In this social media-driven age, it isn't rare for a producer's face to be all over your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram feed as tracks flow out by the dozens every day, feeding that need for the epic drop. But not Miami's Nuri.
Aside from his profile picture on Twitter, the producer's face is rarely seen. The epic drop? There is none. But that hasn't stopped rappers from seeking his ear when their mixtapes need that much needed "trap" track. And with the amount of attention that his work has garnered over the last year, one would think a question about being such a sought-out producer would garner a response expressing some triumph. But it didn't.
"It feels good I guess," he says. "I'm glad everybody fucks with me. I'm fortunate to work with all these talented dudes, and it feels good."
Nik SB vibin' out to Nuri's beats.
Recently, Nuri took some time to speak with Crossfade about the challenges of being a new favorite, working on multiple projects, and when his instrumental EP will be released.
What's been the most challenging thing for you so far with everyone trying to work with you?
Nuri: Just the work itself is a challenge. Because everyone is so different and I try to make sure that when I make something that it's for that specific person. Being able to work with all these different people. It's a challenge. I make stuff on the spot. I make music with the people. I mean, I do sometimes make the beats, then shop them out to everybody and see who likes what. But most of the time I'm there with the person, making it. I like to actually produce the artists and make sure we've made something that we're both happy with.
Do you try making a beat for an act that may not be in their comfort zone, but feel they'll sound good on it?
I feel like I naturally tend to do that, seeing that I always add my own flavor to something, and I always want to come from left field of things. So yeah, I always try to push people to be different or to experiment. I experiment a lot. A lot of these guys that I work with, we have so many songs that we've never even cared to put out, because it's just experimenting and trying different stuff.
You used to be in band when you attended University of Florida.
Actually, when I was at UF, I played drums for a neo-soul band, and we would do songs with VURN and stuff as well. We would preform in Gainesville. But I was in a punk hardcore band in high school and in middle school as well.
You produced all of Nik SB's Reparations, so how much investment in time does it take with one act for an entire project?
It takes a lot. With Nik we've always worked on music since we've known each other, which has been since maybe 2008 or 2007. We've always made music, and this project came after getting a cohesive sound and track.
To me, Nik probably has two other whole projects. But that was us just finding out ourselves as musicians and figuring out what we can do and what we can't do. Even some of the songs are over a year old on Reparations. Or there's been something that we've been working on and then towards the end it came together relatively quickly, especially since we found out what we wanted to do with Nik and what his style was and what he wanted to go for and what I was able to bring to the table.
Even with Robb, it was kind of the same thing. We just started making music and getting together until, all of a sudden, we had a certain style. And even with what you were saying earlier about pushing somebody to do something and how I said it happened naturally, it was the same way for T/H/A City. We had started working on Year of the Savage. But for T/H/A City, he was just like, "I just want to make a quick little trap mixtape because that's how I'm feeling right now." And it was only supposed to ten songs, all kind of trap beats or whatever. And that's usually what I do, just straight, traditional trap song. And we just naturally did something different.
It takes a while to figure out what we're going for and what we're going to do. We keep planning out until you get the hang of it and then finish it off.
There may be a tendency to continue when you're in a creative zone, like when you're supposed to be working on Year Of The Savage and then you go to T/H/A City. When is it time to break out of that roll to put out the music? Or do you leave that to the artist?
It depends. With both of those projects we set deadlines first off, which is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. With T/H/A City, we almost had to find where we were like we don't want to just force stuff because we said October 1. Way before we even had half the project ready, we already set a release date. And he was like, "I can't stray away from that. People will hate me." He feels a lot of pressure from his fans. It was a blessing because we probably wouldn't have done a lot of those songs in the last minute that we did like "Scrub the Ground" and the intro, which ended up being a lot of people's favorite songs. If we didn't have that pressure, maybe the songs wouldn't have gotten done the way they did. The same with Nik.
See also: Robb Bank$ Drops New Mixtape, T/H/A City: "People Aren't Going to Get It"
Where do other artists' tracks fall in line when you're invested in one artist's project?
I try to always make sure that I'm working on everything at the same time. There will be a point where the focus will be in on something, but for the most part, I was always working on a bunch of things at the same time. Even throughout this whole time, me and B.Way have a project that's basically done. We have something like ten songs, and we've been waiting on it because B.Way has put out a lot of music.
I try and just work on a lot of things at the same time. I just did Austin Paul's project. I had done a whole project with him during the time I was doing Reparations and doing T/H/A City and doing tracks with B.Way and doing tracks with VURN and other people like J. NICS, other people on the scene and stuff.
See also: B.Way Talks Passion Fruit Love Sessions, Girls, Relationships: "The Mind Games Are Wack"
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When is your instrumental EP dropping?
I'm not sure yet. I have it done, basically. I actually spent this week pressing it up. I added a song to the track listing, and I'm just trying to strategize it a little bit better and possibly release it with an independent record label or distribution with somebody. So I'm in the works of figuring that out. In the meantime, I just dropped that bonus track. I'm going to drop the first video hopefully in the next few weeks.
Follow Lee Castro on Twitter: @LeeMCastro