Thelonious Martin Talks Connecting With Mac Miller, A$AP Rocky, G Herbo And More!
We got the opportunity to connect with producer, Thelonious Martin. He’s produced for some of the most iconic rappers in the game: A$AP Rocky, G Herbo, Pro Era, Mac Miller, Joey Bada$$ and many more. Check out my favorite production of his “Street” by G Herbo. And keep your eye out for Thelonious Martin beats he’s been in the studio day and night and has a lot of music coming our way. I’ve linked his SoundCloud and Instagram down below make sure to check out his pages and 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 Chicago, spent some time in school out in NJ with my mom. I started making beats out there around 06' because I heard Dilla on Adult Swim, it's been 13 years now.
What was going on when in your life when you made your first beat? Was producing always your vision as a career?
My mom let me stay up late and watch Toonami and Adult Swim, shoutout to Jason Demarco for the music programming he did. I started hearing Doom, Madlib, and Dilla and it caught my ear. Next thing I know I'm asking my mom for a laptop and watching tutorials on how to make beats.
What beat program did you start out on, what beat program do you use now? Recommendation for a beat program for producers?
I started on GarageBand then quickly moving onto Logic. I've been using Logic since I started. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend anything, whatever you're comfortable with should work. It's not about the gear, it's always the ear.
Was everyone around you always supportive of your beat? Or did you have to deal with hate from people?
I started making beats for my friends immediately, my mom was super supportive too. My dad, on the other hand, had worked in the music industry and I was playing sports at the time so he was a little hesitant about me making music. I had such a passion for it, though it couldn't really be denied.
My homie D.Dot Omen was in a session playing him some beats so I sent some through, it's not as climactic as it should be but that's exactly how it happened lol.
How/when did you first connect with Mac Miller? Can you run us through making the "Her" beat? How did Mac end up hopping on it? Were you with him in the studio when he recorded it? If so can you run us through that session?
I essentially met and linked with Da$h, Retch, and Mac all through my homie Suli. A great Chicago rapper that was at the Rap Camp sessions that had Action Bronson, Mac, Earl, Vince, Da$h, Retch, etc. Suli linked me with Da$h & Retch, that's how arrowhead got made, which led to me working with them both separately, which also led to Polo Sporting Goods.
Mac reached out for some joints and we were cool ever since. I was working on my album and asked if he'd be down and he invited me to his house to work on some joints. I think "Her" was initially going on one of his projects but we put it out as a loosie, then we put "Malcolm Interlude" on Wünderkid.
I saw Joey's potential EARLY, Smoke DZA had tweeted I think his "panty raid" freestyle and it immediately clicked for me. I've always prided myself on knowing before someone blows up. I think Chance and Joey had a session and I sent over some joints. I think that one did wonders for both their fanbases.
Shoutout to my big homie Mikkey Halsted for linking us, I pulled up to one of the album sessions and I think this was the first beat I played, the rest is history.
You've worked with Michael Christmas a lot, what's your relationship with him and how did you two first link up?
One of my ex's best friends showed me the "Michael Cera" video, I hit him up the next day on twitter to send him beats. We actually became better friends than we have musical collaborators, Michael is my brother. We just happen to make music together from time to time at this point.
Probably out of some beats I sent him got picked, we work far and few, but when we do its money. So whenever he's working on something I ALWAYS send in music.
Any tips you'd give to producers trying to get placements?
Have a good relationship with the artist or through someone else. It's really all about networking and honestly even further than that to have something that you're building on your own. It's cool to chase placements but even better to create them yourself. Develop an artist, truly produce their record, if you build it they will come.
What's on the horizon for your music career in 2019?
I'm working on like 5 albums, you'll see soon.
Check him out!