the basement of their parents' home. In recent years, they established a studio in Denver to expand their company and have worked with aspiring artists all over the country.
Together, the two brothers work as producers and songwriters to create a new type of music that they hope to mainstream one day.
The Garibays started producing for other artists in 2005. Since 2007, they have produced and released three of their own albums. The brothers also make beats of their own and sell them on their website in the Beat Shop for artists all over the world to use.
Marcus and Armando have come far in the music business but said they hope to one day be as good as their inspirations, Pharrell and Timbaland. The brothers said that these artists create timeless and original music, a quality that they hope will stick with their own beats.
Advocate: What inspired you guys to start The Blackout Beat?
Marcos Garibay: I was DJing in high school and realized that I wanted to make music instead of playing it.
Armando Garibay: We also learned entertainment through our mom. We used to be in her Mexican dance group, and that's how we were exposed to music and performing.
MG: He won a salsa and tango contest when he was, like, 10.
A: So, does a lot of your musical inspiration come from Mexican dancing?
AG: Some of it does, but our beats have a lot of everything. We adapt to all types of artists well, but while still making our own sound. Today we worked with an R&B singer, and right after we worked with a gothic-pop type artist. That kind of shows a range of what we can do.
MG: Yeah, some of it may be hip-hop, dance, or whatever, but there is still that character and style in it that people can tell that it's ours. That's the essence of it.
A: Armando, how is your most recent album, TBA, different than previous albums that you two produced together?
AG: Our earlier ones are very R&B, hip-hop, and Latin–based. For TBA, I produced myself, but Marcus did vocals, and it has a more electronic, dance-pop sound. We tried to make everything different and evolve each album.
MG: TBA was weird for me because I wasn't a producer and only contributed as an artist. When you aren't a producer, you don't have that attachment that the person who made the beats has, which created some friction, but at the end of the day it resulted in a product that we were both 100 percent on.
A: Are you working on any solo projects right now?
MG: Yes, I am working on something a little bit more with influences that got me into music. It's like Timbaland, 90's stuff and older R&B, but I'm putting my signature stuff in it.
A: Being brothers, do you sometimes butt heads when working together?
AG: All the time.
MG: But we balance each other out. Sometimes I can be a bit impulsive, and Armando balances that out. But there are times when I want to take a risk, and I push for that, but he may not be ready.
A: What's an example of a risk?
MC: Our new studio in Denver. We weren't sure if we were ready for that yet or how it would work out, but I think it's helped us out a lot.
A: Has the new studio helped with expanding your company?
AG: Yes, we promote ourselves in the Westword, with fliers, and the internet, but I think most of it is word of mouth, which is really good.
A: How do you work with artists that aren't local?
AG: We sell beats to people all over the world on our website in The Beat Shop.
MG: It's unreal to know that someone in Tennessee is recording over one of our beats. It's a cool feature because people can purchase them and feel like they are collaborating with someone else.
A: What makes your music unique?
AG: Mainly our sound. I don't think it's easy to put a label on the sound we have. Also, we don't cater to what is popular or mainstream. We add our own thing to it.
MC: I agree that sound is key, but personality has a lot to do with it, too. A lot of kids out there can call themselves producers because technology is so accessible, but it's so much more than equipment.
A: What else do you guys bring to the industry besides equipment?
MG: You have to have that passion to be able to put your personality into someone else's music or to find a way to connect with their situation to make something beautiful. I think we have a knack for connecting with artists to make something that's new. We started with a giant microphone rigged to a computer, so from the beginning we have always been able to do a lot with nothing.
A: What's your favorite part about making music?
MG: The feeling when you create something new and loud. That's a high that does it for me. It's an awesome experience.
AG: To be able to express myself. I love the process of creating and collaborating with people and having something to be proud of. To do that and have success from it is amazing.
A: What does the future have in store for The Blackout Beat?
MG: Our ultimate goal is, once we have our names and music established in the industry, we want to use that muscle to have our way into the comic book industry some how.
AG: We support a nonprofit group called 5280 Comics. It's a public class that teaches kids about comic books, story lines, and the way they are made. It helps them learn about literacy and reading. We've been comic book fans forever, so it's a good way for us to get back to our roots.