Laquan Green is a name you might not be all that familiar with, but you should look out for his name in the future. He’s a co-producer on one of this year’s biggest hits and a winner of a Grammy off that hit. Since his co-production on “Bodak Yellow,” he’s landed deals with both Atlantic Records and BMG and has a lot more on the horizon. RESPECT was able to catch up with him about how “Bodak Yellow” came about, getting it to Cardi B, winning a Grammy and more.
RESPECT.: For the people who don’t know a lot about you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Laquan Green: My name is Laquan Green, I’m 24, I’m a resident of Virginia, I’ve been there all my life and I’m just a lover of music. That’s been my whole life. I can play both the piano and drums and I just love creating music.
RESPECT.: How did you get into music?
Laquan Green: My mom is a singer and my dad is a drummer, so it’s kind of in my DNA. I started playing in the church around the age of 4, playing drums for a few years and by 10 I was playing the drums. One of my cousins who was older than me, then taught me harmony and music theory and all that stuff. By 13 I started to sing and do a little bit of my own music writing and in middle school, I started taking music appreciation and that’s when I started producing. That really captured my attention and my heart. I started off with dance music, and from there is when I made my transition to Hip-Hop.
RESPECT.: What made you transition into Hip-Hop?
Laquan Green: Hip-Hop had intrigued me for a long time because my dad was a Hip-Hop head. Growing up I listened to a lot of N.W.A., Tupac, Biggie, The Roots and all that so that was always apart of my DNA. I was born to get into that type of music.
RESPECT.: Around 14, I started listening to Waka and a lot of the trap stuff. I started to create stuff that sounded similar to it. Lex Luger is from Virginia so I listened to a lot of his stuff. I began to put my flavor in it and I started to put classical music, into trap music, and that’s where I began to develop my style.
RESPECT.: Who are a few of your favorite artists and producers today?
Laquan Green: Prince had a huge impact on me. I loved his creativity and he was just so eccentric. Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Queen and a few others they were so influential — they were all just so funky. Timbaland is from Virginia so I looked up a lot to him too.
RESPECT.: Can you take us into the process of making the beat for “Bodak Yellow” and getting it to Cardi?
Laquan Green: I have a company and we’re a looping samples company. Crafting those samples for that record it was a really difficult process and it wasn’t really planned. When I make a beat it’s usually sporadic and that’s just how I play it. I made the sample for it, and that’s really how it all came about.
RESPECT.: After hearing the complete track, did you think it would be big as it was?
Laquan Green: That song went beyond any of our wildest dreams. Cardi is one of the most bold and unique individuals in Hip-Hop that I’ve seen in a very long time. It was really incredible seeing how that song blew up.
RESPECT.: Where were you when you find out you guys went #1?
Laquan Green: I was actually in the studio at home working. That’s when they told me Bodak went #1, and I was just in shock. It was incredible to see everybody’s hard work up until that point, finally come to fruition.
RESPECT.: How did it feel being nominated for Grammy?
Laquan Green: It felt incredible man. It’s one of those things that you always dream about, but in the back of your mind, you’re always like ehhhh it’s a nice dream, but it’ll probably never happen. When they told me Bodak was nominated I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry tears of joy it was just crazy. It was a humbling experience to be nominated for sure. I still pinch myself when I look at the award because it still feels like a dream.
RESPECT.: Did producing that open a lot of doors for you musically?
Laquan Green: Absolutely. It opened quite a few doors. People I’ve only dreamed about meeting, I’ve met and talked to. Just getting the respect of a lot of people in this industry has been crazy for me.
RESPECT.: What other artists do you want to work with or are you working with right now?
Laquan Green: I have a huge list of artists I want to work with. I want to work with Adele, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Selena Gomez, Drake is a big one and just a whole host of others. I want to see my music touch every corner of the genre — pop, rock, folk all that. I just want to see what happens when creatives just create.
RESPECT.: So what’s next on the horizon for you?
Laquan Green: I got a song deal with Atlantic Records. I got a publishing deal with BMG and that was all a result of me and manager getting placements so we’re definitely working.
RESPECT.: Anything else you want to tell the people?
Laquan Green: I want to encourage producers that might be where I was. They’re working and working but not exactly where they want to be yet. Keep going and grinding, things will look up because timing is everything, you just have to be patient. When you think that all of your work is worthless, that’s when doors fly open. I just want to tell each artist, producer and creative just keep working and good things will eventually happen.
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