How Lil Nas X and Take a Daytrip got him to ten for ‘Montero’

Even though they’ve collaborated with Dua Lipa, Weezer, and Serpentwithfeet, they say their good faith is often questioned, in part because of the lack of black producers in the upper echelons of pop music. “It’s something that even to this day, it’s a lot to prove to people that we’ve put in our 10,000 hours five times as much at this point,” says Baptiste.

One of the charming ways they’ve used to prove opponents wrong is by politely but confidently noting how their high-level knowledge of music theory shows up in even their loudest bangers. They sniped to heavyweight EDM Zedd after offering a sultry rendition of ‘Mo Bamba’ and proven to a skeptical music teacher that the royal horn layers on “Industry Baby” weren’t made by synthesizers.

According to Biral, he and Baptiste have often been branded as rap beatmakers, but that doesn’t cover the scope of their musical ambition.

“I understand why you might think that we’re just hip-hop producers, but we’re certainly not afraid to prove you wrong. And if you overstep, you’ll look like a jerk, ”he says. “It’s always been our thing – this constant journey of having to prove people wrong. Even in some of our early A&R meetings, people were like, ‘Can they do this? ” Are you sure?’ We make music professionally. We can do this. Why are you afraid to give us a chance to try it? ‘”

Along with their friend and peer Kenny Beats, the guys at Daytrip are a fitting avatar for this era of musical creation, where the biggest producers are chameleons rather than writers of a signature sound. Over the past year, they’ve created a minimalist post-DJ Mustard club anthem for Yung Baby Tate (“Eenie Meenie”), late-night smoke session songs for Kid Cudi (“Sad People”, ” Tequila Shots “), and James Blake’s comeback single (” Life Isn’t the Same “).

They also checked left and right bucket list collaborations. Work with Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius to Man on the Moon III: The Chosen One was a milestone for two young men whose early adulthood was marked by his thoughtful airs. They are acolytes of what they call “Kanye’s era of maximalist production” – citing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’s “Devil in a New Dress” as the flagship track – and Daytrip ended up sharing production credit with Mr. West himself on Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby”.

According to Baptiste, Take a Daytriup and Nas were both in love with the song from the start, but the label felt something was missing. “We put it on the back burner a bit, and then Nas met Kanye and they were playing things back and forth and Kanye picked that one specifically and was like, ‘Wow, that one right there. I understand that. I know where it can go, I know where it can be taken, ”says Baptiste.

Getting that last little push from one of the most successful producers of all time seemed to do the trick, as “Industry Baby” debuted at no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has already been certified platinum. “It’s one of those surreal experiences to be able to pull a little WeTransfer link to Kanye West and his team,” says Biral.

Just as Nas’s world expanded to include high profile commercials and TV appearances, the guys at Take a Daytrip seized opportunities to grow. They worked on the music for the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and the songs they produced have appeared in films like Sonic the hedgehog and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. And while some producers tend to cloud their process, Biral and Baptiste are refreshingly transparent, constantly sharing tips and advice for the next generation of music-leaning freshmen.

“For us, there is no fear inside, because we don’t believe that we are going anywhere. Our place is here to stay and we will teach throughout it, ”explains Biral.


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About John Villalpando

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