Tucked away in a studio in Atlanta with a baby monitor somewhere nearby, husband and wife team Priority Beats are making history one hit record at a time. In the last year the duo has produced records for Polo G, Lil Baby, Anuel AA, Stunna 4 Vegas, Future, City Girls, Lil Tecca, Jacquees and more. Most recently, they recreated Tupac’s classic “Changes” melody on Polo G’s powerful single “Wishing For A Hero.” They also created a shimmering trap beat for Anuel AA on the track “Antes y Despues,” featured on his album Emmanuel.
Having welcomed their first child with a second on the way, wife Ashley (27) and husband Derrico (25) are finally seeing their hard work pay off. Just a couple years ago they were working nine to five jobs and struggling to pay bills while dreaming of careers in music. Fast forward to 2020 and they just signed a six figure deal with Sony ATV.
Ashley Peck is also signed to hip-hop royalty label QC as an engineer. Together the couple is developing emerging QC signee Jayy Fox. Between engineering, producing and artist development, Priority Beats is becoming a one-stop hit record shop. Read on to learn more about how they’re balancing family life, breaking industry stereotypes and turning their passion for music into a lucrative full-time career.
One West: When did you start producing beats?
Derrico Peck: I was in college at Northeastern University.
Ashley Peck: I would like to say I’ve been producing since 2008 when I began learning the piano because I used to ditch my sheet music to make melodies, but I didn’t officially start producing until 2017 after meeting Derrico.
One West: How did you two meet and make the connection with the music?
Ashley: Derrico and I met on Instagram. Ironically, my cousin was staying with me for the summer doing an internship; him and Derrico played college basketball together. Initially, I ignored his DM because so many people were hitting me up “to do music,” but when I realized my cousin was familiar with him, I gave him a shot. My cousin claimed he was a great guy and even better producer, so I went to personally meet him with my cousin one night. We made a few songs together and the rest was history. I was very attracted to him at first sight, so it actually caught me by surprise. I didn’t “shoot my shot” until a few days later while we were waiting in the studio and had a very intellectual conversation. It was at that moment that I thought we may have been meant for each other.
One West: Why did you decide to work together as a couple?
Ashley: Because it’s very rare to find a married, black couple sharing the same passion and pursuing the same career within the same industry. I believe we have an advantage because we want to display more than just our music. We want to show our life; married with children and succeeding within this industry despite the so-called “limitations.”
One West: How did you make “Wishing For A Hero” with Polo G?
Derrico: We started working with Polo G when co-producers Detrakz and The Superiors contacted me for a piano loop pack right after Polo G made Pop Out. I shot them a couple loops and one of them was the dark piano melody in Lost Files, the first record on Die A Legend.
One West: How do you balance family life and being new parents with being producers?
Ashley: In all honesty we’re still trying to grasp a firm hold on balancing everything because things change so quickly, especially with our daughter as she grows. We find our best balance by having help to watch our daughter when we’re both on demand, but it’s usually us working while our daughter sleeps or we’ll split our time between just the two of us. He’ll be in the studio while I’m on mommy duty and vice versa.
Derrico: Sometimes my wife is on the computer working with a baby monitor in front of her and that’s just our daily routine. The amount of patience you have to have to be in a positive space to create music when you’re dealing with a crying baby is hard and it’s something we’re learning.
One West: What’s your best advice for upcoming producers looking for longevity in the music business?
Derrico: For my young producers and upcoming producers, keep your nose clean. Don’t sign any contracts without representation and please learn this business before anything. I’ve always said making beats is a two man job. Some are able to achieve this with teams, themselves, or like me, my partner, spouse, and best friend! Now in the future we plan to expand on our Production Team and help upcoming producers understand the business and act as a mentorship label in a sense. To educate and represent a brand that is excited to expand.
Ashley: Literally never give up even when the road gets rough because it will get rocky. Not everything goes as planned always and damn near everything changes at a very fast pace. I say that to say stay grounded and humble. My motto is “if you bless others, God will provide for you.” Stand firm in what you believe and it’ll all work out. You aren’t given these desires for no reason.