Part three of our producers interview series sees up-and-coming producer and artist - A2 - take to the stand. Having recently released his mixtape 'Hennessy Thoughts', A2 has received attention from many a big name, including Sian Anderson of Rinse FM and Grime DJ, Logan Sama.
- So, tell us about you. Who are you and what do you do?
I'm A2, a 22 year old artist and producer from South London.
- How did you come to be a producer?
Ive always liked making music from a young age. I remember taking my sister's keyboard and sitting down in my room for hours, just playing on the keyboard and re-making tunes. From there i moved it on to the PC, and I got my first version of Fruity Loops - 3 - when i was 13. Since then, its been all about mastering the craft and trying to bring a unique sound to what i do.
- Can you tell us about your most recent record and the process that went into creating it?
My most recent record was a track called "Buena Vida." The process of making this was really unique. I basically started everything backwards. I thought of the video first, then i wrote the lyrics without a beat, and then when i finally got to studio, i made the beat around the visuals to make sure it had the right feel. The mad thing is, when i eventually recorded the tune and wanted to put it out, i had a cold; but i thought 'why not?' It's not every tune you'll hear someone with their voice strained while rapping. That tune is probably one of my personal favourites, because of that process. A lot of thinking and meaning went into the song as a whole.
- Can you tell us about your inspiration for beats, what gets you going? Who are your influences?
I find inspiration from alot of different things. I could be just walking to the shop and something pops up in my head. I find that its always when I'm busy i get the most ideas, so it can be difficult; but really it's mostly out of nowhere. Sometimes when i go out to a rave, the next day, or even the same night, i'll make something crazy. Personally it just depends on the mood i'm in. To begin with i was influenced by producers such as Bryan Michael Cox, Dr. Dre, Wiley, J Dilla, Kanye... I've got an endless list but those are the main ones.
- What do you listen to when you're not making music?
Erm, right now I'm listening to a couple of new people - trying to get some inspiration you know. I'm listening to the usual Drake, Kendrick Lemar and Jhene Aiko. I've been shown some new people who I'm also listening to. One in particular is Alex Isley - she's a really good american singer and her EP is quality! Apart from that, my taste varies from house to slow jams to grime. People think I'm mad when i say i very rarely listen to UK rap; but that's just me.
- What's your favourite kind of track to make?
I like my music to portray me, so when i make a track i prefer to make a chilled out joint you can just vibes to; but, i try and mix it up with a little upbeat piece every now and then. On a whole, a chilled vibe with some meaning is me all over to be honest.
- Can you tell us something about you that no one will know?
I haven't cried since i was about 8. Literally - I haven't sobbed, or shed a tear - unless its been me crying of laughter. I think i'll probably cause a tsunami next time i do!
- That is a long time not to cry. Maybe you could hold a competition to see if someone could help those tears flow?
-Who are you looking forward to seeing blow up in 2013?
I really want to see someone from my circle just take the scene by storm; because i feel like i've got a lot of talented people around me that aren't getting heard. Drifter will definitely be up there this year. I'm looking forward to that! New talent-wise, i'm trying to push a few younger rappers/producers i know: Proton, Kash Wallis and Ellz. They're talented artists, you should definitely look out for them.
- What's the best thing about London? Where do you like to make beats?
Musically in London theres a lot of opportunities. Networking is mad because without knowing it you could soon be affiliated with the next big thing in the music scene. Besides that it's definitely the scenery and the atmosphere. Only America can beat it..
If I'm honest i prefer to make music in my house where i can take my time and just zone in my own space. Sometimes being in the studio is good; but, relaxing at home i find i get the best results, musically.
- So what can we expect next from A2? Any tip offs for what you'll be working on next?
I'm working on a few EPs at the moment. My next release is going to be called "Faded Photographs." It should be out in April. Then after that i've got a CD called "El Picasso Forte EP." That's going to be the big one so keep your ears open. Aside from that i'm going to be on a few features; but I'm not going to give away the names of the artists. Let's just say it's going to be a very good year.