When it comes to production, there are many who feel that CHH is still a couple steps behind its mainstream counterparts. Although that gap had been prominent for years, it is closing (if it's not already closed) with seemingly every passing project. A big part of that is the continued development and discovery of new producers, such as Double A. I took a moment to speak with the twin brother (of DaSouth writer Lamar Gibbs) and drummer extraordinaire to discuss music, ministry, and inspiration.
Kellus Hill: Who is Aaron Gibbs?
Double A: A man who loves God and is called to do music!
KH: What church do you attend and how do you serve The Body?
AA: My home church is Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, NY under the leadership of Rev. A.R. Bernard and I serve The Body in music ministry. I serve as a drummer at CCC (for the Youth Ministry C3U) and outside of my church as a producer and engineer.
KH: As a twin, what artistic intricacies were developed/cultivated by growing up with Lamar? Did trying to differentiate identities play a part in who you are today?
AA: Actually, my "artistic intricacies" as you put it were more developed and cultivated through my Dad than Lamar. My Dad is a musician himself (also a former P&W leader), so he was the first artistic influence I've had. I will say that growing up with Lamar has had an impact on my life outside of music. Growing up as a twin, people automatically expect for both of you to think the same way, act the same way, and like or do the same things. Even though Lamar and I look alike, we developed separate identities at a very young age.
KH: How long have you been involved with music/ production?
AA: My introduction to music began at age 12. For Christmas that year, my parents bought all 3 of my brothers and I music instruments that included a drum kit, keyboard, guitar and bass guitar to encourage creativity. Now most people would think that I went to drums first but, actually, I was given the bass and was learning to play that first- even though all along I knew my interest was drums. Soon enough, I wasn't practicing bass at all and continued with drums. When the rest of my brothers eventually abandoned their instruments, I continued honing my craft as a drummer. At age 15 I was introduced to production by a classmate at my high school. He started me off on FL Studio 4 (known as Fruity Loops at the time) and the rest is history!
KH: Although pretty obvious, any particular thing that made you go with "Double A" as a producer name?
AA: I got tired of people spelling my name wrong lol. My real name is Aaron Gibbs, spelled with two "A's". Most people spell it as "Aron" which is incorrect. The final straw was when I was still heavily into listening/producing secular music; I went to a meet and greet at a record store called "All The Right" in Corona Queens for the rapper "AZ" ("The Firm"). He spelled my name "Aron" on my autographed poster and I didn't realize it until I left. Obviously disappointed, I said, "My name is spelled with two A's... Double A!!" Then the lightbulb went off (laughs)! From then on I used that as my production name. Even made a cool tag to use on my instrumentals.
KH: What does your production credit list look like? Any interesting stories about these collaborations?
AA: Been doing a lot of work with Richie Righteous and his label R.I.C.H. Records. I got up with Rich back in 2009 when he was looking for a drummer for his album release. I met him at SeDa's album release for The Four Letter Word on the first weekend in February, and ended up playing for Rich's album release exactly a week after that. In August of that year; after Michael Jackson passed, I asked my brother Lamar to get in touch with Zee to help me release a music leak of an instrumental tribute I made sampling him for any artist to take a shot at it. After Rich heard it, he was interested in us working together on the production end and shared his vision of the label with me and I was definitely on board to work! So the first project I worked on for R.I.C.H. Records was for his group The R.I.C.H. Boys. Since no one really took advantage of the Michael Jackson beat leak, that became the first single for their album (Track 9 titled "Faith" on their Rags To Riches album). Working with Rich has opened many doors for me to work with artists who stand behind his vision and the tremendous work he's been doing for New York City and beyond over the years. I've gotten the chance to record and/or mix for tri-state artists such as Datin, Richard Dauphin, Lavoisier, SeDa, Reflect, Co. Campbell and many more. There are a lot of artists I will be working with in the near future in New York and beyond, but I can't start promoting them until I know of release dates for their music. Following me on Twitter/FB/YouTube; etc. is a good way to stay informed with Double A Hit Music!
KH: What are your overall thoughts about Christian Rap/ R&P?
AA: Well, one thing I'll say is that the genres have definitely improved musically over the years. Artists are taking their time to come out with a solid product musically in addition to just biblically. The fact that we do it for Christ is even more of a reason to strive for excellence when we use our gifts. I'm really picky when it comes to the music I listen to. About 5 years ago; Christian Rap/R&P did not do it for me at all. Now, I prefer it to secular music!
KH: What are your goals/ aspirations as a producer?
AA: Within 5 years, I would like to own and run my own state of the art studio, offering engineering services ranging from recording to mixing and mastering. Also, I would like to start a production company, offering musical services for artists, media companies, television, movies; etc. I would also like to continue releasing albums under the Double A Hit Music umbrella. Either production compilations with various artists or instrumental albums like my debut album just released in April titled Double A Hit Music Presents: Future Classics, Vol. 1.
KH: Aside from the music, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
AA: If Jesus doesn't come back by then haha... I'll continue walking in the purpose he has for me. I would also like to have a family of my own with children who will continue the legacy started with my Dad and become better than me!
KH: Any last thoughts, prayer requests, or anything to say to the readers?
AA: To all my music makers out there; only what you do for CHRIST will last! That's not just me quoting a cliché; I'm speaking from experience. Our talents and abilities are God's gift to us. What we do with them is our gift to him!
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