Jason Wu, known as Rabitt, is a producer/songwriter based in Los Angeles.
Hailing from Hong Kong, the producer started making beats at the age of 15 until he decided to move to the US to pursue music as a career.
Rabitt has become one of the most promising producers in the music industry. He worked with artists like Kiiara (“L*** Is A Bad Word”), Charlotte Lawrence (“I Bet”) and more recently, he produced “Hurt Me Now” by Australian artist Quinn Lewis, worked on Andy Grammer’s latest album Naive & co-wrote/produced “She’d Say” and “First Time”, and co-wrote/produced Matthew Chaim’s latest single “Sunflowers”.
As the producer keeps designing his authentic sound, his wish is to have an impact on younger generations in Hong Kong and Asia.
“I want kids who want to do music in Hong Kong or even Asia, to believe that it’s possible. I want to change the cultural stigma that being in entertainment is not a respectable occupation,” expresses Wu.
Introduce yourself - what's your story?
Hey! I'm Jason Wu, or Rabitt. I was born in Hong Kong, lived there till i was 18, then went to the states for college and stayed here ever since! (8 years and counting babyyyyyy!)
When did you start making beats? What made you want to make music in the first place?
I starting making beats when I was around 15, they were trash, and they still probably are. I found this bootleg program where you just pieced together audio files, so I would just find songs in the same key and try to mash them together and hope they sounded good. I went by DJ Wuton, it was really where I peaked. I'm not really sure why I did it, it probably just felt like something to do, and I had a lot of fun doing it.
At what point did you decide to fully pursue music as a career? What did your friends and family think of it?
I'd say I have a rather stubborn personality in the sense that when I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to make sure it happens. So when I told my parents I wanted to study Music for college, I think that was when i decided I was going to pursue music at whatever capacity, I didn't actually know I wanted to be a producer nor did I even know what a producer was until the last semester at college. My family has been incredibly supportive since day 1, of course they have their quirks. Being from Hong Kong, and raised in a rather Chinese conservative minded community, my family has voiced their concerns regarding the stability of the path I chose. But through it all, they've been such a huge part of who I am today and there is no way I could have done it without their never-ending support.
Who was the first person to give you a chance as a producer/songwriter?
Kara DioGuardi (my publisher now), she taught a class at my college and offered me a publishing deal right when I graduated. She really took a chance on me because listening to the demos I was making then, I wouldn't offer me a deal.
How did your artist name Rabitt come about?
My good friend from college, shout-out Quincy Holland, we met first semester. We became friends and made music together, we wanted to come up with an equally cool name as deadmau5, so Rabitt it was.
Do you remember your first cut as a producer? What did you learn since then?
My first cut was "Exorcism" by Clairity. I've learned that cuts are super hard to come by so treasure them when you get them. But on a less surface level, I've learned to work on only the things I'm passionate about. When I'm old and fat, I'd want to feel like I've done things that I'm proud of. Obviously there are times where I needed to make ends-meet, but as a whole, I do what inspires me.
Could you describe us your production process for "Hurt Me Now" by Quinn Lewis? What was the inspiration behind it?
“Hurt Me Now” was a little bit different than my usual cuts, Quinn brought me the song already finished and all I did was produce it out. We had Quinn's band record live drums and piano on the record. But honestly, when a song is written as well as that one, it’s really hard to mess it up.
You worked on "Sunflowers" by Matthew Chaim - what's your favorite thing about this particular song?
My favourite thing about “Sunflowers” was the process. I genuinely feel like the song was a total collaborative project, we created a safe space where we could make whatever we wanted, and I think it showed in the final product!
In your opinion, what makes a "good" song?
When I like listening to it.
What are you looking for in artists when working with them?
Someone who can write their own music, knows their sound/voice. And equally if not more important, an easy going personality, have a sense of humor, we're all insecure here.
What equipments and softwares do you usually use?
I run on ableton 10, I do everything on it. Contrary to popular opinions, I even cut my vocals on Ableton. Besides that, I just have a couple of soft synths I use, but everything else is pretty basic stuff. I did splurge on a Manley microphone, I love that thing.
What advices would you give to new producers/songwriters?
I'd like to think I'm still at the beginning of my career so I'm not one to ask for advice! I'm still learning everyday. But if I was to give advice, I'd say do your own thing, don't do what you think people would want to hear.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
If Oprah was president. Hmm.. Huge question.. I don't know about making the world a better place. But I would love to take this opportunity and say that my ultimate goal as a producer, beyond the Grammy's and the accolades, is to impact the young generation from Hong Kong and hope to inspire them in someway. I want kids who want to do music in Hong Kong or even Asia, to believe that it’s possible. I want to change the cultural stigma that being in entertainment is not a respectable occupation.
What biggest life lessons have you learned so far?
Life's short, have fun living it.
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