With a little help from his superstar friends, New York-based producer Alex Da Kid is recognised for his bass-kicking, sharp-snared, heavyweight productions which span genres from hip-hop to RnB, rock to pop and indie to electro. Having already won over some of the biggest, most talented and relevant artists in music, it won’t be long until he’s in high demand and Da Kid becomes a man.
‘I grew up in North London around lots of different types of music,’ Alex professes. ‘My dad used to play a lot of reggae but I don’t like to stick with one genre. I make grimey hip-hop stuff, pop stuff and rock stuff. I’m not influenced by one particular person. I made the move from London to New York almost a year ago because I wanted to be involved in all the big decisions and work with big budgets, and this is where it all happens.’
Having been in the game for years, Alex’s big break only came through this year when he got the opportunity to produce Young Money signee Nicki Minaj’s debut single Massive Attack feat Sean Garrett. With her quirky Barbie persona, the priceless asset of Lil Wayne’s super-collective has since gone on to be revered as one of the best female rappers of our generation.
Not one to sit on success, Alex was back in the studio in a flash with another trick up his production sleeve. With southern rapper B.o.B on a steady rise to fame and fresh from a record deal with T.I.’s Grand Hustle label, the London-raised producer saw potential for a great crossover single with Airplanes feat Hayley Williams of punk/rock band Paramore. With B.o.B’s alternative hip-hop style and Williams’ urban punk sound, the threesome sought to fuse the two styles bringing their fans together in the process. The result was a success; with a No 2 record on the US Billboard top 100, proving after B.o.B’s previous hit Nothin’ on You feat Bruno Mars, he’s far from a one-hit wonder.
‘That’s what I love to do,’ Alex says with enthusiasm. ‘I’m all about bringing different demographics together and doing things that have never been done before. No-one really expected the Hayley and B.o.B collab so it was like a big event. I definitely want to do more of that stuff. I’m really into rock bands like 30 Seconds to Mars and I’d love to do a track with them and Jay-Z. I’ve got a good team around me that keep me level headed. I don’t go out and socialise that much because the industry is super-competitive, so if you want to succeed you have to be working harder than everybody else.’
From this point, things only got better for the young engineer as multi-platinum-selling rapper Eminem was bowled over by Airplanes, especially when he realised that the song’s producer had been sending him beats all the while with no success. So determined to work with Alex Da Kid that even with his new album Recovery almost on the shelf, he made the call, requesting a beat for his second single. Two days later Love The Way You Lie feat Rihanna was born. With the sweet-voiced Bajan superstar completing her part of the song while on tour in Dublin, and Eminem joining Alex in the studio to finish the song in time for the album, things couldn’t have gone more smoothly.
‘I don’t wanna get pigeonholed into urban pop crossover,’ says Alex. ‘I want to work on everything. I have some plans to work with Clipse [the Virginia-based him-hop duo], a rock band called The Fray and a very talented guy called Rob Thomas. I’m into doing things on a worldwide scale so I would definitely consider working with a UK artist if we shared the same ambition and passion for music. Ultimately I want to take on every genre of music. It’s very ambitious but I wanna try.’
For more information visit www.myspace.com/alexdakidmusic
Interview by Lawrence Gichigi