Rob $urreal Talks Working With Tay-K, Networking Yourself, And More
He’s crafted some of your favorite songs. He’s worked with the likes of Tay-K, Lucki, Shoreline Mafia, Duwap Kaine, Warhol.ss, Famous Dex, and Chris Dinero. Now it’s time you got to meet him. We got a chance to speak with the well established Rob $urreal as he talks those $urreal moments, his early life, as well as some of his new music with Zellyocho and Hunchozz, among others!
Where are you from? What was your upbringing like? And what made you want to get into producing music? What's up ya, I'm a Producer from Brooklyn, NY. I lived in Bushwick for eight years, then I lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant for about eight more years, then ended moving back to Bushwick, and I've been here since. My upbringing was cool for the most part, just like every other kid on the block, didn't really have to worry about responsibilities, things like that and sorts. Though while I was in Bed-Stuy, it was way different than the norm. Thinking now, I' had to grow up a little faster because the atmosphere was fast around me. I liked music much as anybody else does, music moves me, gives me a boost of an energy boost, and a better perspective on life. I could vividly remember my older brother having a toy piano, and I would bring that out and ply it the floor. I fell in love with music, thanks to Kanye West, Chief Keef, Lil B, and Earl Sweatshirt. I can't thank them enough for there music that impacted my life. Those artists were what go me to saying, "I want that. Let me give this music shit a try". What was going through your head when you made/put out your first beat? Did you ever think you'd be producing as a career? How long have you been making beats? And any notable influences? Once I found out how to make beats and put the drums and other sounds altogether, I made an album/collage of all my beats, put them all together, and dropped an instrumental mixtape on Spinrilla. I was nervous but more anxious because, to be honest, I was coming into the game with no skills, I knew what I wanted to sound like but no prior knowledge on how to get that sound. I would use logic first (that's where all the old non-sense sounding beats come from) then once I started to use FL Studio, my life changed. It's hard to say if I thought I would be producing for a career, you know. Making money and having contract deals, all the stuff that comes with being in the music industry, especially as a producer, it's complicated. But I appreciate the gift that God has given me for sure. As of right now, here today, 2020, I have been making beats for six years. I also want to thank Mexikodro, Stoopidxool, Metro Boomin, and Southside for influencing my sound.
You have been able to work with some legends in this game, including LUCKI, Warhol.SS, and Tay-K, just to name a few. How have you been able to get your beats into these artists'hands? Any advice for producers trying to get big placements? I wouldn't say its luck, but it is close producers in the game that I thank for helping me get these kinds of placements for real. I work with these fantastic and smart producers, and I learn from them. Once you work with producers that have the same mindset as you, just a little spec of chemistry can lead to history in the music game. For producers, I would say just work and work with other producers. You might have to put up a little bit of money to get in with some of these more established producers, but I would say go for it. Also, make sure you are easy to get in contact with, whether that's having all the same social media handles or giving people your number. Have some kind of way people can contact you, however, have your eyes on these artists when they drop their emails, and they're ready to drop an album or tape, it's all about capitalizing on your opportunity Your most notable placement is "M.... She Wrote" released in 2017 and has since put up millions of streams on every platform it's on. How did you first connect with Tay-K? How did that beat end up in his hands? And did you expect that song to blow up like that? When I spoke with Tay-K, it was in the middle of the night, but everybody was up, I think I just got home from somewhere. I dropped most of my beats on YouTube for free to gain notoriety and an easier way for people to get on my beats. This time it was different. I heard about Tay-K before, but he would get on different styles of beats than mine. But, he hit me up through FaceTime Audio, I answered and said, "Who this?" he says, "It's Tay-K", I said 'Yo Wassup", he says "Can I get on that Playboi Carti beat' and I said, "Fasho". Thinking about I now, I thank him as well for at least hitting me up about using the beat. I know that goes to show that the media is bringing him as someone different than what he really is. I didn't expect the song to blow up that much at all, but I knew it was going to do numbers for sure. I really wish I could speak on studio sessions with bro, but I can't because once it blew up and dropped, he was already incarcerated. I couldn't even get the time to celebrate it. It's sad, but you see this time and time again, and I just got to say that it's the name of the game. That's the environment of this music shit. Sometimes it happens like that. Hopefully, one day we'll get to see each other and celebrate that song together.
One of my favorite productions of yours is your collaboration with LUCKI, "Stay Wit Me". How did that beat come together? How did you connect with LUCKI, and how did he end up hopping on that beat? When I was an up and coming as a producer, I would make remakes for my Youtube. I listened to a lot of OG MACO at the time, and I was like, why don't I remake a beat from one of the songs he and Zaytoven made, so I did. I dropped it, and I got some buzz. A producer I was in contact with at the time told me Lucki got on that beat. I was very much surprised, somewhat shook, actually. Once again, there was no studio session with Lucki and I, but hopefully, down the road, there will be.
Another placement that sticks out to me is your and Badmon56k's beat "FUCK SHIT" by BOOFBOICY feat. Warhol.SS. How did you connect with Badmon? How did that collaboration come together? And how did Warhol.SS and BOOFBOIICY end up on that beat? I want to shout out BadMon56K and Akachi Beats. Both are incredible producers and are highly underrated. We all met in the studio here in New York, exchanged contacts, and made that beat on Fl Studio 11, mind you I'm all the way on FL Studio 12, but we made it work. I played that beat on my computer for about 30 minutes before sending it back to him. This was around 7 AM. I tend to stay up making beats until around that time. Believe it or not, Badmon had all the contacts to the artists and gave me the emails to send the beats to, so I did. Both Badmon and I had the song, and we played it in the studio like a week later, and everybody in the studio was going crazy. Badmon dropped that song, and the rest is history. I really thank God for putting these producers and artists in my life for moments like this. These are memories I won't ever forget, and I try to bring other up and coming producers and artists with me to show them this is how it goes and how it should go. You have had a lot of success, what's the best way to network yourself and your beats as a producer? The best way to network yourself and your beats as a producer is to find the easiest way people can access your beats. Whether it's posting on Instagram, YouTube, or a Beat Store, whatever it is do it. But don't be spamming people's email, that's not the way to go. Just let them know you sent them a beat. I wouldn't say type beats are played out, but it has to be something out there that's better than that. Work with artists that rock with you, work with producers that rock with you. Put in the footwork, go to the studios, and go to the cribs, being present is one of the effective ways to get into the scene. What's one thing you learned so far in your producing career that you wish you knew when you first started? Knowing about labels and knowing that artists wanting to work with you in the long run. I say labels because there's a lot of labels that say one thing then do another. This has nothing to do with that hit song, all the people behind that song was cool and got me what I wanted and then some in there power at the time, and still cool with them till this day. It just the other companies and labels that don't go by their word once you even drop the song and have a contract in front of you. That's why you should have a manager and a lawyer by your side because even though this is your hobby and you love it, it is also a business. People most certainly get that confused. You need people behind you as well. As far as knowing artists wanting to work with you, it just stumbled upon me that two people can cooperate and make great music even though they live in different states but can make the greatest music together. Message/advice to all the producers out there? I'm sure I gave out tons of advice to the producers throughout this interview, but I want to say again, work, work, work, and don't be scared to take risks. If you're going to go by my map, steps, and path, we take risks over here. What's next for Rob $urreal? Any projects you're featured on? What's 2020 looking like in terms of your music? Just a lot of work, inside and outside of the music game. Got some unreleased song with some biggest artists out right now, but I'm not going to spoil it. Been in studio with the best of em, and seen the best out right now. I've been working with the future of the music game. Hunchozz and Zellyocho. I've been working with them for the past year or two, and every song we drop, it goes up. Hunchozz just came home and is ready to step on necks. We the best duo in the music game, not only on Soundcloud, because our vision is bigger than that. We just showing people that is is what it is. Zellyocho is one of the hottest up and coming Soundcloud rappers out right now and he's seeing with his own eyes that this music shit can change your life. 2020 looking pretty good as far as music goes. I'm still working with my day one people I came into the game with. Loyalty and trust go a long way in the music game and outside of it.