As a producer, 6IXVI is the man behind some of your favourite tracks. Best know for having produced Skepta’s ‘Shut Down’ and Stormzy’s ‘Shut Up’, he’s also worked with the likes of C Biz, Krept and Konan, and Section Boyz. A multi-faceted force in the music industry, he’s at the helm of his own record label ‘6 Figure Music’ and has built an empire of producers like Chris Andoh, Mazza Beats, Jay Youngs and Seany Beatz. In July 2017, he made the decision to cross over and become a recording artist in his own right, releasing his first EP ‘One’. We sat down with the music mogul to talk about his music beginnings, his second mixtape ‘Chosen’, and the birth of his first child.
Who are your primary musical influences?
My dad and reggae music.
How did you first get involved in music?
Trying to be a DJ at the age of 5, playing on my dad’s Technics SL-1200 turntables.
You are not only a recording artist, but a producer and engineer. How does this affect your approach to making music and your sound as a musician?
I used to have a lot of battles with myself because of the amount of thoughts running through my head. However, as I’ve matured and understand what skills to use at what time, I just try to approach everything with an open ear and open mind. I believe I found and mastered my sound a few years ago, so it’s all just about keeping it consistent for me.
You were renowned in the industry for your work as a producer for acts like Skepta, Stormzy and Krept & Konan before stepping into the spotlight with tracks like ‘Flying Birds’ and your ‘One’ EP. What prompted this move?
Somethings you can’t contain, coming from my background I’d find myself free-styling whilst I was recording other artists. I also have a thing about recording that I hate, so I avoid it at all costs. This means there’s only selected amount of sessions that happen at my studio and, so, what do I do in my spare time ? Write and record myself.
You have recently released the full-length album ‘Chosen’ — what were you hoping to establish with this project?
Honestly, rapping is a stress reliever to me, I can get things off my chest that I can’t whilst producing or engineering. I love rap but it’s my hobby, so as long as my core fans are happy and I’m happy, that’s all that matters to me.
As well as featuring frequent collaborators such as E.Mak and C Biz, this new album features less established artists like Ling Hussle and BRG. What prompted you to provide such a platform to fresh talent?
I’ve never done music for clout. You’d be surprised if I told you much much work is out there that I have done for free. If I feel you, I’ll work with you, it’s that simple.
What do you see as the main changes on the UK rap scene in recent years?
The use of xylophones are at a all time high.
Who are the artists who you would most like to feature on your tracks?
Giggs, Blade, Gunna or Lil Baby.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2018?
Enjoy life. Enjoy the birth of my first child and keep consistent musically.
‘Chosen’ is out now
Jake Turney | PHOTOGRAPHER