Interview

Deep Dive with Ryder Johnson [Q&A]

Ian Hansen

Not often does a producer land a major placement almost every week of the summer. That has been the case for Arkansas native and Internet Money signee, Ryder Johnson. After landing on Rod Wave’s album, SoulFly, producing "How The Game Go," he has been on a hot streak, landing songs with the likes of Polo G, The Kid LAROI, Lil Yachty, and most recently, Lil Tecca.

What got you into music? Tell me about your music background, who you grew up listening to, and who you consider an inspiration.

The first type beat I put up was a Chief Keef, Fredo Santana, drill type beat. The biggest early influences that I can remember is the Chicago scene. The Chicago scene really inspired me to start producing. I remember the day I really started wanting to was when I was riding around with my friends listening to Flockaveli.

Tell me your story of how you came up as a producer. What got you into the industry?

What got me going was posting Twitter snippets. Then when me and TyFontaine started working, that got me a lot of recognition in the underground scene. That’s what really got me noticed by Internet Money. From that, it led to the connections. The biggest turning point was when the City Morgue album I worked on went number one.

What was it like collaborating with Mike Dean?

He tweeted at me one time and said I was fire. My heart dropped. Nothing much has happened after that. He did some crazy stuff to my 808s, and the original beats don’t sound the same.

You being from Arkansas, what is that like and what is the music scene like there if there really is one?

Well there it is just now becoming a music scene. There’s people like Bankroll Freddie who just signed to quality control and then Gucci Mane just signed two artists from there. So there is a bubbling scene right now. I’m a small town kid who just moved out to LA. Nobody was pursuing music where I’m from so I was the only one and I got bullied for it. People just didn’t understand.

You just moved to LA. What is that like and how’s the transition been?

It’s weird because I am from Arkansas. It’s different and very fast paced. I took Taz Taylor’s advice. He told me it’s time. So I did it and it was very last minute. I drove across America and got here last week.

You’ve got all of these placements this summer, so which one has been the most meaningful to you so far?

"Choppa Shoot The Loudest" on Lil Tecca’s album. Like I said earlier, Chief Keef was the biggest reason I got into producing. It’s just crazy how the circle comes around. I believe in manifestation and I have it in my notes to this point of what was going to happen in my career, and a lot of it in there was working with Chief Keef. Taz Taylor made it happen and when I heard it, I started to tear up.

How did that placement come about?

I remember we were at the Record Plant Studios and Taz sent me the acapella. I went to this conference room there and the producer, Dynox, who’s also signed to Internet Money made a certain melody Taz wanted. I sped it up to 148 BPM and the beat took me eight minutes to make. Taz sent the beat to Chief Keef’s management and Chief Keef added a verse a week later. I was sleeping in the old Internet Money house, and Taz wakes me up at dawn, and I heard the Chief Keef version.

If you could collaborate with anyone in any era of music, who would it be?

To be honest, EDM guys like early Skrillex. Deadmau5 would be fire. Kaskade would be fire. I wish I also had the chance to work with MF Doom or J Dilla. I want to get to a point where I can work with Madlib and go full circle on that side of my life.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself owning a house and land. I also want to have producers signed to me eventually. I want to have started a company and have gotten into the energy drink and alcohol business.

What are some of your hobbies?

I listen to more bands or EDM than I do rap. I am also a big exercise guy. I used to bike like six miles a day. I enjoy jogging as well. I’ve been playing guitar a little bit. Gaming as well. I’ve been venturing into that as well.

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