Chances are, if you watch the credits of the greatest songs in Drake’s career, Boi-1da’s name will be there. The multi-platinum producer has been with the rapper for over 15 years and knows what sacrifices it takes to make classics.
“That night I think all my friends were going out while I was working on ‘God’s Plan.’ I added a drum track and bass. I was considering going out but fought to stay in the studio, ”Boi-1da told REVOLT.
In this episode of “Studio Sessions,” the Grammy-winning producer explains how he and Drake are making their successes, how NFTs are starting a producer revolution, and the new music he hopes to someday release. Read the chat below!
What was the first studio session where you felt like you were successful?
The first was when I finally got into the studio with Saukrates, a legendary Canadian artist, and Kardinal Official. Kardinal was the first rapper to leave Toronto to join the American public. I was probably 17 when I was in the studio for the first time with Kardinal. I think Drake and I were in there. It was probably in 2007.
You produced a few records for Kardinal Official at that time. Do these come from this first session?
This first session was before I worked with him. I don’t think I have to play anything. It was more of a meeting. Afterwards, we bonded. I remember telling him on a podcast that I was coming to his house using that broken Acer laptop, and played all those records to him that he ended up taking for his album like “Set It Off”, “Gimme Some” and “Lighters”. “
Who is the first artist that you really collaborated with in the studio?
The first artist I really worked with was definitely Drake. We met when we were 17. I remember the first day I met him. We made one of the craziest records we ever made at the time. We made this record called “Do What You Do”. He was the first artist with whom I felt like I had chemistry.
What does a typical session with you and Drake look like? I guess there are 40.
40 is there sometimes. Usually 40 and Drake do their thing and I’m gonna stop them. With me I can get stuff out and Drake will pick something or he will have something he wants me to work on. I can also just vibrate and play a few beats. The process is different each time. We don’t get a lot of pictures of ourselves in the studio because I don’t really take out a lot of phones and cameras in the studio. We’re just getting there. There is no sense in this.
What notable suggestion did you make on a Drake record?
I’ll do this with other artists, but I trust Drake so much, I don’t suggest anything to him because he already knows what to do. He has a long history of killing everything, so when it comes to a guy like that, you just give him what he needs and it’s over from there. It’s a machine.
Next month is the 10th anniversary of Take care. You produced “headlines”. Is there Take care-the songs of the time that you made that never came out?
Yes. At that time, we had a lot of records that we made together. I did the first single, but that same year I had a kid and had a lot to do. I wasn’t there much, that’s why I only have one song on the album. I ended up doing a very important song. Sometimes life has to slow you down a bit. I mainly took care of my child. For the next album, I was very present and everywhere.
You recently tweeted that you are working on your own project. What’s up with this?
I’m working on a series of compilation albums with some of your favorite artists. This is the most information I can give you. It’s gonna be really crazy. There will be a lot of collaborations, cool ideas and great beats. I’ve been working on it slowly, but I’m about to take it all the way.
Are there any older songs that will be on these compilations?
I’ve got stuff from a year ago that’s going to be over there. But, I just want to perfect everything and then turn it off. He’s going to have collaborations that you wouldn’t expect.
You are also helping the next generation of producers through Bacardi’s Music unleashes the Music program by helping them create an NFT mixtape. Have you worked with the producers?
The purpose of this mixtape is to shine the spotlight on female producers in the industry. Often, women producers are eclipsed. This movement that Bacardi started means a lot to me. I just coached them and listened to what they were doing to give them feedback. I did not produce anything directly. The music for the three producers – Bambii, Denise De’ion and PERFXN – comes from some really crazy producers. I sat with them and just listened to the music. NFTs also allow fans to be a part of the music and share royalties with producers. It’s dope.
TVNs allow the creator to be permanently paid for his work. On this subject, how revolutionary is it for producers?
It’s very revolutionary for producers. I am grateful to Bacardi for putting this in place because it is a game changer for producers. We’re always in the background, so we don’t always have that much visibility. NFTs change the narrative.
What do you need in the studio to make your best music?
All I need are good speakers and subwoofers. Anything can happen in the studio and I won’t mind. I am focused on the laser. Funny story, I remember going to the studio for the first time when I was 40 years old while I was still using that old broken computer on which I had done “Best I Ever Had”, “Forever”, “Not Afraid “and so many other hit records. The first time I went to the studio with 40, I plugged in my computer and he said, “Yo, your computer is buzzing. Can’t you hear it? In fact, I didn’t hear him until he showed it to me. This is how focused I am on the music.
What is the most starred session you’ve been to?
I was in the studio once with Timbaland, Drake and Puff Daddy at the same time. It was a crazy shoot. I was also in the studio with Dr Dre years ago. I was super happy. Dre is my idol. I was in the studio shivering because I was in the same neighborhood.
How has the pandemic affected the way you make music in 2020?
I love collaborating with other producers and haven’t been able to go to LA – or America in general – for a while. At first, the pandemic killed the mood to the point that I no longer wanted to make music. After a while I was able to travel again and go to America to see my people. I don’t like working at home because you are too comfortable there.
Who was the first artist you were with in the studio?
Other than Drake, I arrived on A $ AP Rocky. We did some cool stuff.
You said before that “God’s plan” was made the same night you did “diplomatic immunity”. What happened during this session?
I think I was at Nightbird Studios LA. This studio has magic in it. That night, I think all of my friends were going out while I was working on “God’s plan.” I added a drum track and bass. I was considering going out, but struggled to stay in the studio. I took those two off and got up from there.
How did you end up on Kanye West’s “Ok, Ok”?
It’s an idea I made with Vory a little while ago. Kanye and Vory developed it a bit more and finished the song. I was pretty common with Kanye. Obviously, things happened between Kanye and Drake. But, at the time, they were cool and the song was made a while back. Kanye put out a bunch of rhythm stuff. That’s why it sounds rudimentary, but it still sounds good.
What is the new song that you would like to see one day?
During my battle for Verzuz, I previewed a song with Drake and Roddy Ricch. It’s pretty hard. I would like the song to come out, but it’s out of my control.
What awaits you for the rest of the year and 2022?
I can’t spoil any of the surprises, but there is a lot of fire. It’s been a great year for me musically and creatively. I feel like I’ve made the best music of my life this year.
I hope that one of these collaborations will be with Kendrick Lamar because “Blacker The Berry” is one of my favorite beats from you.
I can’t say much about it. But, stay tuned.