ANDERSON STREET CHATS WITH SUPERPRODUCER TRAKKSOUNDS
We got the chance to speak with TrakkSounds, one of the nation’s hottest up-and-coming SuperProducers. The Houston-based instrumentalist and producer just released an amazing body of work that we’ve been bopping to over the past couple of weeks. The album The Other Side is an eclectic blend of trap, R&B, and at certain points, electronic music and will definitely be a go-to project for us during the summer. The project is built around some amazing collaborations including legends such as Devin the Dude and Scarface, mainstream acts such as A$AP Ferg, and lesser known artists such as the Fat Dollies, Ye Ali, and more.
Trakksounds will be performing in Philly this Saturday at the Trocadero. We got the chance to ask him about his craft, his thoughts about the state of the Dirty South, his album, and much, much more. Check it out below!
How long have you been producing and how did you get into it?
I’ve been producing for 13 years. I’m 26 now. I kinda just got into by my friends recording and then me writing a few things. I ended up getting my own equipment. Just some basic stuff that I found on eBay. I started making beats from there.
What was your big break?
The first big track I did was 2 Chainz “Riding Through Clouds” from his FreeBase project. That was the first thing that brought me to people’s ears. I also did a couple of Chamillionaire singles and some more Houston records.
Houston kinda started the emphasis of Dirty South music. Why do think Houston doesn’t get enough credit?
I mean… In my opinion, Houston does get its credit. A lot of it falls on there being no major media outlet here in Houston. A lot of them are in New York, LA, ATL. But at the same time, I feel a lot of us have to push the envelope in terms of music and keep putting names out and supporting our city. Then I think we can compete with other cities. We can definitely compete with the big boy cities by supporting our own. Atlanta does that really well. We just need to continue to work together as a city.
What do you think about the state of Dirty South music, especially since it has taken over music?
I’m glad. A lot of my sound is Dirty South. I’m glad that we’re spreading our sounds. I think it’s good that genres are blending. I wish there was more diversity in music in my personal opinion. I would like to see other styles get their fair share too. But you know, when the hottest artist has a style, that’s what’s gonna takeover. I’m glad to be a part of it. The sound is becoming more commonplace. I want definitely show the diversity and show the many sounds we have.
You’re a pianist by skill, right?
I’m a self-taught pianist. Definitely not Zaytoven but that is my main choice of instrument.
A lot of people think people have become too computerized. How do your piano skills affect your productions?
I’m known to use a lot of instruments in my live productions. Guitars, keyboards, saxophones, bass players. I don’t play the guitar but that’s my favorite musical sound. The saxophone is my second favorite. I tend to use different things a lot. I use my basic skills to back end and get other musicians lead if I feel that’s the directions I’m going for. I think it’s key to communicate with other musicians. If I didn’t know how to mess around with the keys or know music theory, I wouldn’t know how to communicate with a lot of these musicians. Being able to communicate is critical in music. That separates me a lot as you said, as a lot of it has become computerized.
What was the inspiration for your album The Other Side?
I wanted to showcase artists that may not get national play or underground style artists. I wanted to show the other side of music. A lot of my beats aren’t necessarily what’s popular at the moment. They may be someone’s referential tape but it may not be what’s on Top 40 radio. I was showing another side of music. I wanted to show people that they can dig around and find some good music too.
What I loved most was the mix of legends and up-and-comers. Was that intentional?
Yes, definitely was. A lot of the people that are on the project were people I have personally worked with or their music like a legend like Scarface or an up-and-comer like Miko, they are people that I’m a fan of musically. I wanted to incorporate different sounds. I didn’t want the songs to sound the same. I wanted everything to have a different flair but to have a blend.
The song that was nice surprise to me was “Fireflies” because it almost had a European, EDM, post-dubstep vibe. Are you a big fan of that type of music?
It’s two twins from London. They’re from London but they lived in Zimbabwe for awhile. They are 20 years old and they are called the “Fat Dollies.” And they found me online and they sent me this track with a broken keyboard behind it. The second I heard the vocals I know how raw it was but I can hear the passion, soul and lyric behind it. I don’t do that style of music that music but I’m a fan of it and I want to branch further into that. I got that song working and everyone heard it. It’s probably my favorite song on the project because of the way it came together. Two chicks from another country that found me in a magical way. We have a video out that premiered on Revolt and got 12,000 views. It’s definitely one of my favorite songs and it’s one of the songs that sticks out.
The other thing that was refreshing was the inclusion of R&B. You have the track with Ye Ali, who is a favorite of many of our followers, and a couple of other tracks.Can you talk about those tracks and your love for R&B?
R&B and soul have always been a couple of my favorite genres. I’ve always drifted into genre by working with different artists. All of the R&B songs are among my favorites. The response to some of the R&B songs have been great. I wanted to show my side and also the artists I’ve worked with. I excited to get the response I’ve been getting.
I don’t think Houston gets enough shine in terms of its place in discussion of R&B music. Can you talk about R&B as it relates to music?
Houston obviously has a super rich history. You have people even like Gary Clark Jr. that have their branch coming from Houston. Obviously, Beyonce and Destiny’s Child are the face of music. We’ve had a long history of people coming from Houston and a rich soul tradition. All of our music has that influence. It’s passed down from generation to generation. My mom listened to a lot of soul when I was growing up. A lot of it naturally put me into that style at an early age. It resonated with me.
Tickets are still available for TrakkSounds and Maxo Kream’s concert this Saturday night. If you’re interested in attending, get your ticket here!