Nicholas Warwar, professionally known as STREETRUNNER, is an American, Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum record producer from Miami, Florida who currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He began his music career as a DJ and gained recognition as a producer in 2004 with the Billboard charting hit single “Take Me Home” by Terror Squad. He has since become a major fixture as a high-profile hip-hop producer, working with artists such as Lil Wayne, Eminem, Fat Joe, Fabolous, The Game, Ludacris, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, Slaughterhouse, and DJ Khaled. In 2008, STREETRUNNER won a Grammy Award for his production on Lil Wayne’s album Tha Carter III, which was Rap Album of The Year and has sold over 3.6 million copies in the United States. In 2014, STREETRUNNER won his 2nd Grammy Award for his production on Eminem’s MMLP2, for Rap Album of The Year and has sold over 4 million copies worldwide. Having been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, his production has also garnered over 21 million in record sales.
Warwar is also slated to release his first Drum Sound Kit with Splice on 11/26 at 12pm EST. Exclusively featuring sounds from Tha Carter III Leaks. One Night Only // Trouble // RappaPomPom & more 🔥
We got a chance to chill with STREETRUNNER and chat about his career, creative process, and tips for up and comers.
What’s the first thing you do when you open a session?
Set the tempo.
What are your 3 most important tips for upcoming producers and engineers?
1. Keep your ear to the streets. 2. Do your research. 3. Network
What are your 5 most used plugins or current favorite plugins?
7bandEQ, Decapitator, PanMan, Crystalizer, and Futzbox.
What are some of your favorite VSTs?
What’s one thing you can’t live without in the studio?
Do you prefer to engineer your own sessions when you are producing?
I prefer to handle the session after it’s been recorded so I can make my changes and really make sure the record is produced properly.
Can you tell us about one defining moment in your career thus far?
Meeting Fat Joe who gave me my 1st major placement
What’s your favorite song that you mixed, written, and/or produced?
2Chainz “Yuck!” Feat Lil Wayne is at the top of my list. Lil Wayne’s “Gossip” was a big 1 for me. Meek Mill “Shine” and “Heavy Heart” are dope too. I got a lot of favorites that haven’t been released yet.
How do you know when a song is done?
You know when a record sounds right and everything lines up. The vibe will be undeniable.
You have produced a lot for Lil Wayne, how did you two connect?
I connected with Wayne at Hit Factory in Miami during a mixdown for Fat Joe. Passed Wayne a beat cd and he recorded “1 Night Only” and “Rappa Pom Pom” in less than an hour after I passed it to him. He invited me back to the studio the next day and we made “Trouble” (I run with trouble). We just kept working ever since.
Your production background is primarily Hip Hop, what sort of changes do you need to make to your process when working on other types of projects?
I like to stay in my zone. I don’t really mess with too many other genres of music besides rap and hip hop. I can make anything I just don’t have the same passion for it like I do hip hop.
How do you stay focused and productive?
I set a schedule and stick to it. I make time to work on beats, mixes, and business throughout the week. Most Friday and Saturdays I chill and reset but I’m back at it by Sunday evening.
Where do you get inspiration?
Listening to all kinds of music and samples. 90s Hip Hop inspires me a lot too. Sounds, in general, inspire me.
Who are some of your biggest influences and why?
RZA, DJ Premier, Havoc, Swizz Beatz, NO.I.D and Kanye West
What are you listening to right now?
J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Travis Scott, and Pusha T
How do you feel about the current state of music?
I think its dope as hell! I wouldn’t mind a little less singing in rap but there’s so much dope shit to listen too that I find a balance.
You worked on “I Believe” with DJ Khaled & Demi Lovato, can you tell us a bit about that experience and how that came about?
Khaled hit me with the idea and we turned it around in less than 24hours. The song had to get wrapped up quick in order for us to make the movie. We cut it very close.
Do you have any tips about recording rap vocals?
Just record them clean without background noise. It helps when the mic is in a good sounding space. Pretty basic.
What do you do for fun when you aren’t working on music?
I ride my BMX bike around the city.
What’s a crazy experience you’ve had in the industry or a session?
Going to the Grammys and seeing Lil Wayne win Best Rap Album of The Year award for Tha Carter III. I never thought I could take it that far in music. After that Grammys became very realistic.
Is there any artist you want to work with that you haven’t had an opportunity to yet?
J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar are at the top of my list.
Some of STREETRUNNER’s credits include:
DJ Khaled & Demi Lovato – “I Believe” From Disney’s Wrinkle In Time
Meek Mill – “Heavy Heart” ft. Chris Brown & LO
2 Chainz – “Lamborghini Trucks”
Eminem – “Bad Guy”
Nicki Minaj – “Roman in Moscow”