Producer/recording artist Doug Simpson is a tactician of sorts. His training in Visual Media seems to port well into the world of music. “In Visual Design, we’re taught to look at an issue from multiple angles in order to find solutions; a logo, a brand. With music, I kinda view it the same way. When writing songs, you can also have different vantage points of a single topic. However, the great thing with songwriting is that for every point-of-view you have a song you can perform”.
The son of working class Jamaican parents, Doug Simpson, was born and raised in the Mount Eden section of the South Bronx, New York. Doug credits much of his love of music to growing up in his Uptown melting pot, exposing him to music ranging from Jazz, Soul, and Rhythm & Blues to Dancehall, Reggae, and Salsa. But, it was Hip-Hop that changed him from consumer to creator. “I heard samples of all the original songs I would normally hear around my way over hard, driving drum beats. That was my first experience with Hip-Hop. I loved it and wanted to do it”.
It would be years later that Doug would get a chance to showcase his production. He made his rounds getting the opportunity to showcase for some of his biggest influences. Doug received encouraging words of wisdom when he played his early works for Wu-Tang Productions, Bad Boy Records, and Grammy Award winning, multi-platinum producer Easy Mo Bee.
Doug would go on to form Don Productions, a small Brooklyn-based music production company, which produced cuts for emerging local and regional recording artists. In 2002, after nominal successes with the production company, Doug would partner with a buddy from college, Kareem Knight to form their independent imprint IronHorse Music Group and The Aqua League. The latter would become the in-house production machine.
The duo’s expertise in visual communication, combined with an ever-growing catalog, helped to set their independent venture apart from the rest.
Doug was either featured on, has produced tracks for, or both for Coole High, Ciph Diggy, Sleepwalkas, Mojo the Cinematic of Dujeous, Awkword, Top $ Raz, Eternia, Desiree Coleman and fellow label mates Euphon and The Sistah.
In 2006, Viacom and MTV Networks would sign Doug to a licensing deal. Doug’s catalog would now be featured on hit shows like Run’s House, MTV Cribs, Pimp My Ride, the Sucker Free Series, Fake I.D. Club, My Super Sweet Sixteen, Made, True Life and would expand to shows like Kathy Griffin’s My Life On the D-List and Millionaire Matchmaker and a host of other shows on MTV and VH1.
In 2009, Doug’s production was featured in the independent film, Rivers Wash Over Me by John G. Young starring Darien Sills-Evans. Doug also released his EP, Sketches. One of the tracks, “Big City”, would be featured on Comedian Owen Smith’s DVD project, Anonymous. In 2011, Doug’s follow-up to Sketches, Rough Draught, was released. However, before the project could gain momentum, Doug’s song “Big City” would be featured in the $600 million dollar blockbuster Fast Five starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Paul Walker.
In 2012, Doug became the recipient of the ASCAP Plus Award, an award from the performing rights organization, which recognizes a songwriter’s creative contribution to American music.
Doug is currently working on several projects including a follow-up to his past two EPs, and is actively involved with the production and development of the Velvet Gentleman III, The Aqua League’s instrumental series, and The Reposition II, a compilation of Hip-Hop artists produced by The Aqua League.