For this installment of our interview series “A Pizz With…,” we got to have a chat with one of our favorite modern producers, trapphones. trapphones is no stranger to DatPizz, being a producer for a ton of our exclusives and just being one of the boys in general. In this interview we discuss his production process, the artists he works with, his career so far and much more. Give it a read to hear more about the industry of SoundCloud rap and a peak into major label deals. Let us know who else you’d like us to have a Pizz with. As always, keep it tuned to DatPizz for the latest and greatest of the underground.
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Who is trapphones?
trapphones is a producer from california that makes hard ass beats and loves bitches
How long have you been producing for and what made you get into it?
I been producing since I was 15 I’m 18 now so like 3 years but I didnt start taking it seriously until recently, I think I started producing mainly because the music I was listening to really inspired me and when I learned how beats were actually made I knew I wanted to create some hard shit
So who specifically were you listening to at the time that inspired you to go harder with your production?
Definitely at the start I was listening to alot of Waka Flocka and I really just loved the beats so I did my research on the producers and found out who Lex Luger was and I would just watch his cook up videos and then as time went on I got really into Chief Keef and Fredo Santana and a ton of other artists but I think Chief Keef forsure just inspired me to actually want to start producing especially because by that time my parents had bought a computer and I downloaded the trial version of Fl Studio to make drum patterns and then I would export it to iTunes to get around the limitations of the trial version of FL lol those were weird times
Dude that’s just dedication right there lmao. Alright man I gotta ask, how does it feel to be 18 years old, still in the beginning phases of your production career, with a song on what’s currently the #2 album in the country?
Bro it feels wild idk the feeling is pretty unreal like I’m proud of myself and and of course FBK thats my bro but to me I feel like I NEED to keep going hard because I love the feeling, I love gettting placements its just a rush of excitement and accomplishment. Everytime I check the views on the song I just feel like I proved so many people wrong and I love it, its kinda hard to explain tbh lmao
Let’s talk about that song specifically since i know a lot of people have been asking you about it. How did you originally link with FBK/when did you first begin collaborating?
Forsure, originally I linked with FBK. on twitter ofc, abit before we started collabing, we would DM back and forth and then in the beginning of summer around June is when we finally collabed and the beat that Lil Pump used was one of our first collabs and obviously my favorite one. I feel like when he and I collab it’s always a hit because we just make hard shit to simply put it
Did you guys tinker and go back and forth a lot when you were making that beat or was it something that, once you finished, you instantly knew was a hit?
Nah, when we made the beat we both just did our thing on it we didn’t talk about it during the process. I knew the beat was hard when I finished it I knew it had potential if we got it to the hands of the right rapper. I did get a Lil Pump vibe while making the beat but I honestly had no idea he would end up on it it was kinda one of those “what if” moments but I guess that’s what alot of it is because you just never know who’s gonna fuck with beat. It was a blessing too because when FBK told me we had a potential song with Pump I was so motivated to make more beats and then when the song finally came out I felt like I was gonna be motivated forever and I still am motivated I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon.
So you had known for a couple months that you might have a song with Pump. How did you feel when you heard that it was gonna be on the album? And when did you find out that Purpp was gonna be on the track as well?
When I heard it was gonna be on the album I knew it was gonna be a hit because of the hype for the album the craziest part was finding out it was the first track on the album I was jumping up and down out of excitement it was crazy. I honestly didn’t know purpp was on the song until a few days before it dropped and my heart was fuckin racing lol I was so happy that’s really as best as I can explain it was pure happiness
Was this your first interaction with a major record label? Most underground artists/people in general never get to see the business side of the music industry, can you talk a little bit about that part of the process?
Hell yeah, I feel a lot pressure from myself I feel like I have to make music work now I don’t wanna fail myself now. Yeah this was my first time ever dealing with a major record label, I don’t wanna talk about it to much but I always knew the music industry was shady it was the most anxiety I ever felt signing paperwork its really scary and before you go into any contract you NEED to get a lawyer. I didn’t have one so signing it was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do. It kinda makes me appreciate the underground more even though theres alot of shady shit going on in it as well.
Your most popular beat is a collab with FBK. Who else do you work with on the regular? Can we expect to see any new names in the near future?
I work with spellz alot we gotta lot of collabs in the vault, but other than that I don’t have anyone else I regularly collab with, I’m working sadbalmain more and a few others but my goals are probably to get a BigHead collab or a DPBeats collab they are both my biggest inspirations right now forsure
What about rappers? Are there any you work with regularly?
Forsure Nine Callisto we got ALOT of unreleased shit lol, the whole datpizz fam, young mane and them but i’m really jus tryna find more artists that have potential I wanna continue getting big placements but I also wanna be working with the whole underground because they are the future, theres alot of overlooked artists that I wanna work with. I have alot of ideas I should probably write them down or something idk
Yeah shout out Nine Callisto you guys got legit musical chemistry
Yeee thats my bro shoutout DatPizz for creating a huge network and opening opportunities for all of us
Obviously i gotta ask now, how did you first get involved with DatPizz?
My friend had sent me a link to the black kray discog, and I looked around the site and downloaded so much shit, I found the twitter and said I was gonna donate as soon as I get some money because I was really fuckin with what they were doing we needed a site that archived music, but I was able to donate beats instead so I sent a pack
(Some rare history)
You’re quite versatile in terms of the types of beats you’re able to create, from happy and upbeat to dark bangers. How would you describe your sound?
This is a hard question lmao I would describe my beats as melodic and ambient with hard ass drums that are distinct with a straight forward layout that isn’t hard for an artist to rap on I know probably everyone describes their beats like that but its hard to answer that because my beats represent my mood and idk how to describe my mood lol I just want people to feel the beats I make, I wanna spark an emotion when someone listens to my beats that has been my goal since I started idk if its working tho
Alright I gotta ask, how did you come up with the name trapphones? I’ve always been lowkey jealous that’s such a good producer name.
LMFAOOO Im glad this question came up actually i needa get some shit off my chest. I hate the name trapphones its corny and i cringe wen i say it idk why I jus dont like it lol but It was originally my tumblr name and I was tryna think of a producer name cus at the time I was making beats for fun and jus posting them on soundcloud and trapphones jus sounded cool at the time and I ran with it my soundcloud followers started going up and I was like well fuck im in too deep to change it now but it’s honestly whatever Im glad you like it thank you cus im real insecure about it lol It doesn’t even matter I can’t think of another name anyways. Don’t get me wrong though I like it but it’s a love hate thing you know lmao
Alright we like to end interviews with some technical questions that I like to ask producers.
What DAW do you use?
Fl Studio 12
Do you prefer coming up with melodies or drum patterns?
I come up with melodies first and then build my drums around it it just makes more sense to me
How much time (on average) do you spend creating a single beat? Or does this vary too much to give a specific number?
If I sit and focus on a beat it ranges from 1 maybe 2 hours but sometimes I’m a lazy shit so I start a few beats one day and finish them throughout the week I needa get back on my grind though It has been a wild month
What does the rest of 2017 have in store for trapphones?
I honestly don’t know bro I wanna do some big shit because so far October has been the biggest month of my life as far as music goes but forsure lookout for more trapphones x Nine Callisto and jus be ready for anything trapphones will take over 😈
Can I give a quick shoutout and shit? Shouout Chief Keef, Fredo and them RIP CAPO FREE MY UNCLE and also FUCK R/FL_STUDIO FOR BANNING ME!
this interview is a part of history wen the datpizz is a global conglomerate aand trapphones is a grammy nominated producer well look back and say damn we really did it 💞