Prod By: Hargo
21 Dec 2020
How did a young Watford native become one of British rap’s reigning beat-makers? Making his debut, as the UK’s Drill scene was just emerging, Hargo channeled the wave of music around him into a skill that would soon have rap’s prominent acts knocking on his door. I hit Hargo’s team up and got the chance to get to know the man behind the buttons!
“Let’s start off with talking about where you’re from and how you got in touch with music?”
H: I’m from Watford. I played a couple instruments when I was younger and my cousin would make house beats on Logic. It was wavey, I thought ‘I need to get into that’ and started making rap beats.
“When you got into music were you exploring other genres?”
H: I just used to listen to what was hot at the time. I didn’t really know how to find good music. I would just go on iTune’s top 100 and I used to listened to a lot of house because of my brother.
“What was the motive behind building on YouTube?”
H: When I went to college, I started making trap/rap beats on Souncloud because there were rappers in my class. YouTube made more sense and more money… and the views went up so I kept uploading every single day.
“That was your vision?”
H: I didn’t think it would blow but it was an option. I just thought it was a good way to get my beats out there since it’s a bit more bait.
“So you were the guy behind ‘type’ beats!”
H: Type beat producer! – laughs –
“In your opinion, what song put you on the map?”
H: Um, Advice by Cadet and Deno. When I uploaded the plaque, it went quite big and a lot of people were like ‘oh you did that!’
“Talk about the time and growth between ‘Splash and Cash’ and ‘Opp Thot’?”
H: It’s mad — everything has just fallen into place. Most of my songs that are out are because they’ve seen my YouTube beats, so they’ll contact me and say I need this beat.
“Are you ever picky about who you give beats to?”
H: Obviously, you wanna work with the best artists. You can’t work with anyone, but I just go off who I wanna invest my time into.
“Would you say you’ve worked with who you’ve wanted to work with?”
H: Definitely, yeah! I’ve worked with a lot more than I thought I would, it’s quite overwhelming. It’s a nice feeling.
“What’s the producer experience like? Tell me some pros and cons.”
H: The pros are that there are no limits, you don’t know what’s around the corner. You work with amazing people and it’s a blessed job, working when you want. It is hard work, you dedicate a lot of your time. You have to give it your all.
“And keep sharpening your skills right? How do you adjust to new sounds and trends?”
H: You hear new stuff and get ideas from different songs. I never wanna sound like anyone else but listening to music is like research.
“Is there pressure to deliver when working with new artists?”
H: Only when there’s a time limit. If an A&R messages me and I don’t have beats for the particular artist, I’m starting a beat on that day. You have to deal with it but it’s exciting because you can get that call for an artist you’ve always wanted to work with.
“Do you handle yourself independently or do you have a team?”
H: Yeah, I work with Jeremiah, Rimes (Merky) and Krystal… the team’s called ‘Just Ents’ — they’re great.
“Cool! How did that come about?”
H: Frosty started using my beats so Jeremiah contacted me and we met up. He mentioned being my manager when we first linked up, but it only happened 6 months later — after we became friends.
“Do you feel you needed that to progress?”
H: Yeah, it was definitely the next step. It helps me just focus more on making the music.
“Do you have a memorable studio experience with anyone?”
H: I went to New York twice this year. Finesse Foreva invited me to a producer camp and those were the best sessions I’ve had. The vibe over there is so different, it’s sick!
“What can a producer do to land a placement? Break it all down!”
H: A placement is a guarantee to getting a percentage on a song. That’s what it means. To land a placement, just work on your craft and network with everyone. Form good relationships. Social media is the best way to put your beats out there!
“Are there any producer legends that you’re inspired by? I know mine is Kanye West!”
H: I have a few! Murda Beats, Metro Boomin, Hargo Productions is one of them. As for the UK, Ghosty — my guy — and Coolie, Jay 1’s producer. All the Finesse Foreva lot too!
“Isn’t it crazy how young (yet talented) producers in the scene are!?”
H: It gets younger than me, like 14 and 15 year olds!
“Are you enjoying right now or do you think about future sounds you wanna be making?”
H: I take it a day at a time. I’m working with a few different artists now, trying to widen my sound. I’m only one man so I have to make time for other genres… maybe make some house beats! – laughs –
Looking forward to the next time you hear ‘Hargo Productions’ on a track, aren’t you? Spin Hargo’s best beats here and plug into our ‘Prod By‘ series, where we cast the spotlight on some of the hottest engineers rocking our scene!