Aftermath Producer and aFam Records CEO, Focus was born as Bernard Edwards, Jr. on November 6th, 1972 in New York and raised in Connecticut. He lived in Los Angeles for several years and now he's planted in Atlanta.
Bernard Edwards / Focus grew up in Manhatten. His dad was a musician, who played bass for the group Chic and wrote all the hits along with his partner, Nile. He's worked with Rod Stewart, Diana Ross or The Jacksons. He was the first producer Focus looked up to and he was and still is his only idol. After his dad performed one last show in Japan, he died in his hotel room. His partner Nile had found him.
His dad teached him to play instruments. "He showed us more than taught us meaning we would watch him and pick it up on our own. I say we because I have 2 sisters and three borthers who all are musically inclined. I taught myself bass guitar, guitar, I had some training in drums and some training in piano. My main instrument is keys though", says Focus.
His step in the music industry opened for him when he moved to LA. He started doing remixes, like Rodney Jerkins and a lot of the New York producers were doing. He knew he had a talent. Every meeting he would go to he was told he was a head of his time. So at the age of 13 he told himself if this is what he wants then by any means nessesary go get it. And that's what he did.
At the age of 28 Focus was signed to Aftermath. Mike Lynn made it happen for him. He brought Focus to Dr. Dre's attention. And another cat by the name of Mone had brought an artist Focus was producing at the time to Dr. Dre's attention, too.
"Dre was like 'let me hear this kid'. Next thing I know I'm at a meeting with Dre. I was buggin. His back was to the door I came in. We met at this spot in North Hollywood. And he was cool as hell. Real down to earth and real focused - no pun intended. I told him I was ready to work."
They put him in the studio that day to work with Shaunta, Brooklyn and Truth Hurts ("Next to Me" and "Do me" were his cuts with her), all at the same time. Shaunta had taken 3, Truth took 2 and Brooklyn took 3. Aftermath liked the consistancy. So they let him stay.
Dr. Dre said to Focus: 'If you think you ready there's a spot open.' So Focus jumped on it and is officially signed to Aftermath.
Not every producer can get a stamp of approval from super producer icon Dr. Dre. Focus is building a platinum plus discography without killing the spotlight. In the last few years Focus has delivered beats and produced for the likes of Busta Rhymes, Stat Quo, Bishop Lamont, The Game, The Outlawz, Truth Hurts, Beyonce, Destiny’s Child, 112, Jennifer Lopez, Petey Pablo and many others and he's working on what is said to be Dr. Dre’s last solo effort titled, Detox. He has have submitted close to 50 beats for Detox so Focus is definitely looking forward to being a part of this highly anticipated album.
"I dont want to be anything, but a legendary producer."
So Focus has some fire coming your way from here on out, so get familiar. Check out the Aftermath Music interviews with him below: