A Lost Pilot
Derek You Know Whenever We Link Up, We're Legendary
We got the chance to work with one of Kodak Black's main producers, Dyryk. I'm sure you've heard some of his songs including: "First Love", "Run It Up", or "Bill And Jill". He's had the chance to work alongside some of the producers in the world as well as some crazy Kodak stories so tune in. Check out my favorite production of his: "First Day Out" by Kodak Black.
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 was Born In Miami Beach, FL. Even though I spent most of my childhood in Miami Beach, Dade and Broward had mutual friends with the friends i had grown up with. At the Age of 9, I began learning piano following my older sister's footsteps. Soon after, I picked up the guitar but realized I had no patience for it. It wasn’t until the age of 13 I Learned that god put me on this earth to hit shit. So I stuck with drums ever since. I must say that was the beginning of me recognizing I was producing music without even realizing it. A couple of high school bands later, I started to realize that maybe I knew what I was talking about when it came to this music stuff.
What's your producer tag? How did you create it? What's the importance of having a producer tag?
I never cared for producer tags. I always thought they were lame. The ones that need to know, Know and that's all that mattered to me. It wasn’t until I spent almost every day with Kodak while he was on house arrest that he turned to me and said “Derek you know whenever we link up, we're legendary.” He ended up putting that in a song that was unreleased and it seemed to work for other records as well.
What's your scene? Would you rather be at the crib cooking up beats solo? Or be in the studio collaborating with other producers?
I think after a certain amount of time you just learn to trust yourself. I made “First Day Out" for Kodak 20 mins before landing in LA. I never mind collaborating with other producers but I really don’t like things forced. I don’t even collab with some of my closest friends who make music and sometimes it's better that way. You have to remember that you're coming up with something out of thin air. To each of us, It's a “Melody” we hear in our heads. Connecting the dots to make that happen sometimes requires no one but yourself. There’s nothing wrong with Sharing Ideas but you don’t see parents going out of their way to teach other parents to raise their child. That's something you have to get good at on your own.
You've worked a ton with Kodak Black, how/when did you first connect with him?
Back in 2014, I kept hearing about him locally. Someone sent me a link to his “ambition” freestyle and I just had this feeling that he was a once in a lifetime artist. A mutual friend was helping him with promotion and mention a studio I started in North Miami Called "Pink House Studios". He was working on his Institution Project and around that time we did “Pick These Hoes Apart” for Khaled's album “Major Key”. There was a certain energy and comfortability we both had working together and at the pace, he was knocking out songs, we both knew we complimented each others work ethic really well. Through my years of engineering, I was bulletproof when it came to file management and organization and with someone like him, nothing is more important than trust. He trusts me with his music and to this day he knows that his entire catalog is in safe hands. We ended up doing his entire “Painting Pictures” album out of the Pink House and stuck together for every project after.
Can you run us through the process of making the "Run It Up" beat? How did Youngboy Never Broke Again end up hopping on it?
To keep it real, that beat was made a couple of years back with a mutual friend Julian. Around the time Kodak was locked up last year an A&R reached out to me to hear a couple of beats. I sent them a batch and a couple of weeks later I was told Youngboy wanted to use that record for his project. I didn’t even hear the record complete until the project came out. I must say I hate that process when it comes to placements. There’s really nothing more uninspiring then just sending files around wondering who's even listening to it. From that moment on I don’t send anything out unless I can pull up and play it for them. If that can’t happen then I guess it really wasn’t that important, to begin with.
How have you seen the music industry change since you first started?
I think it’s changed for the better. Without a doubt, this business is always shifting. That's the best part about it. No matter what position you’re in. It won’t stay the same for long. Do you expect it to? Think about it. You don’t love the same things your entire life. I remember when Legos were the shit. Now, I can give two shits about them. Nothing is ever fixed. Same goes for music. Just because one person is always talked about doesn’t mean it's going to be that way this time next year. You have to move with it or get run over. In our camp, we had to do a lot of improvising. When Kodak was on house arrest last year we realized that we would no longer have the luxury of going to a studio as much as we used to. That didn’t change a thing. Technology in this business has grown exponentially that it allowed us to not need a studio to get the same quality of work done. For Project Baby 2 and Heart Break Kodak, we did those two albums on a Mac computer and Duet Interface in a small office room in his house. I remember at one point saying to myself how crazy it was that people would spend so much money on a home studio and here we are knocking out projects on equipment close to nothing. No one would be able to tell. Couldn’t say that would have been possible 5 years ago.
What was your first song that went platinum? What did going platinum feel like?
I think it was for Project Baby 2, The whole album went platinum. I produced “First Love” “No CoDefendant” & “Projects" (feat. Birdman). It is a good feeling to watch projects we work on even make it to gold. Going platinum on one song is cool but when I get a chance to work on every song on the album, it means more to watch the whole album go platinum.
Any advice to a producer who's just starting out and trying to get their stuff heard by artists?
Don’t chase anyone. You have to understand that you have to be in tune with your own work ethic. Whatever artist is in the room really doesn’t matter at the end of the day. A Good producer can download their sound and style and know how to apply what they’re good at to enhance their music. Never force your ideas onto them. There really is never a way to be prepared for who you're about to play music for so when you make music, don’t have anyone in mind. Some production I’ve been able to place has never been premeditated. I began engineering not because I loved it. I started engineering because no matter what I’ll always have a reason to be in the room. Sure it's mindless work after a while but I always used that to really peep game in anyone camp to better understand how they all move. What's most important is improving your judgment.
Do you have help write lyrics while in the studio collaborating with artists on songs?
Never. I like to work with artists that do that themselves. Plus at the end of the day, if you have someone writing your lyrics, then maybe your life isn't interesting enough to be doing this. From that moment on you’re always going to be needing writers and never let yourself grow. You always wanna be the only person you need to get the job done.
What's on the horizon for your music career in 2019?
Who really knows at the end of the day. One thing about me is that I won’t be that producer whoring himself out trying to be in every room with everyone. I care about where I’m from so I will always stand behind FL artist. I started something I plan on finishing and Despite what happens, I’m rocking with SniperGang until the wheels fall off. I’ll never be the one to take my plate and go. Loyalty Over Royalty.
Check him out!