Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyonce to name a few. He started his music career playing the piano at the age of 5, a prerequisite for living under his father's roof (and one that has paid dividends!).
By the age of ten, "Darkchild" knew he wanted to be a producer and began landing garage-style production gigs. He entered a professional studio at the age of sixteen working with Patti LaBelle, and hasn't looked back.
In 1999, Jerkins won a Grammy with Destiny's Child for "Say My Name". He has produced music in a variety of genres, from hip-hop and dance to country and gospel, and continues to be at the top of his game. Rodney's work and influence is stamped across the music industry with various projects that span the gamut of musical genres. When it comes to listening to tracks for that accurate "club feel", producers rely on their Cerwin Vega Active Series in his Darkchild Entertainment studios based in Los Angeles.
Each of Darkchild's studios features a dual system for monitoring. They use KRKs for traditional studio monitoring, but also soffit mounted mains and Cerwin Vega PA systems to "perform" tracks. By spending time alternating between both playback systems, the Darkchild team achieves their signature sound.
Explaining his creative process, Jerkins says, "I look for something that's tight, that's punchy, that has the low end, but still has the pristine clarity up top. If you really study my production, my production has really been that sound from the beginning. I'm always trying to capture those different characteristics in sound for my mixes. I want to have the hump, the low-end hump, but I still want it to have the clear top end."
Jerkins explains, "When I'm creating, I like it really loud, overly loud. I always try to tweak or figure out how we can make the music sound better. He says, "The live sound speakers give me the opportunity to listen to how this might be sounding in a club atmosphere. That's really what they're there for."
Rodney's longtime engineer, Mikey "Handz" Donaldson concurs, "The mains and speakers are there so you can feel it in your chest. People just want it to be loud. For a producer the Active Series is perfect for feeling music."