Boyo Levity Interview
Underground Hip-Hop Producer Boyo Levity has been somewhat hidden in terms of discoverability and we're here to bring you all the information you'd want to know in this exclusive Music Mondays Interview. We discussed everything from roots, influences and much more with this one of a kind producer.
Jay: Who is Boyo Levity?
Boyo: I’m a Hip-Hop and trap producer, and sometimes dabble in the rock instrumental genre. I’m always open to work with other producers and artists on different genres. I was born and raised in cali and still here for some reason, even though I want to move out of it.
Jay: What drew you to producing?
Boyo: I’ve been attracted to music for as long as I can remember. The first instrument I played was the piano, and since then I’ve branched out to play the piano, and other virtual instruments. As far as producing at a young age I started watching some of the producers like Timbaland, Swiss Beats and Just Blaze (to name a few). I grew up with their sound and not really understanding how music like that was being made. So once fruity loops became a thing I must have been 10 or 12 when I dragged my first loop onto a DAW, and had absolutely no idea what to do with it. So continuously watching other famous or non famous producers work has helped me become inspired with new ideas for drums, basslines, and sample chops. Etc.
Jay: Who are some of your biggest influences?
Boyo: My biggest influences start in the rock and roll genre, one of my biggest influences is The Doors, particularly the keyboardist Ray Manzarek who single handedly inspired me to take up piano. His style is very akin to what producers do today, play the melody on the right hand and play the 808 on the left hand. Without him I don’t think I would have ever started producing. Then moving onto the rap genre I was inspired by the 2pac / Biggie beef, and I took a deep dive into everything that had to do with MPC producing and 90’s boom bap drums. It all starts to unravel there, the directions of influences were limitless.
Jay: What would you say are a couple of your top goals as a rising producer?
Boyo: To branch out but keep my same circle, and keep it tight. Shout out 7ce! To keep producing what is pure to me and not just what the main stream sound of the month is, and to hopefully not get desperate enough to fall into that category of producer. Some producers would say to drop more but in reality they should be dropping less.
Jay: How would you describe your unique style or sound as a producer?
Boyo: I would say my sound is very melodic, I love using pianos and guitars a lot, my process is not overly complicated. Usually if I’m not playing the piano/vst then I’m pulling samples from various sources and chopping them up, pitch shifting and quantizing. For drums I use Ultra Beat and map out one shots to my midi controller and record the drums. As for my 808’s I’ll use Sub lab and try making my own 808 from a sine wave (for ex.), and the add distortion and saturation. Vocal chops have changed a lot for me I’ve had cases where I won’t use them at all but some cases where a single vox chop can make the whole beat.
Jay: What favorite equipment or software do you typically use in your productions, and why?
Boyo: I use Logic almost exclusively on a Mac desktop, I also mess with logic on the iPad. I use a Scarlett 2i2 interface, KRK Rokit5 monitors, Novation Launch key midi board, Softube’s Console 1 mixing board, and the Behringer X touch fader. As for some of my favorite plugins I love mixing into an SSL Native channel strip. I use the Shadow Hills mastering compressor, pultec tube EQ’s on instruments. And anything that izotope makes is great, like ozone and nectar. Trash2 is my favorite distortion. Anything by softube is great, like the saturation knob and console 1 channel strip. Watching different engineers speak particularly well about the plugins I’ve mentioned have led me to them. Everybody’s experience can vary with plug ins, and using some of the stock plug ins will always be your best bet, that being said the logic stock compressor is unmatched.
Jay: Could you describe a project or collaboration that you found particularly challenging or rewarding?
Boyo: Probably anything I’ve done for Red Wizxrd, just kidding. I’ve always had a great time working with Red and his style can cover a wide range and is always evolving. So that always encourages me to think outside the box and do things I wouldn’t normally do in my production workflow. There are some projects with him I am very proud of working on with him, one being A Butterfly in Rio, which is probably my all time favorite song of ours. We a did a music video (which can be found on my YouTube channel) and a transitional song called The Weather in Chicago, which just makes the whole project that much more insane. Working with bADD Karmal for the past few years has been one of those things where it’s been a match made in heaven so to speak, half of the beats I make I just send to him and he just goes, or passes but most of the time he just goes. We probably have over 20 tracks together not including the archive, about 2 or 3 videos and so far making music with him has been the most memorable and rewarding experience I’ve had since I started releasing music.
Jay: Have you encountered any major obstacles or setbacks in your career, and if so, how did you overcome them?
Boyo: Besides life itself getting in the way, sometimes there isn’t anything we can do about the obstacles we face. I took a break for about 6 months, like right when I was really rollin and me and badd were in the middle of doing an album and I kinda just disappeared from social media for a bit. I just had to get my mind right and my new place situated becasue I had finally moved out with my girl and daughter. So the process to settle down and build the studio back up has gotten there slowest but surely.
Jay: How do you handle feedback or criticism on your music, and how does it impact your creative process?
Boyo: I don’t. Nah I do but I take it with a grain of salt. I don’t like when producers try to make comparisons or try to compare themselves in the same way, like to pros. Or even semi pro pro producers, all of us just need to stop hating on each other. I encourage building someone up instead of saying your drums are wack, or your esses are too sharp.
Jay: What advice would you give to aspiring hip hop producers who are just starting out?
Boyo: Watch all the videos, and then in a few months watch the same tutorials or speaking engagements again. When you first start out it will sound like all gibberish but when you watch them again a few months later it will all make sense, and you’ll develop your own workflow, hopefully. Also you’re going to make bad, not good music, just deal with it but you can’t quit, even if it takes years to get a placement just keep releasing and build a catalogue, trust me.
Follow Boyo Levity: www.instagram.com/boyo_levity/?hl=en
Written By Jayded: linktr.ee/jaydedofficial