For week one of our featured artist series we caught up with Lewcid. He gave us a little information behind his March Madness project where and revealed to us his plans to release 31 beats in 31 days. Following that interview the Madness ensued and now seven days later we are back with part two of the featured artist series! The featured artist will always last two weeks and thus it only makes sense to have two interviews with the featured artist.
During Lewcid’s interview last week he said that ‘March Madness’ is something that has been in the works for some time. He explained that he had been making beats for this project since he completed his last project ‘Benefit off the Doubt’. This week Lewcid further broke down just how much content he had ready for this project before he even officially decided to put it together.
“I probably had about a third of the beats produced at the time the decision was made to go all in on the March Madness series. I knew how effective a release per day with consistent quality could be, so from then on I locked in and had some fun.”
Lewcid is primarily known for being a hip hop artist first. That is where this project stems from to show more recognition to Lewcid’s producer side. He has always been interested in the producing side of things but focused on being an emcee first and foremorest before turning his attention to producing later on.
“Producing is something I’ve always had an interest in, but I really wanted to focus on my craft as an emcee first. Once I had put years into writing, recording and performing, I decided to become more self sufficient and produce the music too.”
Lewcids path to becoming a producer was unique in the sense that before he even began producing himself he was working with producers to find a sample and told them how he wanted it chopped. It was this foundational knowledge that made it easier for Lewcid to transition to a more fundamental educational system. However at times it’s the internet that has the most answers. “I had co-produced in the past in terms of finding a sample and knowing how I wanted it chopped, so the approach was already there. I did take two semesters of classes at Rep Studio in Ithaca, so that built my foundation as far as studio hardware and software. In terms of producing it was a lot of trial and error at first, but YouTube is always a great resource for information.” Lewcid’s desire from creating these beats was to create a sound that the audience could feel. This week he explained how he planned to make the audience feel a specific way from his beats.
“There are certain approaches to creating a specific sound, for example music in a major key will sound “happier”. I make music that evokes an emotion out of me, and I think that will translate to the artist/listener as well.” It’s not only the key you’re using that can affect the tone or feeling of the beat. The mood of the producer or the atmosphere of the moment also have an impact on the overall sound as well.
“One of the beats that’s included in March Madness is “3AM In Ithaca”. Not only was that when and where the instrumental was made, but that’s exactly how it sounds. I think the mood you’re in when you start to create will always affect the outcome of the sound.” The art of creating a beat isn’t something that can necessarily be narrowed down to a science. Lewcid’s process varies however in general by the end of his first session working on a beat he has a good plan for where he’s going with it. “Most of the beats take a few sessions from start to finish. By the end of the first one, I’ll have a rough shell of what the beat ends up being. From there, the time will range depending on arranging and mixing.” The investment of time is always a difficult hurdle for aspiring producers but for many others it can be difficult just to make the jump and purchase the items necessary to produce music. Lewcid utilizes a combination of drumpads and a MIDI Keyboard as well as the program Logic to do all of his production. The decision to make this financial investment for Lewcid was a simple one.
“I had always bought the beats for previous projects, but decided it would be more beneficial to make the investment into myself.”
Deciding to transition to producing his own beats not only became a positive investment for Lewcid’s wallet it also gave Lewcid an edge up over the competition. Being able to produce as well as rap gives the artist much more freedom and opportunity.
“...it’s a major benefit. If I have a song idea in mind as a writer, I have complete control over which direction to take the production/samples. As a producer, I know what musicians are looking for and what type of beats are inspiring to write to.”
We are just a week into March Madness but everyday each beat has felt completely different and had its own vibe to it. Lewcid’s effort in making sure this project is near perfect and every track feels unique is clear.
“I made sure to curate the month so that every new release will be a different sound than the last. You can expect anything from Trap to Funk to R&B!”
Lewcid is not only a versatile rapper but also a versatile producer. His ability to create a wide variety of music makes it relatively easy for the artist to continue releasing unpredictable content as he intended with the March Madness moniker. Going forward Lewcid plans to continue dropping tracks all month. He was working on March Madness before releasing Benefit off the Doubt so he is always working however his only plans currently set in stone are to continue promoting on the business side but assures the fan of his hip hop content that he isn’t finished in that arena either.
“I’m going to work on mainly production for the immediate future, but I’m always writing and will definitely be putting another album out.”
Check out Lewcid’s latest track off his ‘March Madness’ series ‘Nightlife’ below!