Our interview with artist, producer, animator, WoodysProduce

Music producer, mixer and recording engineer, WoodysProduce is taking the world by storm, or at least it looks that way. It goes without saying he’s been hard at work, developing tracks for The 1975, Iggy Azalea, and Casey Veggies, working on his cartoon show, the Gooberz, or even curating a summer playlist for your listening pleasure. Despite his big year last year, performing at Coachella and The Hudson Music Project, he’s been able to find time to blow us away this year with a journey of sorts; a new project, N° 31. I caught up with Woody via Skype to talk about his beginnings, what he’s been working on and what’s to come.

NT: Hey man! What’s going on?

WoodysProduce: I’m at the office. I’m developing a cartoon with a few friends of mine, so I’m at the office right now. Animating and doing cool stuff. We have a cartoon that’s like hip hop themed and I do a voice over thing, do all the music for the show. We have episododes up on YouTube it’s called the Gooberz.

NT: I was hoping to start off by giving the readers a little background on you and some of your work.

W: So I’ve been making music my whole life. I fell into being a hip hop producer, I’ve worked with rock bands, been in bands growing up. Moved to Los Angeles about eight years ago. I just always wanted to be a music producer. My goal was to get on a major record. I always looked up to Swiss Beatz, and Dr., Timbaland and stuff. I did it man, I just came down here and did what I wanted to do. I got on Iggy Azalea’s album and I’ve got to work with a bunch of talented people. I’m most known online for doing remix stuff; Notorious B.I.G. remixes, a 50 Cent ‘In Da Club’ remix.

NT: When did you start producing and what is your musical background?

W: I went to engineering school and I was actually an engineer in like 2007 I got trained at a studio in Los Angeles where I got to see everybody. I was like a grunt, I was getting Kanye West turkey burgers, Nelly would come in. All the big people would come through the studio. So I learned a lot from the whole started from the bottom thing, it’s very real [laughs]. Getting to experience that stuff really lead to realizing that it was possible to achieve all these things. Just worked really hard. I linked up with a dude named Charles Hamilton and he signed to Interscope at the time and I just ended up dropping everything and moving to New York and I lived in Harlem for a year with him, we made music and from it just happened

NT: Last year was arguably your breakout year, with performances at Coachella and the Hudson Music Project, how is this year going so far for you?

W: This year’s great man! It’s funny because – so the Coachella thing happened which was like above and beyond a dream, that was very surreal and then I just kinda got slapped on the wrist for doing remix stuff. Soundcloud has threatened to delete my account. I’ve had my YouTube account suspended. I don’t know who’s watching me in the government but they’re pinpointing me! They’re like “yo you can’t do any more remixes, copywritten stuff is off limits”. I actually took down all my remixes off of my Soundcloud. It’s been an interesting year and this project that I’m doing, 31, is kind of reflecting where I’m at with the current style of music I’m making obviously, but also with the copywrite stuff. I decided I needed to put out a slew of original music. So I decided to switch gears and do this and it’s like an audio/visual thing. It’s cool man, this year is going great! I’m learning to traditionally DJ so I can start playing out more and I’m working on my cartoon called the Gooberz and music videos, and just trying to a be a renascence man.

NT: I want to talk about your project this month next. In previous interviews you’ve said you wanted to do some original stuff, would you say this is you vision fulfilled?

W: Yeah, for sure and it’s funny because last year I did a remix project called “Summer Citrus Remixes” and I was putting out a remix every week for the entire summer and it just kind of popped up and I was like, you know what? I’ve dabbling in video stuff and work with a close friend of mine, Colin, who directs music videos and does a bunch of stuff in video and it’s just been really cool trying to put out as much stuff as I can and being as creative as I can.

NT: How long did it take to film the scenes and produce the music featured in your videos?

W: I’m doing it day by day. Some of the ideas – I definitely have a folder on my computer that’s like ideas but they’re not finished as far as the music goes. Sometimes I’ll dabble in that folder, sometimes I’ll start from scratch. The video stuff…like today I don’t know what I’m doing [laughs] so I’m gonna go film something and turn it in to a music video and mix a song tonight. I’m yet to figure it out and it’s almost 5:00 PM. So I film the ride home and have it be in slow motion, I’m not sure [laughs] but it’ll be something that is cool. It’s definitely a tasteful thing and I’ve been pulling from other people. My friend, Rossco Soletrain has been sending me some video stuff but I’m curating everything and editing everything and making it mine for this project. It’s a handful!

NT: Despite every music clip and video being unique, would you say there’s an overarching theme between the visuals and music?

W: Yeah, I think the music has a general vibe. I’m definitely in a headspace where I’m making similar type music. As I’m sure all artists do, you fall into a zone of making a certain thing. So sonically I think it’s very similar, but video I want them to coincide with each other, it’s difficult. For example to other day I filmed – we have a pet snake at my house and we fed a rat to it and I filmed it and just chopped it up and I had an idea already of what it should sound like so putting that to the snake video made it a symbiotic piece of art. It’s really weird to explain but I had this idea and I was like the snake needs to be fed and filmed and I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback on that video. So it’s really a day by day thing, so that’s why it’s definitely an interesting project!

NT: How would you describe your approach to the project or producing something in general?

W: I think it’s come to a point where I believe that if you’re an artist and you do something it should come pretty easily to you. If you’re with the technology that’s readily available you should be able to do a painting, or make a song, or shoot a video, or whatever with the technology that’s given to you these day. I just also wanted to have a statement. If you’re an artist, just make hella music, you know, but a bunch of shit out, all the time and I think that the industry’s changing in such a matter that you’re almost gonna have to do that, you know? It used to be you would work for a year on an album and then you’d come out with an album in a year. That’s like insane for me! If you have a laptop, just make music, put it out for the world to see. It’s really a beautiful thing. I want to be a frontrunner and a part of the next generation that puts out a ton of music that it’s almost like a blog subscription or something that you go to, like: “oh, this is cool, weekly music!” So I think the industry’s definitely changing

NT: Which artists and styles do you see as your primary inspirations?

W: I love weird hipster music. Anything that’s like I’m on HypeMachine and HypeM a lot and I just kinda make my playlist that I listen to in my car or whatever from there. Some of the times I don’t even know who I’m listening to. There’s this band Sails, they’re really cool, this guy on guitar and this girl singing, it’s just very stripped down. If it sounds good to me sonically I love it. That’s kind of what inspires me. There’s definitely been like Tycho or something that I can listen to the whole entire project, or Phantogram. But the majority of stuff I’m influenced by is just randomness that is just on my phone

NT: Are there any artists that you would like to work with or a genre that you’ve kind of been hesitant to dabble with?

W: Oh, hesitant to dabble with! I’m a step a head in a lot of ways. I always want to do something different. I don’t know if I’m necessarily ahead, I think it’s just wanting to do something different. You know, like when dubstep was cracking I was like: “Aw man, I don’t really want to do dubstep” and now it’s like trap music and sort of like EDM, trappy sort of stuff is really popping off and I’ve kinda found myself dipping away from there and making more chill ambient, sort of hip hop influenced but still hipster-style music. I want to find a female singer and make an ‘80’s Janet Jackson Control sounding album or Paula Abdul or something. I want to go all the way to the other side of the field and just push boundaries and stuff. That’s why I appreciate artists like Kanye West or something, when they come out and do something completely off kilt and shatter boundaries. It’s awesome and that’s what we’re supposed to do as artists, push the envelope so that’s what I’m trying to do.

NT: Besides the project this month, what other things are you working on now? What can we expect from you in the near future?

W: I’m working with a handful of artists that I’ve been working with for a while: DJ Sheba, Raven Sorvino, just a bunch of people I’m working with on original production stuff and I’ll probably just continue to put out random music here and there. But towards the end of the year I’m working on a documentary with some friends of mine, we just interviewed AFI, the other day for the documentary. It’s kind of just a seed right now but music has touched a big part of my life, but it’s such a small part of what I want to accomplish in the grand scheme of things. I want to make a movie next year, and I like want to – it sounds super cheesy – but I want to learn how to water colour paint anything. So musically, yeah I’m going to keep putting out original stuff and playing out and gigging more but I want to learn how to do so much other creative stuff.

Interview by Sean Carlin