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Hometown music maker making it big

November 06, 2013 - Clarkston grad Billy Parr's music career is taking off, and he's ready for the next step.

Parr and Matt Rankin's Synergy Production tours the country, performing in shows and competitions in Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Chicago.

"Everything's going good. We're making a lot of industry connections," Parr said.

They meet with artists at events, stay in touch on social media, collaborate, and work with them.

"I definitely enjoy it," Rankin said. "We're starting to make serious connections. It's encouraging, all the hard work to make it happen, it's coming true."

They work year-round, writing, recording, and preparing for competition, and working to land recording deals.

"It takes awhile," Parr said. "We're getting ready to land a major placement."

They compete in iStandard Producer Showcases, the latest at Crows Foot in Pontiac. Judges include several Grammy award winners, providing valuable feedback, Parr said.

Their goal is to upgrade equipment with a Maschine by Native Instruments.

"That's our next piece," Parr said. "It'll take our production to the next level."

"We'll be able to access new sounds, a different way to create music," Rankin said.

The machine is a first-place prize at showcases, Parr said.

"We hope to win one soon. We're getting close," he said.

The business started as a hobby when they were students at Western Michigan University almost five years ago, making songs on the computer using music software.

They've produced hundreds of original hip hop and rap instrumentals so far, with more than 100 sold or leased to singers and rappers.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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