Keith Harris of Black Eyed Peas
Straight Talk with the Black Eyed Peas’ Keith Harris
In 2003, The Black Eyed Peas – will.i.am, Fergie, apl.de.ap and Taboo – gave the musical world a wake-up call with their monumental release Elephunk. That was also the same year that Printz Board extended the invitation to drummer Keith Harris to join himself and fellow musicians Tim Izo Orindgreff, and George Pajon Jr., etc. on the Elephunk tour. Six years and three Grammy Awards later, The Black Eyed Peas are slated to release their fifth studio album – The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies). The single "Boom Boom Pow" has already been released online and is available on iTunes. The song marks The Black Eyed Peas first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Keith Harris recently took time from his busy schedule with TBEP to tell us a little bit more about his musical journey – and his favorite Korg gear.
KORG: I know you started out in Chicago. How did you first get introduced to music?
KH: I started out playing at New Friendship Baptist Church on the south side of Chicago when I was 9 years old. That's where I was first introduced to music and my first love, the drums. From there, I went to Curie High School for the Performing Arts in Chicago, where I learned how to read music and learned music theory. Then I went on to the Berklee College of Music in Boston and majored in Music Production and Engineering. All of those things lead me to where I am now.
KORG: How would you describe the creative process inside TBEP? Are there certain methods the band relies on to get things going, or is each track different?
KH: Each song is approached differently, depending on where we are, what we're listening to, and the vision of the team leader, will.i.am; that's what helps us to create the Peas’ sound. I think the formula is to feed off of inspiration and not a concise plan.
KORG: The Black Eyed Peas fifth studio album – The E.N.D. – is about to be released. Do you have any favorite songs on this recording?
KH: I would have to say my favorite song is "Imma Be" – produced by Keith Harris : )
KORG: Keith, you recently added the Korg M3 to your arsenal. Why did you choose the M3?
KH: It sounds great!! I like the KARMA feature, the powerful workstation. I like that you can upgrade the sounds via internet, the tilting workstation area, the TouchView screen and the eight percussion pads. I've always been a fan of Korg; the new M3 is very versatile and gives me tons of inspiration for different types of production.
KORG: When you're working with The Black Eyed Peas, are there other keyboards you like to use in addition to the M3?
KH: In TBEP's studio we use the Korg OASYS; but in my personal studio, I also use the MS2000B and the TRITON Extreme, all of which I used on the songs I produced on The E.N.D.
KORG: You mentioned the MS2000B. What other Korg gear do you have?
KH: I own the TRITON Extreme, RADIAS, MS 2000B, and the KAOSSILATOR.
KORG: Are there any products you'd like to see Korg come out with?
KH: Software versions of your keyboards, so I can have them everywhere I go on the road; and the Keith Harris signature model TRITON Extreme II – haha!
Thanks, Keith; and congratulations on the new album.
You can visit with Keith at MySpace.