We got the opportunity to chat with Cecil. He's worked with artists like: Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Cook Laflare, and more! Check out my personal favorite production of his: "Make It Back" -Lil Uzi Vert. He's got some wisdom to spread so tune in.
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 am from Portugal and I think I made my first connection to producing music when I was 15. I'm 21 now so that's 6 years of producing.
What's your producer tag? How did you create it? What's the importance of having a producer tag?
My brother Nixon Counts recorded my producer tag for me. It's just my name with delay on it. I used to use a different tag, also made by Nixon that says "That's more like it". So s/o to Nixon for that, I love you, bro. Your tag is part of your brand. Without a tag, it's harder to get your credit because you can't really credit producers on Spotify and Apple Music, so if there isn't a tag in it nobody would really know who the beat was made by.
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 like both tbh. But it depends on how I'm feeling. I love being in the studio with artists and producers because there is just a certain vibe too it and you can really produce a song instead of just making the beat. I also get more beats done when I'm in the studio with other producers because if I have a beat block, somebody else can jump in and finish the beat, vice versa. The advantage of making beats at the crib is you can really take your time and experiment.
How/when did you first connect with Uzi? What was it like working with him on "Make It Back"?
His engineer posted her email on her twitter like 2 years ago, so I sent her some beats and I also sent the email to my bro Dollie because I knew they would fw his beats. Dollie and I collab a lot so he sent a couple of our collabs to her and she hit him back telling him that Uzi used one of our beats. That was like 1 or 2 years ago. Took a long time before we heard the first snippet and even longer time before it got leaked. I love Uzi so it's amazing to have a song with him. It's cool to send out beats for placements and you can really build a name for yourself and make some money, but I would rather be in the studio with big artists. I'm already traveling to the US regularly to work and make new connections, so I know that's gonna come soon.
How/when did you first connect with Yachty? What song did you produce for him? And what was it like working with?
So the song with Yachty is like 2-3 years old. It's actually a song CookLaFlare and Yachty made together called "Fighter Jet". I love that song because you can really hear that it's my sound when you listen to the beat. It's just different, even with the Uzi placement, people notice that I kinda got my own sound. That makes it even more special to me.
I never talked to Yachty, by the way, I just talked to CookLaFlare's manager at that time.
Three ways the music industry needs to change in order to get better?
The fakeness gotta go. Labels using their artists and not paying producers is weak too. But instead of complaining, we should educate ourselves so that all of that doesn't happen to us.
Is it hard to get placements? How do you go about reaching out to artists?
It's hard if you haven't build a name for yourself yet. And the bigger you become the easier it gets. Most of the time I reach out to the artist or they reach out to me and I send them beats. Sometimes other producers or A&R's or managers give me the email of somebody they know. The best way is to actually be in the studio with the artists, but to get there you gotta have a name first.
Any advice to someone trying to follow in your footsteps?
Be yourself, work harder than everybody else, and go out of your comfort zone.
Also, don't hide. Just go out there and meet new people, meet up with artists and producers, travel to New York, Atlanta, LA, Miami and places like that. At least that's what I'm doing. You gotta put in the groundwork and be humble, nobody just goes from 0-100. You got to build a name for yourself and give out a lot of beats for free before you can demand any type of money or credit. Everybody can make a beat if they learn the basics, but only a few producers will be successful because it's not only about your talent.
Favorite song you've produced?
"Made It Back" by Lil Uzi Vert ofc. I feel like Lil Uzi Vert is one of the biggest artists from our generation, so having a song with him is like making history. I made a song that could be heard 100 years from now. I also love "Okay" by Dirty Shafi, because we made that one in NYC together.
What's on the horizon for your music career in 2019?
More connections, placements, great music, building a name, meeting artists, traveling and all that. Also be on the lookout for Dirty Shafi, Whyjae (Lil Rarri), Nixon Counts and all the people that I work with.
Check Him Out!