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DJ KyDD On Becoming A Producer, ‘Theory of Evolution’ EP and More

Photo by: Sik Saleem

Right out of Rose City, comes DJ KyDD – music producer on the rise from M.A.D. Studios. From sampling Anime music and movies, DJ KyDD has truly grown and developed his own style and continues to contribute to Canadian hip-hop. After releasing ‘I Am‘ single back in July, Danny Green and DJ KyDD have returned together to piece ‘Theory of Evolution,’ a 7-track EP which was just released early last month, also featuring Manny Tuletti and J Pags.

DJ KyDD and Danny Green will also be featured as special guests on The XMPL Podcast – Episode 2, which will be released later this week.

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XMPL got the chance to talk to DJ KyDD on becoming a producer, working with artists, ‘Theory of Evolution’ EP and more. Listen to ‘Theory of Evolution‘ EP and read the full interview below:

XMPL: Your catalog mainly focuses on producing hip-hop beats. There are many ways to be involved with hip-hop, whether it’s being an MC to being B-Boy. What made you decide to pursue it as a DJ/Producer?
DJ KyDD: Well from what my mom told me when I was about 3 months, I had a strong recognition of sounds from things I heard on the TV.  She would tell me there was this one Pepsi commercial with a guitarist playing and an Oreo commercial with the Chopsticks Song being played on the piano and I would break my neck trying to find where the song was coming from.  My mom would also rap to me and I’d dance every time she’d rap. When I was three, I got my first pair of drumsticks and would use a pillow as my kick drum and the rest of the couch as my drum set.  But when it really hit me was when my older brother was watching BET back in the 90’s and DJ Jazzy Jeff was on the screen spinning I was star struck! I then realized and said to myself  “my mom has this same kind of turntable on the stereo.” It was all downhill from there.

In your craft you have many legendary names that paved the way like DJ Premiere, Kid Capri, Grand Master Flash, Ali Shaheed Muhammed and the list goes on. How important is it for a young producer to learn techniques in producing a beats from eras prior to Kanye’s reign?
To be completely honest with you, it is and it isn’t.  I say this because yeah, like myself, I was born in that era so hearing those kinds of beats and trying to learn how to do the same thing was only natural when starting out.  Nowadays you have these kids like mine that are born in this Trap Era that will be looking back at producers like Zaytoven, Mike Will Made It, Pi’Erre Bourne and the list goes on you know, that if one day they wanna start producing they’re gonna be trying the same things these guys did with beats.  The sound is always changing as we speak and who knows, that next multi-platinum producer could be 6 years old because he came up with something that is catching everyones hear.

DJ KyDD at Trap House Karaoke, Imperial Nightclub on August 30th. Photo by: Sik Saleem

Speaking of Kanye, just like Q-Tip before him, he got into the booth and started using his vocals in an evolutionary way. As your talents continue to grow, are you planning on getting on some beats yourself?
To tell you the truth, before I started composing, I used to rap.  My brother and I started it from making an Uptown Spoof called “I’m Hungry” and we just went with the whole rapping wave because “why not right?” The last time I wrote a song was when I was about 17 and I’m 25 now and I just recently laid it out on a beat.  Honestly though, one of my colleagues at M.A.D. (Ninedy2: Super Genius) is getting me to start writing to some of my beats for references more and more sooooo all I’ll say is stay tuned for any possible KyDD features O-(-_-(Q.

You and Danny Green released an EP Together called ‘Theory of Evolution’. How important do you think it is for projects like this where a DJ and the Rapper come together to create a masterpiece?
I can’t stress this enough; SUPER IMPORTANT!!  When it comes to making beats, I have a hard time just making them to put them up and sell them on YouTube or Beat Stars.  The reason I say that is because when I myself make beats I put every feeling into that beat be that if I’m annoyed, in my feels, or just hyped off of the last episode of Boruto I watched.  When I first met Danny we clicked off rip.  He just came out of the booth from recording and the first two things he asked me were “wanna bong rip and do you like grime?” From then I showed him some of my beats and this guy said “NAH NAH NAH I’ma need you to make me one from scratch LOOL”  The first beat we started working on was “They Don’t” and he wanted to know how I started first making beats.  I told him I used to sample a lot of Anime and Movies so he then told me “Go back to doing that” and BOOM sampled one of my favourite Animes “Hunter X Hunter” and he started flowing and we just kept it rolling from there!

Photo by: Sik Saleem

Swizz Beatz was producing for EVE & DMX but didn’t really step out into the lime light until he released his project ‘G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories’ in 2002. That’s when his name was cemented as one of the greats and his talents couldn’t be denied. Tell us why that project was important and why producers today should utilize techniques like that to build their brand.
Swizz Beatz did something that we all as producers don’t think we have today and it’s simply giving us a voice!  Not a lot of people even realize the amount of references that go out that the producers wrote and the artists use, and that right there just shows you that, we should never be overlooked and underestimated.

Walk us through some of the challenges of working with different artists and what kind of leadership you have to carry in the studio.
Most artists you come across are super impulsive with music and life itself. It can get irritating at times but its up to you as the producer to keep your cool and roll with the punches.  Some artists will come in not ever being in a studio thinking they know what they need to sound like and how to do the job of the producer and you gotta just let them get it out.  On the other hand you will come across those artists that have the voice, the presence, the flow, proper beat selection and not know what to do and then its my job to paint the picture on a canvas they may not be able to articulate into words.

Who are some of the most influential producers in today’s game?
Dylan Dylan Dylan and Dylan!! Nah but right now I’d say Pi”Erre, Zaytovon, Kanye, Metro, Mike Will, this list goes on man.

Photo by: Sik Saleem

8) What kind of advice would you give to a young kid who wants to learn to produce and how important is it for them to fine their unique sounds.
I’d tell them just that, find your unique sound! Yeah, you can do what everyone else is doing right now because that’s one of the easier ways to get a grasp of the producing but at the same time what’s gonna make you stand out?  For example; my colleague M.A.D. Composer Lauzy Beats is a maniac with the beats and has come a super long way from when I first met and heard his beats, but one thing that always stood out to me was the cool blue vibe on a super fire beat, so we started saying “Thats that Blue Flame.” Another example; M.A.D. Composer/Cinematographer/Graphic Designer Ninedy2 reigns from the beautiful Los Angeles, California and I’ve been a fan of his work for quite some time now.  When you listen to his compositions with OHNO, Self Provoked, Rit$y and Zelly Woods to name a few, I always come back to the same feeling that some of the greats like Dr Dre, Scoop Deville, and DJ Mustard give you; That West Coast Vibe. BUT he made it HIS.

Describe what it was like creating ‘Theory of Evolution’. What else can we expect from you over the next year?
Creating this project was something far beyond my expectations! Danny Green allowed me to give my complete and genuine honest opinions on how I felt a track sounded.  The dude legit asked if I could include my tag in his lyrics. LIKE WHAT?! Dudes only ask if I can take them out without buying exclusives. There’s only one other artist I feel I can work on the same level I did with Danny and he goes by Quellsz P! Q definitely brought my producing to the next level because he would describe in-depth how he wanted a beat chopped and bringing that understanding into the present served its purpose making this project.  As for future projects, I gotta lil’ one-two singles dropping here and there as well as collabs with the squad at M.A.D. such – so just stay tuned.

Listen to ‘Theory of Evolution’ by Danny Green and DJ KyDD below:

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