A Lost Pilot
Daniel Hartzog Talks Linking Up With 6 Dogs, How He Got His Producer Tag And More
We got the chance to connect with producer Daniel Hartzog. He's worked with artists like: 6 Dogs, Riz La Vie, and more! He's got some of the most unique beats out, I highly recommend that you check out his beats. Check out my favorite production of his: "Plant Life" by 6 Dogs with addition production by David Morse. I linked his Instagram and SoundCloud at the bottom of the interview go give him a follow!
Where are you from and what age did you first make a connection to producing music? And how long have you been producing music?
I’m from a small farm town in southwest Georgia but I live in Atlanta now. I started playing drums around 8 years old, my dad had a kit and I use to love to play that. I started producing around 13 on a windows desktop that was at my house then got a MacBook with Logic at 15; I’m 25 now so 12 years.
What's your producer tag? How did you create it? What's the importance of having a producer tag?
My tag is Riz saying “We sway different” from an unreleased song that we have. I really only use it when I do collabs but I prefer not to use my tag I don’t think it’s always necessary; also depends on the song! Some of the best producers don’t have tags but none the less the importance of putting your tag on it is to get the credit you deserve and create that brand for yourself.
What's your scene? Would you rather be at the crib cooking up beats solo? Or be in the studio collaborating with other producers?
Both. I love creating alone and nerding out, spending as much time as I need on little details but creating with other people is just as fun for me and usually I get more done in a shorter amount of time. I never feel any limitations when it comes to producing honestly in either setting, I just enjoy creating music and any day I get to do that is a good day.
What was going on in your life when you made your first beat? Was producing always your goal as a career?
I was just starting high school making shitty beats for my best friend and he was rapping on them, I fell in love with it immediately I’ve wanted to make music my career ever since; before that, I wanted to be a pharmacist though my family owns a drugstore so I grew up around that.
You've worked a lot with Riz La Vie, how did you first connect with him? Do you collaborate in the studio with him? If so whats a Hartzog x Riz studio session like?
Me and Riz met on the internet about 6 years ago now, he sent me an email inquiring about some production; fast forward 2 years later I’m living in Orlando FL working for Disney, Riz sends me a demo to “Soap” and the rest is history. He flew down and we created a lot of music that you can hear on our first EP “found”. I send Riz work all the time since we live in different places but also we are in the studio together all the time. It can go any way honestly our sessions are different every time. It’s a very comfortable and open creative setting always, we click really well and just try to have fun with it. We’ve been making music together a long time it’s always been very natural that’s my brother.
Can you run us through making the "PISCES" beat by Riz La Vie?
I made that beat in 2016, it came together all in about 30 minutes. Laid down some simple jazz chords on electric piano and then a piano riff over it, throw some drums and 808s and you have the instrumental for Pisces! I have a making of video on my Instagram for anybody that wants to see how it was made in more detail.
How/when did you first connect with 6 Dogs? Can you run us through making the "Max Keeble" beat? How did 6 Dogs end up hopping on it?
I first connected with 6 dogs when my manager Jackson sent over a pack for a session when he was in LA and he hopped on it that night in the studio; I didn’t hear it till he dropped a video snippet on Insta weeks later. I made that beat on July 4th, 2017, the main sound came from my Roland X6 Fantom; I added some delay and reverb to the keyboard sample then threw the drums on along with that really long 808 and it was done. Super simple 30-minute beat that just worked so well, 6 dogs really made it what it is as well I love the max Keeble idea I grew up watching that movie so it was dope.
Can you run us through making the "Plant Life" by 6 Dogs beat with David Morse? How did 6 Dogs end up hopping on it? We're you with him in the studio when he recorded it? If so can you run us through that session?
Me, David, and 6 was in the studio in Davids basement when we made plant life. It was a beautiful day we were inspired by nature (David has a beautiful back yard) so I and David just cooked up a beat on spot and 6 wrote to it as we made it. We recorded it right there, did a demo mix on it and that’s what we released! David introduced me to 6 dogs after I had already made max Keeble and we just built a relationship from there it was really cool 6 is the nicest guy. Big shoutout to my brother David Morse for always supporting me in my music career I really respect him and he’s one of my favorite people to work with, plus we live 10 minutes apart now we’re about to go, dummy, lol.
Any advice to producers trying to establish a name for themselves in 2019?
Always stay true to yourself and enjoy what you do. Keep pushing when things seem like they are at the lowest point, opportunities come out of nowhere and one can change your life. Breathe.
What's on the horizon for your music career in 2019?
Me and Riz have some really fucking great music dropping this year that I can’t wait to share. I’m working with other artists as well and will continue to drop music all year but at the moment it’s a surprise. Saturn by Riz La Vie drops everywhere June 24th (prod by me) that’s our next single release; really proud of the song and the message behind it.
Check him out!