December 14, 2019

Interview: Nary Da Producer

Nary Da Producer Interview

Our featured interview this holiday season is seasoned Pittsburgh producer extraordinaire, Nary Da Producer!

Nary Da Producer Interview

AirdriftSignals: How long have you been focused on producing hip-hop beats?

Nary Da Producer: I started seriously producing music around 2007 when I briefly relocated to Green Level, North Carolina, so we can say 12 years... I was making beats for my cousins and some artist around the area... I always knew I would do something with music even before then... But I ended up signing to two different indie labels during my stay in North Carolina that showed me a lot about the business aspect of the music industry and I took what I learned from that and started my journey into this music thing!

AirSig: As a producer based in Pennsylvania, how has your home base and local scene informed your creativity? Are there any local spots that have given you inspiration?

Nary Da Producer: ... I love my city! Shout out to everybody that's grinding and doing their thing! I haven’t worked with too many in my city... really just because I didn’t start out producing in Pittsburgh... But what I will say is... the thing that inspires me about the city is... just the grind... there’s a lot of go getters, dope artists and producers that came from here! Mel Man, Sam Sneed, Johnny Juliano, I mean even legends like Ahmad Jamal!! Pittsburgh is definitely a musical city man! As far as local spots that inspire me... I would have to say “Jerry’s Records” located in a section of the city called “Squirrel Hill” because that's where I go digging for vinyl!

AirSig: Oh, so you dig for your loops then? 

Nary Da Producer: Oh most definitely!!! I feel like digging is one of the biggest fundamentals of hip-hop and more! Most of the things I find rather it’s old classic records or even some random drum loop I like to find new ways to make it into something fresh! I know there’s sites like splice that give you a source to find loops and things of that nature too... It’s just crazy to see how much you can do as far as creating music in today's era!

AirSig: What events in your life made you want to make music and who are your biggest producer influences?

Nary Da Producer: I honestly can say every minute of my 24 hours inspires me to create! My heart and soul is making music... SOULFUL music! Every time I turn on my MPC, I just feel the moment! My biggest music influences are Pete Rock, Chad Hamilton, Just Blaze, Bink, Manny Fresh, Dj Premier, Hi-Tek, J-Dilla, Marley Marl, Trackmasters, Scram Jones, My Bro J.Dova from Atlantic City! And SO many more!

AirSig: One of our previous articles covered a hip-hop single by Cuban Pete which you produced, called Nothin’s Gonna Stop Me. It features a classic sounding female singer crooning the hook and it recalls a golden era of music. It also has a certain Dilla vibe as you mentioned him being a big influence for you just previously... Is there any style or era of music that calls out to you when making beats? 

Nary Da Producer: J-Dilla is forever man! His legendary work and the things he’s done with that MPC are incredible! I feel like there’s J-Dilla influence all over the hip-hop culture! He’s definitely one of my biggest influences. Also shout out to Cuban Pete and the UK! We have an EP coming real soon!! My favorite era is the golden era of hip-hop! That era influenced my style a lot! Just the sound and the feel of that time! 80s R&B is another era that calls out to me! I like some of the new stuff that's coming out too!

AirSig: While listening to that single, it’s amazing to think about how the Internet allows people from all walks of life to connect, and nowadays even allow those who are separated by thousands of miles to create some amazing music! It gained a lot of traction internationally following its release and even got airtime on a French radio station. Does this added international element to your music give you added desire to see how many other international artists you could work with?

Nary Da Producer: I think it’s dope how the Internet links all us musicians together from all across the globe! When I first sent Cuban Pete that beat (Nothin's Gonna Stop Me), he sat on it for a few... And then he finally messaged me like “Nary I think this is it!" He sent everything over and I mixed and mastered it and the rest is history! I think it’s really cool that it spent almost a month in rotation on the radio in France and the UK!

AirSig: Are you more interested in expanding your producer portfolio across multiple emcees and keeping yourself a free agent or eventually joining forces into a hip-hop duo or creative team? 

Nary Da Producer: I recently been working with Solomon Childs, affiliated with the Wu Tang Clan... I got some work with Cuban Pete of course lol. I’ve been working with a lot of rising artists from PA and all over the globe! Also there’s a few big COLLABS in the works! I’m working on my beat catalog and collaborating with a lot of different artists! As far as joining forces with another producer or team, I wouldn’t rule it out but right now I’m just focusing on my own craft.

AirSig: Is the MPC and Pro Tools your sole production tools? 

Nary Da Producer: The MPC and Pro Tools are definitely my go-to's! That swing and just the feel when you’re producing on the MPC is something special! BUT! I also use FL Studio too! That software is dope! Sometimes it annoys me with all the extra layering I like to do to get that fuller sound I’ve grown accustomed to using the MPC but all around it’s dope! So yeah the MPC Touch/MPC 2000, Pro Tools, FL Studio, and mad vinyl records and other sounds are my go-to's!

AirSig: Do you find creating on the MPC a smooth and effective process? 

Nary Da Producer: Most of the time... If I’m going for something with a classic feel... The MPC is my go-to! The process of creating those kind of moods but if I’m going for a more modern feel I would incorporate my FL Studio with the MPC and get really busy!

AirSig: How do you follow your instincts with your creative flow to make captivating and engaging beats? 

Nary Da Producer: If it feels right I just go with it! Most of the time my ear doesn’t steer me wrong lol! Like I said though it’s all about the mood when it’s time to create!

AirSig: Your newest release, a full-length beat tape titled The Chill Out Volume I, is designed to introduce the world to your atmosphere of sounds, and is designated as an instrumental hip-hop album. Is there anything you’d like to see accomplished with the release of this first volume of this series? 

Nary Da Producer: I would like people to just enjoy the project! Also, I would like the world to know HIPHOP IS FOREVER!! I feel like it's something a little different than the usual 808s and robotic sounding Hi-Hats that’s in a lot of today’s music... I feel like this is a project you can turn on and just chill lol... If you don’t rap or sing you just might after you take a listen!

AirSig: I've also noticed that hi-hats have had a bit of a renaissance in the last ten years with so much hip-hop/trap music. Do you think it's just a fad that will fade in another ten years or will the polyrhythms always have a place going forward? 

Nary Da Producer: A lot of the music is being created with D.A.W. aka Digital Audio Workstation and a lot of the software is so digital sounding along with the heavy quantization they're using in a lot of these new era records that it begins to sound robotic... I feel like trap is here to stay because it has its own place... I wouldn’t call it hip-hop at all but it’s something of its own genre.

AirSig: I, myself, very much enjoy the music of hip-hop. Usually you can hear so many other influences and genres blending into the work of certain producers, such as classical, oldies, and even electronic music. Are there any other genres you might be interested in exploring more, or exclusively, as you continue your musical career? 

Nary Da Producer: I’ve definitely been exploring R&B... some trap/mainstream. I would like to venture into creating jazz music too! There’s a lot of music man! I get inspired by a lot of the elements!

AirSig: Who have you been listening to lately outside of hip-hop? You mentioned you're a fan of jazz music.

Nary Da Producer: Lately, it’s been Ahmad Jamal, a lot of classic R&B, and a lot of instrumental music!

AirSig: What does it mean to you to stand out in a genre that is so diverse and full of talent?

Nary Da Producer: I feel like being yourself and staying true to yourself is everything! It’s so easy to get caught up with following trends because whatever’s the new popular thing is what a lot of people tend to flock to I feel like.

AirSig: Are there any other upcoming projects that you are excited to be working on or planning on releasing soon?

Nary Da Producer: Look out for my first all trap music instrumental project “Nary’s Trap” coming soon! I got a project coming with my bro Prynce who’s also from Pittsburgh! Definitely good music! Also go get Solomon Childs project “Wu Tang BBQ” I got a few records on there! Cuban Pete’s upcoming EP produced entirely by me is on the way! And just follow my social media to stay updated! Also I just wanna just finally shout out a few artists I work with In my city....Prynce and Gotti Boi!!

AirSig: You can follow and listen to Nary Da Producer on his SoundCloud page, which already has over 20,000 streams or follow him on social media (Twitter, Facebook)! You can listen to The Chill Out Volume I on any streaming platforms, and you can also read our full review here