MBW’s World’s Greatest Producers series gives us an interview with – and celebrates – some of the greatest talent working at the studio over the decades. Here we talk! Grammy-winning collaborators from artists including llmind, Jay Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, Jay Cole and Drake. !llmind also produced Lin Manuel Miranda hamilton Contributed to the mixtape and soundtrack of Disney’s 2016 film moana, Backed by the world’s greatest manufacturer Hypgnosis Song Management,
“everything [in] Life is a gamble,” Kendrick Lamar rapped on 2017 God.
Those five words, 2017’s . are taken from damn.May not be the most repeated or considered song in the rapper’s repertoire.
But they maker Ramon’! llmind’ is fitting enough for Ibanga Jr.’s life and career.
About eight years ago, a !llmind co-produced Beat, end of the worldAppeared on SoundCloud.
It !llmind’s. was taken from #boomtrap vol. 2 Producer released mixtape blep-kits Platform – A sample library for producers launched in 2011.
one of God.The co-producer of Rikki Rira, took an excerpt from Phir end of the worldadded some drums and made a damn.Exceptional track.
That’s why end of the world Starting its life as a royalty-free sample pack on bleep-kits, !llmind missed out on an album credit. As is the method of the manufacturer.
!llmind is more satisfied with this.
He is more focused on “bringing people together, being a mentor to some people and some communities,” he says. And besides, his other successes mean that missing the Kendrick feature isn’t the end of the world.
!llmind is a two-time Grammy winner, ten-time nominated music producer.
His credits include Jay Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, Jay Cole and Drake, he produced Lin Manuel Miranda hamilton Contributed to the mixtape and soundtrack of Disney’s 2016 film moana,
With that, usually comes ego.
But !llmind is pretty much the creator who remembers where it came from; He’s still too toddler, he says, to beat in “the basement of a mom who eats chocolate chip cookies.”
Today his bedroom may be big, but his success lies in the same mindset.
The company says that in 2021, Blap-Kits crossed the $1 million per year revenue mark.
Meanwhile, !llmind regularly dissects beat-making on Twitch and chews fat on YouTube, two platforms that allow his self-proclaimed need to “fool about creator content.”
And, much like fellow producers Timbaland, 3LAU, and others, they have entered the NFT game with their knights squad Project.
Squad of Knights is an NFT-powered music production community that integrates studio space, mentorship and collaboration in the real world.
Below, you’ll find an edited/shortened conversation between MBW and !llmind, which covers, among other things, the pros and cons of NFTs, what they’ve learned from the bad days of manufacturers – and one of the world’s greatest producers. His career as a…
How has your role as a producer changed over the years?
I feel that I change and develop every year. When I really started doing this in 2005-2006, I was the kid in my mom’s basement trying to sound like Jay Dilla and cut soul records.
Now, I have moved into a mentorship role, but I am still a music producer. I am and always will be.
“You never know what kind of song you’ll make or if something will turn out to be a hit, but it’s the thrill of not knowing that drives me.”
When you’re a music producer, the biggest thrill is when you first create the beat. It’s very satisfying, and even though I’ve produced 10-15 beats a day for almost 20 years, I still get the same satisfaction.
You never know what kind of song you’ll make or if something will become a hit, but it’s the thrill of not knowing that drives me. It keeps me really excited for tomorrow.
How are streaming platforms like Twitch – where you stream every week – helping you advance your community with your music?
Twitch is one of the best at providing tools for online fan engagement and keeping people engaged. On Twitch, the music community, and especially music producers, has seen exponential growth lately, because it’s the perfect place to do it.
we are sitting in front of our computers [for our jobs] Like gamers. Making music is essentially a gaming tool – be it Fruity Loops or Pro Tools – but the difference is that we are creating music that can be monetized.
Twitch has helped me connect and open up my fan base, and it’s [enabled] For me to collaborate with people. I’ll get some of my viewers to submit melody loops, and I’ll pick one at random and we’ll collaborate there.
What are the most challenging projects you have worked on in your career?
There are definitely challenges in my entire journey so far. I wouldn’t say a name for it, but there was a project I was very much involved in where I couldn’t connect with the artist.
I was there making beats and collaborating as much as I could, but I didn’t build anything straight for the project after a couple of weeks. It was a huge opportunity, but I just couldn’t make it.
“I have no hope of going into some projects. Everything we build is such a crapshoot.”
Another time, a while back, I was in a room full of producers when a really Big producers moved in.
I really respected and looked up to this person a lot, but I had a bad experience with him. They were really mean to everyone, and they basically kicked everyone out of the room. I don’t know if he was in a bad mood or not, but that session broke my heart.
Sometimes things like this happen, and I’m stunned by it. This means that I have no hope of going into some projects. Everything we make is such a crap.
You can have a track that you’re not a big fan of, then it becomes your biggest record. Meanwhile, you’ve been working on the record for two weeks in a row, and you think it’s ‘the one’, and it ends up sitting on a hard drive.
you really can’t be bothered with things [in the music industry], I have learned it over the years.
What are some of the key things that need to be changed to ensure that more producers are being paid fairly?
We need to open communication. I don’t want to use words like ‘movement’ or maker union, but maybe we need to.
For writers, music producers, and musicians, the percentage we get, it’s pretty clear that we all find it unfair. To be honest, I don’t know the answer.
When I look at Web3, that’s probably the solution. We are approaching a time where Web3 technology and blockchain is the solution, technically, to store information contracts, allow people to receive payments, split people and distribute money in the snap of a finger.
Web3 can do those things for you. Then there’s Web2, like, ‘Hey, we’ve been doing it this way for 60 years, and a lot of people are making a lot of money, but you guys aren’t.’
How do you get the two of them to communicate? Is there a conversation that should happen? And who’s going to curb those conversations? We have to find a way for these two things to speak and coexist.
It’s a strange time for Web3 at the moment. We are understanding the potential of Web3, but we have yet to see the impact and what it can do at large. Even Spotify is advertising for several Web3 roles.
It is a gift and a curse. All the traffic is on Spotify, Apple and bigger DSPs. They are making a service, but they have decided to say that the service is going to come at a cost.
If it were my choice, I would not have gone to war with them.
I would prefer a world where Web3, Web2 and DSP can work together to address this issue. It might be a bit ‘Kumbhaya’ to a lot of people, but fuck it.
Do you want to go to war with people who have billions of liquidity and billions of dollars and who can hire the best lawyers? They will destroy you. They’re not going to just sit back, take a look at Web3 and walk away.
We have to be realistic and approach it in a way where we ask how can we fix this? We have power, but they also have power levels. And they have money. So we need to find out something.
What do you think about artists selling partial ownership or a percentage of their streaming royalties in the form of NFTs?
This is a good start. I love what 3LAU is doing with the Royale. [But] I don’t think there is only one answer to this. We are in the phase of exploration and trying things out.
It’s my personal opinion that it’s amazing for fans to get a slice of royalty, but there are some issues with it. Is it adoptable by the public? I do not think so.
I don’t think there are a lot of music fans who really give a crap about paying extra money to get royalties. A lot of fans want to listen to music with just one click on their phone, and they want to buy tickets with one click.
It’s amazing that we’re looking for different ways for those fan interactions to happen, but I don’t think we’ve found one thing yet that’s going to solve all of our problems. But I think we are going in the right direction.
Where does your NFT project fit into all this?
Squad of Knights, my NFT project, settles the issue of How do I find people to work with? How do I find my community?
If I’m a Rapper, How Do I Find Beats? If I’m a Music Producer, How Do I Find My Drake? The way success stories happen comes from people, so how do we meet other people?
We have finished our public mint, and the community is growing every day.
We have a reward token called Knights Token; Whenever our community members collaborate, or win challenges, we reward them with knight tokens.
We’ve partnered with a few music studios in Los Angeles as a starting point where members of our community can use Night Tokens to book real studio time, meet each other, and make music in a room.
If you could give your young child one piece of advice on how to progress in the music business, what would it be?
Keep going and don’t think too much. And put all your money in bitcoin in 2011!
In 2013, I started selling sound-packs on my Shopify page.
At that time, they introduced an app where you could accept bitcoins as a form of payment. I activated it, and we made about $1,000 in bitcoin. But there was an option where I could convert it and pay it directly to my account, or keep it in bitcoin.
I put it in my bank account. If I had kept that wallet, I would have had over $1,000 in bitcoins in 2013. How much would that be today? Maybe a couple million.
In the end, if you could change one thing about the music business, what would it be and why?
I really believe that if blockchain and web3 technology is used in the music business it will benefit.
All of these ways can be solved by collecting royalties and payments, distributing money, and holding long contracts.
It feels like when people were using horse and buggy and that’s when the car was invented. I think it’s a very obvious transition.
Web3 can fix most of the music industry’s issues when it comes to finance and business, but we have yet to see when and how this transition takes place.worldwide music business