We are very excited to feature King Michael Coy as this weeks #SlaySpotlight. Coy is a visionary music producer based out of Minneapolis by way of Chicago. He has created production with a mixture of live instrumentation, synth, and samples for a wide variety of artists including H.E.R., Dr. Dre, Lauryn Hill, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Anderson .Paak, Bilal, Dangelo, Kendra Foster, KRS-One, Raekwon and more. He’s also created music for various video games, films, and television media outlets.
We got a chance to sit down with Coy and discuss his process and tips for up and coming producers!
You have worked with so many legendary artists, from Dr. Dre and Ms. Lauryn Hill to Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg, how did you get to this point?
I got there from just by building a foundation of how to be dope in every way possible when it comes to creation. Creating naturally and making grooves pretty much. After that, it’s taking it to the market place which changes very often so as a musician/producer… you want every customer. Networking is cool, but showing and proving through soundcloud, myspace, etc.
How do you approach producing/song-writing?
I approach music from a personality standpoint, meaning I make sure its as natural as possible. When you communicate its always good to be yourself, it’s the same with music… just let it flow… not over or underproducing. It’s very easy to overproduce, but I find making a simple solid idea will suffice. Also, I wanna whup your ass with the beat!
Where do you get inspiration?
Inspiration comes from funny stories, my memories, that causes me to create based on vibe. If you ever received music from me you will definitely know the vibe of how I made the song, based on the song name. Also, from archived music.. older music.. records… maybe a good meal as well. It can be from anything that makes me extremely happy, or even funny parts of movies.
How do you deal with writers-block?
What is that?
What are some tools that you use?
Basses from oddball basses, guitars from oddball basses, Drum sets, pianos, ocarinas, harps, autoharps, omnichords, synths. djembe’s, about 7 other instruments. Good rhythm, and some type of DAW to translate my thoughts to a printed file. I use inspiration as well, old records of course. etc
What’s your process for finalizing songs/demos?
Making sure the sounds are mixed right and that there is the right amounts of dynamics, eq and other helpful effects placed on my sound. Sometimes its making sure you don’t over or under produce.
How do you know when a song is done?
Sometimes a song is never done. But for the understanding that I want the audience to get, I’ll see how effective it is based on testing it out on the listener and that helps a lot. When that happens I’ll see how stuff in the song can be move to make the song more efficient.
What’s your favorite song that you’ve written?
I have a lot of favorite songs I’ve done, they are all different vibes, so that is still kinda hard for me to pick.
What’s a defining moment in your career thus far?
Definitely the singles I produced, working with a lot of my favorite artist I grew up on. One defining moment is definitely getting on an Aftermath release with Anderson .Paak songs I’ve produced. Also, being able to work with instrument companies and DAW companies who look for my input on how I can make my music more efficient from a creative standpoint.
Do you have any tips for upcoming singers, producers, and song-writers?
Just try everything creatively, try every DAW, try every instrument with regards to creation, and push the limits till there aren’t any limits. Don’t waste money. Be open to critique,
How do you stay focused and productive?
Having balance, create mini regimens for health, wealth, etc. Just wanting to get on every song, that causes you to study and make your sound collection like a restaurant that has every type of meal.
Who are some of your biggest influences and why?
So many like Curtis Mayfield he’s from Chicago and created his own sound with so much funk, Quincy Jones from Chicago and just the producer that is so dope and technical but funky too. Fela Kuti is super dope, all the drums he use in his pieces, but then how he’ll orchestrate the band along with a saxophone on him. James Brown, I don’t have to tell why he’s dope lol.
Patrice Rushen is so dope as well for her arrangements and piano ability. George Clinton is so dope, and he’s so organic with it… just how he manages to get back around to the 1 is crazy. I’m inspired by older music, old records, nice sounding guitars, instruments, etc. Bootsy, the way he plays bass is so dope and his production talent is so crazy. I can go all day.
What are you listening to right now?
I’m listening to everything from Fela Kuti, to Eddy Hazel. Even like sound bed stuff. I love sound. Chopin, Marley, (all of em), The Meters, etc.
How do you feel about the current state of music?
I love how music is now, because if I don’t want to hear the music on the radio, I don’t have to subscribe to that norm and I’m more able to create a custom palette of things which I think are dope, but can also inspire me to do something, but different from what was presented to me via listening.
Tell us about a time when you needed to change your production style to accommodate an artist.
I do this all the time, and I just make sure I don’t fall in love with a song for that reason. It’s about the song, and you have to allow the artist to be them, but you have to also be able to direct that energy fareal. I’ve done so many revisions of records to make the mix right or lyric/verse changes, like 100’s of them. I like that. Its a such thing to care about the song, and there is a way to do too much as well.
What do you do for fun when you aren’t working on music?
Music is fun, whether it’s going to guitar center or testing out old gear… maybe change all my strings to my axes. I also create VST plugins for fun.
What’s a crazy experience you’ve had in the industry or a writing session?
Being able to see your favorite songs be practiced after a session within the session… now, that is crazy. like listening to their music on the way to the studio and then after you produce them.. they may practice for a performance or tour and they practice that same song you may have listened to that day… man!
18. Who would you want to collaborate with that you haven’t already?
There are so many I would love to work with. The Drakes, Beyonces, Kendrick, country artists, Jazz artist, Pop Artists, I want to work in multiple genres and thats starting to come to fruition as we speak.
H.E.R. “21” I Used to Love HER
Little Brother “All In A DAY -MAY THE LORD WATCH
ANDERSON PAAK “HEADLOW”, “SMILE/PETTY” OXNARD
Lauryn Hill “Untitled :
BUSTA RHYMES “UNTITLED
PLUS MUCH MORE….
@kingmichaelcoy on all social media platforms
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