Producer The Kid Talks Production Influences, Collaborating with Artists & More
September 18, 2018 | Interviews
The Kid is a beatmaker from Boston, MA. With over 130 beats for lease or purchase, The Kid is always creating beats with his Ableton Live 9, Native Instruments, a Rolan FA-06 Keyboard, and a microKorg synthesizer.
Uptown Plug had the pleasure of speaking with The Kid about his production influences and inspirations, getting into the music industry, his evolving production style, collaborating with artists like CyHi The Prynce, Mick Jenkins, IDK, G Perico and more!
1) Coming up in Boston, MA, who were some your early production influences and inspirations?
My main influence and inspiration is Kanye. When I look back, Graduation is what got me really into hip hop.
I fell in love with that album and then 808s & Heartbreak came out and is the reason I make music today and have the confidence to share it with people. I had always made beats and I had always sang but never over a beat. When Kanye sang on all those drum heavy beats I fell in love.
As a drummer and singer I loved everything about that album. Then My Beautiful Dark Twist Fantasy came out and opened my mind to being as creative as possible when making beats and really treating them more like a composer creates an orchestral piece with a bunch of different parts coming together to create something amazing.
2) Who were your favourite producers growing up?
My favorite producers are Kanye, Dr. Dre, Pharrell, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, No I.D., Just Blaze, and so many more that I probably don’t even realize. Mainly Kanye! He’s a true creative and doesn’t just make the same beats over and over.
3) What made you want to become a producer and what was it like getting into the music business?
I had always made beats since 8th or 9th grade when my dad came home with a Roland BR-532 recorder. I made beats with a toy piano, vocals, and electronic drum set.
I had always made beats but never really thought about the term producer until recently as I feel they’ve gained a lot more respect and popularity recently.
As for getting into the music business I honestly don’t even know what that means. I haven’t even scratched the surface of being in the music business. I’m still just a kid who is trying as hard as I possibly can to make it in the music business whether it’s with my band or my solo work with producing and being a solo artist/producer.
I knew it was an impossible dream and it was going to be hard but as impossibly hard as it is I just can’t stop creating and putting out my music and trying as hard as possible to do this for a living.
4) How would you describe your production style and how would you say it’s evolved over the years?
I guess I’m very drum oriented as I’m a drummer. Obviously a lot of Kanye influence and I’ve learned I create drums similar to J Dilla in the fact that I don’t like to quantize my drums (and overall beats) too heavily.
I like the natural and human element of not being perfectly on beat. I feel the beats that come the easiest to me are very relaxed, chill, laid back beats. I also like to be as creative as possible and My Beautiful Dark Fantasy is in my mind with every beat I start, I love that huge professional sound with so much going on but it all works together.
5) What is your collaboration process like? For example, working on a 6-Song EP, what is the process like with an artist?
So far my collaboration process has been I reach out to rappers and send them my beats. I have them choose their favorite and write whatever they want and as much as they want.
Usually that ends up being one verse. Then I take their vocal stem and put it into my mix and adjust the beat to fit as best as possible and then I add my vocal parts based off what they wrote. I am a beat maker not a professional mixer or masterer.
So I mix as best I can and then I go into a professional studio like The Bridge Studio in Cambridge and I work with the sound engineers there to have the songs mixed and mastered properly.
For a 6-song EP it would go pretty much like that. I would send the collaborator my beats and have them choose their favorite 6. I would also ask for examples of beats they like and ask what style is their favorite.
I would then make about 5-10 beats based off that or as many as it takes and send these new beats to them too. Whichever beats they don’t like I can then offer to other artists. The collaborators would record their own vocals to my beats and send to me.
I guess they could record at my place (I record in my apartment) if they need to. And it would be up to them to get professionally mixed and mastered as I can’t provide that service.
6) What were some of your favourite beats by other producers from the past few years?
From the past few years is tough. There’s so much amazing new music but I’m so over the same trap beats and honestly they don’t impress me that much, obviously with some exceptions like Mask Off by Future.
However, some of my favorites are “If You Know You Know” by Pusha T, Kids See Ghost whole album, Life of Pablo, Ye, DAMN. But my two favorite beats and songs I’ve heard within the past few years are “The Story of O.J.” by Jay Z, and “Stargazing” by Travis Scott.
7) What’s next for your production career?
What’s next for my production career is saving up enough money to get my collaboration album The Kid & Friends professionally mixed and mastered by an awesome sound engineer, Mertz at The Bridge Studio in Cambridge.
I started this album in September 2016. I randomly had an idea to Google up and coming rappers and see if they would be interested in featuring on my beats.
After emailing every single rapper I’ve ever heard of and spending more money than I should spend ever in life, I was able to get the following artists to feature on this album: CyHi The Prynce, Mick Jenkins, IDK, G Perico, Mir Fontane, Michael Christmas and plenty more!
Some artists are more established than others and I can’t believe I got CyHi The Prynce, but all of these artists are incredibly talented. Shout out to Rome Fortune who was the first artist I emailed to get back to be and helped me realize I could actually get talented and established rappers to rap over my beats. I was addicted from there.
I’m incredibly excited about the potential of what will happen when I release this and also admittedly scared that I will have put all this work, time, money and passion into this project and release it to basically no one as no one knows who I am except my friends.
Hopefully the artists on this album will attract some listeners and more artists that want to work with me. The album is 95% done, just waiting for a few pieces, but I still need to mix and master every song and see if I have any budget at all to promote!
My goal is to make a living being a producer/artist and then hopefully help my band get noticed as well. I can’t help but desire to be the greatest and most creative artist I can be and I’m working as hard as I can to do that and see what happens.
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