The Art of The Beat

Delightfully examining the journey of the backbone, soul and spirit of “beatmaking”.

Chanelle Henry
2 min readOct 26, 2016

I haven’t written here in a while, and that’s mainly because I have been in such a reflective period during a very big and emotional transition of my life. Moving from the demands of the Tech field (UX to be exact) into graduate school and taking a pause away from corporate life has been exhilaratingly scary. Especially after being laid off from my job, it’s definitely a shift in salary going from a six figure job to a starving student. *inserts screams of panic here*

But during times of transition, especially when it may be painful or hard, it’s always essential for one to create. Creating is more than just putting your work out there, it’s allowing you to become in touch with your inner self to discover parts that are usually hidden by the distractions of the world (*cough* check out my book Muted Nation for more *cough* #shamelessplug). My outlet has always been through writing, woodmaking, drawing/painting, listening to music, or staying curious.

For many years I have always been trying to learn how to produce beats. Following great genius minds such as Kaytranada to even close friends like my friend Rashid and David, I have been just amazed and stared with my mouth open and eyes wide, at the wonders of the skill set of the process of creating a beat. I got as far as picking records (and I have a great collection!) but promised myself I would always learn at some point in my life.

Little did I know, later would come a couple years later when I moved to Raleigh-Durham area (of all places) and find great talent meeting the wonderful Santana AKA Sarah2Ill (follow her!) and FINALLY being taught piece by piece how to start this process that always seemed so daunting to me. I’m excited to be on this journey, without knowing how far it will take me, and excited for her journey and wanted to share with the hopes that our takeaway can be that we all should take some time out to listen to our hearts and create through whatever medium, while also remembering to connect with those around us to discover beautiful hidden talents.

Check out her process below as she documents part of her 30-day beat challenge, it’s pretty damn cool: