Nasir X – 5 Things To Pay Attention To While Making Beats

As we have seen the rise of Desi Hip Hop, there has been a rise in the number of emcees , b-boys, graffiti artists as well as hip-hop events. Another thing which has seen a drastic change is the rise in the number of Indian producers. There are now many Indian producers from the underground who have managed to attain a universal sound because of their hard work and dedication and in the process have also made an international presence. Nasir X is one such producer, who is respected by your favorite Indian producers. He is respected by emcees all over the country and has been representing Bombay since the beginning of time.

I decided to strike a conversation with the hidden jewel of Bombay in production terms who’s silently knitting up his own movement which he names ‘Grown Man Lone Wolf.

Nasir X - 5 Things To Pay Attention To While Making Beats
Nasir X (Anand Iyer)

1 . Vision

I’ve always believed, ever since I graced the keyboard and mouse of the computer, that it’s definitely quite a stronger bet to know where you’re headed. It may be the pessimism of myself that I like to define the routes I might be taking on, it also might differ to more of the adventurous fellows around but I think I’ll maintain that having even a slight idea about how your finished product ought to sound is a great factor in duly zeroing in to the absolute essence and aura of a production you plan to scratch off.

2. Soundscape

I’m all for playing around in the stereo, however obscure, the panning too. Let’s just speak a pun when I say, “There’s always ‘room’ to do more“. Push out the bass wide, experiment, see how it sounds, phase out the main melody, let it sound drowning, let your friends hear it. Put on a cello with ripe low end to it and let it sleep in harmonious feud with the 808. Isolate the lower of your piano and see how some distortion sounds on. Throw the hi-hat in the dead centre, pan out the snares and kicks to the sides, see if you can run your ‘train’ of thought on that beat. Haha. Rules are when you acknowledge them, no court sets up in your bedroom. Sandbox state of mind.

3. Percussion

Of utmost importance to me if you ask. As much as much of the sensational kinda music enjoys a smooth vocal galloping over stripped, stringed, lush harmony of instruments put to good but restricted use, I have all reasons to believe your percussion has the incredible magic of totally overhauling what you’re making. Nobody really pays exclusive attention to the drums I feel, until it’s a big bad sound, prominent and in your face. As essential as tyres to a vehicle I would say, often the best ones are the ones you can’t acknowledge consciously and it becomes that ‘something’ which keeps you hooked onto a song. Put in as many as you think fit, the right artist would fit the flow that makes the combination glow’s he will invest just as much thought as you into it and let it ride smooth. I’d say, do everything you can, put in some sticks with some metal hits, put in those shakers in tickling patterns with that chopped vocal sample with some pitch-bended toms, it’s all good. Put some respeck on that percussion brah.

4. Headroom

Yo, my people, by experience man. I’ve been a fool clogging up the headroom brutally on stuff that I made and that’s most decidedly not the right thing to do until you’re making some swollen stuff like Mac Miller’s ‘I’m Not Real‘ or ‘Youforia‘ or maybe anything like Clams Casino I would say, look for ways to space out and let the most part of the characters of your sounds stand out, make it crisp, even if the beat is largely wet, make it crisp, it is doable, there are ways to do it and it’s only you learning from it. Pull the faders down, turn the speakers up, listen close and craft away your next big thing. Let the beat’s elements have the unity that our country thoroughly lacks, also, be tolerant while you at it!

5. Identity

Everything you make by large has a possibility of absolutely never have been done before, or at least you could believe so. Everything has the potential to be a hit, I’m patting my man Taher Shah on the back when I say this. The distinct identity you provide to a beat becomes the virtue it carries, be extremely choosy about it. Understand, releasing massive amounts of sounds isn’t the goal, to make every bit of it count however is. Laced with vocals or not, I have this urge to stress that the beat should be exclusive, self-sustaining, that’s what most of the songs we like possess I guess, the identity of the beat which rings a certain bell in the head that you can’t ignore. I personally, try to stroke the head of my baby beat until it falls into the REM I want it to.