SOCAN and Pop Montréal co-presented a free Cooking Beats workshop with Montréal-based duo Banx & Ranx, and moderated by SOCAN’s Widney Bonfils, at Parc Avenue’s Rialto Theatre on Sept. 28, 2018.

The duo has gained increasing traction since 2014, through their higher- and higher-profile collaborations, which were at the heart of their presentation. Indeed, it’s that very collaborative spirit that paved the way for Banx & Ranx’s success. “It’s better to have 10% in a song that’s bringing in thousands than 100% of a song that doesn’t bring in anything,” they said.

Such collaborations broadened the horizons of the Montréal duo, through a learning opportunity that amalgamated genres while preserving their own flavours. “You need to always mix your own sauce with that of others to make sure it remains fresh,” they said. “It’s hard to explain, hard to do, and hard to conceptualize, but you need to detach yourself, emotionally, from your art and let others enrich it.”

The beat-making duo also shared some of their technical tips and tricks. One of them is the importance of composing beats using a cappella vocal tracks in order to give enough room to those voices, and also not being afraid of tinkering with distortion. Attendees of the workshop walked away with new production techniques, and also got the opportunity to share crucial values for social, as well as musical, well-being; respect, open-mindedness, and the collaborative spirit.

“Every day we remind ourselves that we need to remain open to differences, and not judge people, and it’s the same here,” said Banx & Ranx. “In music, as in life, you need to keep an open mind and accept criticism to become a better person, and a better beat-maker.”