Everyone has their list of favourites. Here’s a list of my favourite producers and the reasons why I dig their work.
5. Kanye West
I dig this dude for being left field almost 100% of the time. The reason why he gets my number 5 is because this dude is always either blowing hot or cold. Let’s quickly talk about this guy’s ability to sample multiple songs and create something new. Sampling one song is easy enough, but when there are 2 or 3 then we need to start worrying about what key we’re working in and whether the tempos mesh well (blah blah blah). Point is dude knows how to dig for them and use them. Timbo once said that music is just repeated sounds and samples. Kanye makes music (sometimes). Skill will kill me for this one.
Which brings me onto my number 4…
People that know me like dimania may be a little shocked. This dude was my hero for THE looooongest time. Back when shock value 1 came out, I was on some “Timbo just created my production bible”. What gets me about this guy is the sounds he uses. Think orthodox… All of that is what Timbo isn’t. Who uses babies and frogs in their production? What’s also impressive is that he was able to continually reinvent himself over a decade and still make hits. It went south for me after shock value 2. I didn’t know what he was getting at and quite frankly I wasnt feeling the album. Also, these JT albums have been so so. Tunnel vision was my stand out track and it ends there quite abruptly.
1st off, he digs atari games. I’m all over my track n field and contra so I’m quite happy about that (see what I did there?). Games aside, his production is so slick and simple it’s painfully catchy. I’ve heard people say they hate a pharell track, but that’s only because it becomes a part of their life whether they like it or not.
pop the radio on – happy
Colleague’s phone starts ringing – happy!
Other colleague’s phone starts ringing – happy!!
I was chatting to Soniq and he reminded me of the Neptunes. Brilliant music right there.
2. Dr Dre and 40/40
These two characters share 2nd place for me. Although they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, they know how to make something simple sound so complex. Dre with his stabs and riffs and 40 with his pads of pure melancholy (its only right to mention how 40 engineers his beats so that Drake’s vocals pierce through, buuuuuurrrrrrrt that’s another topic for another post). I was having a chat with Justin and he and I agree that there’s an ultra thin line between simplicity in a beat and pure laziness. Don’t get it twisted, people!
At number 1 we have…..
1. Ryan Leslie
This guy is the picture of the independent music producer. He may not have had the biggest songs out, but then again he never had big labels over his shoulder. He essentially showed double middle fingers to the man (Sony at the time) and went about his business. He’s also managed to carve out a niche and chill there for a while. The Black Mozart concept and motion picture alone had me inspired for months. This dude also got me psyched to get on the piano again.
There are a few I’ve missed out purely cause most people just won’t know who they are. At the end of the day, each one of these dudes shaped my production in some shape or form. If you don’t like my list, make your own *looks off to the side*.