Navin on Being an Engineer/Producer, Working with Drakeo: Behind the Boards

Navin was a young, eager college student ready to take music head on. Originally born in Ohio, the multifaceted producer moved to Los Angeles to do just that. In the time since, he’s established relationships with Drakeo the Ruler, and has produced & mixed for other LA stars such as 03 Greedo, Shoreline Mafia, & the rest of the Stinc Team. Safe to say, he’s definitely embedded himself into the the city’s sound. 

We spoke to him about the efficiency of being both a producer and an engineer, and his connections with some of LA’s hottest artists for the latest Behind the Boards.

 

Artists he’s worked 

 

with:

 

Drakeo the Ruler

 

03 Greedo

 

Larry June

 

Shoreline Mafia

 

Dom Kennedy

 

SOBxRBE

 

What made you move to LA?

“I moved to LA when I was 19 so I can finish school. College was wack in Ohio. I came to major in music related fields and knew I wanted to do music full time. I was super into jazz, and that led to other things. Musically, I went from playing instruments, to making beats, to engineering, to playing the piano.”

What’s your preference? Producing or mixing? 

“Mixing! The song already has life, but my job is to be able to guide one’s ear into a darker and lighter space. I’m able to set the stage, and help add to the environment as a mixer. So, through trial, error, and communication, I get to facilitate the sound, to give you that desired affect. That gives you goosebumps while listening to your favorite track. With mixing, you have to ask yourself, ‘How do you present all of this dense material and make it attractive to the listener?’”

How did you get connected to the LA rap scene?

“When I first started doing music, I met Drakeo and Destodubb. I started doing a lot of tracks with Overdoz, and just stuck to it.”

Describe your relationship with Drakeo.

“If I can use some adjectives when I think of working with Drakeo – Cool. Unique. Intelligent. We work well together, he says a lot of things without words. We have a great connection, he knows exactly what he wants. Bars be real thorough, and he’s a crazy jokester which makes studio sessions more enjoyable.”

“Drakeo and Ralfy were the first ones to come around when I got started. When we first got connected, I was able to record some stuff for him for IamMrMosely 2. I finished Cold Devil & the connection just got stronger from there.” 

Have you been in contact with him since he’s been in jail?

“Yes I have. He’s constantly writing in jail. I’m down to work with him however I can. Even recorded “Murder Was the Case” from my iPhone. It’s real sick, unfair, and cruel what the system is doing towards Drakeo and the whole Stinc Team.”

What other artists do you enjoy working with?

“Greedo. He’s brilliant. One thing to know with Greedo, is that you can’t interfere with his artistic flow. It’s amazing to witness.”

Anything else?

“The best artists in the game have a strong connection with their producers and engineers. You are able to have the audience zoom into your world, without even have meeting you. Know what your audience wants. That’s what makes you a good artist, because music is a team sport. Community effort.”