Prod By: Honeywoodsix
24 Dec 2020
Over the past year, Honeywoodsix has grown become a go-to producer for many artists within the British Rap game. Having worked with the likes of M Huncho, Digga D, K-Trap, Central Cee, M1llionz, SL, Poundz, Unknown T, Pa Salieu and many more, the Londoner’s signature “Ay what nah, Honewoodsix” tag is slowly becoming a familiar and instantly recognizable name. Proving his versatility, Honeywoodsix is an unpredictable producer, through generating an assortment of slick sounds his creativity, consistency and hard-work speaks for itself.
We caught up with the rising producer whilst posted up in New Jersey over the phone to talk all things music, his journey and more.
How have you been? How have you been finding the pandemic?
To be honest, I’ve been good! I don’t really let things like this phase me because at the end of the day you’ve just got to make the most out of a bad situation. It’s been rough for everyone but if you let it get on top of you, you’re never really going to get anything done so I’ve been carrying on as normal.
It hasn’t affected you creatively then?
It has, but in a way I think it benefited me because if I’m feeling down about something I can put that energy something, I might make a beat and it will reflect that – it does benefit in a way!
You are growing to become one of the go-to producers within the UK Rap scene as of right now, could you take us back to the very beginning and tell us a bit more about how you were introduced to music?
I come from a musical background, I had quite a religious family and I used to play the drums at my Church. My Dad was a Pastor for over 20 years, I had quite a strict upbringing, every Thursday I would practice the drums and on Saturday’s he would take me to a music school – I did that for a long time! I eventually fell out of love with it and started doing Videography for some people because I still liked music, but I was like
“What else can I do?” and after doing that for a while I thought I shouldn’t be doing this I should be making music – that’s how it all happened really!
Were there any producers that you looked up to, or still do to this day for inspiration or influence?
Yeah, I used to be a fan of Wheezy’s old stuff, I grew up listening to Metro Boomin, I think he changed my outlook on music as well as Partynextdoor’s producers – that kind of sound!
You just said you did Drums but fell out of love with it and went into production. How did you make the switch? What programme’s were you using?
One of my friends told me I should start making beats, I had a Mac for school back in the day and it had GarageBand on it; I was messing around with that and I started using YouTube to learn how to make beats. I saw a tutorial for Logic Pro come up, so I downloaded that for my birthday and began making beats on there, that’s literally how it started from 2018. I switched from that to FL later down the line and ever since then that’s how I’ve made all my stuff!
You have worked with a slew of well-known artists this year and have featured on some pretty big projects and singles with the likes of M Huncho and Yxng Bane etc. What was your first ever proper session? Who was it with?
My first big session was with K-Trap back in 2018, his A&R who is now my current manager, really liked some of the stuff I was doing for the underground scene with the House Of Pharaohs etc. He gave me a chance and put me in a room with him, this is still when he had the mask, and we made a tune that never came out! Then a year and a half later I ended up doing 7 tracks on his latest album and now we’re really cool – it’s funny how it all worked out!
My first proper session with an artist was with my friend Patch from my area, he wanted to rap, and I wanted to learn so it was perfect for me! From there, I went on to people like Sam Wise and Blaze YL, they were my first in the scene sessions!
You have a very memorable tag and to be a producer you definitely need one of those! Tell us a bit about how your tag came about?
Honeywood is my last name!
Yeah, I know! It’s mad because I always thought you made that up! *laughs*
No! People think it’s ‘Hollywood’ and that annoys me! *laughs* So it’s Honeywood but the ‘six’; some guy had the tag ‘Honeywood’ so I got people to spam him until he sent me the name, at the time coming from a religious background, you know when people say they do work 24/7 and I’m like “Well you don’t, because I see these guys chilling all the time ”, to be funny, in the Bible it says that God made the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th, so I thought let me be a 24/6 guy! *laughs*
How did you make the tag? Was it an artist that made it?
You know the DJ Damn Shaq? We used to chill quite a lot because I used to film his DJ sets for him when I was younger for fun and he came to the studio with some boys that I knew, and he was freestyling on the mic for banter and that little “Ay What! Nah what!” came from that freestyle! I chopped it up and got his boy Kieran who has quite a deep voice just to say “Honeywoodsix” and edited it all together. The “Ay What!” part, that’s quite an English thing “Ay what you tryna’ do today?” so that’s why I wanted that in it.
What has been your favourite track or project that you have been involved in this year?
One close to my heart is M Huncho purely because I’m sure even Huncho would tell you, I used to abuse his DM’s, you know them kids that are like “Hey, can I send you a beat?” but this obviously turned into a professional thing, so it was a dream to have a track with him – that’s a special moment! In terms of favourite this year, maybe that but I have stuff coming which I’m not going to talk too much on at the minute!
How has it been for you so far, navigating your way around the scene and building a name for yourself?
It depends on who you are, you are either someone who knows people, or you know no one – there is no medium! I found it quite difficult, there are people that might not be doing so much that know everybody and who get their cuts and it’s hard to not look at that and think “What am I doing wrong?”. I kept on doing my thing and let God take that path, I used to look into the scene and it’s very closed off if no one knows you! I’m a persistent kid, it was quite difficult at the start, living in London you have mutual’s anyway and it will naturally pan out.
Has it helped you having a manager?
It does help yeah! They can sort out the invoices and the things that you shouldn’t have to worry about because you want to be focused on the creative process, that’s what I think is the most important thing about having a manager! Someone that does not chase a cheque for you, if you tell them you want £1,500, they shouldn’t be going back for that, they should be going for £2,500 – otherwise you just have an assistant! They should be battling for you and making sure you are put in rooms that you might not be able to get yourself in. It does work, but you have to be putting in the work yourself, people have an assumption that if you have a manager that your life is patterned but if you aren’t doing anything then they can’t do anything for you!
Some artists do prefer to have relationships with certain producers prior to creating something. What is your approach to that? Are you comfortable just sitting in with anyone or?
I will get in anyone as long as I mess with their music! I don’t really like to send out beat packs over email, it’s rare I do that unless I know they’ll do something. I will always try and arrange a session and vibe; you make better songs in sessions in comparison to sending beats out. Don’t get me wrong, that has happened with a lot of placements but in order to make a record and not be a beat-maker you need to be in a session because there is a difference between a producer and a beat-maker. If you’re a producer, you are controlling how the record goes, you are telling the artist “I want this to change” or “We should take that bit out” etc, you are constructing the record with the artist, whereas if you send a beat out and get a cut, that’s cool but you haven’t made the record – you’ve just sent a beat and they’ve jumped on it. That’s why I prefer to get into the room and feel the vibe, you’ll know what the relationship is as well.
What do you think the biggest misconception of being a producer is, if any?
From what perspective?
I think it goes back to you explaining the difference between a producer and a beat-maker.
Yeah! I’m not here to give you a beat and go, this is my passion, I want to be involved in this track I don’t want to sit down and be like “Yeah, do your thing”. If I think an adlib is shit, I will tell you! I’m not going to beg it and tell you I have the cut, one misconception with producers, especially with artists, I don’t know how to word it! Some artists don’t think that producers have the right to say whether it’s right or wrong, even though we as producers have given you the sound for you to sit on –
In my previous interview with Quincy he said something similar, if the track is bad it’s on both you and the artist.
Exactly! It’s on both sides! It’s not just the artist it’s down to the whole team who let that go out – it’s not really a misconception but it’s an opinion, I guess!
When you’re coming up, credit is all you care about because you think it will make you blow up because your name is going to be there – that’s not how it happens!Honeywood six
I don’t know if you are on Twitter, but I’ve seen a lot of conversations between producers regarding the lack of recognition and being credited properly. For example, if a music video was uploaded to a platform, and it says “Prod by: …” in the title, is this something you feel passionate about?
When you’re coming up, credit is all you care about because you think it will make you blow up because your name is going to be there – that’s not how it happens! Credit does add to your brand, if no one knows that you made that track then no one is going to know to go to you for that beat, so it is important but you also have to understand; for example, if an artist I work with put something up on socials and he’s got millions of followers and I ask him to tag me but I’m pestering him, you’re going to ruin your relationship with them, people forget that artists are artists and sometimes they don’t want to do that – that’s the game unfortunately! You have to let your work speak for itself! Platform wise, there is no excuse, you are publicising people’s work so they should be credited. I do think artists should tag the producer but it’s their choice because it’s just as much their work as it ours! It’s important but try not to focus on it too much! If you’ve been paid then it’s different, but if you haven’t then you have no excuse.
For any aspiring producers, what steps would you recommend them taking regarding building a brand for yourself and networking?
I’m not a social person, I didn’t go to any parties or go out, I went home and made beats! The only time I went out was if I knew I had the chance to go to the studio or to an event that I know would benefit me, if you are actually trying to do this you have to be prepared to sacrifice a lot of your time from your social life. It even caused problems with my family and friends at one point, when you start chasing the thing you love it shows who is your friend and who’s not.
You have to be ready, it might not be an overnight thing and you do have to put the hours in; not as in “I made loads of beats today”, you have to get used to getting up at 10 in the morning and going home at 5 in the morning the next day and not even get paid for that session, or see that tune come out – there is going to be a lot of hours that you put in for nothing! It’s not all for nothing, you might have learnt one thing that elevates your whole production, everything happens for a reason!
How has it been for your building your brand? When I spoke to Quincy, he said that posting pictures with the artist on Instagram has helped him building his brand…
Yeah, I agree! You have to play the game; people want to see the face behind who they’re following! It depends on who you are trying to be because there are producers who will upload their work and you won’t know who they are, but they’ll get millions of followers because they’re so hard! For me, I’m just uploading my work at the moment, if the time is right and it makes sense to post a picture then I will because it does help! I want it to be done in a certain way, you don’t want your brand to be like everyone else’s!
It can feed into this whole clout thing as well…
Yeah! You might see me upload a picture with that artist, but I’ve actually been in the studio working with them for the past 6 weeks and I’ve now just decided to take a picture. If I’m going to do it, I want it to make sense!
Do you ever see yourself branching out when you reach a certain point in your career?
Yeah 100%! Granted that is what we’re doing right now but my plan is to go into more Pop and R&B stuff, I want to be a producer that is across all genres! You could go from Gunna to Mariah Carey – that’s the guy I want to be! I want to set up a label and sign producers publishing, if I have made it to the point where I no longer need to make music anymore, I will find the next biggest producer and sign his publishing. You are still going to make your beat money, get them tracks with people and we both get bread!
What can we expect to see from you this coming 2021?
Lots more music! There is a lot of new stuff coming next year that I am excited about, so yeah more music and more studio snaps!
Keep up to date with all things Honeywoodsix via his Instagram here. Check out our previous interview with Quincy here.