King Amadeus is a music producer and CEO of Platinum Boy Music Inc. who has worked with numerous artists including Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes. In 2012, Amadeus lent his talents and worked on the First Take theme. He sat down and talked with ESPN Music about how he got into the music business and what working with ESPN was like.
Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
ESPN Music: What's your music background? Is it something that you always knew you wanted to do or something you found?
Amadeus: So when I was a little kid, I was on the drumset. I didn't know that was going to be something I wanted to do and be. In fourth grade, I chose percussion. I show up the next day to percussion class and learn that it has everything to do with rhythm. So that was my start in regards to musicianship. Fast forward to production. I loved hip hop, loved beats. I felt like I had the cheat code music wise, because I was a drummer. So production and drum just kind of made sense to me. I fell in love with it. 15, 16 years old, I decided that that's what I wanted to do. That's what I wanted to be -- blood, sweat and tears.
EM: Are there any artists that you looked at when you were developing as a musician or that you tried to maybe emulate a little bit?
Amadeus: At first, I was an artist, a rapper. And I listened to everything like back then. The rap thing is cool, but you have to sell a certain amount of records. You have to be very successful to really eat. So my first production definitely had a lot of influence from bad boy stickers to high hats, just putting things together with the sampling and the drums.
EM: What connection do you see between sports and music?
Amadeus: Everything. And think about it right? When you look at the athletes, whatever sport, they always have headphones on, whether it's in the ears, whether it's the big headphones and it kind of motivates in many ways. It gets you hyped. It gets you excited and ready to go. So the connection is very important. And that's why working with ESPN and creating scores and theme songs and everything is really a big moment for me and my career.
EM: What was the process when you're remixing and writing these themes?
Amadeus: The beats were already made. The direction was just “we need something cool, something hip hop. Just be you.” I probably had 15 or 20 different track ideas but narrowed it down to about five. And then the lyrics were created for the first time. Then we mixed everything, mastered everything to make sure it was top quality sound wise. That was it.
EM: What advice would you give to people wanting to break into the music industry?
Amadeus: Well, 25 plus years ago when I started, things weren't as accessible. The internet didn't exist. So that means social media didn't exist. Everything I had to do had to be face to face. I had to figure things out. There weren’t YouTube videos for me to go figure out how to do anything. So it was really trial and error for me. And that's why I'm really big on giving kids and people in general, the information that's needed in order to be successful. I don't feel like it's cool for me to go through all of the hardships and struggles that I've been through in life, chasing my dreams in my career and allowing people to do the same thing and making the same mistakes. If I can help you avoid that, that's what I want to do. So that's a really big thing for me, everything is accessible.