Taz Taylor doesn't remember the name of the first beat he leased seven years ago, but he does remember how much money it made him—$250. The track, cobbled together on a borrowed copy of Reason, the music-production software, in a bedroom of his mother's Jacksonville home, earned him the equivalent of a month of work as a fledgling graphic designer. That was all the then 17-year-old needed to know.
Soon after, Taylor pawned his belongings and outfitted his room with monitors, mixers, and all the trappings of a basic studio, devouring instructional videos and discussions in online production forums to hone his craft, and churning out tracks until sunrise.
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