This series intends to shine light on the producers around Australia, praising and appreciating their hard work, this week, the spotlight is on Brisbane producer HARVEY.
HARVEY is an up-and-coming producer out of Brisbane, working with the likes of Midas.Gold, I AM D and Gallus. We had a chat to the young artist on his production style, what to expect from him in the future and what producer will feature in next weeks Producer Spotlight.
OTC: How did you first get involved with producing, and in particular, Hip-Hop production?
HARVEY: When I was about 10 I got given a super simple program for the PC that had really basic pre-made drum loops and melodies (shoutout Dad) that gave me the chance to mess around with making music for the first time and I realised I really enjoyed making music, even if it was just loops at the time.
It wasn’t until around 2009 when I got a cracked copy of FL studio that I really got into it, the thing that blew my mind was the fact you could potentially create anything and any sound without restriction, if you knew what you were doing, and in this day and age with the internet there’s literally nothing you can’t learn yourself so I decided I wanted to progress as much as I could.
In about 2012 I started listening to alot of Hip-Hop and in turn started making ‘beats’ as such. The production in Hip-Hop is crazy these days and it’s pushing so many extremes so I guess that’s why I gravitate to it so much.
How would you describe your style?
When I listen to music I’m always drawn to heavy drums and spacey synths more than anything, so naturally that’s crossed over into my own sound. The drums and percussion are definitely the focus point for me, and most (all) of the time I try and get them to knock hard as fuck. I like beats that make you feel motivated and amped up, so I really try and convey a certain steeze with the drums & 808s that drive the track and give it a huge energy.
Alot of the time though it’s nice to hit a left-field vibe that’s kinda dark and sinister, which can really add to the shock-factor of an artists lyrics. When it comes to the overall sound it’s always a little ghetto and unrefined, purely because I never learnt the ‘correct’ ways when it came to mixing and production techniques, but I feel like it gives me a unique sound that people dig.
What producers/artists inspire the way you create music?
I always try and stay in my own lane first and foremost, but there’s a huge amount of artists that inspire my sound in their own ways. Production wise I’m always inspired by listening to alot of the stuff that comes out of soundcloud, but also the production behind the likes of Young Thug, Travis Scott, Migos, Kendrick, Kanye, and the list goes on. If it has an 808 I’ll probably enjoy it. Metro Boomin, Southside, tm88, Sonny Digital, Zaytoven, Mike Dean, and so many more producers too.
You have a great team of artists and producers around you, how did that form and what’s it like having such a tight-knit squad of creatives around you?
There’s been a mass awakening of artists around Australia with a bigger vision and I’ve been lucky enough to be in the same location as a heap of them that genuinely vibe with eachother and get along as friends, so it’s natural that we feed off eachother creatively and all contribute to a greater energy.
I think one thing that sets us aside here in Brisbane is that most of us here are constantly networking in person whether it be at shows, a studio or wherever, which in turn creates that ‘tight-knit’ squad. It can be hard to stay focused on the bigger picture, especially when moving into uncharted territory, so it’s great to have a network of like-minded creatives that can help put everything into context.
What is the collaborative process like when working directly with an artist on a song?
I guess it really depends on whether we’re in the studio together or if they’re in a different city. If we’re collabing in person we’ll both be bringing ideas to the table etc. until we get what’s wanted, but alternatively we could just be messing with ideas until something sparks a song.
If I’m working with someone from a different city we’ll pretty much send emails back and forth until it’s right, but alternatively artists will sometimes buy a premade beat and then simply record to it.
Are there any exciting projects you’re currently working on that you can share with us?
I wont go into too much detail but there’s heaps of stuff about to see the light of day with Midas.Gold, I AM D, Carmouflage Rose, RARI, Z. Lewis, Jon Doe, Swilo, Frame, Miss Blanks, G Elenil and DEX. Stay tuned.