Posted May 2, 2019, 8:58 a.m.
Sikwitit is a Dove Nominated producer from Dallas TX, who has produced for major recording artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Dave East, Snow Tha Product and many more. He is an award-winning Reason producer with over 125 million views on YouTube, and with Snow Tha Product's latest single "Bilingüe", the numbers keep on rising. We had the chance to talk with Sikwitit about how it all started and how he uses Reason to produce his beats.
How did you start out making music? How did it all begin?
My father makes music. Growing up watching him on tv, or at his shows made me want to do music. I would go to his shows and sit right next to the drummer as he played and I would just watch and mimic his every move to the beat with my own set of air drums. My dad would let me play the shakers or tambourine on stage with him and I was just in awe of the whole idea. Early on I would stay with him on the weekends and I would pick up one of the many keyboards he had around the house and I would try and recreate songs I would hear on the radio. Around the same time I got in band at school and was in the percussion section.
Tell us a bit about your collaboration with Snow. How did you meet and how did you end up creating massive hits together?
I first met Snow in 2014. I won an international producer competition via iStandard, and the prize was getting to work with a major artist in the studio. She was signed to Atlantic at the time and they flew me out to LA and we vibed out at Atlantic studios in Hollywood and created our first record called "Got Me This Far". Fast forward.... we have continued to work over the years and our recent collaboration happened pretty quickly and spontaneously. We communicate a lot via Instagram and she hit me at the end of February asking for some new beats cause she was feeling creative after going independent. She told me she was ready to start releasing everything and just "Go Off". So I started sending beats.
"if she posts it on IG, she ends up releasing it so I knew we had one. "
That first folder I sent had what we now know as "Bilingue". The original beat was called "Bags" and she wrote to it and posted a snippet on IG and I was hype cause her usual M.O. is if she posts it on IG, she ends up releasing it so I knew we had one. Then of course she hit me up and told me it was a go. It's doing really well. It was ranked #6 on the iTunes Latin charts, it's almost at two million views on YouTube and Snow graced the cover of the 'Tremendo Flow' playlist on Tidal and our song "Bilingüe" is #1 on the list. It has really good traction right now.
How do you know when a song is done? When is it time to stop producing?
Lol, its never done! I always wanna add and change stuff as my mood changes. I go back to beats often to change and rearrange stuff, to add or take away stuff, but at some point you just have to make the decision to be okay with it being in a good enough place for the artist to do their thing because at the end of the day, they decide when it's ready for the world to hear.
When you load up a brand new Reason song, what’s the very first thing you do?
The first thing I do is bow my head with my hand raised high and I pray to the Beat Gods that my creative juices flow like roaring river rapids and that the Drip Gods bless my fingers to cook the perfect beat with just the right amount of sauce! Then I open up Radical Keys and crest a melody.
"It creates a whole new vibe to sounds and allows you to create out of the box"
If you could name one thing, what's your favorite part of Reason?
This is a tough one cause I love so many things about Reason. If I can only choose one, it has to be Audiomatic because it gives that perfect retro touch to new sounds. It creates a whole new vibe to sounds and allows you to create out of the box.
How do you get started with a new song? What sparks your creativity?
Different things spark my creativity. There's not just one way I approach a new song. If I had a set formula every time, I'd feel boxed in and redundant. I don't like creative parameters so I let everything inspire me. It could be listening to older 70s and 80s music, thumbing through a sound pack from one of my producer homies, playing with and creating random sounds, watching dance vids or beat making vids on youtube, going to my sister's cabin in the country, going to the club, going to a beat battle. It just depends, but not really, if that makes sense.
What do you do when inspiration just isn't there? How do you tackle writer’s block?
I don't believe in Beat Block. I find other ways to stay inspired by going back to old unfinished beats, sound designing new loops for either future sound packs or my future beats idea folder. I listen to and study all multiple genres of music, I collab with others, I listen to other producer homies beats, and I do graphics and videography to channel my talents in other ways as a break.
Do you have any special Reason production trick that you always use?
I do... I normally don't share them but I'll make an exception for my Propellerhead family lol. I use NN-XT for my 808s and I turn the Pitch Bend Range up or down to create a wider 808 bend or glide. I also created a Reason Project template I use for every session that has all my favorite FX racks, Redrum with all 10 channels separated in the main mixer for individual control and "Blocks" already labeled (intro, verse, prehook, hook, bridge, outro) and color coded in the sequencer ready to be placed properly while I’m structuring each song. It makes my process easier and work flow faster.
The three most used devices in your Reason rack?
What's the best music making tip you ever got?
Create with your soul. Thats it...need i say more. I think that's pretty self-explanatory.
What are your tips for new producers wanting to start out making music?
I could go all super-technical on them and say stuff about sonics, FX and elements of a composition but I'll keep it simple. Two things: be original, it's the best quality you have about you and your style and learn the music business.
Name three of your favorite artists or producers!
- Andre 3000
- Kanye West
- No I.D.