We love to focus on an abundance of creatives at LA CANVAS: from behind the scenes glam team squads and cultural tastemakers, to bustling fashion events and in-depth interviews with chefs, getting to talk to the brain child behind the art is simply what makes us tick.
Recently, Budweiser celebrated MADE Underground with a special screening and acoustic performance by X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons in Malibu, and yes, we attended yet another epic music collaboration.
In Los Angeles, everyone’s doing something big, but being nominated for numerous Grammy Awards with top-notch hits under your belt at a young age naturally sets you apart. While sitting alongside tiki torches with the ocean at our feet, we chatted up the inspiring young gent behind Kid In A Korner Records, Alex Da Kid. His transparency in conversation revolved around one thing: gratitude. Read on and see this young mogul talk shop on Rihanna, what it takes to make a hit song and why you need to get rid of all distractions if you really want to get made:
LA CANVAS MAGAZINE: What are the roots that make up your record label, Kid In A Korner?
ALEX DA KID: The roots are first we want to penetrate popular culture. That’s the whole point of what we’re doing. To move culture. I want to re-focus on artist development. I think the industry is changing. There’s so much more responsibility on the artist themselves to develop themselves and I want to help with that. That’s the foundation of what I’m trying to do.
LAC: What’s the method behind the name?
ADK: I’m Alex da Kid, and I’ve been in a corner most of my life. I feel like the most successful people I’ve met have all been obsessive and I think you kind of have to be like somewhat of a loner to be that. You can’t be super social with a million different crowds and you kind of have to have time to reflect by yourself. Everyone I sign is somewhat similar in that respect. They’re kind of in a corner. Plus, it kind of sounded cool so I went with it.
LAC: Give us some details on what it is you exactly do in the industry.
ADK: I write and produce music first and foremost. Now I’m expanding: I publish and sign bands, I have my own record label management company and acquisitions company. I do a lot of different things but ultimately, as I said before, the goal is to move culture and do cutting edge projects.
LAC: Let’s talk Budweiser and music.
ADK: Budweiser has been great in supporting a bunch of things we’ve been doing. We just shot a superbowl commercial with Skyler [Grey] this year and we’ve been working a lot together for future projects. We’re doing this Made Underground thing that showcases basking culture and how we can maybe bring that into professional recording and seeing whatthe differences are. The tour is going to be insane. It’s Jamie N. Commons and The X Ambassadors both did jungle together which has pretty much been in every commercial this summer. It’s really taken off. A big part of what I do when I sign people I definitely work on the live show and make sure that it’s good. It’s a huge part of the artistry.
LAC: You’ve been nominated for numerous Grammy awards. What’s that vibe like?
ADK: The Grammy thing is kind of insane cause now I’m on the board of The Grammys so I nominate people! Being in England and looking at this from afar and to be able to have influence over The Grammys and to push agendas with them is really cool. I’m just blessed and excited about the future.
LAC: What role did you step into when first entering the music industry?
ADK: It was always about producing. My whole thing was about how I would get the best results for a song. Then there’s the music and how it sounds. Also, it’s about the song, and I write more and more now. At the foundation of everything it has to be a good song and how it challenges people and makes them think. I’m all about it.
LAC: You’re responsible for producing singles like, “I Need A Doctor” by Dre, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons and the explosive mega-hit, “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem featuring Rihanna. What are your creative techniques behind each tune you turn out?
ADK: It’s different for every artist, but what tends to happen is that I write the music, I have a beat and an idea for the chorus or a concept for a song, and I’ll take that to the artist and see what happens from there. I try to put as much of the blueprint as possible down. It comes from conversation, too. I’ll talk for days in the studio with these artists to understand their life and perspective and I’ll go away and kind of think about songs that would challenge them and their fans. I’ll also research what they’ve done before, especially if they’re more established, and I’ll come back and have loads of ideas and they may like one or two and may not like others. We’ll keep refining things until it all makes sense.
LAC: Who are some artists that inspire you?
ADK: I love Pearl Jam. I love Jay-Z. I love Biggy. I love so many different types of music, it’s very hard to narrow it down. So many, for so many different reasons.
LAC: Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
ADK: I love to do things that are outside the box. I would love to do a song with Pearl Jam and Jay-Z for example. I’d like to be the first to try things that haven’t been done before, and try to make it make sense.
LAC: What are you currently working on?
ADK: I’m working on Rihanna’s album. Mainly focusing on the things happening on my label. I respect all that Rihanna does. I’m kind of focusing a little bit on that and everything signed to me. I give all of my attention to my artists. They deserve it. I’m kind of focusing a little bit on that and everything signed to me.
LAC: Best advice you’d give to the young producers out there:
ADK: If you’ve got a girlfriend, get rid of her. If you’ve got any friends, get rid of them. Make your whole entire life music. Get rid of all distractions. You’ve got to be single minded especially in the first years. Be all into it. I’m still trying to find a balance in my life: I don’t really have a personal life and I’m trying to figure that out and work obsessively. It’s not easy.
LAC: What would you say to yourself, right now, ten years from now?
ADK: I would say I’m extremely happy and don’t let anything get in the way of that. Be very uncompromising with your happiness. I wake up everyday really happy, and I wouldn’t want anything to change. Happiness is always in the forefront of what I do.