Producer Spotlight: Nephew Hesh

Hesh has proven himself as one of the elite producers of the past two years. Utilizing a combo of hard-hitting drums and intricate melodies. He has shown the ability to produce full projects (Dap Zini’s Saga of the Swamp Thing and Pro Zay’s Powder Shoe Prints) collaborate with other producers (with Sadhugold they form the duo Deadstock) as well stand out on a single placement (the thunderous Funeral March for Your Old Droog).

RD: Our introduction to you was on Pro Zays stellar Powder Shoe Prints album. Was this the first full project you produced?

NH: I think so, I remember starting on it at around the same time I started on the beats for Saga of the Swamp Thing. I know for sure it was the first full project I produced to be released though. Shout to Zay, he killed it.

RD: Shortly after came another project with a Psych Ward Records member, Dap Zini. Can you take us through the making of Saga Of The Swamp Thing, and your thoughts on it over a year later.

NH: One of my favorite projects I’ve worked on. It’s always great working with Dap because I can just send him beats and trust that the final product will be top tier. A lot of the beats I was sending reminded him of the Swamp Thing comic, which is why we based the album on it. Swamp Thing and Powder Shoe prints were the two projects where I really started pushing myself.

RD: Yourself and Sadhugold form Deadstock, that is quite a partner to have while making beats. Is there a certain division of labor when you two link up, or does it vary beat-to-beat?

NH: Usually I’ll send Sadhu loops, and he’ll do the drums. His drums are crazy bro. When I first started working with Sadhu, I was still a senior in high school, so during lunch and even sometimes during class I’d go to the library with my laptop and a pair of shitty headphones and just crank out loops. Have a whole pack of them ready by the end of the day.

RD: Who are some veteran producers you look to for inspiration?

NH: Dilla, Madlib, Knxwledge, Alchemist, RZA. Also been listening to a lot of Mannie Fresh. He’s very underrated. 

RD: In summer 2018, the big call came. Westside Gunn has chosen not one, but two Sadhu & Hesh beats for his loaded Supreme Blientele album. How did you find out about the placement, and what was the feeling like?

NH: Oh actually he only picked one, the beat for Stefflon Don. The other one was all Sadhu. That was great, I was driving when Sadhu sent me a live audio recording of Westside Gunn rapping over it in the studio. Had to pull over and collect myself, it didn’t feel real. That was real life bucket list shit. Really grateful for that opportunity.

RD: Things seem to have moved along nicely since then, with you landing placements with Your Old Droog and Mavi. Do you actively shop production? What is the ideal situation to collaborate?

NH: If I have the artist’s number I’ll text them beats right when I’m done with them. I usually prefer to send out beats via text/email and let the rapper do their thing that means I have more time to make more beats. If its a full project that I’m producing though I definitely wanna be working in person.

RD: Selflove by Mavi has hit 1 million streams, that is a huge milestone. The song has an endearing, charming quality to it. 2+ years in, what are some of your favorite productions?

NH: Self Love is one of my favorite beats, for sure. I really like the two beats I got on Ankhlejohn’s new album, they have a lot of texture and that’s an aspect of my style that I’ve always been proud of. Its hard choosing, though, because if it’s out, it’s already a favorite.

RD: In an era of loops and drumless beats, your drums tend to hit hard. Do you start your process with drums/programming?

NH: It changes from beat to beat. I’ll start by making a loop, but if I’m not feeling it I’ll scratch it and work on drums. If the drums hit, I’ll try to find a sample that works. If I’m not fuckin with the drums then it’s back to the samples. Repeat that til something clicks.

RD: You have not produced a full project since Deadstock handled Doofs Tried Bring Sober album. Is there anything on the horizon you can tell us about?

NH: Yup, got 2 full albums produced by me ready to drop. I prefer to keep things under wraps, but trust me when I say everybody went all out. Seriously some of my favorite music I’ve worked on. Sadhu and I just finished up our beat tape, so be on the look out for that too. Very fire.

RD: If you could enlist any 5 talents for a Hesh studio album, who are you calling?

NH: Mavi, Mach Hommy, Alchemist, Madlib, Mannie Fresh, and Bob Power is gonna mix and master it.

Shouts out to all my friends and everybody who’s given my music a chance. We’re only going up from here. Thanks you Respect Due for fuckin with the kid! Much love

Photo courtesy of @ahotelparty

Powder and Saga are available here

https://psychwardrecords.bandcamp.com/music

Hesh’s personal BC

https://nephewhesh.bandcamp.com