Veteran hip hop producer Floyd the Locsmif has been in the game for years. Despite hailing from Georgia, Floyd still has a very traditional boom bap flavor. Many of his productions are rugged homages to the foundational elements of classic hip hop.
His outstanding talent has even earned him a coveted production placement with Ceelo Green and a deep, diverse discography spanning the better part of a decade. Lately, i've been obsessed with audio and mixing quality so I wanted to speak with Floyd about some of his methods and techniques,.
Prox: What has been some of the most interesting and rewarding projects that you’ve gotten to work on? Can you point to one specific album or track that challenged you and made you raise your standards a producer?
Floyd: The most interesting would probably be the work I did on Ceelo Green... Is the Soul Machine album where I got to engineer a lot of it and learn lots of industry stuff I never knew. It helped me develop my own albums and kinda gave me a new approach to putting out music as a career.
Prox: In your opinion, what does a great sample consist of? Does it usually matter if it’s minimal enough for you to have some space to incorporate your own sounds?
Floyd: A great sample will have sounds in it that make you hear it in different ways. It will also have a bass line or drum sounds panned to one side so it can be split in two and give you more flexibility in the rearrangement. Of course, if it’s just a noise that compliments an original idea, that’s always dope as well.
Prox: I love the mix on your tracks. The mixes are very clear and professional, but still have that rugged edge to them. What are some techniques that you use to achieve this effect as far as sheer audio output quality goes?
Floyd: I like to give all the sounds their own space to breathe so panning and attention to certain EQ frequencies are the focus when I mix. I always liked rugged sounding drums in anything and the contrast of clean or lush melodies over them. It’s like Yin and Yang.
Prox: You still have a very classic sound to your productions. Is there any reason that you prefer this vibe over the more contemporary stuff coming out of Georgia?
Floyd: I started as a crate digger hunting the rare unheard samples so that style is still my go to most of the time. I’m an old head stuck in my ways lol, but the new stuff is dope musically. It’s really an old bass style slowed down to the vibe of today... which is mostly a drug use glorified vibe. Everybody has slowed down but authentic hip hop music has to have a certain energy.
Prox: What would you say is the most important and underrated tool to have in your arsenal as a producer? Is it all about “The Ear” or is it something else?
Floyd: The ear is the most important tool I think and then there’s being a bit of a musician as well. If you hear a sound or idea in your head and can express it musically or verbally to a musician, then you're producing/creating in the most natural way. Software and hardware are just tools a builder uses to construct the pieces.
Prox: Who are some artists that you’d like collaborate with? What is it about this artist(s) that makes you want to work with them?
Floyd: More female artists like Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, and the more eclectic artists I would say. Just been wanting a different energy and audience to introduce some of my "Weird" stuff to... I'm pretty open.
Prox: Who are some of your favorite artists, business people, creatives or intellectuals?
Floyd: Favorite artists are mostly jazz kats from the 70s, comedians like Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, and those who keep up with politics and truths in general.
Prox: Favorite Hobbies?
Floyd: As of late my hobby has been painting. I used to be into art heavy until music took over, now it’s found some space in my life again.
Prox: Tips for aspiring artists?
Floyd: Never take your ideas for granted. They come to you for a reason so don’t be afraid to act on them. And don’t be afraid of social media, that is your promo outlet so use it wisely and often.
Prox: Information on upcoming projects and releases?
Floyd: Look out for a project I have with Dion Jenkins (Hi-Tek) soul singer over my beats and more instrumental stuff coming soon. Visuals as well. Videos are important these days so i’m working on that.
Prox: Final Thoughts?
Floyd: Support good music, indie or main stream and eat your veggies!
You learn more about Floyd, purchase his music, and follow him, here.
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