Red Bull held its 2016 Music Festival in New York City and it brought out some of the greats in music.
Part of the festival included the Red Bull Academy’s “Joint Lectures on the Couch” series, which kicked off with a rare interview with Madlib, then shifted gears and chopped it up with ATL favorite sons Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital and Zaytoven for a special beat makers round-table discussion (see our review here).
In the interview with Jeff Mao, Madlib drops compelling answers and opened up about a number of topics—including the musical influence of his father, R&B singer Otis Jackson.
“My pops had me at the studio since I was born,” he said. “That’s why I got into music. He’d let me go up on the controls and mess with stuff. Engineers would get mad, but he’d be like, ‘Let the brother do this.’ That’s how I learned.”
Lib also confessed that he’s “creating music constantly” both at home and in the studio and he opened up about several of those projects – including his collaborations with MF Doom, Freddie Gibbs and J Dilla.
“He’s a fellow alien,” he said of the late Dilla. “It’s hard to explain. Musical cousin. He was the king, though.”
Sitting down with music critic Andrew “Noz” Nosnitsky, the Atlanta trio discussed their influences, breakout hits, the rise of trap and the producer drop, their approach to sampling and collaborations, among other things.
Zaytoven spoke on why “So Icy” is his favorite record out of all of his hits and explained how he linked up with Gucci Mane for the trap classic.
“That’s the song that got me in the game, so I’m always going to be proud of that,” Zaytoven said. “If you listen to the song it didn’t sound like something that would come out of Atlanta, it sounded like something that came out of the West Coast and that came from Gucci trusting me and looking at me like I could do no wrong.”
Sonny Digital talked about how he discovered music and breaking into the industry.
“I started when I was young”, Sonny said. “It was never like a job to me, it was something that I loved to do as a hobby. I remember I had a MPC, I don’t remember how it got there or the first beat, but I remember I would make beats and then go play because I just did it for fun and then it came back around for me later [in life].
Sonny also talks about working with YC and Future for the smash “Racks” and why he feels it was a blessing and a curse.
“When I first did it, I didn’t tag it,” Sonny continued, “I had the tags but I didn’t use it and it almost f*cked me, that’s why I say that song is a blessing and a curse because it ushered in so much new talent with me, YC and Future as well.”
Metro Boomin discussed how Morehouse College played a big role in his breakout song with Future, “Karate Chop.”
“Going to Morehouse was huge and actually I got the idea for the song in class,” Metro said. “I used to make beats in my dorms on the low, but once I started to blow people in class seen me less and less [chuckles].”