A Lost Pilot
PoloBoyShawty Talks Pluggz, Working With Lil Yachty, Plans For 2020 & More
I got the chance to connect with artist and producer PoloBoyShawty. He has helped pave the way for creating the style of beats that you hear in the music scene today. He has countless placements, fire music of his own, and tons of tips for artists and producers trying to establish themselves. Keep an eye out for more music, beats, and more from PoloboyShawty and Pluggz.
Where are you from? What made you want to get into producing music?
What's up guys, I'm a musician from Peoria, IL, but I moved out to Chicago almost six years ago and been here ever since. I got into music at a young age. Everyone in my family played music 24/7. But my mom & dad played everything from 2 Pac, Twista, Lil Wayne to Coldplay, Nickleback, Flyleaf, Kanye, and more. I got into production after my mom bought me one of those Casio pianos for Christmas, and one day I went to one of those teen clubs I was like 13 shouldn't have even been able to get in, and I saw somebody I knew performing a song. That's when I was like damn I want to rap. So I went to Walmart bought a 10 dollar mic and plugged it into this old windows 98 pc and taught myself how to record. But then I realized I needed beats, so I learned how to make them, I use to have to steal my mom's work laptop, download/install FL Studio 7 every day and teach myself for hours. But the music scene back in Peoria was kind of trash till my guys, and I started making songs, shooting videos, and doing shows around there. We had like one studio, and it was ass, so I started recording people out of my momma's basement. I use to throw these big parties in high school where it would be a concert/party, and every month it'd be a different theme. You can ask anybody in my city they'll tell you I piped it up for real.
What's the biggest mistake you see producers make when they first start gaining recognition and making money off their beats?
They stop doing what they were doing to be successful in the first place.
Do you prefer to cook up by yourself or with artists in the studio?
Either one cool with me. You throw a couple of artists in the room, and I'm probably going to cook up some gas just because I feel like I work better under pressure. A lot of these artists got short attention spans, so they're quick to lay a verse, so I have to be quick to cook up the beat. Either way, these beats getting whipped up in 5-15 minutes each.
Not only are you a producer, but you're an artist as well. What made you want to start putting lyrics over beats rather than just making them? Have you been able to further your career with music being both an artist and a producer?
Well, I started as an artist. But my beats took off first. The only reason I started rapping was that I needed beats. As far as being both the artist/producer, I feel like it opened up plenty of doors. I don't know why its a stigma about producer rappers I honestly think its just these other artist be intimidated because we know music or at least our music a little bit better. There is a lot of fye producer/artists out right now, you got me, Southside, P'ierre, Mexikodro, Sonny Digital, Russ, Speaker Knockerz, Nav, Kanye, Pharell, Black mayo, too many to name.
You are apart of the producer collective Pluggz. Arguably one of the greatest groups of producers ever assembled. For the people who don't know, can you explain what Pluggz is, who's in it? What's your relationship with all the members of the group? And what can we expect from Pluggz in the future?
PLUG! That's the gang. Pluggz is a movement, a lifestyle, its genre, and it's really the vibe. I got brought in, I believe, back in 2014/2015. Far as the original members, you got me, MexikoDro, StoopidXool, A$att, BeatPluggTwo, and Corey Lingo. You can expect a lot from us 2020 might even get a project who knows.
You produced "OOPS" by Lil Yachty, (feat. 2 Chainz and K$upreme) off of "Lil Boat 2" released in 2018. How did that beat get into their hands?
What's crazy about that song is when I made that beat, I made it specifically for Yachty. Boat hit me on twitter back in like 2016, and we been rocking ever since, so one day bro hit me like aye I'm working on Lil Boat 2 I need some beats crazy thing is it was the same day I made the beat, like 20 minutes after I exported it. Shoutout to Yachty, 2 Chainz, and Kpreme, that was my first major album placement and first billboard. Oh yeah, and lowkey, a lot of people don't know this, but me, boat, and K$upreme started that no melody wave everybody's on right now. It began with Die By Myself 3. Before that, the only producer to do that was Lil Keis with Soulja Boy.
You and Corey Lingo, another Pluggz member, produced "Sometimes I Wonder" released in 2016 before "Live.Shyne.Die" UnoTheActivist's debut album. How did you end up working with Uno so early on in his career?
"Sometimes I Wonder" came about because Lingo used to engineer for Uno and produce for him back in Atlanta. I sent the beat to Lingo as a collab next thing you know he went crazy on the beat and had Uno record on it. I wasn't there for the session, but you already know it was live.
Let's talk about "Ova Here" a song you produced by Playboi Carti (feat. Lc Levi and Babyface Dixon) released in 2018, which happens to be Carti's first time collaborating with Levi and Babyface. And how did that beat get to Carti?
Honestly, I don't know how that song happened. I know I sent that beat to Carti, and then a couple of months later, it got leaked.
You've worked with a lot of artists over your career. What do you think the best way to get your foot in the door as a producer? And what were some of the steps you took to be able to get into the position you're in now?
My advice to upcoming producers is to not just go for the big names but build with an artist and develop your own unique sound. I started engineering as I said earlier, and that helped a lot with getting the artists to rock with my beats. Also, don't be afraid to take risks or to work for free. Don't chase the money, chase the music. Because if you chase the music, the check will chase you.
Lessons you've learned over your career as being an artist and a producer?
Watch out for shady managers, pay your taxes, don't sell yourself short, always have a lawyer look over anything that requires a signature, and drink more water!
What can we expect from Polo Boy Shawty for the rest of 2019 and into 2020? Any upcoming projects you're a part of or working on that we should be aware of?
2020 we going up! I just signed my first pub deal with Create Music Group, I've got my project dropping, more music videos, I'm dropping a Solo Music Group compilation project, and you might get a project from the Pluggz.