There are high chances that you know Mike Zombie‘s music very well. The rapper who has produced Drake‘s “Started From The Bottom,” and DJ Khaled‘s “They Don’t Love You No More” isn’t slowing down and is maintaining his status as a hit-maker.

Most recently, Zombie has shared a collaborative release with G.O.O.D. Music producer Charlie Heat, and contributed to Casey Veggies‘ most recent release, Customized Greatly Vol. 4.

What many people don’t know is Zombie is just as much of an artist behind the mic as he is behind the boards, and his original sound is proving to make him a double edged sword.

How long have you been doing what you do? How did you get started?

I’ve been producing since I was about 14, and I got started when my mom first bought me FL Studio 7.

Is there an early memory you’d like to share about getting into your craft?

I remember hearing Timbaland‘s beats and wondering where these outlandish sounds were coming from. I always listened to music for the beat first. I used to play on this little $100 Casio keyboard that was in our house with the “Learn To Play” feature. I played things like “Chopsticks” and little parts of Beethoven. Ever since I have tried to make music anyway possible.

When did you realize this was more than just a hobby or a passion?

I realized that in college when I turned 18 and started making money from my beats on Soundcloud. That’s around the age where I said to myself,  “I think I’ve got it now.”

How do you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard you before?

Although I can literally make any type of music, I would describe my sound as very progressive and aggressive. My drums are my focal point when producing. They have their own swing to it that just moves people.

Who are your influences? What is some advice that has stuck with you?

It would have to be Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and Dr. Dre. I’ve spoken on the phone with Timbaland for hours and he’s dropped gems that remind me that I need to lead the sound in Hip Hop and push the new sound forward. He also let me know that changing your style over the years to stay relevant is something that is needed in the industry.

What do you hope people take away from listening to your music?

I hope people learn who I am and I hope people understand who I am. I get mad when I feel like people aren’t truly hearing what I have to say because my music is so personal, but I just want to motivate people to put their all into what they love. I hope people take my hardships and use it as motivation to persevere through their troubles.

Tell us a little bit about what concepts or themes that reoccur in Humble Genius?

The name and concept of the album came from a YouTube playlist I stumbled upon when I was Googling myself.  I thought that name explained me very well because I feel like I am one of the best at what I do when it comes to rapping and producing. The concept was to basically make an album where none of the songs sounds the same but they all cohesively sound like one body of work.

What was your creative process like for Humble Genius? How did these songs make the cut? 

The process was pretty intense, I was aiming to do a two-part EP called The Fly On The Wall & The Elephant In The Room but I scrapped that and just went ahead and did a full album. I recorded, mixed and produced all the songs myself so I was invested in making it sound exactly how I envisioned it to.

What are you hoping to accomplish next in your career?

Next I would love to partner with a label to really take my artistry to another level and to be able to stand next to my idols like Kanye West and Drake. I want to prove to everyone that is where I am supposed to be.