Memphis studio is rap champion
House of Hayes making musical inroads
Music has been a huge part of Alan Hayes' life since childhood when he began playing a piano by ear passed on to him by his grandmother. It's doubtful though that she knew at that time that her grandson would evolve into a one-man force, equally skilled at engineering, producing, remixing and composing, and in general helping to take an artist's conception and develop it into a finished creation.
The House of Hayes, located at 1221 Faxon in the Crosstown area of North Memphis, has become one of the Bluff City's busiest places for Hip-Hop, rap, and R&B sessions. Hayes estimates that there are times when he has as many as 20 sessions going on during a week.
“My goal is to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the artist's vision is realized. Sometimes people have me compose their track, sometimes they bring in their own music, other times I may just record vocals, mix and master their music. It's whatever it takes to get things to where the artist feels that they've accomplished the sound and performance they are happy with in their music."
Hayes had a background as an instrumentalist prior to assuming the reins as a full-time studio maven in 1996. He still does some composing as well. contributing music to commercials for radio and television, as well as film scores and live performances . "I got my first Moog synthesizer in 1972," he recalled. "I enjoyed playing in bands and doing the live thing, but gravitated more towards studio production in the late '80s.
The House of Hayes studio touts its versatility among key attributes to being a successful business. Alan has worked with R&B, Alt rock, blues, gospel, and various strains of Electronic Dance Music acts during his tenure, but is especially known for being among the most prolific and supportive recording institutions for not only local Memphis rap acts, but national ones.
"I can remember when Yo Gotti first came in at 15 or 16, doing sessions,” Hayes said. “Carlos Broady also brought in a rapper named Alley Cat". Hayes also worked with Juicy J, The Barkays and many other local and national acts. "We really started becoming known as a place for Hip-Hop, and it's been a steady business since the early 90s".
But the House of Hayes doesn't just stop on one end of the music business. They're also involved in licensing, songwriting, and production. "You've got to be versatile and adaptable in the music business," Hayes adds. "At this stage, I really kind of do it all, and like to stay busy. But it's a responsibility to keep up with current technology and everything that's happening now. You've got to stay on top of various changes in all modern genres of music".
Among their latest efforts are productions for area staples Hot House Gruv and Lebo Soprano. One song that frequently pops up from the past is a collaboration between Ms. Neicy & Kool Breezi that's among the more popular entries from 2011 on YouTube. Drumma Boy and Willie Hutch are some other local stalwarts who've utilized the House of Hayes facilities.
Still, Hayes is always interested and eager to attract new business. "Our doors are always open to new clients," he said in conclusion during an interview for Everything Underground. . We're always interested in what's happening and what's exciting out there. We are happy to be so well known and associated with Hip-Hop in North Memphis and throughout the region. But that's not the only thing that we do, and we'll certainly be happy to work with artists in other genres and areas".