It was with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to discuss with Cas Weinbren (a.k.a. Caskeyboardproducer / See See Beats).
He is a classical and jazz prodigy keyboardist turned producer and songwriter. Cas started playing piano, early, thanks to encouragement from his parents and a local music school.
In 2011, Cas linked up with Skiggy Ska and AT Jones to form See See Beats. Cas has also worked with Statik Selektah, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Black Thought, 2 Chainz, Jadakiss, Freddie Gibbs, Soulja Boy, Cee Lo Green, Sam Trocki, and has placements scoring commercials for McDonalds, Nike Air Jordan and instrumentals on MTV, VH1, Animal Planet, E Entertainment, Oxygen, Hulu and more.
Cas is also an instructor at The Music Business School.
What school did you study in and in what field?
Manhattan School of Music Pre-College, Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, NYU - Classical composition, jazz piano, world music, film scoring, and project management at NYU
What musical instruments do you play?
I am classical and jazz trained keyboardist/piano player, a little drums and bass. I mainly produce and use my training to make and collab on beats and remixes.
What music genre do you like best?
Jazz is still my favorite but lends the tools to so many of genres of music. My favorite genres or recordings combine all these influences together. Pop music, Americana, Hip Hop, Soul, Film Scores.
What do you think about the NYC music scene in general?
New York has some of the most talented musicians in the world in the genres and worlds of Broadway, Opera, Hip Hop, Jazz, Classical Music and living songwriters as well. The real beauty of New York are the art resources that are here. The Public Library for Performing Arts has a great catalog of lost musicians and recordings, the jazz clubs have such a great community of musicians dedicated to the sophisticated art form, the hip hop talent is legendary, and to see and hear so much local talent is inspiring. The cultural history of New York and its importance to the music world in general is very inspiring.
What do you prefer: Live gigs or Studio gigs?
Both worlds are comparable. I think studio technique is great practice for live shows. Basically, practicing and getting band tight for a reason. Live shows can be great, if there is a supportive crowd, or stressful if the crowd or band isn't supportive. I love performing and the studio provides the training.
Video of Cas Weinbren in a live performance with Duane McLaughlin
Video of Cas Weinbren in a live performance at NYC Blue Note with Black Thought & Statik Selektah
Who is your biggest musical influence and why?
George Gershwin - an increible pianist/composer/producer and one of the foundations of American and New York music. Gershwin's influence can be heard in many musical worlds - opera (just seen Porgy and Bess at the Met), Broadway, popular song. He is quoted saying "true music must reflect the thought and aspirations of the people and time. My people are Americans. My time is today." For me, also growing up in New York, his sound, songs and mentality resonate with my own beliefs for music and society in general. I interpret his quote and I try to learn about all kinds of music that moves people as well as truly studying and using the foundations.
Online Course with Cas Weinbren (Register today):