Featured KRK User Harmony "H-Money" Samuels
When it comes to bringing out the best of a recording artist's talent and style on an album or single, super-producer Harmony "H-Money" Samuels has few rivals. Having worked with a long list of today's most popular vocalists and musicians, including Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Chipmunk, Keyshia Cole, Estelle, Fantasia, Maroon 5, pop star Ariana Grande and many others, music has been a part of his life since the very beginning. Born in England to Nigerian immigrant parents with strong musical backgrounds, even as an infant he was fascinated by music, listening with rapt attention as the band at his family's church played on a Sunday morning. It's probably not surprising, then, that by age 12, he was the church choir’s musical director, and had taught himself to play piano, bass guitar, guitar and drums.
Over time, Samuels built a strong reputation as a remixer in London, performing remixes for singles by Craig David, Alesha Dixon, Jamelia and Kelly Rowland, among others. Before long, the American songwriter, record producer and musician Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins took notice, and wanted to work with him. Samuels moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to do this, establishing the BOE Global brand with his business partner, Chris Woods. His first placement was the track "No Curtain Call" on the iTunes deluxe edition of Maroon 5’s Hands All Over album, released in 2010. He went on to work with Jawan Harris, a 13-year-old singing and dancing sensation currently moving up the charts. Through Harris, singer Chris Brown discovered Samuels’ work, which Samuels describes as a major turning point in his career.
"We did about four songs for Brown’s F.A.M.E. album, and two made that album, and Brown kept the other two for his Fortune album," says Samuels. "One of the songs, ‘Oh My Love,’ was so big that Billboard and Rolling Stone were talking about it, along with some other major magazines. In general, people loved the records because they were so different. It opened the door to work more for Brown, so this was a kind of a turning point for me."
After the Brown records came out, many more artists began knocking on Samuels' door, and he produced music for Brandy, Keyshia Cole and Kelly Rowland, to mention a few. Among his most recent productions was Brandy's track "Without You" off the Two Eleven album, Keyshia Cole's comeback single "Enough of No Love ft. Lil Wayne," and Jennifer Hudson's "Think Like a Man" for the soundtrack to the box office hit movie Think Like a Man OST.
Getting the right sound for these productions—one that is true to the artist’s style and intent—requires very precise studio equipment. That’s why Samuels relies on KRK's ROKIT 8 monitors. Long known for their front-firing bass ports, soft-domed tweeters and glass aramid composite yellow cone, the latest generation of Rokits feature refined voicing and a new curved baffle that looks great, reduces diffraction and provides even, highly accurate monitoring.
"I love my ROKIT 8s," says Samuels. "They have been with me for about four years, and they've never busted. They are very strong, very solid, which is great for me because I play my music very loud. With them, what you hear is what you really hear, so we use the ROKIT 8s for a lot of finishing, a lot of rounding off of my productions. I love that the bottom end and the top on it are not too harsh. It makes me confident that what the listeners hear will sound the same whether they are in the car or moving from room to room."
Samuels also works with KRK's KNS headphones and VXT8 active studio monitors. They are diffraction-limiting curved surfaces, silk-domed tweeter, seamless crossover, and KRK trademark-yellow Kevlar woofer offer superior audio imaging, outstanding transient response and precise detail for all of his productions. "I call my VTX8s the 'beauty speakers,' says. "They are perfect for when you want to hear your overall mix and listen to the real fine detail changes. Any time I work outside my production studio, I always ask for VXT monitors.”
Samuels has been so happy with his KRK products that he recently purchased the KRK ROKIT 6 monitors. No doubt, his star will continue to rise, and he'll take KRK studio equipment with him every step of the way.