A Lost Pilot
20Rocket Talks Working With Young Nudy On "Anyways", His Advice To Producers, & More
20Rocket is a relatively new producer to this game and has been able to keep his name relevant through his peculiar style of beats. He has networked and built with other artists and producers, which has brought him some major placements and great success. 20Rocket has a lot of new and exciting music on the way, so make sure you keep your eye on him, he's about to be one of the biggest and best producers this industry has ever seen.
Where are you from? What was your upbringing like? What was the music scene like in your area? And who were you listening to growing up?
I'm from Georgia, but not Atlanta. As a little kid, I was a big WWE fan & I played little league baseball. When I got to middle school, I joined the band because I was a fan of the movie Drumline. There was a music scene at the time. A guy named Theycallmen8 made the "Nae Nae" song, and it made it to 106&Park. We looked at that as a pivotal moment for our community. Growing up, the first rap music I remember knowing was Outkast, and I was about 4 or 5 years old. Later on, when I was 11, Kirko Bangz - "Drank In My Cup" was my favorite song and Future - "Dirty Sprite" was my favorite mixtape.
When did you decide you wanted to produce music? Where does your sound originate from? Any influences that helped shape your sound?
I decided I wanted to produce while I was in band class one day in 7th grade. We were forming a rap group, and I said I would make the beats. At the time, I knew nothing about it, so I did research. The first program I used was Soundation, and I used to make beats on there during class. Later on, I found out about FL Studio & started watching a bunch of YouTube tutorials on it. I call my sound moonbounce cause it sounds like something from the moon, and it got a bounce to it. When it comes to my production, I don't try to box myself in. I'm very eclectic, so I don't have one sound that I stick to. I listen to Drake, J Cole, Outkast, Brent Faiyaz, Jon Bellion, PartyNextDoor, Majid Jordan, Michael Jackson, etc. My first favorite producer was Jahlil Beats, when I first started. Metro Boomin became my favorite of all time. Just recently, I started listening to older producers like Pharrell, Timbaland, Organized Noize & Mannie Fresh.
Your producer tag is "20Rocket on this bitch, so it's gon' knock". A lot of producers struggle to create a producer tag? How did you come up with yours, and what's the importance of having a memorable producer tag?
I didn't become 20Rocket until 2017 after I graduated high school, and I didn't have an official tag until 2018. I asked this rapper named 1liljoc to do me a tag one day. He sent me an audio file with three tags, and I picked the first one. When it comes to getting your name out there, I think your tag is important and part of building your brand. People love hearing tags. A good tag is essential.
You and Coupe have collaborated on a few beats that are unique and have been some of my favorite beats I have heard this year. How did you two link up? How did your production chemistry come to be? What's it like when you and Coupe start cooking up together?
I first met Coupe at 11th Street Studios in December 2019 in Atlanta, which was my second session ever with Nudy. A lot of people were there, including; Pi'erre Bourne, Dj Marc B, & Mojo Krazy. Coupe and I didn't build our chemistry until we started riding to the sessions together after I found out he was from a city near mine. We were both hungry producers trying to get heard. Later I was able to move closer to ATL, and I asked him if he wanted to move in too, and after that, we just started going crazy. We had a bunch of vibes and fun in that house. Nudy would come to the house to chill with us and watch us make beats.
You have worked a ton with Atlanta-based artist, Young Nudy. How did you guys first link up? What's your relationship with him? And what's it like when 20Rocket and Yung Nudy get in the studio together?
I started sending Nudy beats in the summer of 2018. I got in touch with his Dj & started sending him the beats to better my chance at getting a placement. I first spoke to Nudy on FaceTime. I answered, and all he said was, "Boy, you fye!" That's all he wanted to tell me at the time. I was just about to send him some beats, and I saw he was already recording. He told me to send em. We first linked up at Patchwerk in December of 2018. That's the same night I met One Dolla, Metro Boomin, Southside & Mojo Krazy. I have a chill relationship with Nudy. We're both laidback as hell. He calls me Grandpa cause I remind him of an old man. The sessions are chill and productive. We have a lot of fun while doing what we do best.
Let's take it back to April of last year to "Faded In The Booth" an album you were able to get five beats placed on. My favorite being "At The Trap House". How did your beat get to Nudy? And can you run us through making the beat?
Nudy told me I had a lot of songs with him before he released "Faded In The Booth" I just had never heard any of them. At this time, I was sending beats to Nudy email, and DJ BJ would always tell me Nudy was asking for my beats. I made all those beats on that album in my hometown in my bedroom.
Fast forward a year late, and you have another six placements on Young Nudy's latest album, "Anyways", one of the best projects dropped so far this year. Why do you think Nudy wanted so many of your beats on his album?
Nudy fuck with me. He said he wants me to blow up. Not only that, but we make good music together.
One of my favorite productions of yours is "No Go", which is also the most popular songs featured on Nudy's most recent album. On "No Go", Nudy talks about his gang affiliation, the violence around him, and more. Can you run us through making that beat? How did Nudy end up hopping on it? And when did you first hear the song?
When I was making the beat for "No Go" in my bedroom, I was thinking to myself, damn, this is weird. I didn't know if Nudy would like it, but I sent it anyway cause I'm always down to give him my most unorthodox shit. I feel like if I got something different it would separate me from the pack. I make a lot of dark beats. I like the horror feel I think it's natural for me. I didn't know he used it until he played it in the studio one day. His flow was perfect.
Let's talk about "A Nudy Story" another song featured on Nudy's latest album, which you and Coupe produced. How did that beat get into Nudy's hands? Can you run us through the process of your and Coupe's collaboration on this beat?
It was just one of those days at the house where we decided to cook up some collabs. It was in the summertime of 2019. It was only one of the beats in the pack we sent to Nudy. Coupe started the beat, and I added my sauce in. If Coupe starts a beat first, I have to start the next beat, that's how we do it.
There are tons of producers out there looking to get their first placement with a respectable artist. How did you manage to build up your placements? Any advice for all the producers out there trying to connect with artists and land themselves a placement?
At first, I just wanted to build my credibility and get my name out there. I was sending beats to anybody I thought had potential or that had a more significant following on Instagram. I would DM people and ask for their email. Sometimes I was successful. Other times I didn't get anything out of it, but I didn't care. Networking will get you in the door. Building with an artist will keep you in the room.
What's one thing you learned so far in your producing career that you wish you knew when you first started?
I have learned that contracts give me anxiety and to always have a lawyer just to be safe. Other than that, there is nothing to worry about. Keep good people around you.
Message to all the producers out there?
My message is you'll only go as far as you believe you can go. Keep working and networking you'll be where you want to be in no time. Focus on the craft and networking equally. You can have hard beats but not have anybody to send them to if you're not reaching out to people. You have to use social media as your playing field. Send your beats to people for free, and if they offer to pay, give them a price. You never know who people know, so give them the beats if you believe in that artist. Fuck with the people that fuck with you. Manifestation is real. You have to believe in yourself and speak your goals into existence.
What can we expect from 20Rocket this year? Any projects or singles you're apart of that we should be on our radar?
You're just going to have to wait and see. Just know I'm always working...