Mad Skrews is a Miami Beach producer with more metal in his face than Kanye West, hence the name.
And in the four years since Crossfade last caught up with him, he has continued landing placements on albums from the likes of Funkmaster Flex, Trina, and Ky-Mani Marley.
Now the Colombian studio wizard is releasing 100 beats in 100 days for his "Centennial Project," and giving the tracks away to inspire others through music. Here's what Mad Skrews has to say about business, bundas, and a 2,000-watt smile.
See also: Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Rapper
Crossfade: Introduce yourself to the people out there.
Mad Skrews: Hello, how are you?! Thanks for reading. My name is Andy Diaz and I'm a music producer from Miami Beach that also goes by the name Mad Skrews.
People ask me, "Why Mad Skrews?" Reason for the name is that when I was in the Marine Corps, I had to get maxillofacial surgery for a defect I was born with. After seven hours of surgery, I came out with 17 screws, three plates, and a wire all in my face and during my healing time, while my mouth was wired shut, I said to myself, "Damn, I got mad screws in my face."
People think the word "Mad" is, like, for mad scientist or angry, but the word "mad" is slang for quantity of something, like Mad Cool, Mad Money, or Mad Decent. So, I'm even more screwed up than Kanye West. (You know, "through the wire.") LMFAO! And it was at that moment that I decided to use it as my producer name, because it was as different as my music is, with enough edginess so that people would remember it while still remaining true to myself.
What are the biggest songs you've done?
It's hard to say, some have relatively been successful commercially and some others have been more successful virally. For instance, there was a Trina record I produced called "Rest of Them," which was later labeled a Lil Wayne diss and that did over five-million views on YouTube alone. Or the Kelly Rowland, Beyonce, and Michelle Williams remix of "You've Changed," which did 25,000 views on YouTube in one month. Also, the Lil Wayne and Jae Millz record on the Funk Master Flex mixtape of the year, Who You Mad At? Me or Yourself, which was called "Buy This, Buy That," which was recognized to be downloaded a few million times around the world. But my best music is yet to be released. For updates, check YouTube and search "Mad Skrews."
Who are some artists you have produced for or are working with?
Lil Wayne, KJ (who is the best rapper alive), Ky-Mani Marley, Gucci Mane, Jae Millz, Trina, Jagged Edge, Maffio, Mike Beatz, LMS, Selena Serrano, and many others. I have some new remixes featuring Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, and Justin Timberlake, along with a few more artists on Billboard's Hot 100 coming soon to my YouTube channel!
I'm currently working with the hottest R&B group on YouTube, Ahmir. They are the number-one R&B group online with 70-million-plus views and I'm definitely excited to be working with them again. They are incredibly talented to the point people associate them as being the next Boyz II Men.
I've also been working with Ky-Mani Marley for his next album, The Evolution of a Revolution, as well as his son's latest mixtape, Konfrontation Muzik Presents, KJ - First Blood. Shoutout to the whole Konfrontation Muzik Camp, the talent on their roster is unmatched by their passion to create timeless music, shoutout to Ky-Mani's band, J Vibe, their killer drummer, the beast on the bass, and the young Hendrix on the lead guitar, they deliver music on another platform and are all masters at their craft.
And last but not least, shoutout to the good folks at SpanGlish Global.
What is the Skrews Centennials project?
It started as a random idea to want to put out more of my music to the listeners, but it took off August 7, 2013. I wanted to do something that had never been done before so I went with the Centennials idea and decided to drop 100 bangers in 100 days. That type of consistency is basically non-existent online, so I decided to be the first to attempt an online viral mixtape, really a beat tape, by giving my listeners something new everyday, for 100 days!
Since the start, I've had so many people tell me how inspiring my efforts have been to them and that really makes things worth my time and effort when other producers and artists are inspired by a fellow musician. This is my first attempt at this type of daily release, and if things go well, there will be a Skrews Centennials, Vol. 2 to follow suit, with another 100 batch of bangers for artists to listen, write, sing, rap, and feel inspired so that they may create music of their own using my influence. To check it out, visit me on SoundCloud: Mad Skrews Makes Bangers.
Why give away something with so much value?
I believe in the power of giving. This collection of beats is a collection of music I've made throughout the years, and if I don't share it, it's just going to collect dust sitting in my hard drive. People have praised much of my older stuff in the past, and as far as I'm concerned, if they've never heard it, it's new to them! I might as well share it, if people want snippets for promotional use, all they have to do is send me a message on SoundCloud and I'll do my best to send the beats to them. On the Skrews Centennials mixtape, I'm trying to remain experimental while creating varied vibes such as Hot 100, hip-hop, rap, house, pop, dance, world Latin, folk, moombahton, reggae, dubstep, and a few other genres, but those are the ones I produce with most confidence.
My professional work is always custom-made for my clients and they usually are the most gratifying simply because I make for them exactly what they want while making it using all of the experience I have collected over the 20,000-plus hours I've been producing music. In turn, I aim higher to make sure they get what they want or better.
Any business advice for producers and beat makers coming up?
I could write a book about this subject alone with everything and everyone I've been through in the music industry. In Spanish, there is a saying, "Perder, no es perder, por conocer." I believe that experience is made up of giving in many ways, but as the laws of the universe work, it makes sense for me to give constantly. It is always a win/win situation, even if at first you get less than what you bargained for, you will get more than you ever could have, knowing what you will learn from giving first.
Secondly, the purpose is to serve your Dharma, forget the Grammy, forget the accolades, forget it all, because when you get it, it won't mean shit. You'll just end up pouring liquor into your Grammy like Drake did and it won't bring you any closer to feeling satisfied. If it happens, let it be because you made a hell of a record with great people around you, all having fun and wanting simply to make great music. Not for anything else other than hearing the master and enjoying those four minutes, over and over again, smiling from ear to ear, jamming to that shit at 2,000 watts at the studio. That's the moment that matters. The happiest moments in this music is when you´re actually creating, writing with your friends, rapping, singing, and going through the process of making the music.
And lastly, don't ever stop being creative. Constantly borrow influences, but make it your own. If you have a passion for this music, don't ever stop making creative music. You should always create music using these four words as criteria: "Filthy.Undeniably.Kreative.Music."
What gear and programs do you use to compose your work?
FL Studio, a computer, Midi keyboard. That's it! Nowadays, like the saying goes, "It's not the car, it's the driver." Or it can best be described by a quote I heard Jim Jonsin say once, "Be brilliant with the basics."
Do you think that there is a "Miami sound"?
I mean, twerk is just a knock-off from booty music. Don't you see Miley Cyrus booty dancing but calling it "twerk." Miami trend sets many of today's most talked about rhythms. The Miami sound is whatever is playing at the parties in clubs in NYC, L.A., and even in South America. Even in Brazil, girls are smacking the shit out of dudes faces with their bundas and if you break down the influence in music, it has booty music all over it. I mean, shit, they took booty to the face, literally and started smashing dudes face with it! Shoutout to all the Brazilian girls who are "batting the bundas."
I use to love being behind a girl with a fatty to some Uncle Luke shit, going at it. Good ol' days!
Where in the world are your right now? And what are you doin' out there?
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I'm in Colombia, getting back to basics with my roots, learning new music, exploring new sounds, and focusing my efforts on hitting Billboard Hot 100.
Any shout outs or a message to the people or anything else you want to say?
Shout out to everyone who took the time to read this article. Thank you. I also want to let people know, not for nothing, but I'm telling you now, Ky-Mani Marley's next album is timeless, whether my songs are in it or not. It's so rich in sound and the music is crafted so beautifully composed, from the concepts to the musical pieces, with a message very reminiscent of his father. It will leave you in a way music hardly does in today´s day and age, anxious to replay over and over again. As soon as you hear it's being released, go get it, you wont regret it! Watch out for Maffio's next album, Mi Sonido, coming from SpanGlish Global. He's definitely very talented and people should keep an ear out for what's to come from him. And lastly, look me up from time to time to see who I'm working with next, what I'm doing and what's the latest from ya boy, Mad Skrews. Peace, love, light, and respect!