One18 is a producer from Ohio has honed his skills over the last few years teaming up with all kinds of artists across all genres of music. He recently released his debut album “The Ohio Bio” which features artists from Ohio. I sat down with the hip-hop artist to really introduce him to you guys.
Dead End Hip Hop: Where did your love for hip-hop begin?
One18: My brother played me a cassette of ATLiens by Outkast and the South definitely had something to say. That record spoke to me. The soundscape under the clever vocals is funky, crisp, soulful, and inventive. It was the out of the box record that no one was making at the time. Listen to “Mainstream” off the record and tell me that doesn’t speak to your soul.
D: What equipment do you use to make beats?
O: Akai XR-20, Novation Launchpad, M-Audio Keyrig 25, Numark Mixtrack Pro, Macbook Pro, Logic X.
D: Name a couple artists who inspire your sound and why.
Outkast – Funky and Gospel rooted, there’s always a message in the songs, if not just in the music alone.
Kanye West – Sampler Guru with a knack for creating drastically different soundscapes. He always challenges the norm in hip-hop and hip-pop music.
T-Pain (as a producer) – T-Pain isn’t just an artist who made autotune into the biggest commercial success it’s ever seen, he produces most of his songs. He makes signature sounds. The keyboard/drum combos he has are some of the best in the business, and that’s no wonder why he is sitting on a couple of Grammys.
D: Now I’ve known you for a minute and ever since you stepped into music, you’ve been about representing Ohio. Where does the Ohio Bio fit into that?
O: The Ohio Bio is a culmination of projects that I’ve worked on for the past 4 years with many different artists from Ohio. From the funk band Sassafraz, to the alternative rock band They’re Coming They’re Coming, to the rapper Arjay. Having a chance to record and produce different genres of music has helped me identify what resonates with the listener the most. The track “Don’t Listen” is the earliest song that I produced for the album and dates back to 2012 when I was an Audio Production major at Ohio University.
D: Being a producer while not imperative having vocals from other artists is big on presenting your sound. How important are collabs?
O: Collaborations are fun. It gives me a chance to reach a larger audience and it gives people insight to artists that I vibe with. The artists you hear featured on the records are the people that I have a lot of respect for within the music community and the people that I think need to get the recognition they deserve. I work with artists that have similar ideologies and attitudes to mine.
D: Now let’s talk about that, because it’s one thing to mesh genres and obviously producers have done it before but why is that key to the music that you make?
O: Inspiration is big when you’re producing. People inspire me, so I like to experience what other people like to make. And who knows… If I’ve recorded for a funk band, maybe I’ll know how to properly record and mix a saxophone for a future hip-hop track.
D: You’ve mentioned that you’ve collabed with a lot of artists over the years, how did you link those up?
O: Support your local music scene. I went to a bunch of shows. Athens, Columbus, Cleveland. Not only do you get to see what’s being created in your city, but also you just may punch your ticket to work on a project or two with the artists.
D: We live in an era where everyone wants to be an artist, what are some tips that you would give other upcoming producers?
O: Find 3 artists in the genre you want to work in and record them. Pick 1 of the artists that has the most talent and the most drive. Get them in the studio, send them paypals, send them beats, get them to work, produce the music, and be a friend.
And hell, if the other two artists are feeling the music you created… Bring them aboard.
D: When people are done listening to “The Ohio Bio” what do you want them to take from it?
O: Honestly, I want them to hear that Zyna B can sing and Arjay & TKL can rap. I made the beats for me and I made the album for them. The fact that I was able to coordinate recording sessions and work with such talented artists is a blessing.
D: You’ve dropped your debut album, you had a banging release party for it, what’s next?
O: I know we’ve got a hot record here. The live performances at the album release party were great, and the chemistry between Arjay & TKL was astounding.
A few local rappers heard the album and have reached out to me about working together. I’m open to working with talented new artists, but right now I’m relishing in this moment and doing my best to get the word out about The Ohio Bio.
Don’t sleep on Arjay.
“Welcome To The Buckeye State We Call Ohio”
Author’s Note: You can cop One18’s “The Ohio Bio” HERE. Be on the lookout for more interviews in the future as this will be a recurring series. Make sure to follow @DeadEndHipHop on Twitter and you can follow me @BigSto on Twitter too.