I had an opportunity to catch up with Bay Area known producer, Kuya Beats. In this two-part interview we play a game of rapid fire with the producer as well as have a conversation about his idea of the ultimate music genre and his personal relationship with HBK Gang member P-Lo.
What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on? Past and present?
All of the HBK projects have been great experiences for me but I think the last project that I worked on Hella Good, is one of my favorites, it was like a new energy that rejuvenated a lot of music in me, so that was awesome. Also Jay Ant’s Blue Diamond Dreams has been really invigorating for me. Also 108K who’s a mentor of mine, he’s coming out with a new project called Riding In Cars with Girls, he’s an R&B singer but he’s a producer as well so I’ve been working on a lot of projects in the shadows. Lastly though, P-Lo’s project Before Anything is really experimental in a way that it pushes the bounds of music, so those are some of my favorite projects so far that I’ve been apart of.
If you could describe your mood or ideal genre of music what would it be called?
R&Shmobbin, because it would be like R&B music but with mobby ass beats that you could ride to or make out to with your significant other.
What was one of your early influences that you can recall that led you to start creating music and producing?
My family wasn’t really musical, my family listened to music but none of my family members were classically trained musicians or anything like that. My older sister loved music she would always play me R&B music like Brandy, Monica, Aaliyah and all these different awesome R&B artists. I knew I always liked that kind of music but I never knew I would be making that type of music one day. The College Dropout is a big influence, it opened the doors up for different perspectives on the world so Kanye was ground breaking for me in that way, Pharrell, N.E.R.D. they have definitely influenced me in making awesome music so I guess those are a few of my major influences.
What are your thoughts on the “Bay Area sound” being the base of a lot of music right now specifically within hip-hop&rap?
I think the Bay Area sound is definitely a sound that is borrowed in a lot of different ways. I think it’s important though to acknowledge that the Bay Area isn’t a monolithic sound, I don’t think anyone can identify a specific Bay sound. Perhaps in some areas of rap music but as far as global music, it speaks to folks like Kehlani and Caleborate and all of these other young artists who are coming up now where there is no geographical lines on what music really is. I think that is more defined with the older generation. I think good music in the Bay Area has always been very diverse. For instance, look at people like Goapele, Rafael Saadiq, Sly and the Family Stone you know? All of those people are artists from the Bay Area and their style is so unique and true to their own sound.
Have any artists that you’ve worked with surprised you at all creatively while collaborating with them?
Ummmm... yeah, Caleb. Caleborate, surprisingly I thought he was just a rapper but he’s pretty gifted in writing, he writes pretty well. IAMSU has surprised me in a lot of ways, one of them is that he can sing, like without auto-tune that dude can hold a note, he probably won’t admit it but yeah he can sing. Umm, P-lo always surprises me with new ways of being hood, and Jay-Ant always surprises me with new ways he puts together music so yeah those are the main artists who have I guess surprised me.
For those who do not know, what is your relationship with Heart Break P-Lo? Is it fun having kin in the business with you?
P-lo is my younger brother.
It’s fun in a sense that we both have a lot of respect and honesty for each other so when something isn’t necessarily good or we just need an honest opinion on something, I think we heavily rely on the fact that we are brothers. Especially because we have seen ourselves at lower stages and have witnessed each other’s progression so I think we value each other’s honesty more than anything because sometimes it’s hard to get honesty out of other people. At times I think I’m a little hard on him just because I know how good he can be and how good he will be but I think it’s all about balance and letting each other have our own creative balance and respecting that. Overall, I think it works well, we trust each other in a lot of ways, I think he values my opinion and I value his.
For the entire interview click here to watch rapid fire with Kuya Beats!