You're welcome back to the ETCs Man first episode of amazing epic gut reaction that you think. I thought it was funny that Chiri completely called out the way the media works and then it did that to us like we ended it right in the middle of that. I thought that was hilarious. It was amazing. Exactly. It was funny. And I told them, yeah, we're going to go viral. I didn't know like that.
You did say to you called. Did you call? I didn't know either.
And I appreciate for coming on, you know, because he he dropped some gems on that episode and a lot of people overlooked a lot of that stuff to blow up, you know. Yeah, obviously we know they blew it, but he dropped some gems, man show to carry.
I actually got a call from a friend who was really moved by as Maya Angelou quote. And like, I had a couple comments on that, just like, you know, Kyrie saying these really interesting and eloquent things. And then with the way stuff works, we're on TV also because there's something else.
So, I mean, that's the nature of the beast. That's the nature of podcasting. It is what it is. Kyrie was great, but I think today is almost a better indication of where we'll be at with this.
And it might feel like like a real strong left.
But these are the kind of conversations you and I have this conversation we're about to have right here. And I mean, I don't know what else we talk about more than music.
Yeah, it's probably music definitely rivals basketball in our conversations. And specifically, this brand is real prominent.
If somebody stumbled into a convo with this 90 percent chance they're going to catch us talking about music and about this guy. Exactly. And we're definitely going to put our capes on form as well. Gotcha.
Gotcha. So, yeah, man, without further ado, like I said, I feel like this is almost even a more accurate depiction of what we envision here with these conversations. And this is a great one. I'm really excited for people to hear this. So let's get right to it. We've got, in my opinion, the guy that shaped music in the last decade for me, behind the scenes, not as an artist but as an engineer producer No.
40 should be was on the show today. That's a lot of weight, man.
That's a lot of weight. That's a lot of weight, but it's real.
I thought about the intro for a couple of days, and I think that summed it up perfect for me.
And it's surreal. Like this is the guy who shaped the soundtrack of, like the last decade of my life. And I know I'm not the only one. That's the way you carry out a piece.
A part of it. A part of it. I take a little part of it. A huge part. A huge part of it being me being modest.
Appreciate you coming on the show, though. Of course. Thanks, bro.
Appreciate you all for having me. It's a pleasure and an honor for real. So you have an interesting background, man. You come from an artistic family, I would say. But your dad was in the film making your mom was an actress, had a music show up in your stratosphere as you were coming up is funny.
Like, I, I did a bunch of things in my life that led me all to the same place, I think, you know, which was like in a recording studio. And first, I started playing piano when I was really young, probably three or four years old, so my aunt had a piano and she left it at my grandma's house. So I got to play it all the time and I. I was always sort of into music from that perspective, you know, and then for some reason I just became deep and I got deep into technology and computers and amplifiers and TVs and anything with like a power cord, basically that I could fuck with was like when I was real young, you know, like seven, eight, nine years old, like pulling shit out of the garbage and trying to plug it all and put it together.
And so on the one side, I got my musical background and then I've got like this technology shit I'm getting into. And in school I was always good at math. I was never really good at English, which lends itself to the production of music. And I became a DJ because my best friend, when I was growing up, he his mom always had students in the house to stay and help pay the rent. And he had this student from Japan who showed up when we were nine or 10 years old named Ichiko, and he came with a PC and two turntables.
And so he taught us how to deejay and mix. And we weren't allowed to touch the NPC. But, you know, he had his creative, like, legendary hip hop from, you know, early 90s shit. And that in that moment, I was like 10 years old and I'm deejaying. And so right then and there I was on a mission to figure out how do they make this shit. Like, where do these beats come from, where do they how do they do this?
I had no idea, no one to teach me. The resources were slim back then. There was no YouTube. You couldn't just learn how to do this shit. You had to know somebody who was going to teach you or explain it to you. And I just tried to figure it out. And I kind of taught myself my own methods of of making music and then had to sort of relearn how to do it properly later. But that was it.
I was just a kid. And by the time I was about 11 or 12 years old, I just knew I wanted to try and make beats and figure out how these guys did it. And this is like way before computer music, you know? Kevin, it sounds kind of like what you would probably be like picking up the ball, right? You just bouncing it around at first and then people start kind of teaching you how to hone in those skills.
Yes, it's like a craft that you just are drawn to, you're interested in and you want to see how it works. You know, like you said, you wanted to see, you know, how they made the stuff, you know, so as the same in my craft, I feel the same way. How did these guys get to be able to do the things that they do?
So seeing 40, you know, craft basically just you know, I was in the studio for one time just to see see his environment and see him, you know, craft from nothing to something like that process. It just it just Holmes is just crafted over time, over years of experience and experience over time. So.
But it's weird. Like I'm self-taught in a lot of ways. Like I learned how to play the piano a little bit when I was young. But even that I'm self-taught. So I just started to do the shit right. Like, I just went, OK, I always tell the story. I was in Sony Sony stuff, have a big, big studio in New York City. And they had like, I don't know, there must have been like ten different big rooms in that place.
I can't remember now is too young. But before they tore it down, I went there because my boy Ohman from New York was a producer, was working on J. Mills's album.
Funny enough, I think that this is like a long time. I'm like twenty one years old, 20 years old, I can't remember. And I was down there visiting him and I was sitting in the lounge of a studio because he was there mixing one of the DJ Mills records he'd done at Sony. And I had my laptop open and people were walking, had a mini controller hooked up like a keyboard, hooked up to the laptop, was making beats or some shit.
And people were walking by the room freaking out, like coming into the room like, yo, what is that? You got a keyboard plug in your laptop. Like, you have to understand at that moment, which would have been like, I don't know, two thousand four, two thousand three.
Like at that moment, people weren't doing that shit. Yeah, this was brand brand new. So just luckily for me, because I knew how to play piano and I was good with computers, I was like right on the forefront of the change of technology. So like Drake was on the forefront of the change of technology in a many, many ways from streaming, but most importantly to production. I'll never forget when we did so far gone, the most asked question I would get is what console did you mix that on?
A console that I mix, that I'm a fucker.
I did it on my laptop in a hotel room. Like, what are you talking about? I'm on a clock radio, on a pair of headphones. But that was like a foreign concept to people like you weren't allowed to do that. You needed a big studio and big money and you had to pay big mixers and get the big SSL and like you up on a plus or a DJ. Would you mix it on like, yo, dude, what are you talking about?
I didn't mix it on nothing. Pro Tools, headphones all inside the box. So like we were at a time where that was brand new. Now that's the norm. That's standard. Everybody records in the hotel. Well, me and Drake were recording in hotel rooms. That was like a very, very unorthodox thing, you know, so we kind of like got to write the book. And I also got to, like, develop my sound because I had to teach myself how to make music.
And like, a weird way, you know, I didn't I didn't come up from the greats teaching me how to do this shit. I was in Canada by myself, like trying to figure this shit out. And I had some some help in Toronto and in the city. And there's there's like serious hip hop culture in the city of Toronto because of our proximity to New York. So a lot of kids in Toronto, especially of Caribbean descent, grow up here and travel back and forth to New York to see family in the summers and so on and so forth.
And they bring that culture back to the city in the summertime. So like that's been happening here since the eighties. You know, we have like real pedigree in rap coming from this city. So, I mean, it does exist and the culture does exist. But it was just it was at a time where it really was not accessible for me.
So I was forced to sort of just learn on my own, I guess, you know, how early along did hip hop become a part of your palette?
You know, you have a very unique background as far as a hip hop producer would be. And but obviously that's a huge part of what you do.
So my best friend in the world was half Jamaican from when we were when I was six years old. And we were like inseparable, like for life, like my best, best, best friend. The whole world, like his mother is my mother and vice versa. So I was in his house and he had an older brother. I didn't have any brothers. I only have sisters, older sisters. And so Shane was in the house and went from when I was five, six, he had the tapes and all the salt and pepper and wanis and that's like that.
When we were kids, that was like always there. And that was always an influence on me from that side as far as Hip-Hop was concerned. But like my oldest sister is ten years older than me. So she was into, like, you know, Motley Crue and Skid Row and shit and like rock and roll and hair bands from like the eighties. And so I had that influence as well. So me and Chris, my best friend, were like, you know, we were like both sides of the coin as far as musically.
But when I was nine or 10 years old, I got a mix tape like that being said, like in my home, I was like Michael Jackson and shot and all kinds of different music because of my sisters. But I didn't go all the way into rap music until I was probably nine or 10 years old. Ninety three. Ninety four. And I got a mix tape from a deejay, call it with my sister, but it was a DJ.
TDK mixtape is a DJ from New York. And this is like back in the day when tapes would float up to the city through bodegas and shit like you get no Internet, no wire or Napster.
And I got a hold of his tape and it had just classic's on it from like represent a drink away the pain to smoke. Madisen Channel lived down with a devil like this, the classic legendary rap music that changed my life forever.
And when I heard that tape, it like flipped a switch for me. And I never looked back from the age of probably nine or ten.
So you talked about how rap was prominent in your life around and around 10 years old. So would you say RB Krypton at the same time?
R and B probably even before. Right. So I've got three sisters, basically, that I grew up in my house with and. I had my oldest sister was in rock and roll, so was my other really my other older sister, but she was also into like Prince and Michael Jackson big time. And so I had those influences on me from a youth and a lot of like melody and music from my mother and also from my father. So I just loved Melody because I played the piano.
I just fell in love with RMV music because of my sister. So by the time I was I remember distinctly I was a pretty twisted kid. But like I remember distinctly being in grade five. So I was 10 years old and I distinctly remember at lunchtime leaving class or like whatever, like sneaking away from the school at lunch to the park to let go smoke a spliff or whatever. I was doing a botanist at that age.
But like having Toni Braxton in my CD player, my Walkman, you know, and I was like consciously being like, what other 10 year old kids are walking around Toni Braxton in their walk. But I was conscious of that in that moment.
Like, how trippy is this? I'm a weird kid. Like, it's so strange, but like, I was just who I was.
And that's like the music I loved. And I don't know, I felt like deeply in love with RB as like a young kid. And that was always my shit like Share My World by Mary J. Blige. Like, changed my life. Like I was a really important album to me. I mean as like things like Illmatic were. But but specifically RB albums are what I gravitated to, probably because I just love the melody and the and the keys and the emotions.
Like I love the manipulation of emotions and music. And that was really prominent.
I think deep down we're all like the. Yeah, you tap back into that a lot.
What it's like. I want to talk more about your process more than anything. What is your sampling process like? Because I know when you guys flip Jambi, I was like, OK, so John, I had to give the Stephanie.
So I got so I got Stephanie is like my fourth sister. I got like maybe five sisters, was like at my house. People always lived in my house. Right.
So Stephanie probably live with me from when I was like 13 to 18, you know. So I mean, she was in that house. She's four. She would've been four years older than me. But like through high school, she lived in my home. So she's like my sister, too. Anyway, Stephanie, love Jambi. So that was like where I got my job. But I love job to have. Like, the baddest girls in this video is like a white guy out.
And I was like, oh, wait, I was always on a job from Young. And then I'd like another good friend I grew up with in my neighborhood who loved my whole neighborhood. Listen to rap and RB and stuff too. So we shared music and and listen to music and a couple of my buddies like good job fans. I love Jumbe when I was young, so I made an effort and like to sample him, you know, to pay homage to him.
A lot of times when I'm sampling like it's like a hot tip, you know, you have these ideas beforehand or you stumble in on the stuff, digging in crates.
But you know what it is, too, is nostalgia for me. Like when I'm reaching for samples, I'm trying to find like some of the most, like, nostalgic moments for me, like things that I miss and moments that I can remember from, like, my own childhood or my own journey that, like, sparked a chord with me that I never forgot, you know, like a moment in the back of a car where somebody puts on a song and you're just like, oh, shit, this is crazy.
And it's like it's a special moment. I'm trying to capture those moments again, you know, and sampling is like a little bit of cheating. But I try to manipulate shit where you can just change those moments and update them or make them newer or whatever the case is.
But I definitely sample a lot by Scevola for Drake because. Drake doesn't care about the business behind this. He cares about the music. So, like a lot of people will be like, oh, I'm not going to sample that, that's going to cost too much money or that's going to this big drinks. Like, I don't care. Like, if that's the song, like that's the song. Like, how much what do they want. Whatever.
Give it to them. Let's make this work. I probably more going to be so mad at me. Like what are you talking about.
The is it like we're always willing to do what we have to do to get the record, what it's to be, what it's supposed to be, you know. And so because he gives me that creative freedom as an artist and like I'm pretty fearless with like what I draw from for sampling. But it's also just like a part of how I grew up. Right. Like I grew up in in rap. So it's like, yeah, you sample you pull the drums from a break and you build your pieces and you trigger them off a pad on a sampler and old rolling machine or whatever.
Anything, it's that's that's what I come from. And again, when we're talking about, like nostalgia and going back to that place and finding those moments. Often that's what what you want to do and then sampling brings this ignorance and this like something about it, like chopping shit up and making it sound fucked up and it brings it brings life to things in. It brings edge to things that are really hard to create with synthesizers or you know, the other thing I do a lot is I make a beat like I make like a corny RMV beat, which I can do, like with my eyes closed really easily.
And it's like, if you like, put me on cruise control, that's probably what I'll do. I stay focused so I don't do that.
But like, I'll make some like Cornilles Strambi and then I'll flip that. Right. Like I'll take that and distort it and flip it and chop it up so you get the chops and the clicks and the stutters and the weird points that make it organic, that give it that sort of raw feeling that a lot of rap music has. So I do that to I do both.
You know, you're chopping up your own creations to make 100 percent. I do wild shit like what I do. Basically, my process is just doing the wildest shit you could think of. And it's like throwing it at the wall until it's so fucked up that, like, if you can find something good out of it, then you're just like a genius and everyone is like like, oh my. How'd you do that. How are you. I don't even know how I did this shit.
Like, bro, I kept fucking it up until we got this. If you want me to do that, I can't do that, you know, like it was an accident basically. But I guess that's like the genius, right? Because then no one can ever figure it out. I can't even figure it out. So it makes me look good. But I don't get it. I just keep fucking it up until it sounds different, crazy.
And at some point I realized that being original is more valuable than anything else, like having something that you can call your own that is different than everyone else isn't doing. Even if people don't understand it in the moment, that's what's going to give you longevity and like, you know, something to stand on at the end of all this shit when you can say this was mine or this is what I contributed or this is what I'm proud of, you know.
But, you know, it's a double edged sword, right? Like so for me as a creative, I often tell people I make music like for myself very selfishly, you know, I have a hard time making music for other people and I'm maybe not a good producer for other people that way. Right. Or some producers can go in with an artist and talk to them and really craft specifically a track that they need to help them get to the next stage of their career.
You know, I'm more so like, yo, motherfucker, like we're going to get what we get, you know, what we do, because, like, I don't try too hard to make music. I just, like, closed my eyes and I do the shit, you know, and if it's good, it's good. If it's not it's not like, fuck it, we just go, you know. And that to me creates something that's real and organic and original.
And that's why I'm always consistent to the music I make because I'm never really trying to do other shit. So that's good and bad, right? There's positives that come with that. And there's like definitely negatives that come with that, too.
So at what point do you say you hit that rhythm, you know, when you knew exactly how you wanted to make music so far gone.
Wow. That early. No question, man. Like, well, Wychwood, the rhythm as a producer for me, as just a producer, your identity as a producer and how do you want to make music so far gone.
Did you to hit the ground with that type of chemistry. You're like me and Drake. Yeah. No, not at all. So like the first time I actually met him was I was working with an artist named Divin Brown where I was interning for Chris Smith, and he had this artist named Divine and Boy Wonder had produced the remix to my song that I'd produce for Divin is crazy old school education. And so I'd done the song Boy Wonder and of doing the remix and and brought Drake to do the remix.
So Drake had come to like my original studio I worked at and like, oh, and Toronto Blacksmiths with Gadget and I met him then briefly anyway. So flash forward like four years later or three years later when I actually met him for the first time, really was at the replacement girl video shoot and I gave him a CD of Beats, but like they were all probably pretty wack beats and you never said nothing about them, but he just wanted studio time.
So then I was his his engineer.
And from then I was always Drake's engineer. I was never Drake's producer. Like even after so far Gone came out, Drake would still introduce me as his engineer.
Like after I produced almost all of so far, I was like, oh, this is 40. My engineer, you know, like I was never old, is forty my producer.
No, this is forty my engineer. So being an engineer at that point was like, your relationship is different than being a dentist. Are you walking them through?
Always tell people that like that was the secret that was my in that was the key. Because when you're the engineer, you're in control of the session, you know everything that's going on. So then you could contribute. Now you can produce. Now you can add, you can help, you know what beats to pull up. And so what had happened was I was engineering for Drake all we did come back season or come back season. Yeah, comeback season.
The mixtape was the first thing we did together and I didn't produce anything on comeback season. Not one thing. The whole thing was produced by all the other producers from Toronto and Boy Wonder and everybody else that we knew and and that Drake had been working with and so on and so forth and. Then we started working on his first album, Thank Me Later. A lot of people don't know that, but they later became so far gone and then we may thank me later after like we were making thank me later and then stopping were like, OK, wait a second, we don't have a record deal.
What the fuck is going on? Let's just put this shit out as a mixtape or let's just make a mixtape instead. Fuck, thank me later. So then we then we made so far gone.
Did things get scrapped, did things get transferred over. Did you hold on to songs like what is the process of that.
Not much got scrapped those times, so we would have had a bunch of songs like five or six songs back then. You know, I remember even like I'm going in with one of them, you know, that summer in Atlanta, 08 leading into 09. So it's been 20 summer in Atlanta while we were on iron music, three tours with Wayne. And but at that point, me and Drake were just sort of post it up in Atlanta working on what we thought was his first album.
Thank Me later. Right now, we're just cooking up songs, and that's where a lot of that stuff came from. And then, you know, fear stuff like that was done in Atlanta, everything Houston and Vegas, even that might have been a little later. And we knew it was going to be so far gone and it was going to be a mixtape that we were just going to drop. But, you know, so that sort of transitioned at that point.
But I was OK anyway. The point was, I was an engineer, a comeback season. Now, when we get to so far gone, I've engineer from for probably about a solid year at that point. And she was really frustrated finding beats. We were in Atlanta and we were now connected with everybody. We had the contacts. Drake was becoming somebody you know, Branson was out. He was on tour with little Lil Wayne. People knew who he was.
We could get in contact with producers. And what you think at that point is like, well, now I get the beat from Pharrell and the beat from Timberland and the beat from that. You just think that's what you're supposed to do in that moment. And so not to say that those guys didn't all deliver for us at some point or another, but at that time it was just sort of like that wasn't the answer for him. And I could see how frustrated he was trying to figure out what he was going to do.
And he'd said no to so many beats. I was like, oh, shit. There's like there's only one thing he hasn't said no to. And I think I know what that is. And I'm going to try and make it. And it was just just like weird new sound. And I stumbled upon it luckily was successful and like, you know, partially from Oliver's contribution of like pushing me in certain directions musically. And and as far as my palette was concerned at that time and and what we were working on, we just made some weird shit.
And I recognized in that moment like, oh, this is working, yo, this is different. This is new. And I just ran with it, you know, it's like never really look back. But it was in that moment that we all kind of figured it out together, what we wanted to do musically and then did it. But it was so far gone for sure. And then from then I've been like, yeah, I got my I got the formula, like, I'm good.
You know, I'll talk to Kevin about this before when we were choosing our theme song for this podcast in. Oh, some of your work, by the way. And the conversation we had was like so much of Drake's music is about. He has a song called The Ride, but it's about, you know, the grind of the trip you take to success and then success. And you could kind of see it as it happens in the arc of his career.
And so when you when your job when you start that with a song called Successful, and he's just walking through this concept and what it means to him and it it struck a chord then and you could feel like this is different. Whatever they're doing, this is different. And it's kind of crazy to me that you feel like that's when you stumbled onto it correctly.
Is that when you feel like your voice is chemistry really began one hundred percent as far as me being a producer and him being rapping about working together, it was successful. And then like we bust the door open with like Selena Vegas and the resistance. And like when I was on the next one, the calm and stuff like that, when we started doing catching those moments, we were like, oh, shit, this is something different. This is really cool.
What are the discussions around this type of stuff when you're making it like how hands on is he with production? How helpful are you with composition? You'll listen.
He's so fucking hands on like that. He produces so much. He does. His impact is so great when he's in the room with a record, he knows exactly what to do. He knows exactly what things are supposed to sound, what he dictates, most of it. And I've reaped the benefit of that my entire career. All of that praise. I give so much of that back to Drake. Are you crazy? Half of this shit is him.
Then it's all his ideas, like down to me filtering this shit out. I did it, you know, like my signature, like filtering underwater sound. I did it. But Drake was the one who came back to me like, yo, filter that hook, filter that hook, and made it like a thing that we kept doing. He knew where to draw for it. It was him. I give him the credit for that shit. I don't take credit for that shit.
You know, for real. He's an incredible producer all the way to fucking problems. He came to me like. To change this bar, I love that bitch has got a fucking problem, got a fucking problem, don't make that a hook, make that a hook and make a beat around it. I'm like, all right, sick. So I went in the bus. We were on tour when the bus made the fucking beat.
So just around the vocals he had he had spit some of some small little a few eight bars for him, for some other shit or something. And he was like, you know, the bars are sick. But yo, this one little piece here is a hook like a loop that were like, all right.
And so I just I made it for him and he just flipped it. But, like, that whole thing came from him, you know, or say like even in my feelings, you know, when it when it drops into the black and mild and it switches between the part from Trappe money, Benny over the block and miles parts, I put all the shit together with black and mild, you know what I'm saying? He he built out that section.
I took all the parts I build, I do all the labor, I decide what's going here and where and Newt have to shit and arrange it and make the drops and give it the impact and make it work because it was so much fucking going on in that record. So I got a huge part of actually pulling that together. But at the end of the day, it's Drake who's like, yo, fly up, trap money Benny or fly up fucking black a mile, sit with black AMOLED and add some pieces to that shit.
I'm like, all right, I'm on it, you know, but like it's him who's got those ideas. It's him who's got those visions every fucking time. You know, it doesn't matter what we're talking about, sample ideas, pieces, lupe's, whatever, anything. He's an incredible producer, but he's just knows what this supposed to sound like. And also like so many times he gets be. I always tell producers to be careful because I'll hear a bit of a bit sick, but he's going to take the first four bars, you know, like it's like I want to beat someone to work so hard on a beat.
You know, the beat hasn't even started yet. I spent like ten hours on this shit and it's that first, like, little string piece right before the beat starts and he just chops that out and deletes the whole other beat. And then then he gets some of the program drums over that piece. You might send it to me. My to wonder maybe. No. Well, like someone's going to go that in program on that piece that he really liked and he recognized until he gets what he's looking for.
So from that sense, again, he's producing like literally, but he doesn't take all the credit for it. And I've often given him production credit on fucking problems. That's produced by 40 and champagne popping. And that was before I even had the Instagram handle. That was just like a nickname. We were calling him back then. And then I, I just like it was I was a joke. I thought it was funny. I was like, I'll give you a credit on this, you crazy.
So how often do you bring in new producers? What do you like, feel comfortable bringing in new guys around him when you are cooking up?
Yeah. I mean, like, look, somebody is always going to have the bounce, you know what I mean? Someone's always got the bounce. Yeah, I mean, one always got the bounce, but there's other people that are going to come and go and pop up or the new guy is going to show up.
I mean, we all remember when Metro showed up and like Metro's got the bounce this year, you know, people are going to show up and and grow in the business and so on and so forth that Drake's going to gravitate to and want to work with. And he obviously, when it comes to, for instance, people like Keith has that year to recognize, like, yo, these guys are going to go like, let's let's work with these motherfuckers, you know, and has helped push people to that place where they explode as artists and producers many, many times over.
So there's no fear of that or problem. We're always it's Joe who's got it and you got it. You're welcome to come over and start fucking shit up with us, you know, so that's there's no question about that. It's just often about what he's looking for is like trying to find those pieces. Everyone always thinks like that. You know, these artists are sitting in the studio and they're like completely unattainable. But I mean, everybody, man, doesn't matter who you are, is sitting in the studio being like, yo, you got anything you going to be any new pacts?
I mean, like we're always looking. We always want to hear. But it's difficult. Like, it can be frustrating sometimes to you know, you jump in your DMS and you experiment and know, listen to this kid's beats that someone just sent you in. Like, they're just terrible, you know, and you're like, oh, God, all right, why even bother?
And then sometimes you go in there and you find fire. Right. But it's just it's a lot of work. It's exhausting. And, you know, sometimes it's just luck of the draw. Sometimes it's timing. I think timing is the most important thing, right. Like Drake is or any artist for that matter, is going to be looking for something specifically. And if you show up with that thing, they're looking for that day, you get the placement.
You know, pretty much that simple. Just depends what they're looking for.
On the same token, you don't branching out to a lot of artists. Why not? And now that you're so many years and you kind of wish you had. I think about that sometimes.
Sometimes I wish I had. But like, that's more of an exercise to think about life.
You know, I don't actually wish.
I just wonder, you know, I'm curious, like, what would have happened if, you know. But now I mean, I probably solidified the decision when I I won the ASKAP Songwriter Award three years in a row. And I think it was 11, 12, 13, and so in 13, when I won the third year in a row, I'm sitting there like I only have ever worked with one artist. This is crazy. Like what?
I'm songwriter of the year again. Right? This is like insane. Like that moment. I was like, I'm never worked with anybody ever again because it's just too much work. It's too much effort. I don't need to do that. It's a very emotionally exhausting experience to go into the studio with somebody and create from scratch and do all that. And I mean, I found one of my best friends and we make incredible music together. And it's just kind of like, I don't know, what am I here to do?
Like, I'm going to go sit with someone else and have to, like, relearn that energy and figure out what we're going to do and blah, blah, blah.
And also I'm like slow ass, like Dakar's RMV and like fucked up weird music that only trache know, you know, it's like I give that shit to other people and they look at me like I'm crazy.
Right. So that's kind of like, you know, also it turns me off from one to Bracho. And then I always tell people like, oh man, we're in a band and I'm like the lead guitar player. Like, you're asking me to go play for your band, like, fuck out of here. Like we're killing it like I'm not. But a dip on my band. Are you crazy? And then I also think that, like, what I do and what me and Drake do together, like I just told you, Drake is a big part of what I do.
Right. I don't do what I do as well as I do it without Drake, I'll tell you that much. So that's another reason why I'm almost scared to branch away from the boy, because I need his help. I need his guidance and assistance and reassure me and what I'm doing right. But I think that what we've created is just special and unique. And I don't want to give that away. I don't want someone else to have the sound that we have, you know, like only he gets that.
And that makes it more valuable for him and it makes it more valuable for me. And I feel like if I was just like recreating that song with, like every other artist in the world, they would just lose its value and it wouldn't be special anymore. And truthfully, I don't think our other artists in the world is good enough to take my weird as shit and turn into something as incredible as Drake. That is true straight up. Like most people, you give them Marvins runby, like, what the fuck is this?
You know, should those sound like anything? And I mean, yeah, it doesn't sound like anything. You make a song out of it. I don't know. Drake did you know? And when he does that shit, I'm just like, yeah, fuck everybody. He's the goat. Like, I don't deal with no one else. And then on top of that man, he's incredible. He's so talented. He's bars are crazy. The way he makes songs is crazy talks to you.
He's not even rapping. It's no work. There's no mental labor to listen to a Drake song he's just talking to you through. By the end of it, you're like, oh, we just had a conversation that was sick. It just happened to all rhyme and sound pretty fucking crazy. Like, that's incredible.
You know, like, I don't know anyone else who does that, like, for real. I don't I don't know another rapper that can do that as well and was as he can honestly and maybe in other concepts and topics. Sure. But the way he does it, introspectively talking about his moments and actually things that are happening that people can relate to that to me is I just I don't know. I don't want to work with Donal's.
That's exactly what I was going to say. They like to talk it down and call it like Instagram bars or something or caption boards. But it's like the fact that he can say one bar and it can resonate to so specifically to you and your own life situations. That's a talent. That's a skill in not a lot of people have that.
Well, I just think he like he talks about, you know, real life experiences a lot, you know, especially in the beginning. Right. It was like he was really talking about his own experiences in life and childhood and it's and his own ambitions and wants and needs wasn't talking about like all the other shit he's talking about all the other shit, much more now, you know, just like the top of the game with the fucking big house and all the way.
But, you know, but he still breaks those moments down for you and and just in a very relatable way. And I don't I don't know too many other artists that do that. And I enjoy that part of working with him as well. And and I guess the other part is that from now that's from a production standpoint, from like a mixing standpoint. Right. When you're mixing and you're doing all the technical shit and editing and vocals and all that stuff, like when the song's not incredible, it's painful, is so painful.
And so just like, you know, I don't I don't want to do it half the time.
But with the boy, it's like, yeah, you're excited. I got a song so good, like they're always so good. I could listen to this a thousand times. There's not much shit I want to listen to a thousand times. So, you know, there's just a there's a hundred reasons probably why I don't work with other artists and and will I get there maybe when Drake hangs it up, but I don't know if we will, you know.
So if he doesn't, then maybe that, you know, this will be what it is and maybe I'll find someone else to work with. Maybe a female maybe. I don't know. We'll see. You know, I know for sure creatively will have more ambitions to make more music at some point. But right now, I'm good. I'm straight. We're on our journey still. And that shit ain't done yet.
You said the word, especially when did you feel like what you guys were were building was special and kind of new. You would be here. The biggest artists in the world, the biggest music in the world. Stop the world every time you make it. I never I never thought we'd get here, I mean, that's I never thought I never saw that we were going to get here. But I'll tell you, I remember when I was working at the remix project, which was a youth program in Toronto.
And I was still working there. I wasn't there much because we were on the road, but I still basically had my job. And I remember standing outside the building and I was talking to a friend of mine, this girl, and she'd come to see me at lunch. And I'm telling her, like, Drake's going to be bigger than Jay-Z. Drake's going to be bigger than Jay-Z. And she's laughing at me basically like, yo, why are you talking so crazy?
Like Drake's nobody at this point like this is way before anything had happened, you know?
And I was just that confident in that moment, you know? And I'll tell you also, the first time I heard Drake on the radio, I was in Jelly's house. Jelly Stone is a rapper from Toronto I was working with back in the day. And I was in his basement and Drake came on the radio. And right away I was like, yo, who is this? This guy is crazy. I've never heard a rapper that sounds like that from Toronto.
It was like Citi is mine or some shit. I had never heard no one spitting like that from Toronto. And he was just so articulate. You could understand him so well. And. Yeah, from that moment, I was like, this guy is really special and I was like on a mission to find him. So like from then I knew he was out of here and and from right when we started working together, I knew he was going to be one of the biggest rappers ever because I felt he was that good.
But I didn't know we were going to get here. I mean, Shitters Latza huge, big successful rappers that were Draycott. Right. Like, that's some next shit. We did. He did a lot, you know, so I didn't have the foresight to see that. That's Drake's ambition. Drake had the ambition, not me. Right. Like, I'm a pretty humble dude. I'm comfortable. I don't offer much. You know, Drake was the one who was like, yo, we taken all this shit.
I was like, all right, well, I'm what you.
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MAN four He's got a lot to say, man, and it's a I don't say it lightly when I say this honor talking to him, we answer it by saying he's the soundtrack to the last decade for both of us even longer.
You obviously have a relationship with 40, with Drake, with the team. How did that come about? Like, how did that start?
Well, just mutual respect for each other's craft. You know, guys coming to the games and you going to concerts and, you know, getting to meet these guys and seeing the crew and just the whole of your crew man is just such a family atmosphere. You know, it's obviously deep, 40, 50 deep. But everybody is just everybody is so cool. But, you know, the leaders, Drake and 40 and all of our those guys have created such an amazing brand that attracts so many different people from different walks of life.
And I happen to be one of those people. So to be able to, you know, be on is run. It feels like with Drake for 10 years, you know, from hearing him drop his first mix tapes, his albums and going to shows and him coming to games and felt like, you know, we were going through our careers together. So, you know, just all those moments, managers, you know, built up and, you know, you hear you talk to a guy like 40, you don't realize like it has been 10 years, bro.
Yeah, 12 years. Probably 13 years. You know, as long as he's on the way to a nice 20 year run.
So it's crazy when you look at the arc of your career is is similar. You got started, you know, on the big screen a few years earlier getting drafted. But like, y'all really kicked it into high gear so far gone 09. And then it just takes off. And there is some parallels there. You guys obviously formed a bond, you name drop a bunch of times. You've been in the video.
How was that? Was that fun? Man, that was crazy.
I was I really going at it like I know there's a little bit of movie magic there, but yeah, we were actually you had to give them a little bit. Right.
We play like a token one on one.
You know, we actually we actually try it, you know, but it was a fun experience, you know, to see somebody like Drake, you know, on that level because it was shot like a movie, you know, and to see so many different sets he had in just the two whips that he had at the end is like, yeah, the ways where he's elevated to just I'll be lying.
If I said I seen this year in 09, you know, then this is just at this level. And to be close to it like that is especially I really appreciate those moments.
We kicked at the beginning of the year and he was in the building. And I like it's funny because I've been around in a time and I've been around sports for a decade now and I've met all these people and certain stars shone a little different.
And it's funny watching stars get ready for like him to come in the room and then he comes in the room and it's like it's a whole different energy.
And he just has that kind of power about him.
Like, I don't want to cast him, like as a human or whatever, but that's a different kind of star power.
So when he walks in, the room is like, yo, it's just I feel like is a respect for his craft and art. And then you get that respect for everybody around the crew because you know that they help Drake in some way get to this point. You know, especially guys, like I said, for the all the future Bokha Chubb's like I can name the whole crew, but when you see them that, you know is about business, you know, I'm saying and and that that goes from the top all the way to, you know, guys that, you know, a younger and a crew, you know, I'm saying so just the whole of your crew being being cool and dealt to me and my peoples man.
And, you know, it was amazing, amazing to get to have. Do you want to talk about it, you part of the gang to man.
I know. I know. When he went viral, when you got hurt, people thought it was like fake or put on. But, you know, that's your guy.
He he going to feel the way we all assume right now. I got the ALS tattoo right here, so you won't be able to see that.
But you say so when you bet on shots for 20 G's who won I anglicised Emily that up and that up to discussion.
People don't get that one. But yeah, man, it's really dope as a fan and you're not a fan, but you, you admire him for what he does with Jake. The SO to get all kind of granular and be nerdy about this stuff, this is.
Yeah. This is what we wanted to do. So I'm just excited we got to do it. I know you are too. And do you feel like you almost too close now to really appreciate, you know, what we get from Drake every time he comes out?
Nah, man, I'm just because I'm I feel like I'm a fan of just a style of music and how they put it together. You know, I'm saying just to just to sequence the tracks and the sounds is just like I feel like you always get something different. You Forty and Drake together, you know what I'm saying? And I'm a fan. I just like just hearing that fresh new sound that they come up with every single time, you know, nothing like I trust them no matter what.
Going forward, no matter what Drake put out before, no matter what direction that he went into the music, I'm like, you trust them now at this point, 12, 13 years in, because you've seen the stuff that they put out. So, you know, I feel like I'm anticipating a dredge up just like I did 10 years ago.
Yeah, I'm always excited for Drake music. You know, I think he's just going to be that forever for me. And a big part of it is what we say. We said the very beginning. This music is framed the last decade for big old memories. And I wonder if he knows. I'm sure he does. But the way those early songs in his early life created memories for him, they're doing that for other people now. They don't have literally the world.
And that's kind of the impact they have so really dope to be able to talk to him, get inside his brain.
So let's get back to this convo. Let's hear some more before he got to say.
I want to know about a couple of songs Eddie was talking about a couple Joints Poundcake, how how did that come about? Like what was the process on?
Is the story true that you got Jas acappella in, went from there? Yeah, that is true. Good call. I for sure got another version of it. What? Oh yeah, for sure. There's a few versions of Poundcake.
Oh sure. We I can't remember how it happened. It wasn't about getting the acappella. Jamling going to send us no a cappella. He'd spit it over a beat that we must have selected at some point. For the record, know we were working on the record and I think Drake probably spent his part and we sent it over to over and he did his part and sent it back. And when he sent it back, I think at that point I was like, yo, I tried a version.
I think so. I like I love making beats. A cappella is one of my favorite things to do often. Like when I'm making a beat, I import a Drake vocal. I'll go find like a close tempo match and I'll just import the Drake vocals so I can hear what the shit sounds like.
You know, like stars on it or like that is crazy on like almost every single time. So I actually have to I'm always thinking in my head, like one day I got to like a radio show where I just like print all these beats that just have like random Drake Acapulco's that I made over.
Oh, that would be not that. Q And some of them are going to, but I never sent them to the boy because I know he'll be so cheesy. So like what are you doing. What is this, you know, what are you doing in my song.
Like just weird you know, I don't want to do that. So I never I never fuck with him instead of those verses.
But yeah, there's lots of them. So yeah, he'd sent it. And so I obviously was like, oh man. Jay vocals. Whoa.
So I'm over cooking up, I'm making behind the shit and like try another idea is I think I came up with something that was like really wavy and then I sent it to, to the boy and he was like, oh shit. Like I think this is it. And now was like, oh, crazy. All right, I did it. Yeah, it's fire. Let's go. And that I think he then said it's a wonder to be like, oh, you fuck with this look for he killed it.
And then one it was like, oh yeah. Watch this. Shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo. OK, we're all just like, wow, this shit is crazy. And that was Poundcake.
That's a nice competition right there. So I'm pretty sure if I remember correctly, that's how it happened. Someone had made the original beat and then I got the section was like, oh no, I can fuck this up. And then I fucked it up. But we don't remember. It was too, like, soft and somber.
You know, what they're talking was, like, not out of this whole you crazy shit bag. And then it just became sort of a game, you know, so and obviously when Wando was done with it, it was so fucking good.
It was just like, yeah, Jesus, how do you end up with the second half of it's like Drake's like, yo, I got some more shit this I hold on.
I was just, I was just two songs, those just two songs that he had that he decided at some point you wanted to put together and make it one piece. So sometimes like that happens, sometimes they're like a lot of the times they're. Pieces were OK, a lot of times Drake gets a B and then sends it to me like, yo, make me a hook. Like a lot all the way back to say, Miss Me, you know, which was a boy wannabe that he said being like 40, make a hook, OK, I make you the hook.
And that's like the little 40 hook piece for me or the 40 hook piece for this all the time. It happens. Right. And so then it even happen on things like no guidance where he's like, yo, you make me a hook or make me another section. And so then I make him a little piece. He's like, oh, that's fire. Lube it up. I'm going to put a second piece on it. I got more to say.
So a lot of the times he just sends me sure. To ask me to do something small and then I do it and he likes it and then loops it up and adds a whole second piece to it. So sometimes we have this like epic second half of songs just because we just made some other piece and he was like, yo, I can get off more bars, let me get off our bars. And that's sort of how he operates to write as soon as he can.
As soon as he's got music that's going to be like, you know, I can get off more bars, like, let's go, we go. Right. So that's what a lot of it is, finding that music.
What about Suskin Leather that's flipped one way, flip backwards, right? That's what I want. That's how many different iterations of tusk and leather is it for three?
I think there's three beats within the one song. We did that at Tree Sound in Atlanta and a studio there and I just. You remember which beat came first? One of the beats I didn't make, though, well, wonder did some of it. Some drums. I can't remember, and that was confusing one, but. I probably the third part came last. I think the second piece came first and then I flip the Whitney part and I was just like crazy.
We decided that was the intro. Then we added the second beat that we already sort of had. And then I made the third beat. And I think we did it. I did it all in like one one session. And then by the end of the session, we were all just kind of fucked up. And, you know, I was like super excited and did the song.
I know that these are like your babies and it's hard to pick a favorite, but but the fact that you had nothing was the same low on your list in that Rolling Stone piece. Like, blew my mind.
No, but I was just tripping trip. I came out, I was tripping now. And I was I was I was like, oh, shit. I can't remember them all, you know?
Yeah, no. I mean, like, look, nothing was the same as like, you know, it's up there. Right. Like a lot, it's a lot of people's favorite album and for a lot of reasons it's like one of the most cohesive records for sure. And yeah. No, it's, it's up there for me. Of course it's up there for me.
Do y'all have discussions about shorter albums like is that something that's even considered.
Do we have discussions about. I have Draycott here. You asked that question right now. Oh my.
That's all that's why I got to ask, because I know that's like people bring that up a lot. What do they bring up, though? What do they what do they bring up?
Why doesn't he make sorta albums? If he made shorter albums, would they be better received?
And now me again, I'm like, Drake's doing so.
I'm like, nah, like I love this whole album. What are you talking about. You know, is I'm like King Tut's song album over here, OK? Like I preach the ten songs like every single day of my life. Those are conversations you guys have.
Then of course we have those conversations. How does it go? We were thinking, well, Drake's in a different situation, right? Drake makes like four different types of music. Yeah. Yeah. He makes two different types of RB and he makes two different types of rap just to I think way more.
Way more. But let's just dumb it down to four. Yeah, it's dumb it down to four. OK, let's say he makes like some more introspective, emotional heart pulling rap music that makes you think and he makes him shit for the clubs. Right. And then on the R&D side, he'll go all the way from like Joe to see slow jams to like Chris Brown. No guidance shit. Right. Like Poppea RMV shit or even like into.
And then he goes into the pop world with, you know, one dance and hotline embling and rah rah rah.
So. How many types of music? How how many different types of fans does he have, how many songs is he going to give you of each type so that you're satisfied with this offering? Four, three were three rap songs in your good on this album, or if you're an RB fan, only three Tranby fan songs, you're good right now.
I mean, traditionally, like, yeah, that's usually what it was. It was like, you know, three RB songs, like eight rap songs. So what we were our ultimate goal was but, you know, he makes a lot of music. He makes really great music. And it's tough, right. Because he's trying to deliver for a lot of different people. So I think that's the predicament we find ourselves in, which is trying to make music for everyone to make sure that all the different types of fans that he has are satisfied that he like, you know, gets off his chest what he wants to get off his chest as an artist, to write like he wants to make all that type of music as well.
So I think that's the battle. So point is, 10 song album, who gets those 10 slots? Can you tell me or what type of music is those 10 slots? Right. Correct.
So I mean, I think it's about like making a sacrifice of saying, okay, well, maybe let me back off for a minute. Let me back off from, like, trying to compete in all the spaces and just compete in one space. But you know what? Maybe he's not willing to do that right now. I can't speak for him. I'm just speculating.
But I mean, maybe he's not willing to do that. Right.
He doesn't want to back off and ease up his foot on the neck of this genre or that he wants to keep going. So I can't knock him for that, he's an artist who wants to go, let's go. I'm here to support him as a producer, right. I'm here to help him do whatever the fuck he wants to do. I'm not here to tell him no or guide him in any direction, really. I'm just here to support him and help him embellish what he wants to deliver for people so they can receive it.
And that's it. And if it's all that different type of music and it's twenty five fucking songs, let's go. It's twenty five songs, you know, but I don't. Ultimately, yeah, I'm always like one to 10, 10 songs, 10 songs, so I think of it like I compare everything to hip hop or hoop. So let me use my hoop analogy. It's like telling Kevin, just shoot threes or just lay it up. Don't do the melody.
And like he might he might be more efficient in those other areas, but I feel like he'd be worst player in doing that. No shots, because I know that's going to we're going to be on SportsCenter for that or some shit.
But but that's how I imagine it.
Like, why would why would we tell Drake to not make jungle so he could make Lord knows again when we can have Lord knows and jungle like why wouldn't we just do that? And that's how I see it. When people said make a ten song.
I mean, look, look, I think it's possible. It's just it's a commitment to just make less music on that project, you know, to only be one or two of each type of music.
That's really all you got room for type of shit right in this heart to put Drake in the box when he's singing so much of his individual and the music and he's diving into right now is just hitting all different genres like. So it's hard to it's hard to tell them like look like you said, let's just put trinities on one record, like I want to as a as a as a overstand. I want to hear I want to hear a double album.
I want more of that from Drake. I want to hear more songs and different music from Drake as we move forward.
Yeah. I mean, like, look, that was that was the approach on Scorpion to write was to try and I don't know if it all the way worked the way we had planned because it's difficult with the messaging and how you deliver things in a streaming era. But like the idea was to sort of separate that into two offerings to say here's ten songs and here's another ten songs. You know, are these more digestible projects for you if their position that way.
But I don't know if that necessarily worked in our favor. It's not the same as having like two CD's back in the day. You know, it's a little or like speaker box love movement. You know, I love school. Yeah.
I love to set up the RB to rap. I love I just love the whole theme of it.
And I felt like he jumped on songs with different producers like D.J. Premier. I didn't expect him to throw that on the album, along with having more RB joints and pop joints. Like I felt like it was just he gave us everything that we needed at that time.
Yeah, I don't know. Perspective on it. Yeah, it's too soon. Like especially since that was sort of like the more recent project, it's really hard to. Yeah.
Gain perspective on those things until like you've almost made and given another offering, you know, you almost need to have another offering before you can look at the one prior to it. Right. Like it's still too much attention on it for me to understand it and criticism and and, you know, there's not regrets on anything I think we've done. But, I mean, definitely lessons, you know. So I think that's important. And we can move forward and try and figure out what the next best step forward is.
But ultimately, as I say about the music, like, yeah, that's the boy.
Like, he knows what he's doing every time you have visions and that guy. And it's not some secret.
Even with a massive album like Scorpion, how much stuff are you guys leaving on the scrapie? Because then we get leaks like vital and it's like, how is this not on an album like I believe was like more life? Right. That's around that time. But I love that record.
How many songs are you leaving, Lynn, laying there that we could be hearing afterwards?
Probably not as many as people might think, but yeah, a good chunk.
I mean, he's that good, right? Like, every time you record something, it's probably that good. And even the shit that he's like not sure about is incredible. So that's and vital is a testament to that exact point.
OK, like, I don't know, that almost made me mad when I heard it.
Like, why wasn't this mad all the time when I've been doing shit like that? You're crazy. He's got so many good songs. I just don't see the light of day. It's so unfortunate. But I mean, you know, he's got a lot of music and he's got to figure out, you know, that was the conversation we were just having. Right. How many songs are going on these projects and how many more songs like Vital? And was there another song that was close to that, that that took the spot of it?
Right. So that's the other thing. Like certain when you have so many different types of music, certain songs are going to fill a space.
And then, you know, now that space is taken, do you hear your the criticisms you guys get, like, do they make it back to you?
Yeah, I don't know if if it's as easy to tell which ones are legitimate or not, though, or like which ones have any weight.
You know, I think that's a great point because he's so popular. There's a lot of noise. Right. So how do you see through the popular to dislike him.
Yeah, like people are going out there to dislike him because he's so popular and we know that.
Right. Like, that's part of the game. You know, Kevin knows that like that's part of the that's the game.
We're all like, that's that's part of it. You know, we have that conversation often where it's like this is part of all of this. You know, we are that target ultimately. But that's nothing new for us. Drake's work twice as hard as everybody in this business from day one. Drake is had to win a hundred times over for. People take him seriously and he keeps winning and he's still winning, and he's still under that criticism. It's crazy to me like anybody else in this game can take like an album, cut off a Drake record, and you're like the biggest artist in the world.
But we actually have to work, work, work for it again and again, and we keep doing it. You know how hard it is to catch those records. He's been doing it for a decade more. He keeps doing it again and again and again. It's crazy.
So the plan in Toronto for the last decade plus like how how is just being in Toronto, would you say that inspired your style of music, just being from there to ambient style like cold? Did that inspire that sound that you created?
I mean, maybe I obviously like the cities like crucially important to me, but I obviously I looked at my musical inspirations that defined the music. I make more so, you know, like my family and my sisters and and the stuff that I grew up listening to, which sort of shaped and crafted my ear. But yeah, of course, the cold and I mean, you know, life experiences shape that stuff and what you've been through and and what you feel as a person and what comes out of you when you put your hands on the keyboard.
Right. But. For me and Drake and I think a lot of people from Toronto, we all I can't speak for everybody but me and Drake have this thing where you almost every album or every song like you have to drive the Gardiner Expressway. So the Gardener Expressway is the highway that's like lifted up in the air that goes along the lakeshore and downtown Toronto. So it's just like high up driveway and you can see the whole city skyline. And ever since we were young, like driving that highway, when you're listening to your new song is where you're like looking at the city and you're feeling the energy of the city and and it's talking to you.
And is the song good or not? We don't know until we take that drive like it's crucially important. Right. So, I mean, from that perspective, like, of course, the city is dictated who we are and what my sound is. And but I think back to where I grew up, the people I grew up with, the park I used to play ball in and listen to music all day. And like, that's that's what shaped me in rap music, you know, and basketball.
I had a lot to do with that, too. I like every day I was going to the park to play ball till the sun went down and just listen to music and and talk about rap. Shit like that was what we did every single day, like religiously. Right. So that that's what shaped me a lot and my sound. I feel like, you know, which is all part of the city of Toronto.
And I think the cold has a lot to do with that. And I feel like when I go to Toronto, I'm expecting to see that feel that murky, feel the watery drums. I'm just beginning to see that. And I feel like in that way, you guys have painted the city, whether it's accurate to the city or not, you have definitely painted your version of it. And as out for an outsider like me, that's what I see now.
Yeah, it's interesting because I still have like a different perspective, right? There's like a like a. A lineage of like Oggi Toronto producers that defined the sound of this city before I got here, right. So it's like I still looked at those guys for The Sound of Toronto. And so I understand where my sound fits in and how, like, for your perspective is going to be like that's where you're imagining when you get to the city. But of course, for me, it's like I got there by being inspired by something else musically, you know, and which was much more like boom bap hip hop lineage.
And and yeah, somehow I like, turn that shit into some like tripto RMV, but it defined, I think a sound and a generation, which is incredible. And I'm honored to have been a part of that. But as I said, I give a lot of that to the boy.
You've shaped R and B a lot this decade as well. I feel like you've had a heavy hand there. Do you do you see that you see it that way. Yeah.
Again, like Drake has, you know, I think he's had a massive, massive impact in that space, not being an R and B artist, but it's sort of overflowing into R and B music that's being made like his sound and how he's influenced other musicians. Then I see that. I see that. I mean, I see more of my influence in RB than I do in rap music, you know, that's for sure of me personally. Anyway, was the Army album ever close?
That's like a rumor that's always been around. Is that was that ever even close to happening?
Yeah, it's always close to happening. We've been talking about it forever. You know, honestly, it's always like we've all we've been talking about it like before. Like, thank me later, I feel like. So what's your influence on the other over your orders?
Roy Wood's division opponents to a Republican like how often are you working with those guys?
Well, I try to stay involved, like on a on a mixing and the technical side with pretty much everybody as often as I can, or I'm always there as a resource for all of them. You know, I work a pop gun when you see you're in the city or any studio and you know, Roy needs need studio. I'm always trying to build studios and provide spaces that are healthy for these guys to work in and create new shit and connect them with young producers that I might be working with or cooking up beats and sending them ideas.
But I mean, a lot of the time, I'm just I'm here to support them and be sort of like the big brother to teach them tricks. That's like really what I'm here for is like sending them pieces of equipment and putting them on some, like, new idea or a way to do this or a way to record your vocal or a new microphone or a new such and such and and then mixing the records and, you know, helping them edit them and going through the vocals with them.
So smaller, more hands on stuff like that.
But ultimately, like, you know, party me and party spent a lot of time in the studio together and just working through records and making sure everything sounds right. And again, the same thing. Right. I'm there as a resource to these guys. Like I'm not there to tell them what to do. I'm there to say no party. How do you feel? Do you want to change this? What can we do? Yeah. Can you try this?
Sure. Let's go and try it. Like, that's so I'm there for all of them in that facet I'd say. Yeah, well, like not too much. I like going into the studio with them being like, go do this, do that, do this, do like. As I said, that's not who I am as a producer. And I don't want artists that need that. I want artists that can define themselves and, you know, bring their own character to the table and make their music.
Can you walk us through Conures influence on your earlier career? I don't know. Kanye was never really much of an influence on for me, probably more of the people around me. I guess the comparison for so far Gone comes back to say what's real, which we use, which was off of weights. Then we took that beat and flipped it for so far gone and and Drake rapped over it. And what I'll say is that, like when Drake did that.
That was sounded so good. I was like, oh, shit, this is like really special, like this sort of moment of Drake rapping over this type of music. And I was like, super inspiring for me, that specific song. And I wanted to try and recreate that moment and capture that similar energy. And so I think if the comparisons come anywhere, from my perspective, it all boils down to that record. But like outside of like hearing love lockdown down, like on the radio all the time, like, I didn't necessarily consume that album a lot or like I don't really consume anyone's albums, you know, like I haven't heard a Kanye West album in 10 years.
I mean, I also haven't heard, like, Hendrix albums. And I love Kendrick. You know, I'm a Kendrick fan, but I just don't consume albums like that these days. And I know that sounds so twisted and bizarre, but I don't, you know, like, Drake's very different. I would assume he's like you listening to everything he's studying. He's a real student of the game. I'm more of a historian of the game than I am a student of the current game.
You know, I just try to put myself in other spaces and and not really have a gauge on what's going on right now. I know it sounds bizarre, but like I listen to older shit I don't like I haven't heard all the new albums. I haven't haven't no, I can't remember.
I skim though my skim them, you know, I'll go on Spotify and skim motherfuckers quick, you know, like the ideas. First I say I've given some shit but like really taking music in and not so much. You know, it's a question I wanted to ask.
I'm happy you brought it up because I feel like when you sample and when you go to these older sounds, they're older and you're trying to you're trying to give your own take on that rather than follow and something that might be a trend now. So for you to say that you're not listening to much stuff that's out now, that makes perfect sense to me. I mean, I'm not shocked. I know people say that about Wayne to Wayne doesn't listen to anything.
He just listens to him and just does his thing.
You so you're what do you listen to in general if you're not picking up new music, old music and what I'm working on and and like the radio, I consume what's out. I consume what's on the chart. So, look, I know if somebody drops an album, I hear their singles. I know what they're putting forward as they're offering. But I'm not necessarily listening to the entirety of the body of work, you know. And that's fucked up because the single most of the time doesn't have real representation of that body of work, but, you know, like it's the single for other reasons, that's like pretty shitty of me.
But I just think, you know, I'm I'm in a creative process right now. I'm not a consumer. I'm a creator. So I'm creating right now. And it's very difficult, I think, for me to be a consumer and a creator. I just want to be one or the other. I want to go back to being a consumer of music so, so desperately. But it's very, very difficult right now for me, you know, so I'm just going to stay in this space and, you know, until I'm done creating I want to know about because I've been to a studio before and and it feels like you fucking built that thing from ground up by yourself.
But like, how important is that specific space to you right now?
I mean, like, I like one of my favorite things to do is build studios. So I like building studios specific to projects almost too. Right. Like building new spaces for each thing you want to work on, like creating a new environment for yourself to go in and create out of, like finding new energy in these spaces. So my studio that I built is like my first, like, major big established facility that I built. So in the past, like so far gone, it was like in an apartment.
I rented some like shipyard's apartment in an alleyway and built this little room in it. And we and we made certain not so far around, take care of where we made take care. And like other shit we were making out, like my apartments, wherever I was living, that's where we were working and built some little space. Then I'd move to a next apartment and we'd work there. And then like every project, we were kind of somewhere else.
So now that I built, like my real facility, I still didn't stop. Like, I just built a new studio downtown Toronto in Kensington. I built a new studio at Drake's house like their studios all over the place.
But it's like can't stop building them because I always need new spaces to create it and like new environment and like, I'm addicted to, like, buying equipment.
So that being said, this studio that I'm in now, SOTA is like my baby. It's my sort of life dream. It's. The reason I got into music a lot, too, is my father was a filmmaker and I used to go with him to the MC studios when he was finalizing his films and see the big consoles with all the lights and the faders and shit. And when I was like really, really young and be like in all of them.
And now I have my own facility with big consoles and faders and it's like my dream come true. So I've always just been pouring my heart and soul into this place and it's really special and it's really easy for me to create here with me. And no ID were working on so far. Gone are Scorpion. He was up here and it was funny, he's like, you know, I mean, no idea I was talking shit to each other.
He's like on a changing climate change. The way he's talking about music, you know, it's like you're going to see how I work and you're going to change everything to go do that's going to do that. You get to drop pro tools are going to change up your own shit. I'm like, all right. All right, let's go, let's go, let's go.
You know, so we work for whatever it was like. He was here probably for a month.
We were working by the end of it. He was like, all right, all right. He's like, I see you built this studio to be able to do what I do. Well, like in real life, you know, like what he's doing on the laptop and the way he's got, you know, ideas are fucking genius and the way he's got it figured out in the laptop.
Right. Like, I kind of got to figure it out in this studio very similarly. Right. So he got like, you know, tip the hat to me being like, I fuck with this place. So I've got this studio built a way where I can move quick and I can make music quick and sort of do anything I want here. So it is my happiest place to make music. And it's so hard for me to make music anywhere else now because it's just too easy here.
And I got all the toys and all this shit here and it sounds incredible and all the above. But ultimately, like, yeah, I just keep building new studios. I can't stop. I built I have like two studios that I haven't even been to yet.
Like, I built them all that have been to them. Yeah.
Like I just like what I say studios. I talk about like a little apartment I'm renting that I like grow some equipment and. Right.
Like, not like this shit, but nonetheless I have to have these little creative spaces all over the city just like go catch a vibe.
And are you are you super particular about the way they're set up, the equipment and things of that nature?
No, not at all. I'm like the opposite. I'm like anything you have is really all you need. Does the does the like back in the day, you know, the Beatles made their shit on a four track tape machine. Right. Like that. That was it. That's all they had back then, you know, and now we have what, hundreds and hundreds of endless tracks. So like what are we talking about? Like, you don't need more.
You've got enough. You've always got enough. It's music. It's songs. That's what's of value. Not the equipment, not speakers, not any of is bullshit. You can figure it out. You can always figure it out. And me and Drake made so far gone on a little laptop in twenty nine with a little and box and a little shitty tlm one on three microphone and that's it. You know we didn't have nothing we when we made that whole album it was funny.
Travis Scott told me the story one time. When I first met him, the first time I met him was that wireless first in London, I think. And you can't miss it 40 minutes one time you did this post on your blog about all you need is this microphone and an interface and a shitty laptop. And like you can you can get it done. Like, don't let no one tell you need more. You know, you don't. It's all you need.
And he was like, man 40, you posted that. And I went and I showed it to my mom and I told like, yo, you got a this mike and we got to buy this and not trust me. This is all I need. And I begged her for it and and she bought it for me and said, look, look, look what happened. Look what happened, you know?
And he's sitting there telling me that she had a wireless. I'm like, wow, crazy. You know, like, incredible story. I can't believe it was wild, you know?
So it's like I've been preaching that, you know, and I think that's really important because people make you think that you need all they need, all they know, you know, an iPhone these days.
They've got software for your iPhone. That's crazy. If I if I was stuck somewhere, if I had enough time because I was too busy, if I had time, I'd make a whole record on an iPhone.
That's crazy to think about. Now I track the vocals.
I'd mix it. I recorded, I'd make the beat. You could do all of it on the iPhone apps. Might cost you a few bucks at the App Store. I'm saying what everybody shit. And you could do whatever you want right now. You could literally make an album with an iPhone right now. And now the price point of that is far cheaper than all this shit.
They need to shoot the ad dollars without no real talk. Right.
You what's funny actually is like almost all my beats lately when I use piano, like, for sure beats the like stuff that's been released and like been on the radio like this year. I just can't think of it out of my head.
But every time I record piano, I usually just put my iPhone on top of the piano and his recorded voice note. And then I just text the voice note to myself, and then I put it into Pro Tools. That's crazy. And you just make to beat around it. That's it. Like, I don't even bust out the microphones anymore. And I got crazy microphones in here. I didn't bust all that shit out no more. There's like another point.
Like, you just you use what you got. It don't matter. None of that shit matters.
So you said you're busy. He said you're not consuming music. Is there something out there that you do consume? You've been doing some show on Netflix top boy.
What are you doing?
I feel like I feel like we know nothing about you beyond that. You're this musical genius that has shaped us of the Titans.
It on Netflix is animation fucking masseuse.
And it's like community people that live behind these walls that I would be something for was going crazy.
It's crazy shit. Yeah. No, I don't. I consume a lot of news, a lot of politics. I'm pretty like. Politically active in those spaces as far as my brain and what I'm consuming, so opposed to music, I'm watching like guys like Jimi Dawg on YouTube, OK, like I'm watching like crazy like politics. Guys like comedians and shit opposed to like pulling up songs.
When I'm driving in the car, you know, that's where I am.
And the other part of it is you have to understand, I step into the studio when I play music all day. I'm listening to songs all day, and I'm listening loud with big sobs and big speakers. So when I get into a car, I don't necessarily want to put on fucking rap caviar and turn that shit all the way up. Like, that's not where I'm at in that moment.
I'm kind of like, yo, give me a little talk radio here, will I like like my spliffs and just like.
So it's kind of like I'm balancing that shit, too, right?
It's it's it's it's a lot of music in my life.
So but yeah, I consume natuman, I, I buy some property at the beginning of covid actually a couple of hundred acres outside of a city. And I just I go up there as much as I can. I just like ride ATVs through the forest and the woods and, and just like live with fucking nature like that should ground you and gives you peace, you know. So I spend a lot of time up north like building fires and doing, like, farmer's shit.
And obviously, I have a studio up there, too, obviously, I'm just, of course, like a nasty Internet connection with Global Still Studio up there. But, you know, I've said I've spent I've spent a time up north and. And yeah, that's it, and working on life like no work, I'm working on myself of just. Watching TV and doing all that kind of shit all day. I like building shit, right? Sounds like I need to be building at all times.
That's the other thing. That's why I'm always building studios. That's where I got build all the cables in the studio. And I, I like well, really built a lot of this studio, you know, are helping build the speakers at Drake's House and this and that and like we build everything from scratch is the engineering, the design. Like I take so much pride in all that shit and just being a part of the whole process and understanding everything that's going on.
And, you know, like that same thing when I was a kid where I was like, you know, how do they do it? Right. Like, how do they make the beats? You know, I'm sitting here right now like, you know, how do they terminate these optical people?
Are they fucking, you know, like I'm just sitting here thinking about that shit still. And I just I want to know, I guess I'm like a student and I'm always learning and I love learning to sew. And with YouTube, when you can teach yourself like I come in here every day and I teach myself some shit, you know, I got a new piece of equipment from native instruments today and like, yeah, the first thing I do is, like, busted open and watch all the YouTube videos.
And like Greg, who I work with in my studio, is one of the assistants here, studio manager, fucking chief engineer, talking to assistant. Anyway, Greg comes in and, you know, we sit down and go through the videos and watch them and, like, learn the shit and like, that's part of the day, you know, like is learning is like education and and growing so that we're never stagnant. We're never just sitting here chilling like we're always learning.
We're always growing. We're always progressing. We're always moving forward. And you have to understand, this is a business with technology. The technology is changing every second. Right. So we've constantly got to be at the forefront of it. And then this studio is just like leaps and bounds ahead, like we're basically the same as like a broadcast facility, like a lot of the equipment in here is like the same shit that like they'll be running at, like ABC and CNN and shit, not at like your local studio, you know, it's like different type of tech.
So, you know, we just stay on top of the studio and be managing all this shit and all overkill.
None of it's necessary.
This is all just like scratch my ego, basically the one I like, the big bad studio. And it's like it's mad fun and just like nouf toys. And it's like Christmas around here. That's the only reason for all this shit. I don't think like any of this is necessary. None of it's necessary.
What is a recording? An album mid pandemic has has your guys in this process been interrupted in any way because.
Fuck, yeah, stop.
No, look, ultimately me and Drake work pretty remotely these days anyway, so he sends the stuff as soon as he records it and I work on it and send it back. I mean, that's the way we've been working for quite some time. Obviously, we sit in the studio together and create music and go through music and mix music and so on and so forth, but.
For the most part, we're just, you know, we're online sending stuff and ideas back and forth from each other to each other all night long. And he's there with Noel in the studio. And I'm at my place and we're just going back and forth. And it seems like my mastering engineer, Chris, like. Chris been mastering for me for 10 years, I've only ever shaking his hand one time, so it's like he really changed there. You know, like a lot of the way we operate right now is remotely so.
It's it's been OK from that perspective. But I haven't been with Drake every day nonstop.
You know, is that is that the typical process? You guys are just constantly together? I would say that when we're going to close out the album, we are. So when we're closing the album, we we go in for a couple of months and lock it in and close it. So Noel does a lot of the recordings. Well, you know, I've been recording for a while. And you groomed him basically from the.
Yeah, well, like, Noel was my assistant in the beginning, so he used to work with me for the first five years. He was basically my assistant. And when he got up to speed and was able to sort of take the reins, I gave them to him gladly because he deserved it. He's fucking incredible at what he does. And and my health needed a break, you know, like and I think it's great where we have it now, which is Noel is able to to handle the workload and they make incredible music together, too.
And and I step in as much as I possibly can, considering my health, you know, because I am trying to be more mindful of my health moving forward, as I haven't been very mindful of it over the last the last decade.
So, yeah, I read that in Rolling Stone and, you know, happy to hear that that's something you take it more seriously and you're being more cognizant of.
Yeah, I'm trying to I'm trying to you know, I'm trying to there's not much you can do. Right.
You just got to it's just tough race. Like half of it is admitting defeat. Right. Like. I my initial reaction is to be strong, right, like nothing can stop me, nothing's going to hold me down. I'm not going to let anything change my life. I'm going to continue moving forward. I don't care if it hurts. I'll go through the pain. I don't care. All suffer. I'll do what I have to do. And then, of course, at some point you have to be like, wait, hold on.
I'm doing crazy amount of damage to myself. I should probably be a little smarter about this and like listen to motherfuckers and chill out, write songs just like that adjustment. And I think I'm still making it, but I'm doing a good job. I'm doing a good job with the discipline. The hardest part of it is really walking away from those those moments. Right. Not being in the studio for four days straight with my brother, you know, like, that's that's tough.
I miss that, you know, and that's sort of a big, big sacrifice. But I guess I sort of save up that energy to the end of the process. And, you know, whatever I stay up for the last two weeks, you know, I'm saying just just not for the whole two years.
Is that where you are now?
We've got two weeks left. Is that what you say? Is that what you're saying?
Is that to be your shit? I don't know. I don't know.
Just a joke, man. I know you can't let that cat out the bag.
Of course. First of all. Of course not. You guys know that I would never do that. But what I'll tell you is this like he's always got it. He's always got it. He had it eight months ago. He had it six months ago. Three months ago. Ten months ago. He's always got it. Now, does that mean that mean he's done? I don't know shit, he might make 10 songs next week. I don't know.
Right, but he's got it. Just when you go to pull a trigger, I don't know.
When you pull the trigger, you don't pull the trigger when he wants to pull it. But he's got it.
He's always trying to frame it, as I see how you frame it. And whether he thinks he's ready or not is always ready. You're good at this.
I say what happens is, no, I'm dead serious. I'm not even playing. I'm fucking serious. He's always ready. Oh, I believe he's got a lot of music.
He's good at making music. His notice is there. He's ready. You have to drop the album tomorrow. He drops tomorrow. And you have to understand the other thing about Drake is that Drake can make the industry move. Yeah, yeah. Drake says, like you all want to drop my album on Friday, your industry is going to jump and it's coming out Friday. Yeah, right. He's going to make that call. It's going to happen.
It doesn't necessarily have to be like all three months in advance and he's going to make it move.
So before we let you go, I want to ask you one unanswerable question. If I Drake song, you have to have one right.
Favorite song. Oh, I have so many is resistance on there? Oh, yeah, resistance is high up there. That might be.
Club Paradise. Oh, so you're going so we're just throwing out songs, as they say. No, I want them to pick, but I'm just kind of kind of helping them out, OK, because I was about to throw up like ten of this isn't the calm.
The calm is one of them for me because of those bars like you got to and those bars in the calm about his mom and and fighting with his mom and shit, or he's fighting with his uncle on the phone like you guys got to understand when we made that song. OK, so that's what I was living on for York, which was a little little was a condo downtown Toronto they'd just built. And me and Oliver moved into New York when we were young.
And we're sharing an apartment there because we were both working downtown. And that's where me and Drake sort of first linked up and started making so far gone. So Drake was coming to the apartment all the time to work on records with me out of my bedroom. I had my little setup, and that's when we sort of formed Octobers very own. And that's where everything began for the three of us together out of that apartment. Apartment three fifteen York Boulevard.
Yes. So. That night, Drake came over to the crib and he shows up with like a. Couple of bottles of liquor or something, a bottle of champagne or some shit. And ends up on our balcony, so we're in there with him or in the recording or we haven't started.
Just got there and I think he's on the phone. Phone rings Shit's going down. And then he goes on the balcony and starts cousin and he stays out there for maybe like half an hour and it's getting heated. And he was talking to his uncle. And so it was in this big fight with his uncle and they're screaming and yelling and it's super emotional. And then he comes back in and he's just rattled. He's walking out of it, is steaming mad.
And he's basically put that beat on and he walks right up to the mic and bodies that record and like that experience of seeing him be so triggered by that conversation and then spit those bars and then seeing the way people react to that song how like heart wrenching that was and how much you felt what he was saying in that song that was so real, like that really happened in that moment. So for me, listening to that song is like is pretty important and pretty special to me and probably one of my favorite ones.
And again, it like that also defined me a lot as a producer as far as that sparseness and openness and and being very different and very emotional in a time where motherfuckers are making like big booming slapping records. Right. Like we were doing shit like that. That was so left field. And again, that's like the testament to what I learned. Right. Which is be as different as possible. And you will find your success with originality, like originality is such an important part of this shit is doing something that's new and different.
And I feel like the calm I don't know, another record that was made that sounded like the calm at that point time, like it was a very different piece of music. And I guess I'm really, really proud of that one.
I'm so happy you brought that up because exactly what you said. I feel like that's the beginning of that sound, that murky the water drums like they call them, and just him being, like, just confessing for four minutes.
I feel like that's the beginning of that. That song always, always, always ends up in my rotation somehow. So that was dope.
As far as like successful. What I said successful was like the first time we hit that stride. I mean, it was in a lot of ways. And one of the things that was so different about that song, too, is that it had no high hats. And again, like that was in a moment where everyone was programming high hats, crazy and successful, just came out with no high hats programmed in it and was like super open and empty.
And the calm was just like super mucky and empty. And then, like the other Kuzmina, Vegas was so dark and lust for life, same thing empty, just like these basic sound. And just giving Drake a platform to just really shine on was what we discovered on that project. You know, another one of my favorites, like the juxtaposition to that as far as like records that I'm proud of, like Drake songs is Madonna. That's the other one I really love.
Yes. What happened to the second verse? It leaked. It was great. I heard it on the chopped and screwed version, but I didn't why? I didn't go one of them. It was the second verse for the second verse, definitely a second verse of it. I don't know that the lyrics were everywhere, but it's a second verse out there like this, chopped and screwed, and people sweat it up naturally.
And then, like now there's like a rip of them spliced together and it's amazing. Oh, crazy.
The second verse. So I'll have the second verse. It exists somewhere. Yeah, I have it for sure.
It's hella hard to find though. I searched for it all the time on YouTube like you all did your jobs because you got rid of this shit.
Yo, I'd be forgetting like all the stuff like pieces we have that we never use, I'm always trying to go back and like resurrect them. Stuff we might have created that wasn't right in the moment. That could be right later. And and things like that, like little remixes that don't exist. I'm always trying to like pull those out and find them. I can never remember. I don't remember. There was a second verse on Madonna like, shit.
That's crazy. I want to go find out right now.
Drake, if you listen to this drop, put that on the stream. You could do that on the low. On the wall.
I recommend songs I press pass them said right now he could just do it to Apple.
Just drop the second verse on the album already quietly. And yeah. Listen, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll make the version and I'll set it to the boy and then we'll see what he does, what he does.
There you go. Well, look, thank you so much, man. We asked you for our guitar. We got way more than that. I appreciate, Your Honor. Y'all good.
I don't say this lightly. Legen. Oh, thank you. I appreciate you.
And what we said at the top here, you know, you shaped the last decade of music for me for for a lot of people. So thank you for being here, man. And like we say last time, these are the exact kind of conversations we trying to have. And I just I'm happy you came here and just really started out with us about Drake, because at the end of the day, it was just was just a couple of Drake stance.
So, again, it's an honor.
This is a. Take part at the end of the day, you'd be you'd be right at home in our group chat.
It was an honor and a pleasure, as I said before. And I just thank you for thinking of me and having me on your I'm always happy to to nerd out and talk about some some studio shit or some, like, shit or some making music, you know, that's all I really do. So thank you, brother.
I appreciate you, man. We got to let you get back to work, man, because, you know, we got two weeks left. We got two weeks.
Hey, listen, man, he's always ready, you know, like. Appreciate you, bro. Thanks a lot, man. Knock him out to. Thank you so much, man. All right, Pisapia. I mean, that's 40, that's crazy.
I don't even know my favorite part was me, that he's put in drag vocals over beats he's making and he's sampling himself, telling us how he made the calm like, that's crazy.
He's doing it all and he's still at it to still going. Still pushing. Was in the studio while we were talking to him.
Yeah, that's the funniest part, man. Like, yeah, he literally sitting in the studio working on some stuff, of course, cause he's not going to tell us what we tried to get a little bit.
But now I appreciate for you for coming on, man. It's amazing to talk to such a genius like him everywhere.
He's a genius. And like we told him, it was an honor.
So, yeah, man, that's the ETCs will be back. Did a lot of questions about how often we'll be back when we come back.
And you will be back and it'll be worth it. Stay tuned.