Collaboration can be tricky. Egos are involved and feelings can get hurt. Collaborating with family can be even trickier. Luckily, for father and son, Big Strick (aka Leonard Strickland) and Generation Next (aka Tre Strickland), they have managed to avoid such conflict and have nurtured a creative relationship beyond their familial link. Strick, a veteran of the Detroit house scene, is relisshing the oppurtunity to guide his son on his musical quest. And Generation Next’s approach to music is starting to pay dividends, with his next EP on the duo’s 7 Days Ent. offering another tantalising insight into his sound. Generation Next we’re very sure, is a name you’ll be hearing much more from over the next while. Here’s what went down when we checked in with them recently…
What was the first track you produced together?
Big Strick: The first track we worked on together was “Childs Play” for the Detroit Heat CD. Generation Next was playing around and I liked the mix he laid on the song so much that we used it for the final cut.
Strick, did you encourage GN to become involved in music or did it happen organically?
Absolutely, whenever I wasn’t in the studio I encouraged all of my children to mess around and learn the equipment I was using. He took a liking to the whole production process and I’ve been pushing him ever since.
Tre, what’s the biggest musical lesson you’ve learned from your father?
Taking your time to get it right and always working to improve your sound. This ranges from studying older music and samples as well as taking time in the production process; mixing, mastering and completing a song.
Is it hard to take criticism from your father? Strick, is it difficult to criticize your son?
Generation Next: No, it isn’t hard to take criticism because I know it’s all for my own good. He has been in the music business before I was born so he knows the ins and outs of what people want to hear and how to incorporate it in to what I’m doing.
Big Strick: I’ve been asked this before and actually; it’s not difficult at all. I am here to guide him through all of his life decisions – not just those within music. We both have different ears and hear different things. This is why we have these discussions about what sounds good and what doesn’t.
Strick – can you recall the moment you noticed Generation Next had a musical spark that you thought could lead to a career?
Yes, when we were working on the ‘Resivior Dogs’ CD. He was still new to production and music making. He produced 4 of his own songs for the CD and helped on other aspects too. It showed me what he was capable of. I was impressed!
Generation Next, can you recall the moment you realized your dad didn’t have a normal 9-5 like other friends’ dads?
That would be when he got his first bookings in Europe. I always wanted to aspire to that. Getting paid to DJ music you like across the world is one of the coolest things ever.
So… how does it work in the studio between you two?
Big Strick: Generation Next is usually in charge of all things that happen within the studio. He is younger and quicker with all of the equipment we use. For example, I will start a song and go away from it and he will come and add his touches to it. Then I come back, take a listen and may add something else and then it gets mixed and mastered. Very rarely are we actually in the studio at the same time.
What’s the best thing about working together? And the worst?
Generation Next: Best thing about working together is the criticism that comes. In the end it only makes you a better artist. You have your own thoughts on a song or sounds and then you get input from someone who is younger with different ideas of how to do things. It is definitely working out for the best. There is really no downside to working together. There may be disagreements but it isn’t a big deal because it always gets resolved.
What’s next for you two?
Big Strick: We’ve much more music dropping and we currently have a few EPs in the works. Tre already has one finished which we’ll go to press with soon and we are working on my next one now. We also plan on introducing my youngest son do the industry within the next year so stay tuned.
Watch out for Generation Next’s Phoenix EP, which drops in the new year on 7 Days Ent.
For more information on Generation Next, check here
For more on Big Strick, check here