Pictures can say a thousand words, but music can say much more. According to the Bay Area based music producer Diana D., aka Lil’ Lyss, it is music’s capacity to make us feel and move which gives it its profound qualities. With a backlog of releases under her belt, including production credits with former Shady Records artist Ca$his, Lil’ Lyss is a force to be reckoned with.
Hey Lil’ Lyss! First off, please introduce yourself to the audience and give us some more background information.
Hey everyone, my name is Diana. I’m a producer going by the name of Lil’ Lyss, based in Los Angeles, CA. My style is mostly influenced by the golden era of Hip-Hop of the early 2000s.
What influenced you to become a producer?
Well, first of I’ve always known that I wanted to do something within the entertainment industry, didn’t know what or when, I just knew. I never really thought about it, I just knew that I’d figure it out when the time comes. The song that first triggered it for me was “In Da Club” by 50 Cent. I never thought of producing before that. It was my favorite song at the time and it suddenly hit me how simple it actually was. I thought to myself, “Someone made this simple track but it sounds so dope, what if I can too?” I started researching how music is produced and all that. I downloaded a bunch of music programs and explored their options. I had no idea what I was doing but with baby steps and years of exploring I taught myself.
How did you learn the ins and outs of producing music?
I’m mostly self-taught, years of reading, listening and watching took place until I felt I was able to compete with what’s out there. I currently go to school to learn the business side of it, because it doesn’t matter how great you are if you don’t know how to handle your business.
People may think that a producers’ job is to simply create the beat, but what else does it entail?
Yea, part of it is making the beat, but a producer should also have a vision for the whole project, from the concept of the song to the chorus melody, to every little effect that could be used to create a hit that lasts.
Many artists say that their lyrics are influenced by experiences or emotions, is that the same thing in regards to production?
Whatever you do, it reflects you in one way or another. I think in my case, my music kinda reflects my future rather than my present.
What do you believe makes a beat hot?
Unique drum patterns and melodies, dope effects and defined chorus/verse parts. Most beats today are super boring, same 4 on the floor rhythm, same 3 chords, same 808s, I’m not a fan of that.
Talk about the actual business side of production, how do you get a beat to an artist? How long is this process?
Honestly, it’s pretty tough to find serious people to work with in the first place. Once you find the right people, everything just happens. Of course you need to make sure your paperwork is in place before you start anything, because you never know where the project is going to end up.
What are some qualities or attributes that make a great producer?
A producer that doesn’t copy others! You can still stay current with the sounds and all that, but don’t sound like everyone else, it’s boring. Back in the days you could tell who produced what by the 4th bar of a song, today you can’t tell the songs apart.
Some producers have a distinct sound, do you think that’s a good or bad thing?
Depends. You can have your own sound and style but still make it sound different every time, like it used to be. Today that’s not the case, it sounds like most producers generate their tracks from 1 template and call it a “signature”.
If you could produce a track for any artist, who would it be and why?
Eminem. He’d always be my number one! I grew up on him and I believe his style influenced me a lot. Nobody delivers the way he does, especially today. I also want to place music in “Fast & Furious”, this is my favorite movie with the best cast in the world. I just really want to see my name in the credits one day!
Who do you believe is the most influential producer of all time and why?
For Hip-Hop I’d say Dr. Dre. He came up with that unique west coast sound, which I think is what brought hip hop from underground to mainstream.
List your current top 5 producers in the game?
Scott Storch, Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Kanye West, Just Blaze. My top 5 and my top influencers.
What equipment are you using when producing?
Mainly software, you don’t need much hardware these days. I’m so grateful for technology for allowing this to be so affordable and time efficient.
In the end, let the people know where they can find you online.
My official website www.lillyss.com, for social media links click below. Thank you everyone for your time, make sure you check out my newest release “Beast Race” on iTunes.connect
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