Mississippi’s Don Carrera is our latest guest, he combines heavy chops, unique textures and layers to create a unique sound. His list of credits grows monthly, producing for the likes of Sleep Sinatra, Chuck N Lock and Ankhlejohn. His most recent body of work is Moving Parts, and EP for Hometeam’s Chuck Chan and Deuce Hennessy. Don’t forget to check the links after the piece, Don has some amazing beat tapes on his Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages.
RD: You’re our first Mississippi rep, I’d imagine most of what you hear in the neighborhood differs from what you make. Have you found any like-minded artists in your neck of the woods?
DC: Honestly, no. The artists here are mostly the younger guys like 19-21. They mostly stick to the Trap Sound and the Louisiana style shit. They’re heavy club music lovers here, but everyone here knows I make beats and that I sample heavy. They often tell me jokingly “oh you got them New York Beats”. Not many cats here doing music though. Maybe like two or three I think.
RD: Lo-fi has exploded in the past few years, to the point it’s become a sub-genre of it’s own. Who is your Mt. Rushmore of lo-fi artists?
DC: Yeah Lo-fi is jumpin right now, I guess. It’s a lot of talented people out there making some nice beats. Lots of these kids I hear be inspiring me to step my shit up. As far as my Mt. Rushmore Of Lo-fi producers go, I’m not going to front like I’m this big Lo-fi historian. I’m not familiar with the whole Lo-fi beat scene like that. I like Madlib, Ohbliv and Dibiase. Stlndrms my favorite Lo-fi Producer currently. His sampling and drums are always fire and I often use his Slappy Drum kit. All I know is I always loved the “dirty sample”. Before I knew of any of these guys mentioned my biggest introduction to that gritty dirty soul was DJ Screw. His sound was Lo-fi as fuck, slowed down and chopped. So DJ Screw is my Mt. Rushmore. Period.
RD: What feelings do you want to evoke from listeners when they hear a Carrera beat?
DC: I just want people to jam and smoke to my shit. Point Blank. It’s just that simple. No philosophical deep dive. My beats vary in sound and styles but still stick to the essence. I often say I sample whatever moves me. Ill make some jazzy shit, some grimey stuff then turn around and do some trap stuff in one session. The beats gone give you whatever I make it to be, ya know. At the end of the day, its gotta JAM.
RD: How many hours a day on average do you work on music? Are you a believer of the 10,000 hours theory?
DC: I got a full time job and still do probably at least 6 hours a day. Ive been up at 5 AM making beats a lot lately. My mind is clear during the early morning hours so I create better. I also have the luxury of making beats at work too. I have my laptop and SP404 with me at work everyday so to make the time go by I make beats. 10,000 hours is an understatement. I’ve been on this since 2013 and there is probably only been 2 days tops I went without making beats on average it’s 6 hours a day. Learn something new and apply it then repeat, repeat and repeat. Every time I learned new shit, I made even more beats, I love this shit. You give the time if you love something. It’s a never ending learning process so I stay at it. Shit will hurt your relationship with your woman, hahaha.
RD: You’ve gotten some nice placements lately, do you take a different approach making a vocal collab compared to your instrumental beat tapes?
DC: I just cook bro, plain and simple. My beat tapes previous to my latest 59NSS were just showcasing samples and loops to rap over. 59NSS was a little more conceptual I would say because it was mainly for chilling on some smoking type shit. Something fire you could play thru the house while you cleaning, relaxing with your other or smoking alone. I wanted it to be something everyone could fuck with and not just some grimy boom bap. It’s highway music as well so that’s kinda where I was going with that. As far as the placements, I just fucked with those guys music and reached out to send beats. They rapped on what they felt. Chuck N Lock actually reached out first after hearing the beat they used on a beat tape. The rest is history.
RD: What’s your ultimate goal as an artist?
DC: My biggest goal is to just be as great as those who I deem to be the greats. The rest is gonna come with that. I’m not really worried bout trying to be rich off this shit, but getting paid for this is a plus. I really love this shit bro, so I’m going to do this regardless if money comes into the picture or not. On some real shit, my short-term goal is to get Roc Marci on my production. I don’t care if it’s just one I need that. Also Westside Gunn too. It’s gone happen.
RD: Who are some of your favorite up and coming emcees you feel are a fit sonically that you’d like to work with?
DC: Man all the upcoming emcees I’m fucking with is already loaded with Don Carrera production and about to let clips fly very soon. Most of these guys I speak with often on personal levels so I been building with some of the best of them right now and we been low key putting pieces together. Me and Bub Rock got shit coming. I got some work with Smoovth coming, Sully Nomad, Mak P, and Eddie Kaine. The homie Rim just got some joints from me. My bro Prynce P also got some shit. I got a couple Primo Profit joints in the stash. I’m all over the place. I wanna get something in with Rome Streetz, Griselda, and Crimeapple somewhere along the way.
RD: Other plans for 2019?
DC: The plan is to keep learning and elevating the sound. More visuals definitely. More official releases with physicals and merch.
RD: First 5 artists you’d call to start work on a Don C production album?
DC: Roc Marci, Westside Gunn, Benny, 2 Chainz and Earl Sweatshirt
Follow Don on Twitter @GodOfDaSipp
Stream that Moving Parts with Deuce and Chuck Chan here