Citing musical influences that span Quincy Jones to Aerosmith,
PENZ DEEP is a multi-faceted (Miami and L.A.) born production duo that emerged on the music scene in 2017. With their creative powers combined, Ocean and Krushel are set to release a jam-packed compilation album entitled “The Cure.” Loaded from beginning to end with everything from inebriating bass lines, speaker thumping hip hop, to intricate harmonic ballads, featuring hot and emerging rappers, singers, and songwriters. Their brand-new single “Do What I Want” hits digital airwaves on September 18th and features the sultry-sweet vocals of singer-songwriter Sofia Camille.
As a young child, Ocean unexpectedly stumbled upon his calling when his father took him to see Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder perform live in concert. He mastered the drums and piano in high school, and his passion for music grew exponentially, as he developed an expert ear for arrangements. After Ocean signed with his first label, he worked closely with a team of acclaimed American music producers, whose career spans decades and has included working with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Mariah Carey.
Krushel fondly remembers hearing Marvin Gaye and The Isley Brothers blasting through his house as a kid, which inspired him to pick up saxophone and piano in school. After working closely with Grammy-nominated recording artist Ryan Leslie and musical icon Deborah McDuffie and competing in numerous iStandard beat battles, Krushel decided to take his love of music production sonics to the next level.
As classmates who passed by each other in the halls of FAMU high school, Ocean and Krushel went on to form PENZ DEEP when a chance meeting after graduation ignited a lifelong friendship between them. In their first year, PENZ DEEP had five placements on the BET/ VIACOM hit show “Carl Weber’s FAMILY BUSINESS.” When they’re not joining up to create music for film and television placement or collaborating with up-and-coming artists for indie and major labels, the two enjoy being active fathers, loving husbands, and champions for their favorite social justice causes.
WHAT IS YOUR MANTRA?
My mantra has always been “find a way to win.” After being signed to two different record deals and having not the most favorable outcome or having not the greatest experiences with the industry as a songwriter/Artist, I had to tell myself to look at the victory and celebrate even being able to do that much. I think a lot of times when things don’t go your way, we feel like it’s a loss, but it’s not really a loss. You have to look at what you were able to achieve at that moment and what it took to even get there to see the loss.
My mantra has evolved as I have grown older. At this stage of my life, I use the phrase “Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” This, to me, allows me to remove any limitations in my thinking and creativity. My adaptation to a comment I heard from Quincy Jones when asked what type of producer he is. His answer was music and he refused to be limited by a specific genre. It is also my thinking.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO FEED YOUR SOUL? WHAT’S YOUR SELF-LUXURY?
Growing up, I leaned on anything musical and my spiritual relationship with God to feed my soul. So in terms of what I actually feed my soul, I am constantly seeking knowledge and wisdom from multiple sources and trying to grow in my faith, being a better person, being a better father and husband. Most of all, learning what it means to be a child of God and all of the powerful gifts that come with that. I didn’t understand how necessary it was to feed your soul until I found myself in Los Angeles on a record label that I didn’t want to be on and really feeling like I was losing my soul.
My self-luxury has changed over the last couple of years. I think more so as a result of what has been happening in the world, I have been forced to or rather have gained a deeper appreciation for the things that are really important in life, such as your family and redefining what it means to be a friend to others and the types of friends that I need or want in my life.
I would have to say hands-down, my favorite self-luxury is still to spontaneously get on the computer and book a trip to some country that I’ve never been to before with the special people in my life, a cluster of friends, and create new memories. Excursions and experiences that I can look back on and laugh about in pure joy or embarrassment.
I look to my family and friends to feed my soul. My life has unfortunately presented me with a fair amount of loss. Most of the losses have been sudden and far too often unexpected. It has taught me to embrace life in all of its fullness. I even sit and eat my dessert first if it is on the table. I also believe you have to give people their roses when they can still smell them. Being able to spend time with the ones I care most about feeds my soul. As far a self-luxury, the joy I receive from seeing my wife and son happy is a feeling that few things in life can rival.
HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR PURPOSE?
That’s a great question. I am constantly trying to evolve. I think the more we try to learn who we are, the closer we get to discover what our true purpose is. But if someone were to ask me today what my purpose is, I think my purpose is first to show my girls what love and manhood looks like and from a professional standpoint, to use my gifts to create music and connections that make a difference in the world. I feel like every job or opportunity that I’ve ever had or come my way was not necessarily because of my talent but because of my favor and ability to make powerful connections with people from all backgrounds.
I believe I have multiple purposes in life, but if I had to narrow the field to one specific purpose, it would be to show my son that he is capable of doing any and everything in life. The limitations we fall victim to in life are typically imposed based on society’s views of what one can achieve.