London On Da Track And Young Thug Wrote “Lifestyle” In Their Kitchen
London On Da Track is taking the hip-hop industry by storm. With three hit records—"Lifestyle," "About The Money" and "Hookah"—on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time, London is enjoying the fruits of his labor with co-signs from some of the biggest names in the business right now.
London, who has collaborated with the likes of Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame and Travis Porter in the past, is best known for his work with longtime friend Young Thug and most recently his contributions to Birdman's Rich Gang mixtape. The young producer has established a signature sound of his own, which eventually led Birdman to take notice and bring London under his Rich Gang wing. The Cash Money CEO has called London "the best producer in the business today," which only has pushed London to work even harder after the big up from Stunna.
In between his hectic schedule and his travels, London On Da Track took some time out of his day to speak with XXL about his come up in the game, his first encounters with Young Thug and Birdman, and who he's gonna be working with next. He's not going away any time soon. —Roger Krastz
XXL: What producer did you look up to during your come up and what was the motivation behind wanting to produce music?
London On Da Track: As far as producers, I looked up to Drumma Boy. He was very inspired by his production and his style of making music, and when it comes to my influences it was pretty much my situation that influenced me just because I wanted to be in a better place and put my family in a better place. So the money played a big part in that.
In some of your Instagram videos you can be seen playing the piano. How did you learn how to play?
When I was younger I used to be in church a lot with my grandma. Every Sunday I would practice when I was back in Tennessee. I picked up the piano and I just think it was in me, just musically it was in me. And every Sunday at the end of church, I would just pick up the piano play a few chords and go to my grandma’s crib where I had a little piano and practice those same chords. I pretty much taught myself and just picked up progression.
When did you first start producing?
When I was about 17 I started producing, and that's when I actually had my first song on the radio. It was a song I produced for the Rich Kidz.
What equipment were you using back then to produce and what are using now?
Back then I was using Fruity Loops and Cakewalk Production. And now I’m using Logic and ProTools.
About how many hours were you spending at the studio when you were coming up in the game?
I was working 24/7. I just wanted a dollar, so I would work all day, and didn’t think about no females or none of that. I was just trying to stay on the positive end and have a positive vibe about things and just work. I love what I do, so pretty much all day and all night I would be in the studio making beats. Nowadays I still do it 24/7, but it’s just 10 times now, I gotta take advantage of my situation. I can’t take nothing for granted.
What was a big moment in your career?
That moment when Young Thug took me on a flight to Los Angeles to meet Birdman. That was huge for me. And then when Bird believed in me and picked me up, it made me believe in myself even more because I knew I actually had it. I knew I could do something with what I love doing.
How did you meet Young Thug?
Me and Thug met back in the day, probably '08 or maybe even '07 through one of my partners named Skolly with the music stuff. We were all in the same circle, so we would all go out and perform together. We were in the streets together, we were in the studio together, we were everywhere together. We were all from the same side of town. Our first song we did was called “Curtains” and that was featuring Shawty Lo. I think we recorded that back in '08 and we linked back up together later on to do it again.
What was that encounter like when you reconnected with Young Thug later?
When we first saw each other again, we were like, it’s time go at it again. He heard some of my new music that I was doing, and I was liking the music that he was doing, so we needed to get back together and make history. And that's what we're doing now.
Tell me about the chemistry between you and Thug in the studio.
Yeah, pretty much me and Young Thug do everything on the spot. The track “Lifestyle,” we did that in the kitchen, and made the beat in the kitchen. He recorded the vocals in the kitchen and I mixed it in the kitchen. We did that whole song in the kitchen, and this was before the deal. We didn’t even know Birdman. Same thing with “Hookah,” we did that before the deal.
Birdman said you're the next big producer. How do you feel about someone who is well-known in the industry like him saying that about you?
It was an amazing feeling to hear someone of his status say that about me. It just makes me want to go harder. Since he spoke it, I want him to speak it into existence as well. I’m gonna go extra harder for him since he co-signed me.
What’s the best advice he’s given you?
He’s given me a lot of advice, but pretty much just to go hard and take full advantage of the situation.
Besides executive producing the Rich Gang mixtape, tell me about your work on the forthcoming Rich Gang album?
Well, I executive produced the mixtape, and I produced the whole Rich Gang album that is scheduled to come out before the end of the year.
When is that album scheduled to drop? And what are some of the features?
The album will probably drop some time in November or December, I’m not sure of an exact date. But I produced from 1 through 12, and we have a lot of features on there like Drake, Lil Wayne, Juve and a few more.
Will you guys follow the same formula as the Rich Gang mixtape for the album?
This will be on a whole different level. When you you hear this compared to the mixtape music you guys will be amazed.
What joints should we be on the lookout for off that project?
The whole project is gonna be great, but if I have to select tracks it would be “Take Care” or “Never Made Love." All of them are amazing though; it’s different levels of music. All of them come off different, and they go different. It’s a crazy album that everyone will love.
How did you link up with T.I. for “About The Money”?
T.I. pretty much hit up me and Thug and was like, pull up to the studio and let's get something in. We connected the dots and headed over to the studio to meet with him. The very first beat I played for T.I. he selected. I couldn’t even play any other beat. I was like, "Hold up, let me play something else," and he was like, "Nah, this is it." Once T.I. did his thing, Young Thug did his thing, we all knew right away that it would be a hit. Everybody agreed on it and we put it out the same week we recorded it. That was probably five days before the track came out. We did the video on the third day after we recorded the track.
When you finished the song did you expect it to be such a big hit?
We all knew it was a hit once the song was done. We put it out and we got great feedback from the people. We spoke a record into existence.
How does it feel to have three of your songs on Billboard's Hot 100 chart?
It’s a great feeling. To be honest, I didn’t think it would happen this early. I knew being at the age of 17 and 18 that it was going to be big, but this is beyond my expectations. I’m just blessed man. It makes me even work harder. Now I want six tracks of mine to make it to the Billboard Hot 100, and I ain’t stopping.
Who is somebody that you would love to work with in the studio, but you haven’t?
I would love to work with Kanye, man. I really want to work with him in the studio, see how he puts his beats together and stuff like that. He’s a big inspiration and always has been a big inspiration to me. After Kanye, I would love to work with Jay Z.
Who are some of the artists that you’ve been working with as of late?
Man, I’ve been in the studio with a lot of people. I’ve been working with Wale on his album. I did two joints for him on that, so shout out to Wale. I’m working with Nipsey Hu$$le on his album, J.Cole, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and a lot more people, man. So look out for that.
Producers as of late have tested with other sounds not specific to hip-hop. Will you cross over to a more pop sound in the future?
I’m starting to do that now. That’s happening now. I’m very versatile and I do all types of beats. Pop, rock, R&B, you name it and I will do it.
What should we be on the look out for in the near future from you?
Look out for that Rich Gang album, man. I put my heart and soul into it. I put my all into it.
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