24: What made you want to producer?
Lowkey: Well, to start I don’t think I’d be “Next in Line” if you heard my singing or rapping (laughs). I’m just really a behind the scenes type of person. Hence the name “LowKey“. I know a lot of producers started out rapping a DJ or singing and then progressed to making beats, but I actually do none of the above. I’ve just always been a huge fan of music since I could remember. I’m talking from Jay-Z to Eric Clapton, Miles Davis to ColdPlay, Isaac Hayes to the Latin music I was brought up on. So when I was around 18 I started to really study the music I had been listening to all these years and was really drawn more by the composition and arrangements than the actual performance aspect of it.
24: Describe your sound and style?
LowKey: My sound is just “Big“. Not just loud, but big in the sense of the actual feeling. There are certain chords or melodies that makes music sound huge, that have this epic feeling. I really search for that when I’m making a beat. Whether it’s an R&B, Hip-Hop, or a Pop record. I like to use big sounding drums and instruments, or effects that give me that type of sound. Ghostwridah‘s “Celebrate Lyfe” is a perfect example of that “Big” sound I’m talking about.
24: Do you consider yourself a producer or a beat maker and explain why for your answer?
LowKey: Well, being that I’ve only been doing this for 3 years I would consider myself a beat maker transitioning to producer. I think it takes time and experience to become a producer. Because a producer has to know how to guide and bring out the best from the artist no matter what the situation. Until last year, I had never really dealt with one particular artist for a long period of time. Almost always, you send the beat, the artist does what they do and you get the track back. This past year I have been working exclusively with Ghostwridah and have had the opportunity to really produce him and learn how to make records instead of just making beats. For example, pitching hook ideas, or letting him know that he should maybe add an extra verse to a particular song. He is always open to opinions so it makes it a lot easier to learn and experiment. I really respect the term producer and i think its used loosely these days so I really want to pay my dues and prove it through these records we’ve been working on.
24: I know you recently worked with Ghostwridah on his 305’s & Heart Break mixture and produced a personal favorite “Celebrate Lyfe” so tell me who are some other artists you’re trying to work with in the future?
LowKey: Yeah, “Celebrate Lyfe” did really well. It was kind of like the hybrid for the new project “In Love With My Future” were working on now, it was the beginning of it. As far as people I want to work with thats a very big list. I’m a huge fan of all genres of music. Everyone from Jay-Z to John Mayer. I like artist that like to push music to it’s limits. I’m not just all about the big names though because they are a lot of local and up and coming artist that I am a fan of also.
24: How do you approach making a beat, do you start with the drums first or a kick?
LowKey: I actually try to catch a vibe first. I’ll go into the studio and just play some music or watch something that will put me in a certain vibe. After that depending on who I’m making tracks for, I’ll go through some records or drums or to the keyboard and start from there. It’s always a different approach, it keeps things fresh. I’m starting to incorporate live instruments into my beats, which is also a new approach for me. Working with musicians definitely helps with the creative process.
24: How is the industry treating you as far as being an up and coming producer trying to get into the game?
LowKey: I would say very good man, can’t complain at all. I knew stepping into this business that the odds were against me and that it wasn’t gonna be easy but I think I’ve been fortunate to have accomplished the things I have in just 3 years. I’ve done songs for Slim Thug, Smitty, and Trae. I was in the studio with Jagged Edge this summer working on some tracks for their new album, and I got 3 placements on Trick Daddy’s “Finally Famous” album, which were my first major placements. I was in New York earlier this year and had the opportunity to walk into Def Jam and meet some great people. I was also in the studio with DJ Green Lantern while in New York and he gave me some positive feedback on my beats, so I know I’m going in the right direction.
24: What producer in the game at the moment makes you say damn! When you hear a beat they did and make you want to step up your production?
LowKey: Good question, right now it would have to be between DJ Khalil and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Those guys are killing it right now! But there are a lot of producers that influence me everyday and keep me on my toes. Like when I hear Kanye‘s production, his creativity or Dre‘s drums and DJ Toomp‘s ear for melodies, and of course Isaac Hayes and Quincy Jones‘s arrangements. All the Primo and 90’s Hip -Hop beats. I just try and learn as much as I can everyday from their music, I really study it as much as I can.
24: Do you have any plans of starting a label later on and have artist or do you just want to keep focusing on being the best producer possible?
LowKey: Well, actually right now me and GhostWridah have “The Lyfe Music“. He’s the CEO/Artist and I act as President/Producer. We are just building a great team. People have actually reached out to us to become part of what we are trying to build. We currently made this really talented up and coming producer by the name of REM part of The Lyfe Music. I’m pretty sure you’ll be interviewing him next. We have an amazing marketing and promotions team that is headed by Moses Hall and Nygee. Shout-out to those guys who definitely played a big part in the last project “305’s and Heartbreaks” Mixtape. Also Fara who is our publicist. We have a couple clothing lines out there that we are in the talks with to be involved with the whole Lyfe Movement. I think the best thing you can do in this industry is surround yourself with as much like minded people as you can. I think having a strong team is very important.
24: What’s some up and coming moves your trying to make in the near future that everyone should look out for?
LowKey: Well, we are about 40% done with Ghostwridah‘s new LP titled “In Love With My Future“, it’s coming out incredible. I’m doing all the production as of right now with REM. We just did a joint with Paul Wall for Ghost‘s LP. The records that I did with Jagged Edge also Summer JAE‘s Gospel album, and a lot more surprises that are not confirmed yet for the new year.
24: How can someone get in contact with you about some business or keep up to date with everything your doing?
LowKey: If you want to reach me you can hit me up on Myspace at www.myspace.com/producedbylowkey or on my Twitter at www.twitter.com/lowkeyslyfe. Jay Carter I appreciate the love and “Once again it’s The LYFE“!