PartyNextDoor, Ty Dolla $ign, Wale and Chris Brown. Those are a few notable artists that rising producer Brandon “B Ham” Hamlin has worked with so far in his career. Signed to Dr. Luke’s publishing company, the Virginia native has had a stellar year so far in 2016. Even with his undeniable talent and all of his success over the past few years, music wasn’t always B Ham’s first love.
“I had hoop dreams super hard. I also played drums and keys in church, and I liked the music but I didn’t love it. I kept playing in church until I was like 12. Then when I started high school I started playing basketball in school and tried to juggle basketball with music.”
However he felt God had other plans for him outside of basketball.
“All throughout my life I felt that God was telling me I should do music. Then in my sophomore year of high school my dad brought home a beat machine for him to mess with because he wanted to be a musician. I found put you could create music with it so I started messing with it and took it from here. So that whole summer I just made music on that machine.”
Hamlin eventually quit basketball all together. Trying to figure out what to do next, he started considering college. Wanting to go to Full Sail in Florida, his mother thought it was too far. Eventually they settled on Old Dominion University where he studied music production. Not too long after that his first song hit the radio.
“My first song that had a big name on it was a song that I did with this local artist and she had a feature with Gucci Mane. I remember hearing it being played on the radio and I was going crazy.”
That was just the start for B Ham. Eventually he connected with North Carolina talent and Atlanta artist PJ, producing her single “I Mean It” featuring Hit-Boy. Since then he’s received credits for Ty Dolla $ign, PartyNextDoor on “Spiteful”, and Chris Brown.
One of the most notable moves for the producer so far was signing with Dr. Luke’s publishing company.
“Unreal. I remember I was working at Atlantic when I met my manager now his name is Josh. I was playing beats for this artist signed to Atlantic. At the time an Atlantic intern was sending Josh beats of mine. When he came up to Atlantic and saw me playing beats he asked me who I was. He asked who was managing me and I was like Nobody. He was like ok cool I’m going to take you to Luke. I was like you’re talking about Uncle Luke right (laughs) not Dr. Luke. He was like yea Dr. Luke. So he introduced me and I played beats for him and then I ended up signing to him.”
Hamlin has worked with notable artists and producers, but he’s found a special bond with one in particular. He considers up and coming North Carolina producer and collaborator, ISM Beats family to him.
“That’s my little bro. He’s a great spirit and super talented. Every time I talk to him I tell him that he’s going to take over the urban music lane over. I just worked with him like a week or two ago. We used to both be signed to the same company at Atlantic and we was working a lot more then. But now that I’m signed to Luke my schedule is a super busy but I definitely still try to get up with him. Even if we don’t see each other, I still try to hit him up and talk to him even if it’s just social media.”
With all that he’s accomplished so far in his career, the producer has a lot of knowledge that he could pass on.
“My advice would be to figure out what it is that you do best. Try to not have just one thing that you’re good at. Work on all of your skills. Do your best at everything the same time but figure out what you’re great at. Also learn how to collaborate because most music today isn’t made by one person. I feel like a lot of producers look at Timbaland and Pharrell and think they can do that. And you can but you should learn how to work with others.”