Join Ayanda as she breaks down the beat with up-and-coming producers. This week, she’s speaking to M1kes.
What’s your name? Where are you based and what do you do?
My name is M1kes, I’m from London and I make beats. I’m a producer.
What made you want to get into producing?
I would say there have been quite a few influences, to be honest. I love music and there came a point in time when I would start listening to music, but I would be listening to the individual elements of the song (like the main melody, the individual drums, etc.) and hearing how they all come together. I listened to music with a different sort of ear. Additionally, seeing my friends starting to make beats and get placements had me intrigued about making beats also. They would give me tips and show me how to use the software to make the beats.
There was also a time when I made a tweet along the lines of “when you hear certain producer tags you know a song is banging” and Bkay interacted with it. I was gassed because he was already out there and I’d been hearing the stuff he’s made from time. He started giving me some tips on how to improve and since then I’ve been going at it.
At what point did you realise that you were talented at producing?
I would say last year, to be honest was the time when I became more confident and started thinking I could go somewhere with this. I’ve had the software since around 2018, but I made it public that I do this around 2020, so I could say that from 2018-2020 was when I was just getting to know the software and practicing.
Where do you get your inspiration from and what other people inspire you in the industry?
I would say I get my inspiration just from hearing what other people have made. I’ll hear particular elements of what they’ve made and that inspires me when I’m making something. I would say my friends that have been producing like @3lackonthebeat – he was one of the people that helped me from the beginning, and to see his growth is crazy and inspiring. I would say @tolubeats another friend of mine was one of the people I’d go to for help and he would give me tips. In terms of others I’d say @axlbeats_ who I heard from early, @bkayproducer, @m1onthebeat @mktheplug. These have been producers I’ve listened to for a while. I would also say @madarabeatz and @ceebeaats as well – there are so many people that are killing it.
Which has been your favourite track or project that you’ve worked on to date?
I would probably have to say Frosty ‘Mad About Bars’ because it was the first beat that I put out there and it got me a placement so I was pretty gassed with that. Over time, gradually as I get better, there might be a new favourite, but for now, that’s the one. It’s not necessarily my favourite beat that I’ve done, but it got me somewhere and it put me out there to an extent.
What are some artists you’d love to work with in the future?
I would say Headie One, OFB, SL, M1llionz and AJ Tracey would be a dream. In terms of Americans, there are a lot of Americans I’d like to work with like Gunna (I listen to a lot of Gunna), Polo G, Sheff G, Fivio Foreign, Lil Tjay, and probably Lil Durk as well. It would also mean a lot to have a placement with a Ghanaian artist as well because that’s where I’m from. Someone like Yaw Tog – we’ve spoken a few times so I would hope to do something with him in due time.
What are your goals for this year?
I would say to really get my beats out there and achieve more recognition. Hopefully working with one of the artists that I mentioned previously, and generally just being more out there. Having a placement, even an international placement, would be good because that’s definitely an aim of mine and I feel like I have time. I just want to have more of a presence out there that’s the aim.
Lastly, what is some advice you’d give to new upcoming producers?
I would advise upcoming producers to just keep going and keep putting their stuff out there on YouTube and general social media. You never know who’s listening, because with regards to the beat I had with Frosty, I put it on Instagram – I didn’t even think he was going to see it, but he did. I would also say don’t restrict yourself with the genres you listen to – always be open to listening to other genres such as RnB, not just drill. Try and stay motivated cause it’s also easy to lose motivation, but always have an end goal in sight. For people that want to start, there’s a lot of YouTube tutorials out there.
We are excited to see what projects M1kes works on in the future.