Underground Element had an oppurtunity to spend some time with one of Finland's finest underground producers LX-Beats, known for his heavy boom bap hits on YouTube and Beat Connexion.
U.E: Can you tell us about yourself and where you got the passion for hip hop production, how old you were when you started?
LX-BEATS: I was about 11 years old when my classmate played me "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)" album and that's pretty much how I got into hip-hop. The production and the vocals were so raw and different from anything I had heard before, I just loved it. I already knew how to use computer programs to compose tunes but that was the moment I started to create my own hip-hop beats. Now I'm 26 years old and I'm still doing it. I get my passion and inspiration for composing tracks from my everyday life: both the struggles and the good times. It's the most natural way for me to express myself.
U.E: What was your life like growing up?
LX-BEATS: When I was a teenager, there was just a few people in my town who made beats or wrote rhymes. Joniveli aka Jonny Bro is one of them - multitalented artist and music composer. I would have to say that he influenced me a lot. His producing style was like a really amazing mix of many different styles so he's like hometown hero for me. It was a lot harder to make any connections or network with people of similar interests because internet wasn't a common way to communicate back then so I didn't even think overseas collabs as a possibility.
U.E: What you did after school?
LX-BEATS: When I graduated from vocational school I started working as a customer service agent. Nothing too fancy but you know, you've got to pay the bills somehow. Back then I didn't get any income from music but I stayed creative and eventually I founded my own record label and released an album produced entirely by me. It was a compilation CD featuring really sick underground mc's such as Deacon The Villan of Cunninlynguists, Copywrite, Mac Lethal, Prime, Neyedus, Sage and Praverb. Then I signed some local mc's to my label and we released a bunch of really good albums. However, after three years running the label I had to shut it down due to financial problems that I'm still struggling with. I got no regrets though.
U.E: What producers are the most influential?
LX-BEATS: If I could name just a few.. I'd say RZA, J Dilla, RJD2, Black Milk, Scott Storch, Lord Finesse, Joniveli, DJ Shadow, Kev Brown, DJ Premier, Pete Rock.. well you know the list could go on and on..
U.E: Whats the hip hop scene like in Finland?
LX-BEATS: It's relatively big right now if you look up the charts, fair amount of up-and-coming artists and hip-hop events being organized compared to how it was four years back. We got a lot of talent out here and I think artists like Gracias, Redrama and Ekow (of Megaphone State) could make it to the international markets as well. Everyone should check them out on youtube and then buy their records.
U.E: What's your production set up like ?
LX-BEATS: I got turntable, mixer, headphones, speakers and my computer. I use Renoise (www.renoise.com) for composing my beats.
U.E: What's your ultimate goal?
LX-BEATS: My ultimate goal is to be satisfied and proud of what I've accomplished. My ultimate goal as a music-producer would be that I would be in a position where I can work full-time with my favorite artists and create classics with them.
U.E: What has been the most challenging part on your journey to becoming a successful producer?
LX-BEATS: I don't really know how to define success right here. Some people obviously think that it's the money and luxuries. When I'm older and look back to my 'career', it's my discography that matters. I think the biggest obstacle that prevents me to achieve my goals is myself and the way I think. I'm sometimes overly self-critical and I don't believe that I'm good enough to produce beats to the artists that I actually would want to work with. However the feeling when you get an opportunity to work with someone you honestly respect and admire, it's something indescribable.
U.E: What would you like to say to your fans?
LX-BEATS: Keep supporting your local artists and all the good music people put out there. I appreciate everyone who has listened to and shared my music through different channels, keep doing that!
A special thanks to LX-Beats for his time and keep an eye out for this dude's hits, sure to be some more slammin tracks out soon.