Some of you may not know about Syd Tha Kyd. She is one of the chief artistic forces behind the hip hop collective and label Odd Future, best known for its association with Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean. Syd took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for Gender Amplified about her work as a music producer. It is an insightful read and sheds some light on this woman behind the decks.
What first sparked your interest in music production?
My dad’s brother is a very successful Reggae producer. His name is Mikey Bennett. As a kid my dad took my brother and me to Kingston a couple of times, and I loved being in his studio. I knew I wanted my own one day. As I grew up, my interest was more sparked by music I’d hear on the radio and fall in love. I’d wish I’d made it all.
Tell us a little about the first track you ever produced.
It was on GarageBand and it was just a really long loop with some kind of intro on it. Pretty boring after a while, but I really liked it. Lost it a long time ago to a crashed hard drive.
Where is the craziest place you ever made a track?
On a tour bus parked in the middle of the street somewhere in Amsterdam.
What types of gear and software do you use to produce?
I use Logic or Reason and a midi keyboard for beats. If it’s gonna have all live instruments in it, I’ll probably use Pro Tools and have the band lay stuff down.
Craigslist is my number one. Guitar Center hooks me up on a lot of stuff.
How has the success of Odd Future impacted your production career?
Not much. You don’t hear many of my beats floating around. The guys never used them much. But I think the next Internet album will bring us a lot of great production opportunities.
How does the production you do for Odd Future differ from what you do for The Internet?
For Odd Future I only made beats for Mike G. With the Internet, I’m part of a production team making tracks for me to sing over.
What are your ultimate goals for your career as a music producer?
Ultimately I’d like to stay mostly behind the board and on the stage. I love being part of a creative process so having a band to work with is perfect for me. We’re a team and together we make really good stuff, whether it’s for us to use or for someone else.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in music production? What is one piece of advice he/she should know?
Expect it all to suck and keep going when it does.
Tell us where to find your music online.