Prod By: Ebz’s Choice #2
24 Mar 2021
Back for the second edition of the ‘Prod By: Ebz’s Choice’ series, our attention continues to be locked into producers we should be keeping an eye on. In this edition, we tap into slightly more of the producers’ key moments, views and upbringings. The spontaneity of the music industry is something most people should be familiar with but most of all, the producers. From how their placements are obtained to whether work of theirs gets released or is used without them even being aware. We continue to showcase producers and parts of their lives in this series.
The 19-year-old from North West London began playing instruments at 6 years old – keyboard, guitar, trumpet, flute, and ended up on bass guitar in Secondary School during Year 8 before messing around with DAW software’s. Early on in 2018, Likkledotz attended a youth club where Jamal Edwards had given the opportunity for people to perform songs that members in the youth club had produced on Lovebox Festival’s main stage. The event had meant Likkledotz encountered some great names such as Tion Wayne, Kenny Allstar, Pharrell Williams, Skrapz, Trillary Banks, Jorja Smith, Kojo Funds and many more. “That day was a big game changer” – this pushed Likkledotz to quickly install the well-known DAW software named FL Studio that has since set him 3 years into his producing career. “If this is what he feels like to be around the big stars… I need to experience this every year so I need to go home and put in the hours… I’m not going to do anything else but music”, he commented.
Influences for his production range from his cousin 5ive Music and M1onthebeat for their Drill sounds, to EY, Metro Boomin and Wondagurl for their Rap and Trap instrumentals. Although people would usually associate Likkledotz to drill and rap style production, he expresses his change of direction into trap beats. One of his most notable placements is Ramz’s “Brixton to Oxford Circus” (below) which he produced alongside 169. Fun fact, the beat Ramz jumped on for this track was originally the beat for Fizzler’s ‘Mad About Bars’, which Likkledotz also produced! Abra Cadabra’s “Begging Flexxing Stressing” on his ‘Product of My Environment’ project, to Rimzee’s ‘Upper Clapton Dream 2’, Frosty’s ‘Under Surveillance’ mixtape, S1’s “Split Personality” and many more singles.
Likkledotz’s goals for this year range from either producing a Top 40 Official UK Single, a Silver Certified Award to possibly being able to feature on Fredo and Nines’ project that was teased earlier this year. The budding talent also plans to tap into the Atlanta and/or New York scene overseas – all of which we don’t doubt! Look out for Likkledotz this 2021!
Hailing from Bournemouth, 18-year-old Tefo is currently studying in South West London for University. Around his hometown in Bournemouth, the beat-smith began in a Jazz band during his first Secondary School year before later grouping up with his mates to perform in a band in school where he played the bass guitar and performed at a few pubs, and gigs. From this point onward, Tefo slowly found his way into production when he started College and several of his peers needed beats, which then sparked his introduction to Drill. When in conversation about his influences, Tefo mentioned Nick Mira who has been behind a huge number of US tracks for artists like Lil Tecca, 6LACK, Polo G, Youngboy Never Broke Again and Juice WRLD where he referred to the hit “Lucid Dreams”.
When talking about his notable placements, he’s produced tracks such as V9’s “Do It” with fellow producer Ghosty, one of Drill’s more recent anthems in my opinion, and Kwengface’s “Swing It” in collaboration with Swidom. The list continues with Kwengface’s ‘Plugged In’ Session, Kilo Jugg’s ‘Mad About Bars’ along with a feature on 98s’ ‘Class of 98s’ mixtape on “Pay Attention” with Swidom. Tefo also holds credits with Ramz, Gully, OFB’s “OT Boppin”, USA’s Ricky Rikkardo x Double G’s “Go Crazy” and many more. His most memorable placement is the ‘Next Up’ here on Mixtape Madness by Yanko which is currently sat with over 2 million views on YouTube. When speaking about the spontaneity of the producer lifestyle when landing his Yanko placement, it started as another day going to play football with his mates whilst viewing an Instagram story by Yanko asking for beats. To his surprise, he saw that one of the instrumentals he sent over had been rapped on and the track is yet to be released.
Tefo’s goals this 2021 whilst already being known for his intricate take on Drill; he wishes to expand his sound into Trap and more UK Rap. Due to having just moved to London for University, he is still getting a feel for the producer lifestyle from sessions with artists and balancing it all with his studies. Having already achieved what he has over the last year, sights on the charts are not far-fetched in Tefo’s eyes. A very hardworking producer with extremely clean and refined takes on various sounds. Does this 2021 belong to Tefo? Keep locked in!
The-Netherlands based producer LUCASDANTE is an international beat-smith that you should have your eye on. At just 12 years old, for 1-2 years, Lucas began working on House tracks and remixes with the initial aim to become a DJ; the Netherlands is home to a lot of well-known DJ’s! Fast forward to the youthful age 14, Lucas began listening to more Hip-Hop, Trap and Drill, which eventually led to a purchase of a MacBook and the DAW software Logic Pro where he started his production career creating beats. Lucas, and I quote said “Only 1-2 years ago I started pushing my beats on social media but my first three years? I really focused on making sure my beats were a high quality” ; the 18 year-old really takes pride in his work, an element in which some of his peers don’t tend to focus on. Currently on a gap year whilst still focusing on music, just two months ago, Lucas signed a big publishing deal with Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and mentioned how it helped him immediately gain a manager “He’s a well-connected man, it’s really helpful and I’m really blessed with the opportunities”, he commented.
His influences in regard to production draw back to his upbringing with the likes Pharrell Williams, Timberland, Kanye West and more recently with BkayBeats. When it comes to sounds, Lucas has recently been locked into 90’s RnB in the last few months and goes on to tell us about how he’s been inspired by the melodies and chord progressions that were used. These all contribute to what he says is, “My stash of RnB Drill styled beats that I really enjoy creating at the moment”.
Lucas has already gained placements in both the Netherlands and UK, two of which are “3 Flow” on the ‘Class of 98s’ mixtape, to a much newer release named “We Da 1s” by the 98s. As of right now, he is sitting on quite a lot of placements in the UK as well in the Netherlands that are waiting to be released, only proving why Lucas is one to focus on this year. Lookout for the start of April this 2021 for a UK placement artist collaboration that is definitely going to have music fans in a frenzy! LUCASDANTE? We are watching you!
The 22-year-old hailing from South West London, Wandsworth – to be exact – is AV, a producer we can call “unfamiliar” if you are a fan of the UK Music Scene. From producing and making things happen behind the scenes, AV is a busy figure. 6 years ago, he knew he was always interested in music but never knew where he would go with it. This might be a surprise to some readers but AV at the age of 15 began to rap before anything else! Around this time, being as computer savvy as he is, during Secondary School he would know how to help his peers with various different program set ups. One day he was asked to help set up FL Studio and without him knowing what it was – curiosity not killing the cat in this case – AV found himself becoming familiar with the software and started creating beats quicker than he’d expected. One piece of advice received from AV was to, “Focus on relationships with your artists, do not be a disposable producer through too much care towards your placements”.
Moving onto inspirations AV listed: Harry Fraud, The Neptunes, Pharell Williams, Richie Spice, Damian Marley and Rihanna for her end products and various other notable producers. AV went on to say “I feel like I’m defined by the people around me”, these people being Gotcha, Ghosty, G8 and AdzBeats. Drill is the sound that listeners are used to with AV, before he dived into drill instrumentals, AV would make Trap beats more than anything else. During the early Playboy Carti era, the beat-smith would make various styles of trap alongside UK style plug sounds that made him that extra bit more confident,“I might be better at Drill than Trap just due to the consistency of working with Drill producers”, he stated.
Carrying with him a boast-worthy collection of placements from Berna’s “Lightwork Freestyle” alongside Ghosty, ES and CZR, to “Hideous” by Nito NB x SZ x Abz x Workrate” with ZC beats, “Gasoline” by V9 and Billy Billions with Itchy and YkThePlug, “Notice Me” by 23 Unofficial and NorthSideBenji with Gotcha and AdzBeats, “Rule of 6” by Block 6 with Ghosty, and “WW2” by Unknown T with R14 x X10 – the list goes on!
This coming year I urge listeners and fans to keep track of AV’s fresh and upcoming collective ‘Serafino.exe’ with R14 as well as the newest addition BBCashy. One of AV’s goals is, “Getting the placement that I can say changed my life” – Serafino.exe will be looking to build platforms, provide services and be a collective for the people. AV is now attacking more angles than just production. Don’t lose track of AV this 2021!
You can check out the first edition here.