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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v9n8 (02/25/2010) » Eight Questions With...

Jeremy "Cochise" Ball - Music Producer

Get to know a Buffalonian...

Did you know they have hip hop in New Zealand? Artvoice didn’t either. Even more surprising is that a Buffalonian produced one of New Zealand’s biggest hip-hop albums—Smashproof’s The Weekend in 2009. After living in New York City for 10 years and working with major names in the hip-hop industry (Bad Boy Entertainment, Akon), music producer Jeremy “Cochise” Ball returned to Buffalo to bring his experience to the local music scene ( Ball recently wrote and produced a hip-hop public service campaign for Roswell Park and can also be found DJing at Juniper on Wednesday nights.

What did it feel like to help produce a Notorious BIG track nine years after his death?

One of my goals was to come back to Buffalo with a platinum song and I finally accomplished that with “Get Ya Grind On”. Working with Diddy in the room where Biggie recorded all those hits was a bit surreal. In situations like that you can’t get nervous, you just have to focus and do your best. I guess that one was meant to be, I was honored to be a part of it.

How did you get involved with Smashproof and Young Sid? What does it say about hip hop truly becoming a global medium?

Working overseas has been one of the greatest experiences in my life. I took interest in a rapper named Young Sid so Universal Records sent me to New Zealand to work with his group Smashproof. That album, “The Weekend” broke New Zealand Billboard records and I’m currently mixing Sid’s second solo album “What Kills Me” as we speak. Hip hop introduced me to the rest of the planet and that has opened my eyes in many ways.

Tell us a little bit about the “How Big is Your Heart” campaign you’re working on with Roswell Park.

The Roswell campaign reminded me how important is to use our talents for a good cause. I created a song encouraging people to help fight cancer, and the response has been incredible. So far we’ve raised thousands of dollars and it just keeps going. I think we underestimate our ability to help others. If we focus on love and generosity we can really have an impact on the world around us.

How did you get involved with the music industry? What was your first big break?

Artvoice readers might remember because this was actually on the front cover in 1994. One of my early demo tapes reached Polygram Records and they signed me at age 19. That really gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a career in the music industry. Both of my groups at that time, Poverty and the Insomniacs went on to win Buffalo Music Awards.

You moved to New York City and worked with some heavy hitters in the music industry, why did you decide to come back to Buffalo?

I love Buffalo and I always planned on coming back. In New York I focused completely on my music and that was great, but to me family is more important. I’ve accomplished some career goals and now I’m ready to work on some personal goals. It’s great to be back with my friends and family and now I’m looking forward to becoming a new father. What’s better than that?

How have you, as a producer, helped to develop up and coming talent? Who is the next (or first) big thing to come out of Buffalo?

So far I have helped three Buffalo artists get major label deals, and I’m always looking for the next big thing. There’s nothing I love more than bringing out an artists’ full potential. My favorite local singer is Zoe Scruggs, she’s incredible so don’t miss her shows. I’m always looking for new artists, so if anyone is interested you can email me at

Who are some of the artists that influenced you and how would you describe your style when it comes to making beats?

I listen to soul and rock like Isaac Hayes, or the Rolling Stones. I also grew up on early 80’s Hip Hop and MTV Pop. When I make beats I like to mix genres and walk the lines where they intersect. To me different styles of music always have something in common just like different people do.

How did you get the name “Cochise”?

Cochise is actually my middle name. Cochise was a famous Apache chief who was a great leader and a peacemaker. I think the name has given me some direction in life, or at least some attributes to strive for.

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