Bestfan had the pleasure of touching base with super producer Supa Hot Beats AKA Will Power. We had a chance to speak about upcoming projects, Yelawolf’s recent success and an artist that he heavily cosigns by the name of ‘Nikkiya’.
(Bestfan): Well Supa, it’s evident you grew up in the West Coast, where that area of the world has many great artists and producers such as Dr. Dre, DJ Muggs, Rick James, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube to name a few. Which artist or producer was your biggest influence?
Well, I was born in LA, but I grew up in South Carolina. But in regards to that question from a West Coast standpoint I would definitely have to say Dr. Dre. Personally, I just love how he has had such a big separation in his music from a lot of producers being so sonically different.
He’s one of those producers that give each particular instrument a place in his production. I produce very similar to Dre where I use a very minimal amount of instruments so that I can really push out certain things in my sound and that’s what I definitely feel what Dre does.
(Bestfan): There’s always a story behind a person’s craft. In this case, your craft is making music. What made you decide you wanted to become a producer?
Really, I just think it was part of my personality. I produce music mainly because I love music. But just from the word producer, that’s how I get down. I’m really big on coming up with ideas and bringing it into fruition. Growing up with music, I just found that it was very easy for me so I just kept going with it.
(Bestfan): You have a very impressive catalogue. You’ve produced for artists such as Yelawolf, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa and more. Tell us, which project hits closest to home.
Honestly, it would be Trunk Musik. Trunk Musik for me was ground breaking for my production. I felt that it was the most heartfelt work that I did. Yelawolf and I go back a long time. There was a love for music in that record but there was also a lot of friendship.
Next, I would probably have to say Tech N9ne. Working with Tech was really dope, he’s a different artist and it was definitely fun working with him. It was definitely something that hit home – especially working with a legend like him.
(Bestfan): Where did you guys record Yelawolf’s Trunk Muzik record at?
We cut Yelawolf’s project in his basement – really. The back-story on it was, we were having some serious down time with his album. We didn’t have the record deal anymore. We were flat broke.
Yelawolf then came to my house in Atlanta. He had this idea of going back to Alabama in the country and work on a mixtape. We went down there and cut the whole album in 3-4 days. We then gave the project to KP (Kawan Prather) at Ghet-O-Vision and he loved it. Ever since then, it took off.
(Bestfan): What does your set up consist of? What equipment are you currently using?
Primarily I’ve been on Logic since ’98. One of my favourite drum programs is Battery, which I do a lot of work in. I do sample sometimes, and use this program called Recycle to chop some samples in. Really, my set-up is quite simple – but effective.
(Bestfan): I’m sure a lot of people don’t know that you’ve directed a couple videos and have done some creative direction as well. Tell us about that.
Yeah, well I was really heavy into music videos around ’06 and ’07. A lot of it came by not being able to afford hiring video directors. I got lucky one time when Yelawolf needed someone to direct a video for ‘I Wish’ which became ground breaking for Yelawolf as it showed the gritty side to him.
You know, I approach that art very humbly. I’m not out there promoting myself as a director but I know I could really do it if I put my mind to it and come out with something creative.
(Bestfan): Many people have a misconception that all producers do is make beats and who is just a beat maker. For me, I believe a producer is in the studio with the artist, mixing the record all from start to finish. Do you look at yourself as a producer or a beat maker?
Absolutely, a producer – I’m far from a beat maker. I’m totally into finding that special place with an artist and be able to pull out special things from them. I’ve done everything from R&B to the hardest hip-hop records you can think of. I also do vocal production, so I’ve had to learn to teach a person how to stay on key, and teach an artist how to over-annunciate a word. That’s how you hear all the animation and effects go into Yelawolf’s voice.
One of my biggest pet peeves in the industry is when people ask to send beats. I don’t do it. Only time I do is if I know the person. Personally, I feel 9 times out of 10 your not going to get the fullness of a good record by going about it that way.
(Bestfan): I noticed there’s a new artist that you’re working with that goes by Nikkiya. I like her sound, especially the joint you did called ‘When I Was High’. Tell us about her sound?
The sound is totally unique. I’ve been working with her since 2001. She’s been down with me and Yelawolf since the beginning. If I could put her sound in words I would say she’s ‘Jammin’. She’s not totally R&B, she’s not just ‘hip hop’. But she’s ‘Jammin.
I can tell you we’ve had a couple meeting in LA , can’t tell you who with, one of the industry’s biggest leaders states. Her sound is like no other.
(Bestfan): What kind of genre would you describe Nikkiya’s music? Tell us about it.
‘Jammin’ – that’s the new genre. Just ‘Jammin’. (Laughs)
(Bestfan): I understand that your working on Nikkiya’s project ‘Speak Her’ – tell us when is that going to be released?
No set date released as of yet. Honestly, I have a great team behind me. Right now we’re just starting to build her right now, get her into some shows, in the studio and record more music.
I have so much confidence in her project that I’m willing to just put it out for free and let it build it up. I definitely believe Nikkiya has the sound that will definitely blow her up and I’d definitely ‘put the house on it’.
(Bestfan): Other then that what’s next for Supa Hot Beats? Business and music wise? What can we expect in the near future?
With my company I’m just continuing to build the brand up. I just want to be tied into greatness and continue to affiliate myself with things that are ‘different’. When we did the Yelawolf project it was just so ‘different’ and that’s the same thing we’re doing with Nikkiya.
I believe, as long as we keep making music that’s so different what can you compare it to? How can you figure out something when you don’t know exactly what’s in it? “You can’t outcook me if I have better ingredients”.
(Bestfan): Definitely, so basically uniqueness and quality over anything?
– end of interview-
A sneak peek of Nikkiya’s jammin’ music