For the common man, you might know producer extraordinaire Instro. Besides being the in house producer for Motif Records, he is the man behind Reason’s hit single “2 Cups Shakur”. The two also collaborated on Reason’s critically acclaimed year long monthly freestyle project. Kool Out sat down with Instro to get some of his insights into the game:
How did you start off in music production?
It started in high school. We would cypher during break time, exchange CDs and tapes of new beats and whenever the opportunity allowed, we’d go to Hip Hop events. My dad soon after bought us a computer and I started searching for software to use for it. Amongst the software I got was Fruity Loops. I then started making beats and eventually started a bedroom studio, and the rest was history.
Did you originally wanna be a rapper? Can we send someone to the Vaal to uncover some lost recordings of you rhyming?
Lol! You won’t have to search for too long to find recordings of me spitting raps. I was nice with it! But I didn’t really want to be a rapper. I am fortunate that from inception, I’ve always been surrounded by the best lyricists in SA. I felt like it would be beneficial for everyone that I concentrate on production. For the most part, it worked.
Production is a heavily saturated field with lots of guys trying to get in the game. How did you get your first break?
It was a case of being at the right place at the right time. Ever since I started making music, I always wanted to work for Outrageous Records. I would submit music to them regularly and Miss Nthabi took notice. She called me and asked me for music for an EP she was working on called “From The Streets To The Lab.” I got to produce a song called “Breathe” and from then on I was considered an Outrageous Records affiliate. A year later I started officially working for them.
What was your biggest mistake that you can look back on and advise the youngsters in the game coming up to avoid?
Make sure that there is a balance between your hunger and your worth as a young artist. Be realistic. Speak to the greats, educate yourself about the music business. SAVE YOUR MONEY.
What song that you produced or worked on are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of Reason’s 1st album “The Reasoning.” It was our first official release. We did everything by ourselves. Very proud of that.
You’ve been in the game for years. How has the landscape of Hip Hop changed within the last year?
The thing that stands out for me is not so much the music itself. Very few are pioneering and experimenting with new sounds. What has stood out for me in the past year is how much money is being made. So much! I’m inspired by it.
Which artist were you most excited to hear you would be working with?
I’ve had the privilege to work with Tumi and the Volume (Tumi and Tiago) on a couple of projects. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to work with anyone above those 2.
Who is the hottest local producer in the game right now?
In addition to producing much of Reason’s work, you also go on the road with him as his Vocal F/X Engineer. Can you tell us a bit about your experiences?
It’s been life changing. It’s allowed me the opportunity to create music and see it right through to it’s finality when it is being performed. A lot of times when I see Reason perform, I think back to all the late nights at the studio, the different ideas that have flown around and say, “we did it!” It’s overwhelming.
Rumor has it that there is some incriminating video footage of you in Europe. Do you care to comment and if this footage exists, when can your fans expect you to release it?
Hahahahaha!! They can find the footage on www.itsnotgoingtohappen.org
What are your plans for 2015?
More business aspirations and more music. I keep having dreams of getting married, but we’ll see.