The hard-hitting producer gets candid on his hip-hop influences and early beginnings.
Providing us with some old school hip-hop vibes on his fierce new single is producer icekream with “Termination”. Bringing together Prayah, Yinka Dis and Hue Hef, the producer rips into a raw New York-influenced trap beat, with hard-hitting bass lines and twinkling overlays. Tapping into the golden era of hip-hop with Staten Island’s Wu-Tang Clan in mind, the single sees the trio go bar for bar on the heavyweight production, with their contrasting vocals and lyricism setting them apart.
Opening up on the release, the producer revealed, “They’re all extremely talented and our studio session at IMI in NYC was a great memory for me. It was like throwing a bunch of ingredients in a pan and creating an east coast hip-hop gem. They had never heard the beat before, so it was all impromptu and ended up clicking seamlessly. I love working with them because you know you’re getting high quality.”
Known for his no-holds-barred energy productions, the producer has been letting lose this past year, serving up ferocious beats with the likes of Mo Sella and Yinka Diz. Marking this single as his fifth release this year, we caught up with the producer-turned-label head talking new talent, staying creative and upcoming projects.
Check out the single and interview below…
Hey icekream! How has this past year been for you? Do you think it has affected your creativity at all?
It’s been a challenging ride, but I’m grateful the worst is behind us. What it really did for me was increase my determination to get the job done.
In 2020, stillness is something we all experienced too much of. If that didn’t motivate you to go harder than ever and appreciate every single second we’re given on earth then maybe you should consider a different career choice.
You were born in London and raised in Paris, do you think growing up here inspired your sound?
Of course. I always tell people the single, best contribution to my ears – and overall love for music – was the exposure to the radio stations in Paris. Generation, Nova, Skyrock etc. The golden age of French Hip Hop, French House, Claude Challe, St Germain, Costes, Mylene Farmer – I could go on. I was blessed and so was anyone else who lived there during those days.
How did you first get into producing? What is your earliest memory?
A Malay friend of mine called Yaz that I used to skateboard with bought a couple of tickets to the 98′ DMC World Championship. Once I saw those DJs cutting up, I was in love. I ended up getting decks for my 13th birthday and pretty soon after, I found myself on Acid Pro messing about. A year later, my Mom played a key role in taking it a step further, she booked us a studio outside Paris (Nantes). I was 14 at the time and a couple of friends and I had started a rap group called The Intouchables. I particularly remember burning a CD with our 1st song and playing it in the car for the first time on the way back home, that was the moment everything changed. We felt invincible! We were addicted to that feeling and went back all the time.
You’ve just dropped your new single “Termination” with Prayah, Yinka and Hue Hef, what was it like working with them and why did you choose to work with them?
Working with them was magical – they’re all extremely talented and our studio session at IMI in NYC was a great memory for me because it was like throwing a bunch of ingredients in a pan and creating an East coast hip-hop gem. They had never heard the beat before, so it was all impromptu and ended up clicking seamlessly. I love working with them because you know what you’re getting – high quality.
You put the bones of the track together last year, why did you wait till now to release it?
Yinka wasn’t in the picture until a few months ago, so when he and I started working again, I knew I had to put these dope MC’s on a song together. Let’s not forget Hue Hef who turned the track into a straight-up anthem! We can thank Prayah for that great idea.
The song really fuses golden era hip hop with trap-inspired beats, why did you choose to go for this sound?
Believe it or not, I didn’t choose it as such, it just ended up being that way. When I produce, most of the time, I have no idea what it’ll sound like genre wise.
Being a label boss and constantly looking for talent, what do you look for in an artist?
I set up the label purely to control my masters, distribution channels, etc and to be as self-reliant as possible. Down the line that might change, but for now, it’s all about the Kream.
You cite people like Fatboy Slim and The Neptunes as your inspirations, what is it about them that inspire you?
Fatboy Slim is an icon in so many ways. His sampling game is unreal. He got me into Trip-Hop and I was also obsessed with his visuals. He was the complete package for me in terms of being a producer/DJ. The Neptunes… well they’re goats, and responsible for some of the most flavourful jams hip-hop ever had. I loved their beats, their involvement with Kelis, their drums and their signature. Most impressively they converted commercial, radio music to their music and their sound.
Who would you love to work with?
Bad Bunny, Cordae, Young Dolph, Freddie Gibbs, Nas, IAM and Jamiroquai.
What’s next for you in the coming months? What are you most excited for?
More releases, different genres – consistency is just as important as the music you put out. It’s not just about sound anymore, it’s about visuals that compliment the audio. Music videos are imperative to my growth.