Songwriter and producer/engineer Reavis "Rev" Mitchell recently visited the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and participated in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Mitchell discussed his career beginnings, current projects and the four producers who have inspired him, among other topics.
"At about 12 I decided I wanted to make it [in music]," said Mitchell. "[At] 16 the first thing I bought was a drum machine. And I've never stopped buying gear since then [and] never stopped making music since then. … I love the music, I love the people [and] I love the energy of the experience of crafting a song. I love to create, and I'll be doing it as long as I'm here."
With nearly 20 years of professional audio experience, Nashville-based Mitchell holds a bachelor of science in computer science and a master of public administration from Tennessee State University. After leaving a full-time job working for the U.S. government, Mitchell pursued a full-time career in music and founded Soulbeat Productions, which offers services such as music production, sound design and consulting. Through a collaboration with fellow Nashville producers Aja Emmanuel and Luke Jackson, in 2004 Mitchell co-founded music production equipment company Beat Kangz Electronics. Artists who have used Beat Kangz Electronics products include GRAMMY winners Chris Brown, India Arie, Michael Jackson, OutKast, and will.i.am.
Mitchell cites J Dilla, Shock G, Quincy Jones, and Teddy Riley as producers whose work has inspired him. Mitchell is currently collaborating on projects with jazz artists Craig Bryant and drummer Derrek Phillips.