We are back once again with another fantastic interview and this time we had a great exchange with OVRCZ. After hearing a smash single OVRCZ co-produced for Skinnyfromthe9, we wanted to learn some more about him. We spoke 1 on 1 with this talented upcoming producer to find out his story and were pleasantly surprised.
Listen to "Crush 3" by Skinnyfromthe9 and you will understand why we were so eager to speak with OVRCZ.
1. Who are you?
OVRCZ (pronounced overseas), but my birth name is Niccolo, after Machiavelli. No joke.
2. Where are you from?
Baltimore, MD born and raised! Gotta shout-out New Orleans too, that’s my second home for real.
3. How did you get into producing?
When I was 11 or 12 years old I wanted to be the next Skrillex, so I asked for a bunch of music gear for Christmas. I got Ableton Intro and some KRKs and started off making EDM tracks for a few years. I got into rap music in high school and switched from EDM to making beats around my junior year. I always played a lot of instruments growing up, and was in chorus for three years as well, so music has been a big part of my life for a while now. I just think that production is a very desirable skill and there’s more opportunity to make a living off of it. There’s also something dope about the feeling of making a whole beat, listening to it and thinking “wow, I made this all myself on a computer.”
4. We discovered you after hearing the song you produced for Skinnyfromthe9, “Crush 3”. How did you guys link up?
I first heard of Skinny over the summer when a client/friend of mine did a song with him (check out “Chains On” by Hollywood feat. Skinnyfromthe9) and started following him on Twitter. About a month later, he put out a call for beats because he was going to do a song with Fetty Wap and needed some upbeat radio-ready shit. Long story short, we sent over a bunch of beats including the one for Crush 3, and the song with Fetty never ended up happening, but we still made a hit together and that’s all that matters. Since then, my team (the WAV League) and I have gotten Skinny on 3 more beats and can’t wait for all the songs to drop!
5. Were there any other producers involved besides you and Z COOK?
Yeah, there were two more producers involved in more minor roles, which is why me and Z’s names are in the title. Austin Belleau and Miles 07 (formerly Banger Beats) both came through the studio while I was making the full beat based off of what Z initially sent me and made some great contributions, so much love to them for that.
6. Who are some other artists you have worked with?
I’ve worked with a ton of people, but I’d say Skinny is one of my favorites just because I know I can count on him to make a great song and get it in front of a huge group of people who will vibe with it. I also really like Polo Hayes. I produced his recent joint “frfr” featuring LiveLikeDavis who KILLED it on the feature so make sure to check that out and show them some love. In New Orleans, I work a lot with Skylar Allen and heartbreakP, my homies at school who are both awesome musicians and are super underrated right now. Also check out Mhadi G and Freewater, hopefully have a lot of work coming with them this year.
7. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
That’s tough to answer because it changed a lot. At one point I wanted to fly fighter jets for the military. No reason why, fighter jets are just fucking cool. Once I started playing piano I knew I wanted to have a career in music, but production was something I picked up a few years later and stuck with.
8. If you could play one professional sport as a career what would it be and why?
I’m not really into sports, but definitely basketball. Most fun sport to watch and play, in my opinion. Plus they get PAID. I also love basketball shoes. I would love to have my own signature shoe someday.
9. If you’re cooking up a beat in the studio what are 3 things you need with you?
I’m gonna be completely honest here so judge me if you must, reader. One thing I hate going to the studio without is my vape. I feel like the nicotine helps me stay focused. I also just find myself idly puffing when I’m working on things and not having that there to help keep me occupied kind of screws me up. Another thing I need is my mouse. I’ve used a lot of crap mice in my experience with different studios so I always make sure to bring my own mouse and mousepad because I’m really used to its responsiveness and can work quicker with it. Last thing would probably be a full-sized keyboard. I’ve made beats with my laptop keyboard for years but I always love having a full-sized piano keyboard in front of me to riff ideas, visualize the music better (with scales and chords and all, since I’m trained in music theory), etc. I always make my best work when I have a big piano keyboard in front of me, even if I sit for an hour just riffing on different things until I hear something I want to use.
10. Nike or Adidas? You have to choose one.
I used to swear by Nike when I was younger, but now it’s Adidas, no question. I don’t know what happened but their designers started going crazy and they haven’t let up for a few years now. I need all those Alexander Wang x Adidas pieces for sure. Room full of Y-3 shit. And I need a closet full of NMDs and Yeezys someday. I could really talk about this topic alone for an hour.
11. If you could give one piece of advice to any upcoming producer or artist, what would it be?
I would have to say, out of everything I’ve learned, it’s most important to build and maintain professional relationships. I say professional because friendships are one thing, but if you get too friendly with people they start expecting free work and it can go sour pretty quickly. I like to think that I maintain very good and friendly relationships with all of my clients, but at the end of the day, they still understand that I have skills and experience that deserve compensation if I’m gonna work on any projects for them. An important part of this whole concept is not rushing to get paid either. If you focus on building relationships with artists first (this doesn’t mean giving them free stuff; just be friendly and engage with them and their music) then you will turn them into clients who will respect you and pay for your services over and over again.
12. What are some short term and long term goals you have for your career?
Short term, 30 racks off music in 2018. I started my business in April of 2017 and made 16 racks by the end of the year so I feel like it’s achievable. I want to link up with more high-profile rising artists like Skinny, because I know that me and my team are at the level where we are equipped to work with artists like that and really gain traction and make hits. I also want to break 25,000 plays on a song of my own, since I’m pursuing vocal work more aggressively going into this year (you can hear my new single “Can’t” on my soundcloud below… currently at 11.6k plays so fingers crossed for that 25 this year). Lastly, I want to get my first label placement in 2018. Considering how things have been going, I’m 99% confident that it’ll happen… it’s just a matter of who and when.
Long term, I want it all. I want to go Platinum. Diamond, even. I want to win a Grammy. I want to work with the greatest musicians in the world and know that they respect me as much as I respect them for my talent and achievements. I want to be recognized for my contributions to the world of music in a way that lasts long after my own lifetime. But really, I just do this for the 12 year old kid in the basement who was always being told he wasn’t gonna be shit and to give up. Those kinds of memories keep me going everyday, no matter how exhausting this game can be sometimes. Everything I do, I do to make sure that me and my people are straight for the rest of time. That’s all that will ever matter to me.
13. Where can people find you?
Instagram: @therealOVRCZ & WAVLeague
Email: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org