“I’m kind of catching a buzz at this point”
Says Dallas DJ and producer, SikWitIt, hot off of winning the prestigious Beast of the Beats showcase in New York last November. The event attracted some 1500 producers from all over the country. Pretty impressive victory for SikwitIt and his home turf, Dallas. He’s been called “one of the illest, most talented producers out of Dallas with a slew of song placements including a recent one on 50 Cent’s hit TV show, Power.
"He loves a good beat competition, just battling other producers mano y mano"
May the best beat win. But what SikwitIt loves even more is collaboration.
Currently, he’s working on a new project that brings producers together, rather than competing with them. It’s called the Dallas Producer Collaboration Project, which will be a series of 10 sessions in various Dallas studios. The project will yield a free beat tape and a video documenting the making of this project. And it’s all to fulfill his vision of putting Dallas on the map as a true music destination. We caught up with SikWitIt and asked him to lay us onto some Dallas hip hop wisdom. Here’s what he had to say.
IN THE BEGINNING
I became a producer during my ventures of being an artist. I was a rapper and I realized that I was trying to rap into people's beats that had already been rapped. So I vowed to myself that I wanted to learn how to make my own music. And just being at my dad's house, he's a musician, and picking up keyboards and just kind of learning from there.
What SikWitIt has learned while mastering his craft is that, as much as he loves a good beat, there’s one key ingredient that’s also needed to pull it all together.
THE MARRIAGE THAT MAKES THE MUSIC
When it comes to beats versus vocals you have one person who says one's better than the other or more important than the other. But I personally feel that they work hand-in-hand. I think that the vocal is the main lead instrument that completes the song. It makes it a one in one package deal. So you get the vocals that are going to lead the charge and you have the music to accompany it.
SikWitit believes in the power of human connection.
It’s all about being in the same space creating together that makes the magic as opposed to waiting for someone to email you a track over the internet. To that end, The Dallas Producer Collaboration Project will shine a light on collaborations between some of the hottest producers, working together. Each with their own unique musical style. Reezytunez rolls with his heavy bounce. Then you’ve got Medasin and what he calls his soul trap style. B. Barber puts out modern funk and then you throw in SikWitIt’s own fusion style and you’ve got a beautiful gumbo of creation brewing.
And what instrument does SikWitIt most love to play to brew his creations?
PLAYING THE STUDIO
The recording studio is my instrument because it's basically a creative space. It allows me to pull out all the things that are in my head and in my ear that I've been listening to and hearing. It really just allows me to lock in. It has all the tools ready for me. So if I want to do some vocals or if I want to do some production I can do all that in one place.
MANAGING THE MUSICAL BUMPS IN THE ROAD
We asked SikWitIt to talk about some of the challenges he faces in the recording process when he receives tracks from other artists recording in other places or out on the road.
One of the biggest challenges I have from rappers or just anybody; Singers that are singing the vocals that they record themselves or that they're just not good quality. You know they have a lot of distortion or a lot of feedback or it's just not very clean audio and that kind of hinders my process and it slows down my workflow.
So how does he control his mobile environment?
SIKWITIT’S MOBILE SECRET WEAPON
I think the Kaotica Eyeball is a perfect example for what I do. I'm always travelling. I'm always on the road. Like right now I'm in a hotel room and it's perfect because I get to use this as my virtual vocal booth.
"When I want to record my vocals I don't have to worry about the stress of being in a studio or having to pay a whole bunch to be there"
So this is life on the go, everywhere I'm at. Whenever I just want to pop up my travel set up and it works perfect to compliment my portable recording studio.
And what advice would SikWitIt give to the new guy on the block trying to come up?
For up and coming producers man I would just advise you to first and foremost, perfect your craft. Be great at what you do. Be an expert at it. And never, never quit, obviously right? But more than anything, network and get out there and just really meet people and make sure that your product matches everything that you represent.
WHY DOES MUSIC MATTER?
Music to me is extremely important because I feel like it's a soundtrack to life. I feel like it's the one thing that can change a person's mood, whether it be into a good mood, into a sorrowful mood or into an angry mood. And I think it plays hand-in-hand with life you know. With music you have different varieties, different genres. The ups and downs, the high tempo, the low tempo and that replicates life. You know, we as people, we have all those same mountain tops and valleys that we go through. So I think music accompanies that really, really well.