Featured

PRIORITY BEATS | MEET THE GRAMMY-NOMINATED HUSBAND & WIFE PRODUCER DUO

May 28, 2021

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

Ever heard of the wife and husband duo who’s produced for the likes of Anuel AA, Lil Baby, and Polo G? Introducing Priority Beats, the Grammy-nominated producer, engineer, & songwriting duo who describe themselves as “the ultimate one stop shop.” Composed of Ashley and Dericco Peck, the two creative individuals are here to change the industry standard—simultaneously standing for black love while doing it.

Ashley states, “It’s no longer a dog eat dog world, everybody can eat together. It’s very pivotal for women these days, especially within our color. We’re unique. We’re a powerful music couple that’s coming to take the music industry by storm.” Meanwhile, Derico chimes in with the importance of “family,” as the power couple parents their 2 kids back home in Atlanta.

Thanks to the power of social media, Ashley and Derrico met and came together in the DMs. Ashley’s background includes engineering for Quality Control while Derrico played basketball overseas, trading his hoop dreams for the studio. Their all-star catalog sold over 11 million records in 2020 alone during a global pandemic, and now they’re eager to make their mark after signing to Sony Music Publishing.

Flaunt caught up with Priority Beats in Los Angeles, whom were staying in a mansion in the hills with their artist K. Shiday. Read below as we discuss how they met on Instagram, the meaning behind Priority Beats, how Ashley landed at Quality Control, working with Anuel, studio essentials, parenting, and more!

flauntPriorityBeatsPressPhotos3.jpg

Ashley and Derrico, how did you guys come together initially? 

Ashley: Instagram. He slid in my DMs at a very trying time in my life. I just so happened to look at my DMs. My cousin at the time was in Atlanta for an internship, they were playing basketball on the same team.

Derrico: I wasn’t looking for a relationship at all. I’d just got out of one, I know it’s draining. I wanted to work, I was thinking about that off of the strength. I was making music in college, then playing basketball. When I met Ashley, it was “hey I need a songwriter.” Everyone was telling me if I wanted my music to sound good, I needed to have someone write some type of hook, or a full song to present to a label in case they ask for it. Because I was making so many beats, that’s the only thing I didn’t have. When I found out she was doing just that, it was dope… she’s also beautiful. So I took the initiative to shoot that DM and here we are, 2 kids later.

What did the DM say? 

Derrico: The first 2 messages, I didn’t know what to say. I deleted my message.

Ashley: [laughs] Yeah, he sent 3 different messages and unsent each time. I remembered his name from seeing this sender send then unsend, send then unsend. He got caught.

Derrico: I tripped on my words a few times: “wait no, that sounds stupid. Don’t ask that.” I went back and fixed it up a little bit to where I didn’t think it sounded corny. I didn’t know she knew my teammate, because he’s her cousin. He reached out to me like “yo, Ashley said I’m her manager as a joke.” I’m like “who the fuck is Ashley?” Her name on Instagram was….

Ashley: @behindher_smile at the time. [laughs]

Derrico: I didn’t even recognize her. Once we had the chance to meet, it’s like okay dope. She’s dope.

Musically, did you know she could produce and songwrite? 

Derrico: Musically when I first met her, Ashley was strictly a songwriter, a singer, and overall gem outside of music. Off the working relationship, I was looking to work with her from the songwriting aspect.

Ashley: I was pursuing being an artist at the time. I knew how to do the basics of producing and engineering, because I know how to play the piano and the flute. I recorded myself in college but to this extent, it definitely wasn’t expected. He’s the mastermind that said “yo, we can really make something if we join forces as a team.” This was after I decided “hey, I’m feeling you. Let’s see.” It went hand-in-hand getting to know each other on an intimate level, but solely remembering that we’re in this for our business.

How did the name Priority Beats come about?

Derrico: When Ashley and I met, we were making a lot of dope songs. Priority Beats was more so a production company. We looked at each other wanting to be in demand within the industry. What does that mean being #1 on top? We circulated a couple names, thought about having 2 producer names individually. Priority was born because we wanted to be the #1 priority in the industry. We wanted people to respect us and want to work, feel a priority.

It’s funny because we hear a lot people say “okay we’re working with such and such, they’re the #1 priority this week.” Normally with artists, that’s a funny pun to me because that’s what we like to do. We want to make sure we’re the #1 priority when it comes to anyone who’s working with us. We’re a one stop shop. We want to help with songwriting, producing, manifestation, education…

Ashley: Management, technology, the whole 9 yards.

Ashley, you were an engineer working with Quality Control. How did that happen? 

Ashley: Renni [Rucci] and I don’t come from the same city, but we came from the same city. I moved to Columbia after I graduated college. She’s from Columbia, South Carolina so I knew of her. When he and I joined forces, we’re looking for artists to work with and I wanted to work with Renni. We reached out to her team, which was QC’s head engineer at the time. He told us to pull up to the studio and show him what we got. We were selling beats and he really liked us.

He took the time to give me a shot, but told me “your beats are already hard, that’s the easy part. You guys are very musical, that’s talent. Now you need to seal the deal, you need to be a one stop shop. You need to start engineering. When somebody comes into the studio and needs an engineer, you’re also providing the beats.” He taught me how to engineer. It wasn’t a long drawn out class, it was really a couple weeks. He said “alright,” thrown out there to the sharks! After that, I was engineering Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, Renni, JT, everybody. Not having fully mastered my craft, he taught me the ropes, I took it and ran with It. I love engineering, it’s deep.

Not a lot of females are engineering, how does it feel to be the minority? 

Ashley: It gives me a little bit of a power trip because I’m always the only female in the room. That makes me feel good, however I always knew it’d be like this. I always hung around the guys. I’ve always envisioned being the first black CEO of something. Music just happened to be the passion to allow it to come into fruition.

Derrico, talk about trading hoop dreams for the vision and with that meant. 

Derrico: That was fun. When I was really striving to be a basketball player, I had that crossroad early on. Man, I loved making music. I was practicing in my dorm room making music. The real exchange in dreams came from the success from the music honestly. I got to college as a new producer, I sold my first beat and my eyebrows rose. I could make some money from this? Because it was a hobby to me. Once I got into a space where I found my sound in the music industry, I started reaching out to a couple people.

People were buying beats for $20 like hot cakes. It was accessible in my dorm room, rappers, people that wanted to release their word or knowledge. Now I’m in a space where I’m making beats consistently, I’d connect with other producers and begin to collaborate. Some of his networks wanted to buy our beats for more than the $20 price. I found out I could raise my price a bit, I was making a lot of beats and just selling them. For me, if you have a good budget, let’s work. If you have a bad budget, let’s work. I’m not gonna shy away from you.

If you really like doing music and that’s what you want to do as a creative process, I don’t want money to be the reason why you don’t get that done. When we work with artists, I try to tell them “look, I know you may have to come out of pocket hourly, but I want to be in a space where you’re worried about the product as the creative process. Not just “I’m being timed to record, let me get this out.” No, you should take your time and be creative. Want to be able to love what you’re doing. Without that stress, it makes our job easier as creatives because that’s what we are. I was really persistent in college.

How much are your beats now?

Derrico: Prices range based on Indie vs Major because we try to work with our clients. We’re Grammy-nominated now. We have a great lawyer with a great team too so we’re going to be expecting no less than $10K-$30K.

You’re Grammy-nominated for your work with Lil Baby and Anuel AA.  Was that done in the studio with him? 

Ashley: No, I have a really dope relationship with Twysted G. We came up together, I honestly was there before him. A lot of talent out of QC now, I was there before. I just had 2 kids in the process. Twysted and I have a really dope relationship. We’re exchanging loops back-and-forth, this one in particular landed really at the last minute. He hit us and said “yo, we landed on the album.” Didn’t even hear the song until the album was released. We’re ecstatic, it was “Live Off My Closet.”

Derrico: Featuring Future. Last night, we went to the Benihana truck, there were a couple of people listening to it in their car and blasting it. I’m smiling because I’m sitting next to people who don’t even know that we’re the producers.

FLAUNTPriorityBeatsPressPhoto5.jpg

Was the beat specifically made or did it end up being placed? 

Ashley: It just ended up getting placed. A lot of times, that’s how it is unless we’re specifically making a beat for a specific artist. Usually those beats still get to other artists because they sit on it for so long. Unless it’s one of those super super stern, “we’re keeping it for this person,” it could go to anybody.

What was your reaction? 

Derrico: I FaceTimed her when I heard the song: “babe listen to this!” She said “so you’re outside happy to be playing ‘Live Off My Closet’?” Awesome moments when we hear our placements on TV, the radio, our friends’ earpods, it’s dope as hell to say we’re a part of the creative process. My college experience, I didn’t go out to parties a lot. I’d play basketball, do homework, and make beats. Drake always had a song where he’d say “I want to make music you party to.”

That’s what I was doing at school, I was making beats my friends would go out and party to. Eventually, y’all will listen to my shit. It’s cool. Y’all will know what it feels like to have people bopping to my shit, that’s cool. That’s off of the strength of my young teenage days manifesting. It’s cool now because I get to sit down with my business partner, wife, best friend, partner in crime, and make hits together.

Talk about working with Anuel and how that happened. 

Ashley: Same scenario, dope relationship with another producer. Working, shopping out beats and landed that way through a guy named Fresh Ayr and Glory Gainz. We all came together as a collective and made some super hot fire. It got placed. It just so happened to have 4 of the biggest names in Latin music on it, crazy enough.

3 things you guys need in the studio at all times?

Ashley: My template… well. Our hard drive, a blunt in rotation, and a vibe. Not even a blunt, just keep them coming.

Derrico: One thing I’ll say about Ashley and why I love our relationship is because we try to make ourselves better. Even if it’s off the strength of being fully transparent with your partner or teammate. I grew up in a teammate environment, only way to get better is being able to call out the next man. That’s being honest and how you win games, you have to. I look at our music industry like that too. One thing I love doing with Ashley is being that critical.

If you’re not energetic in the room when we call you out, at least acknowledge you’re not participating. We’re trying to make a hit. Almost like last night’s studio session just because we wanted that energy in the room. We know it takes a collective experience, whether it’s a guy or an intern bringing in cups of water. All of that matters, it’s a vibe at the end of the day.

How many plaques do you guys have? 

Ashley: It’s so many because you pretty much get a plaque for everything. #1 on Billboard, hitting a million on YouTube or Spotify. It’s certain milestones you have to hit.

Derrico: There’s so many plaques you can hit. Certification plaques: Gold or Platinum. Off the strength of our work as a creative process, we have 5 plaques sitting in our house right now. That’s our first order of plaques, and it does not feel like enough. I know we want a lot more, to fill up the whole house with them if we have the ability to do so.

Plaques cost a lot of money. I want to be in a place where we have records and we put aside money to pay for plaques, because they do deserve a spot on the wall. Our team deserves plaques. We know when we’re in California, we have our kids being watched by the family members. I want to have a plaque in Atlanta. I want to be able to put a plaque in my parent’s name, then in my daughter and son’s names.

How old are they? 

Ashley: 2 and 7 months.

How’s parenthood? 

Ashley: It keeps you on your toes, but it’s fun. It’s bittersweet. It hurts watching them grow up because they’re never going to be that small again. You want them to grow up, thrive and be better than what we ever could be.

Derrico: Experience better than what we’ve ever experienced, especially being your child’s role model. Being able to expose them to what you never got the chance to be exposed to is dope. We try to do that consistently for our kids even if it’s taking them to Disney World each year as a family tradition.

Ashley: It’s more than setting a new standard of the industry, it’s setting the overall lifestyle standard.

Derrico: We’re breaking generational curses.

What are you most excited for? 

Ashley: All of the work that’s coming. This industry, everything is all so spontaneous and last minute. I’m excited to see all of our hard work through Covid.

Derrico: We were blessed to make a lot of record sales through Covid, turning the pandemic to a bandemic. Being in a space where we’re really working and excelling, I like to say that we got a lot of hits on the way.

Anything else you’d like to let us know? 

Derrico: Follow us on IG

Ashley: Follow us on social media: Priority Ap, Priority Dp, Priority Beats. Watch out, I’m not gonna say too much.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply