The Tomahawks are a production team from Phoenix, Arizona.
Formed in 2016, Jalen Cheatham and Aj Robinson established their r&b and hip-hop sound. The two American producers have already been involved in various projects, such as the hip-hop record “God’s Mind” by CJ Francis IV and more recently, they produced the r&b record “Focus” by singer/songwriter Anika, released on January 7th.
As The Tomahawks are installing their own musical signature, the duo is currently working on a compilation album and on Anika’s debut EP.
Introduce yourselves. Where are you from?
The Tomahawks consist of two producers, Jalen Cheatham(@UNDFTD_J) & Aj Robinson (@ajistall). We are from Phoenix, Arizona.
Are you coming from musical families? When did you start making music?
No, we are not coming from musical families. Individually, we both began producing in 2012 after Senior Year of high school. In early 2016, we established ourselves as “The Tomahawks”.
How did you guys meet?
My mother & Aj’s father were together for 5 years- (step brothers).
At what point did you realize you had to work together?
There was no point we realized we needed to work together. We just work together because we’ve been doing this together since the beginning. We’ve grown as producers together.
How did you come up with your production team name?
It originated from a Domo Genesis verse (Odd Future member).
“Got these white girls everywhere screaming “Domo rocks!”
Put it down beautiful, 360 Tomahawks”.
We liked the way it sounded, and ran with it ever since!
Did you always know you wanted to make music?
I’ve always enjoyed music and I’ve always been around music but I never thought I’d be making beats. Glad I did though.
Do you remember the first time you made a beat together?
How did it sound like?
I don’t remember the first beat, but I remember one beat we made. Daps N Pounds and we made that off of two small speakers in our friend MP room.
How would you describe your style?
Stylistically I feel we have our own style but a modern contemporary hip-hop & r&b style. Very versatile.
What makes your team a good team?
We have a great team. Not just me and Aj as the Tomahawks but the people around us are very inspiring and have been around us since the beginning and if they haven’t been around since the beginning it feels like they have.
You produced “Focus” by Anika (Ft. CJ Francis), how was it like to work on that record?
It was amazing- the beat was created during a session at his house. Aj, had been previously working with Anika- he played her the beat & she loved it.
How is it like to live in Phoenix? How does it shape your musicality and creativity?
Phoenix is a great city and there really is a lot of talent out here. The market just isn’t the same like these other big cities like LA or Atlanta. Definitely some of the most talented individuals I’ve met come out of Phoenix.
How’s the music scene in Arizona?
Scare, but the music scene is definitely growing and we are looking forward to more people coming out of here.
Describe us your working process. How do you usually work? How do you complete each other?
We work together when we can but it’s just whatever sounds good to us. There definitely is a process to what we do but not one that is set and stone. It’s always a different approach.
What kinds of music are you listening to?
I listen to a lot of artists. I would say more now I listen to what different producers are doing and the music they make with artists we listen to.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
We get our inspiration from listening to the greats!
What are the main things you are aiming for when creating a new beat?
The main thing I aim for is creating something that is first and foremost enjoyable to me. Being an artist isn’t about making something that others enjoy but something you enjoy yourself. Of course you want good reception if you’re releasing something but I like what sounds good to me and the people I work with.
As producers, what do you want to be remembered for?
As producers I think both Aj and myself just want to be remembered for making a sound that will be remembered not necessarily us being remembered. Something that we can say we started that and shaped that for the music industry. Something authentic.
Why music is so important to you? What does it mean to you?
Music means a lot to my life. It’s something that both Aj myself want to do full time and we should be doing full time. Our break is coming soon so it just depends on when and where.
Any upcoming projects?
We will be releasing a compilation album, and Anika will be releasing her own EP.
What’s your number one goal?
To receive awards, and make money doing what we love!
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