Interview: Johnny Quid, Winner of The CAB Portal's First Beat Battle
For this exclusive interview, we connect with Dayton, OH based producer Johnny Quid, the winner of The CAB Portal’s first Beat Battle. Believe it or not, Johnny has only been making beats for three months, yet he pulled out the victory by submitting a very dope beat which sampled, Pete La Roca's "Bliss", a jazz tune from the 70s. During our Q&A with Johnny, we discuss his creative process for beat creation, his motivation to start producing, whether he has an EP or mixtape dropping this year and much more.
After reading our interview with Johnny Quid, be sure to follow him on Facebook and check out his every growing catalog of dope instrumental on Soundcloud.
Congratulations on winning the first CAB Portal Beat Battle. Walk us through your creative process for developing the beat.
Honestly, I don’t really give it much thought…I just try to keep things simple and free flowing. Making beats is one of the only times where I’m actually able to block out my current situations/surroundings and I just get lost in the creative mode or process. I often call it my time to meditate; it's been helping with my attitude and overall mood in general. Now if I go a couple of days without making something I get a little stir-crazy and anxious; its almost as if I start getting upset with myself for being lazy.
But more to you’re initial question, I usually start by digging and catching a loop. Once I find a groove that sounds good to the ear, I’ll add some drums and start building from that foundation.
What motivated you to start producing music and who are some producers who have inspired you?
I actually credit my brothers Derrick and Tim and my mom Renata for advising me to start working on music. After my numerous conversations with them, they could sense that I was starting to become a little depressed and down in the dumps. I’ve always been a creative person but have struggled with finding a satisfying outlet…initially I was more focused on film, whether it was creating screenplays, storyboards, or scripts and shooting original short films, etc. But honestly it was hard finding talent (e.g. actors & actresses) and working around people’s schedules since we were all in University at the time. So, it’s pretty dope that I can just hop on the laptop and fire up Adobe Audition or Cool Edit Pro and start laying ideas down.
As for influential producers: The RZA (#1) which was my 1st introduction into Hip-Hop. The Alchemist, Evidence, Madlib & Oh-No, Count Bass D, the late great J-Dilla, Large Professor, LES, Nottz, DJ Premier, Easy Mo Bee, Pete Rock, Grap Luva, Kev Brown and the whole Low Budget Crew, 9th Wonder, Chuck Strangers, Havoc, DJ Marley Marl, Buckwild and the whole D.I.T.C. crew, MoSS, The Beat Minerz, Q-Tip & Ali Shaheed Muhammed, Mannie Fresh, DOOM, Dibia$e, Jonwayne, and my homeboy SoberBaker. Just too name a few there’s a gang of dope producers out there who all do their thing and inspire me. Hopefully, in the near future I can link with them and get some study. Oh, and Bob James on the jazz tip; he’s the man in my opinion.
Do you have a mixtape or EP of your beats coming out this year?
I’m actually working with this talented singer/songwriter by the name of Dante Whitley who is based out of Virginia. He’s super dope and we actually are going to put together a joint EP project. And I’ll actually be piecing together my 1st official beat-tape (Unicorns Really Do Exist) here within the next month or so; with the help of this awesome MC and fellow producer by the name of Shades who is based out of the Dayton area as well.
Do you offer beats for artists outside of those you currently work with? If so, how can they get in touch with you?
I definitely do make beats for artists…but I honestly got to be feeling the music and vice versa. I just ask that they be patient with me as this is only going on my 3rd month of music production. So I’m still learning and extremely green. But if someone wants to reach out and link up, they can definitely send me a message on my SoundCloud page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What beat of yours would you say is your personal favorite? Why?
I feel like my best beat is the one I just made; without being too cliché, they are all like my children and I just wouldn’t feel comfortable picking out just one as my favorite. But please believe they are all fire and have what I like to refer to as that “feel good” vibe. I’m trying to craft beats that give people that head-nod and ill-face. And one day soon I’ll be among the above mentioned names hopefully inspiring the next generation of beatsmiths.
Also, I just wanted to say thanks to the whole staff at CAB Portal & Dopecausewesaid. They’ve been amazing in the level of support and encouragement they’ve provided me.