As huge hip hop music fans and connoisseurs of beats it was a matter of time before we would link with OddKidOut. Fresh out of Philadelphia born and raised. Making music is where he spends most of his days. We got his new album 'Within' on repeat as we handcraft our new Summer Collection. We linked up with Butch Serianni to get a deeper look into his inspirations, creative process, favorite producers, goals, times he broke stereotypes and much more. This is one artist you should get to know as he is set to make some big things happen in 2016 and beyond. Read more...
What was your first piece of producing equipment?
My first piece of producing equipment was technically Logic Pro Express, which is like the starter version of Logic Pro X. My mom bought it for me on my birthday when I turned 14. The next piece of gear I acquired was my Native Instruments Maschine MK2. That was about a year later.
What producers inspire you?
My top favorite producers are J Dilla, Pharrell, 9th Wonder, Madlib, DJ Premier, Timbaland, Madlib, Pete Rock…I could keep going but I’m just going to stop there lol.
When did you know you wanted to make music?
This sounds super cliche, but my entire life. In my baby videos, the only thing to stop me from crying was when my parents would play music. I could only sleep if music was on while driving in the car, I was constantly dancing. My dad saw me air drumming in my car seat and he bought me my first drum set after that. It’s really been in me my entire life. It’s how I perceive my surroundings, how I execute my routines…I see ordinary things as rhythmic and melodic devices. Sounds weird, I know.
What inspired you to make this album?
The drive behind my EP was certain events in my life that pushed me into a different realm. Things like my dad almost passing away from cancer (multiple times) and my parents getting divorced, to losing a strong foundation of family all while still in high school really molded me into the person I am now. I don’t like to be a basket case, I know people go through much, much more than me. But personally, my experiences were building up inside of me and the best way to get them out was through music, and specifically the WITHIN EP. It was really cathartic for me to make this EP, instead of drowning my sorrows in drugs or acting out, I just locked myself in the studio and let the pain fade away.
How did you come up with the title for this album? #Inspirations
The EP was named WITHIN because it came from within me. My deepest emotions are in these songs, and the idea of being strong within and not having to rely on others is what keeps me afloat in the midst of the chaos in my life. I thought that it all fit well together, to have this EP be the representation of what is happening inside, or in other words, within me.
Who helped you make this album?
I produced all of the tracks on the EP, but I pulled support for vocals from some close friends and talented musicians. Ashley Leone sings on the second song, and her swooning vocals really captured the eerie emotion I wanted to convey. She’s been my homie for a couple years. GoGo Morrow and Bonic did their thing on the track “Amore”, and they did such a good job that it became the single of the EP. Working with them was really an honor as their track records are amazing, and they also just have great personalities and are fun to work with. Odyssey has also been my friend for years and we collaborate a lot. It was only a matter of time until we released something publicly and I was really excited about putting him on the EP, he really did his thing and closed the project out with a bang. My manager Kirkland Lynch helped out immensely with crafting the project, alongside with my stylist Muhammad Abdul-Hadi. My roommate and one of my best friends, Scott Solakian, also stayed up with me till 3 in the morning crafting the EP countless nights. He is the person I run all my music through because I trust his opinion more than anyone else’s.
Explain your process of making a beat
There really isn’t a set process for me. When I sit down, I don’t try to make something. I don’t go into a beat trying to create a certain sound or vibe because most of the time that just narrows your vision. What I work off of is emotion. If I’m feeling a certain way about something, I let myself loathe in that feeling, and then I start scrolling through sounds until I find something that speaks to me. It just feels organic to me to do it that way. I do, however, usually start with the melody and then build the drums, then the bass, and then add the extra layers afterwards. When I sample music, I just sit back and listen to songs all the way through (I usually read a book during listening), and then make mental notes as to where I want to chop the song. I read during because it allows me to hear the music differently than if I just sat there trying to analyze every little piece.
What is your favorite track? Why?
My favorite track on the EP is probably Amore. It resonated with me so much because it was one of those times where I was like, “Oh, I just made a song”. A lot of my music is hiphop, beat oriented, so I get excited when I break out of that mold sometimes. Of course that soulful vibe is always present, though.
What is your goal as a producer and artist in general?
My goal as a producer is to create music that speaks to people’s soul. Whether it makes them bob their head, smile, dance, etc, I want my music to be a safe haven. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people vibe to music; it’s sort of like a medicine in the way that it can cure your state of mind. Even if a teenager somewhere is stressed or depressed, I want them to listen to a sad song that I’ve created and find solace in it.
Have you ever broke a Stereotype someone had of you? Tell us about it
Hmm, I think I have definitely broken a few. My first experience was being in a room of very talented musicians when I was only 15 years old. It was a jam session in Philadelphia, and everyone there was 30+ years old. I watched tentatively as they all played, and eventually decided that I would head up and hop behind the drums. When I got behind it, I could see all their faces, thinking what the hell is this little kid gonna do. But when I started playing, everyone started looking at me like I was as old as them because I crushed it. So that just goes to show, don’t judge a book by its cover!
If you could have 3 artists on one of your beats who would they be?
Jeez, that is a tough one. Okay, I think I would have Anderson .Paak, Nas and Kendrick Lamar on the track. I would die and go to heaven twice if that happened.
What is your dream for 2016?
I want to get some really good placements, meaning that I would produce beats for high level artists. I want to work with the best in the game, and I know that is an ambitious statement, but I know I can get there.
Where can people find you? (social media, website, upcoming shows)
People can find me on any social media by simply searching @oddkidout. Twitter has an underscore (@oddkidout_) because some inactive jerk has the normal @oddkidout username taken. But I am most active on my Instagram page and that is where I post my live shows, new releases, etc. You can also find the WITHIN EP on all musical platforms (iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, etc).
What is some advice you would give to up and coming producers trying to be like you?
I would say don’t try to be like me. Just be yourself. If you try to emulate something or someone else, you will just fade away eventually. Aside from your own doubts, most of the time the uniqueness that we all embody is what draws people in the most. If you can get over the fear of doing what you truly love and think is cool, regardless of what is popular, you can really make some headway. If people are beginning to look at me as someone to look up to, I hope they realize that I’m still just a 20 year old kid who is making music that is true to who I am. And I’ve been scared shitless many times thinking that no one would rock with what I do because it’s different. So be you, that’s the most important thing. Be happy, be confident, be you.
LISTEN TO 'WITHIN' EP