One who sits the doesn’t sit through a mix can’t be called a producer. The hip hop world has let such words transform into new meanings, while other words like patience are overlooked and replaced by “where’s your album?”. I know Danish producer KVBeats for a long time. We first worked on a track called “My Own Curse”.. it was more of a novice Vic kicking a few bars over KVs stuttering chops, though I respected his craft right away. We always stayed in touch, and I got my radio reviews back from “Each Dawn I Die” which included a quote from a Danish radio station which happened to be KV. We then worked on “Orange Alert” which was an extremely hard track to pick since he sent me like 6 bangers. Tenacity. Tenacity. He sent me mix after mix until we got it right. I believe it was something like 5 or 6. He then told me, “I don’t care if it takes 20, i just want to get it right”.. and my respect for him as a producer grew to a whole new level. His album, “The Resume” speaks for itself with huge collaborations with Royce da 5’9, Chaundon, and myself among others. Here is a interview I did with KV a few weeks ago…
1. Breakdown the process of how you create a beat from scratch?
Usually I sample a whole song into Cool Edit and chop it into pieces, mostly 15-25 smaller samples. I start playing with the most ‘obvious’ sounds a bit and the way I chop is key to what my final beat is gonna sound like. Sometimes I take the last part of a loop, cut it and move it to the front of the sample and shit like that. I’m real meticulous and spend mad time on my chopping.
2. What is your favorite go to artist to sample?
I don’t really have a favorite, but I do search artists back catalogues if I dig a whole album of theirs. I’ve been through most of the mainstream soul acts like Marvin Gaye, Barry White, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin etc. and I try to stay away from those obvious ones. Sometimes though, I go back and flip a classic song just to challenge myself. Here’s a flip I did of the Bob James anthem “Nautilus”.
3. I admire your basslines, do you play any instruments? If not, how do u get your bass to sound so authentic?
I took guitar lessons when I was a child, but I don’t play any instrument well enough to really use it. But I think I have a good general understanding of music from being a fan of so many genres since I was 3 years old where I have recordings of me singing Boney M songs. I had my radio on constantly through the 80s. Always curious about music, wanting to know and learn all that I could about it. My memory pretty much runs on music, I connect different events and childhood memories with songs from that time. I have a pretty extensive knowledge when it comes to hiphop albums and popular music in general, what year it came out, who featured on it etc. from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s especially. If there’s a music quiz somewhere I’m always down for the challenge.
4. If you had the opportunity to produce an album for one artist dead or living, in any genre who would it be?
Curtis Mayfield, Al Green or Nas. Ideally a collaboration between those three with features from Minnie Riperton, Guru and Ghostface.
5. You have paved your way in the game, if u could go back and tell the young KV one piece of advice, what would it be?
Learn how to play the piano and how to do your own mixing. Don’t spend too much time and focus on one thing like handing out beat cds to famous rappers, but try to network with people online instead. Don’t trust others to work for you and DON’T pay anyone the full amount upfront! Industry rule #4082: these artists are out to hustle you.
6. You have your own style which seems to have a gravitational pull that brings out crazy flows, what is an MC’s most important weapon? (Lyrics, voice, delivery, intensity etc..)
Man I would ask you that question right back brother. I think it’s about the overall vibe of the music. So for me as the producer the most important thing is how an MC’s vocals compliment my beat. The flow and delivery combined probably. Your voice HAS to be dope as Guru correctly pointed out so that’s a given, lyrics come second but can’t fall flat to the ground either.
7. Your favorite drums of all time?
Can’t think of a title, but some introspective 90s shit Tarantino style. A movie that invokes feelings and good memories.
9. One sample you could erase from the hiphop history books, and flip for the first time?
“Handclapping Song” by The Meters 🙂
I thought long about this one and have to say I feel like I can still take those classic samples and flip them into something new. Maybe sprinkle some other ingredients on top to disguise the source a bit.
In these days it doesn’t matter what you sample as long as you flip it in a new way. Also you’re never gonna get busted for sampling as long as you’re selling less than 10.000 or so.
10. Who was the biggest non-music related influence on your career?
The person who said “If you want something done right… You gotta do it yourself!”
11. Out of all your produced tracks, which is your favorite and why?
Probably A joint off the album cos it sounds finished, mixed and mastered… “We Do It” (a beat I made in 2005) or “Ambitions Of A Writer”… Even “Clap To This” (from 2006) …They’ve been through the whole process and have come full circle.
Out of my instrumentals (all have been on Myspace) I like joints like Ramon, Proud, Idris and Joy. Probably gonna put out a free instrumental album soon after I’m done promoting this Lp.
Everyone wants a hardcore banger these days… I make a lot of more smooth, soulful joints that are not all evil and sinister sounding and I want people to hear them as well.
Big up Vic Swearengen for dropping 2 heavy verses.
Here’s “Orange Alert” featuring Little Vic produced by KV
CHECK OUT MY MAN KVs Blog, Youtube & follow him on twitter!