Producers don’t always get the most shine, but their influence is felt much more than casual fans could ever expect to realize. Needlz is one of the hottest young producers in the music industry and with hits by Lupe Fiasco and Bruno Mars, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before he’s as well known as your other favorite producer. He checks in with SoJones to spill the latest on his current project with newcomer Honors English.
What current projects are you working on?
My main project is this Honors English project. That’s my artist who you can check out at honorsenglich.com. You know I’ve been doing it for awhile and I really wanted to put my stamp on the game, so this is my main focus really for the year. Of course the fourth quarter is coming up so still smitten for B.O.B., Diggy, 50 and cats like that, but I’m still focused on my artist right now.
So, how long have you been able to say that you have your own artist?
I would consider this to be my first artist that I’ve really putting a lot of effort into. I’ve been producing for almost 10 years and we just started putting records out a couple of months ago, so I would say relatively new. This is like my first time trying to get stuff out and we’re probably looking at around November to be when we put out the full project.
Since you’re a well known producer, will you be handling the production duties on his project, or are you going to bring in some different people?
Definitely. I’m doing pretty much all the production on this first project. I think part of it is a lot of people never really heard more than one joint of mine, so I want people to hear my versatility and what I would do with my own artist’s project. I’m definitely doing all this stuff.
What type of sounds can we expect to hear from this project?
I do a lot of things. I can sample, do the real synthetic stuff, do the other stuff, but this is more sample based kind of like next level hip hop because it’s not really a throwback or anything like that. I’m juts really trying to be creative and take hip hop a step further, so it’s going to be something that you have to hear. You’ll get a general idea on the level of what we’re working with on the website. The first three records that we’re putting out is kind of going to be a teaser and get him out there, but were going to go extra hard after that.
Are you working on any projects outside of your own label?
It’s been kind of a slow year for releases. I did get on Lupe’s album with a joint on there and I’m obviously still coming off the whole Bruno Mars thing and stuff like that. Everybody’s working there is no definite solidified things until they get posted to release dates. You got your 50’s, Dre’s, Kendrick Lamar’s and stuff like that where I’ve done a lot as far as submitting stuff, but until they get release dates you’re kind of out in limbo. That’s why I’m working on this project.
How did you and Honors English hook up?
We actually met in college. We meaning the group of me, English and this guy named Serius Jones. We were a group back in college and I actually met him through Serius who brought him to my crib and he spit for me. This was awhile ago though and he went through a period where he stopped rapping completely because he had other ambitions. We got to the point though where we felt like our chemistry was too dope not to be heard and we weren’t really happy about the state of things when it came to honest, creative music, so we decided to take our talents and put them together.
With all your connections do you think you’ll reach out to get some big name features for him?
It’s a thin line with that. We got Lupe on the first record that we put out. I actually co-produced the joint with Bink. There’s another joint that’s on the site and we have violinist and the real Freeway Rick Ross, but yeah we’re looking to do some stuff. It might not necessarily be rappers; it may be singers and things of that nature. The project is still in the works, but with the records we’ve put out already the buzz is crazy as far as the feedback we’ve been getting and the interest, so we’re just trying to get ready for this full length that’s dropping and we got a couple of videos done.
Michael Mahon attended Clark Atlanta University, where he majored in journalism. He is a regular contributor to SoJones.com and has written for several other online and print publications, including Ballerstatus.com, Allhiphop.com, Creative Loafing Atlanta, and INsite Atlanta. Aside from writing, he is also a huge sports fan and film buff.