We hit the buzzing producer Vinylz to get the low-down on "Blessings" and what else he's cooked up lately.
Vinylz already had a pretty big 2014, but he's setting himself up to have an even bigger 2015. You probably saw the name Vinylz in 2014, or at least you might recognize it, but you probably aren't super familiar with who he is a producer. His frequent collaborator though, Boi-1da, is definitely a name you know a thing or two about. Vinylz is next up, after having a hand in plenty of productions alongside Boi-1da, his name is starting to ring out in and of itself. Still, the two do some of their best work together-- "Believe Me", "FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt", "Chiraq", "Grindin", and the list goes on and on. Vinylz kicked off 2015 on a high note with Big Sean's "Blessings" featuring Drake and Kanye West (beat placement doesn't get much better than that), and with that new song on deck, we hit up the producer over e-mail to find out a bit more about what he has going on these days.
Read on to find out about how Vinylz connected with J. Cole for his new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, and more.
HotNewHipHop: Let's start at the beginning, kinda. How did you first connect with Boi-1da?
Vinylz: I first connected with 1da through MySpace back in like '09. An artist I was working with at the time wanted to freestyle to the Drake “Best I Ever Had” instrumental but couldn't find it. I hit 1da on MySpace asking for it and he sent it right over, then later complimented my work as a producer after checking out my page.
HNHH: When you first began working with Boi-1da on productions, were you receiving credit? Or was it all kinda going under Boi-1da's name? Did it frustrate you if so, or were you just happy to be taking part in the records?
Vinylz: Man I was happy as heck to just be getting work done. Unlike many big name producers in the game, Boi-1da never took credit for my work or shortened my percentages or advances etc. Everything is taken care of the right way. Dude def gave me an opportunity and I went H.A.M.
HNHH: When did you finally start noticing that your name holds weight by itself? Which track really helped you pop off the most?
Vinylz: I’ve done a bunch of stuff on my own that were dope. I just felt that the “A Tale From 2 Citiez” record made a lot more people aware of who I am.
HNHH: Are you currently signed to anyone? Or what is your label situation like these days?
Vinylz: Nope but I do have my own label, 4Five Music Group.
HNHH: You've had several big hits as of late. Of course there is Big Sean's latest "Blessings" but before that let's talk about Jeremih and J. Cole's "Planes." How did that record happen? Did you know Jeremih was getting Cole on it? How did he initially reach out to you, or vice versa? Tell us the story behind it.
Vinylz: Well I met Jeremih through my boy Star. He linked us like almost two years ago and we’ve been rocking ever since. We worked on a bunch of records for the album and he put J. Cole on that one last minute.
HNHH: You also did Cole's own "A Tale of 2 Citiez" which is a crazyyy beat. Can you talk about the creation of that beat and how Cole reacted to it? How did it all come together?
Vinylz: Its funny how things work out. The Jeremih “Planes” record originally featured Chance The Rapper. [I'm] not sure what happened, but Jeremih ended up having to replace him with Cole. So one day while driving I got a call from a weird number and it was Cole saying "Man I love that 'Planes' beat! It would be an honor to have you work on my album and build." We met up a week later in L.A. and created "Fire Squad", then two weeks after that I sent him the "A Tale From 2 Citiez" beat and he bodied it.
HNHH: Ahh wow. Any other beats that you've done lately that might be a bit more minor, but you think are worth highlighting/discussing? Any productions for smaller artists?
Vinylz: Travis Scott "Don’t Play." Fabolous "Bish Bounce", DJ Spinking "Adult Swim", a whole bunch of stuff.
HNHH: Getting into "Blessings." Did you reach out to Big Sean or did he reach out to you? Was Boi-1da involved in it all or was it all you? Can you talk about it's creation, what you used to make it, and what else went into it?
Vinylz: I played the blessings beat for Boi-1da and he said, "Bro this beat is amazing" so he sent it off to Drake, and I guess Drake passed it to Sean with a hook/verse.
HNHH: Once Sean got the beat, how involved were you from there? Did he let you hear it as he worked on his verses for it? When did you find out both Drake and Kanye would bless (ha) it with a verse?
Vinylz: I found out from Boi-1da then Drake told me about it right after. Sean reached out to me about two weeks before it was released asking to make some adjustments and add stuff to make it crazier. I found out Kanye was on it about one week before it was released. Love how it all played out.
HNHH: Who had your favorite verse on the final track?
Vinylz: They all bodied their verses. Don’t really have a favorite honestly.
HNHH: Do you think working jointly with Boi-1da on productions makes for a better result? Or do you prefer to work solo?
Vinylz: I always feel two minds are better than one. Especially with our work chemistry. We just kill shit.
HNHH: You worked with the whole OVO team on the massive track "0 to 100." When you guys were working on the beat, did you have any inkling of just how big the instrumental alone would be? Who did what when it comes to that beat? Like what were Boi-1da's touches, Nineteen85, 40's etc?
Vinylz: Well “0 to 100” is 2 songs in 1. "0-100" was produced by Boi-1da and myself over a sample my boy Frank Dukes created. "The Catch Up" was produced by my bros Nineteen85 and 40. Which is why the producer credits were so confusing. Frank Dukes sent 1da a sample he created, so we cut a small piece from it and got to work. I knew it would be a smash if it had the right artist.
HNHH: Are you close with the rest of the OVO team apart from Boi-1da? What's your relationship like with them?
Vinylz: Yeah I'm cool with the whole team actually. Drake, OB, Party, Majid Jordan etc..Great people. My manager (Mr Morgan) manages almost all the OVO producers. 40, Boi-1da, Mike Zombie, Nineteen85 and now myself. Thats the fam.
HNHH: Which production thus far in your career are you most proud of, or were you most excited about? Is it "Blessings"?
Vinylz: I would say it's a tie between "Blessings" and "FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt" for Jay Z . I've done a bunch of huge records but those two meant the most.
HNHH: Would you ever want to do an album, like what DJ Mustard did, where you're the main star of the album and the rappers are just your features?
Vinylz: That would be dope, but I honestly hate the spotlight. I barely do interviews or even show face lol. If it happens it happens but I'm not aiming towards that at the moment.
HNHH: What else do you have in the stash coming up you can talk about? Which rappers have you currently placed beats with, that we may get to hear in the near future?
Vinylz: Man a whole lot. Been working on stuff for pretty much everyone, from Drake to Jamie Foxx to John Mayer, even Flo-Rida. No games in 2015. It's been a blessing man.
HNHH: Anything else you'd like to leave the HNHH audience with?
Vinylz: Thank yall for rocking with me! “Produced By Vinylz” will be popping up a whole lot more this year.