Producer Spotlight: Zain

RD: You are a relative newcomer to the scene, what can you tell people about yourself and your approach to music making?

Z: I’m a London-based producer heavily inspired by the greats growing up (Pete Rock, Premo, Alc, Muggs, RZA, Dilla, etc.). I started off on FL Studio and for 10 years I was hooked on that until I copped the Maschine Studio. Some of my FL beats were trash! Glad I stuck at it. Everything I do is sample based, but I definitely like adding instruments and playing keys. I’ve recently discovered a studio which costs like $5 an hour so I’ll sketch a few ideas at home and take it to the studio to finish it off when I get time.

RD: Together with Dani you produced the Left Field EP for Left Lane Didon. Talk to us about helping create that project.

Z: Me and my lil bro Dani are real like minded when it comes to beats. He’s basically my second ear. Since we heard Current Mood, we both wanted to work with Left so it was a blessing to be able to do that. We had a beat pack stored for Left and as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I was real happy with how Left Field turned out. Doing a full project with a rapper is always the goal. Especially when you work with someone of Lefty’s caliber.

RD: How does the process differ when collaborating with another producer as opposed to working solo?

Z: It doesn’t change too much. I can still execute my ideas, but when I collab with another producer its dope to be able to take on more ideas.

RD: Olvido with Chris Skillz just dropped. Chris and Left Lane are apart of a renaissance happening in Delaware, how were you able to connect with that group of guys?

Z: I got to put this down to timing man. For 10 years I was creating and not doing much with the music. Rappers weren’t as accessible when I first started but its a trip now. My lil bro Dani was the one who told me to get my music out there.

Since doing ‘Current Mood’ on Strictly 4 my Dumperz, I had already knew about Fahim through Dani connecting with him over art and music, but it was my first time hearing Left and Nice. I went through the whole catalogue and it inspired me to reach out to these guys. Whole camp always showing love. Definitely something in the water over in Delaware.

RD: Is there anything on the horizon you can share with us?

Z: Got a new project with Nowaah the Flood in the works alongside my brother Dani. On top of that got a second project lined up with Chris Skillz. Super hyped for both and I can’t wait for the people to hear it. The new Skillz joint is probably some of my best work. God willing it comes to light soon. 

I’m lining up a couple other rappers for projects, but nothing official yet. 

RD: Let’s talk gear. What are some of your weapons of choice, and what is on the wishlist to get?

Z: Maschine Studio. I was on the Maschine for a while but ended up selling it and upgrading to the studio. Never looked back since.

I also use the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 MK2 keyboard if I want to experiment with the Maschine plugins. My goal one day is to build a small studio room.

RD: If you could contact any five living artists to start your producer album, who would you get?

Z: Mos Def / Mach-Hommy / Nas / Evidence / Willie the Kid.

RD: Would you like to make any Shout Outs?

Z: Shout out to all the incredible producers out there. Especially J-Zak & Dani. Keep inspiring. No time for hate round here. Peace to anyone showing support!  

Appreciate you reaching out to me. Grateful for the opportunity for real.

Left Field https://phonicart.bandcamp.com/album/left-field-2

Olvido https://chrisskillz.bandcamp.com/album/olvido

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