BACK WITH PART TWO!
6. MUTANT ACADEMY’S OWN. RICHMOND, VA’S FINEST
AWWW SH*T! (You gotta say that with your chest btw).
Needing no introduction is Tuamie. That’s “T-U-A-M-I-E”, for those who ain’t know. Of this generation of producers, Tuamie has always been and will always be my favourite. I prefer to stay away from the term ‘SoundCloud producers’ as I believe its quite restrictive. Additionally, platforms such as Bandcamp and Spotify have become more of an avenue for producers to release their music.
I had the pleasure of getting to know this incredible beatmaker a lot more, in an interview I did with him earlier this year. You can catch that here. I won’t say too much about this Richmond, VA-based producer. I will however, let the music and the interview speak for itself. I can’t express how much I adore Tuamie’s music and just how much of a close eye I kept on his musical journey, even during my finals. You never quite know what he’s planning next, which makes it all the more fun to watch. There’s a sound that’s bubbling in Richmond, VA and it’s coming from the Mutant Academy crew. So keep your ear to the streets, because they’re keeping it consistent and their coming for necks. You don’t wanna miss out!
Check out this new release from Mutant Academy’s own Koncept Jack$on (Prod. Tuamie):
7. A YOUNG MUSICAL MAESTRO WHO CONTINUES TO GROW AND ELEVATE
In the seventh spot, it’s none other than K, Le Maestro. A young man who is no short of being a musical maestro at that. I spoke with this beatmaker a while back. He let me know that he was also about to complete his finals. Hope they went well K, Le Maestro! This particular beatmaker is known for his rendition of Amerie’s One Thing (catch it below) among other tracks.
During exam season, I found myself falling in love with K’s reworks all over again. The way he’s flipped Aaliyah’s monumental hits or unforgettable hits by T-pain has me in awe of his attention to detail. He managed to completely change the genre of Flo Rida featuring T-pain – Low. Listen to him effortlessly work this into a jazz medley.
One word: Clean.
K has expressed how he uses Mixcraft interface as opposed to more popular software’s such as FL Studio, because it’s much easier to navigate. He sets himself apart by resorting to alternative methods and picking up sounds that the average listener wouldn’t.
It’s a challenge for many beatmakers to take on timeless classics and succeed in reworking them. So much so, that the end result is either better or on parr with the original. This is something K excels at and continues to do so.
8. WHO TO GO TO FOR PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC THAT TRANSPORTS YOU TO ANOTHER REALM
Eighth is a Leicester, UK producer who goes by the name of Scott Xylo. Scott is without a doubt destined for greatness. At the age of 23, he has managed to produce songs for the likes of Oshun, Clear Soul Forces, Richie Saps, Lord Apex and many more. He is steadily becoming one of the front runners of ‘psychedelic soul’, though he is careful not to limit himself to this category. He’s expressed love for Ethiopian music to doom metal and has a vast knowledge of music. Scott’s love for anime seeps into his music, leaving both an expressive and stimulating aftereffect upon listening.
I’d turn to Scott’s music a lot for comfort, especially Fireflies Coloured In Violet (w~T’nah) which I’ve expressed love for numerous times. Towards my last exam, I had little time left to revise due to how time-consuming my dissertation turned out to be. Lets just say, I was under a lot of pressure at the time. I somehow managed to keep a brave face in public, yet behind closed doors I was crumbling…stressed..all sorts. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, because I tried to fit so much into one day. This song kept me afloat. It calmed me down and eventually, I managed to pull through.
To find out who else Scott worked with…why not scroll through the link below!
9. MEMBER OF CLEAR SOUL FORCES, EXPERIMENTAL BEATMAKER AND UNDERRATED EMCEE
An underrated producer and emcee. You may recognise him as a member of rap group Clear Soul Forces. Yet, Ilajde’s musical skills expand beyond rhymes. In May, he released a new project titled #0414917. A project he explained, explores events that happened to him “involving the law”. The title of this recent project happens to be his inmate number. So, he’s actually delving into a personal experience that many often struggle to share. The rapper showed his cards by producing all the beats for the project, excluding Diamond Rhymin’ and Yeah Ho. On the whole, I believe the production of the project has gone largely overlooked. To me, it has been one of the standout projects of 2018 and I don’t say this lightly. I found myself most drawn to Always Somethin’ (ft Mic Phelps). Though, the wordplay in Diamond Rhymin’ by both Ilajide and Noveliss is not something to be missed. The beat by record producer Dom Sicily (aka Def Dee) that drops almost immediately fits perfectly alongside. I couldn’t quite get enough of this one. I truly appreciate the quality of the project and how original each track is.
Catch one of Ilajide’s other works joining forces with the other members of Clear Soul Forces below
10. BRINGING AFRO TRAP TO THE WORLD STAGE
French producer Dany Synthé was the mastermind behind the beat for one of my favourite afro-trap songs La Puissance by French emcee MHD. I first heard this song a couple months after it was released and I remember not being able to sit still. The beat was so addictive, I hadn’t been exposed to the genre at the time. The song almost sounded like a mainstream club anthem with African elements. I think that’s why it became so popular, because it contains different elements which appeal to different listeners across the world. After hearing the song, I started listening to MHD more and also followed Synthé’s later works.
So, just what is afro-trap and how is it different to what we understand Trap to be as seen in American music? Afro Trap, to put it plainly is a fusion of African music, French rap and Trap music. However, MHD has spoken about how he crosses between cultures and doesn’t like to restrict himself to the “French rap” category. I’ve realised that some afro-trap beats, (including Synthé’s production on Bravo) have roots in commercial music, origins in both Latin American and South American music if you listen closely. So, the genre in a sense is more experimental and versatile than its definition prescribes. At just 23 years old, it’s refreshing to see that MHD doesn’t restrict himself to one genre. Likewise, how Synthé blends these different genres together.
I would definitely like to see more beatmakers who specialise in afro-trap, afrobeats or bashment on popular series’ like Mass Appeal’s Rhythm Roulette. Let’s broaden the horizon a bit. I’m intrigued to see just how these popular dance tracks are created. Plus, it would be a different angle from the producers that commonly feature in each episode.
Another Synthé-produced track that I found myself listening to a lot was Too Good For You ft Davido & Shay.
Let’s just say, I’m one of those people who like to take dance breaks during revision or find themselves dancing alone at 3am in the morning. Then again, aren’t we all? I found myself listening to afro-trap and afrobeats non-stop for a week straight at one point, this was definitely when I most needed to stay energised.
Right, well I got a bit carried away and included two more beatmakers…
11. Cheeky eleventh spot
Keeping it short and sweet, this Baltimore beatmaker goes by the name of J.Robb (previously known as Mr. Surf – R.I.P Mr. Surf). He began making music at the young age of 13 and keeps on getting better and better. At just 18 years old, he sat down in an interview with Joe Kay on Soulection Radio examining his growth and sharing influences such as popular Canadian producers Boi-1da and WondaGurl. With currently over 51k followers on SoundCloud his fanbase and outreach has grown rapidly. Why not listen to his stunning rendition of Lauryn Hill’s – Doo-Wop (That Thing) and understand just why I had to sneak him in for a cheeky eleventh spot.
12. We’ve come to the end of the road folks…
Last but not least and I mean it this time – is Monte Booker. I listened to a lot of Booker’s music during my final year, so I definitely had to put him in here too. “Aqua vibes” is how Joe Kay described his music in an interview with Booker two years ago. I’m pretty much on the same wavelength with that description. I can really hear that space-like quality that Flylo captures so well in Booker’s music. If you didn’t know already, the producer leads a Chicago-based group called Zero Fatigue featuring ethereal singer Ravyn Lenaeand modern day R&B crooner Smino. Collectively, the trio have contributed to what has now been coined as a ‘new Chicago sound’. Booker has spoken about studying the techniques of Timbaland and production duo The Neptunes. The producer leaves his unique electronic stamp on everything he touches. He continues to create a new wave and has become one of the many respected producers in Chicago.
It’s truly amazing to see people doing amazing things at such a young age. Some of these beatmakers are in fact under 20 years of age and a majority are under the age of 25. This new generation of producers have skills that surpass their age. Their hustle is inspiring. I wish them all the best. We are in an age where you can profit from your passion. Apply yourself. Put yourself out there. Take that leap and don’t look back.
So, here’s to the end of an era for me and the beginning of a new one. Bring on new adventures and the next chapter!
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, as much as I enjoyed writing it.
SOME HOT TOPICS TODAY
- Will more recognition lead to overrated sounds and mainstream beats?
- Should underground producers aspire for fame or to be respected?
- How valid is the discussion surrounding Knxwledge and what it means to be an overrated producer?
- Will other beatmakers be able to break out in the way that Knxwledge has?
- Why aren’t more musicians tapping into this network of producers?