We sat down with Alex Da Kid early January in his flat in Knightsbridge. Alex had just spent Christmas in London, a day before he left for the states he invited Wrap Up to join him for an intimate chat on all things music.
The Wrap-Up: As a U.K. producer how hard did you find it coming into the industry?
It made me tougher. I had to be a bit more aggressive with everything. I had an immigrant’s mindset, so I worked for the things that people in the states took for granted. It got to the point where I made it really hard for people to compete with me, nobody was as hungry, because it took so much for me just to get here.
TWU: Congratulations on making the transition from producer to artist. Your new track “Not Easy” was that always going to be your first release?
I’ve always liked mixing things — artists, sounds, genres. Becoming an artist was the next step of that journey. DJs and producers do it all the time in hip-hop and dance, but nobody’s doing it in alternative music and I liked the idea of that. “Not Easy” was a great track to bring all of those elements together.
TWU: The visuals evoke a lot of emotion. Was that something you made a conscious decision to do?
Definitely. The song is emotional, and the video needed to tell that story. Heartbreak really is a universal experience — we all experience it in so many different ways — and it was important to me that the video allow people to see and feel that.
TWU: The track features X Ambassadors, Elle King and Wiz Khalifa. Quite an eclectic mix of artists. What made you chose them?
X Ambassadors are signed to KIDinaKORNER, I have a great creative relationship with them. Wiz and I had recently come off of “Sucker for Pain” from the Suicide Squad soundtrack, and I felt like he was one of the only people who could pull off the rap verse. Elle was the last to come on. I knew I wanted female energy on the track, and I’ve always loved her voice.
TWU: As a Grammy award winning producer from Wood Green, London, do you ever pinch yourself as to how successful you’ve become?
Yes! And it’s not just being from Wood Green. I’m also former intern/researcher at MTV, and I’d spend hours in the bathroom to avoid being at my desk logging interview transcripts! So to go from that to this, yeah, it makes you pinch yourself lol..
TWU: For those who know Alex Da Kid the producer of tracks such as “Love The Way You Lie” Eminem ft Rihanna and B.O.B’s “Airplanes” who is Alex the artist?
If you know me as a producer, you probably have a good sense of me as artist. I’ve always been a creator, because all the music I’ve made so far I’ve written and produced. Being an artist is not miles away from that. Sure, there are some differences, but it’s a pretty natural evolution of what I’ve been doing already.
TWU: You’ve worked with some major US and UK artists! Do you have a favourite?
Outside of the artists on KIDinaKORNER of course(!) I’d have to go with Eminem. He’s obviously pivotal in my career because of the success we had so early in my career. I also spent the most time with him because we’d mix the songs together, and that helped cultivate a close creative relationship. It’s a similar deal with Rihanna.
TWU: What about the most difficult artist you’ve worked with? Do tell!
I’m super adorable and everyone loves me! No one acts crazy around me..
TWU: You own your own music company KIDinaKORNER which acts as an agency as well as publishing for artists. What made you decide to set it up?
It was important for me (the creative) to own what I do. One of the fundamental reasons the music industry has been mismanaged in the past is because most of the key decision makers don’t own their own companies. When you don’t own the company you make short term decisions based on quarterly p and l pressure. I wanna be a part of changing that paradigm, and in order to fulfill my long-term vision, it was clear to me that I needed to be in a position of ownership.
Not Easy feat. X Ambassadors, Elle King and Wiz Khalifa is out now.
Interview: Nadia Jae
Online Edit: Ra’ed Khan
This article was found on MTV.co.uk