“When doing your job right, being a producer should be like being a psychologist”
Bam Keith holds the title “producer” proudly, but declares he is much more than that. We sat down with him at Steven G. Photography and were able to gain more insight into what it is that he does.
“I wrote 220 songs for the Grammy Association in a month and that’s why they hired me on.” He is not boastful in his accomplishments, but they are significant and brag worthy. The beginning of his come-up started by his arts director in high school, Mr. Kelly, secretly entering Bam Keith in the Grammy Museum Music Revolution Project. This program taught students how to write different genres of music and at the end of the month they would record their songs. The program served as a gateway for other opportunities for Bam Keith. Since then, he has attended the Grammy’s multiple times, was able to record Bryson Tiller while he was in LA, and now serves as a mentor with the Grammy Association. AND on top of that he continues to produce music for various artists.
The Kansas City native was very vocal, and open, about how he works with artists and the role he is prepared to play in any project. “I’m not someone who just makes a beat but also helps with writing the songs.” We were curious about the process and how he deciphers what is the right “style” for each individual artist and his answer was simple, “There’s different mentalities for different people. I like to have them express themselves and then work on it and create from there.” It sounds like tedious work, but something that comes naturally to Bam Keith. During our interview he went on to explain the flexibility of a producer. They serve not only as the engineers for putting the songs together, but can wear many hats. Producers are not just producers.
His involvement with music started at a young age and was somewhat accidental. He grew up in music and eventually started playing the drums at church. His interest started out of boredom and not so much curiosity. “I was in the choir with my mom and thought ‘this is boring.’ So I started playing on the drums and was good at it. The main drummer ended up walking out after that. I was ten.” This was also around the same time that he started creating beats. Bam Keith has accomplished, and grown, a lot since the age of ten. However, he is still into drums and uses that as the starting point for many of his beats.
Bam Keith is a unique individual who takes pride in being original. “I don’t use a lot of samples. I like to rely on my skill. If I do use samples, I like to mess with it until it’s not noticeable.” He has a unique process for creating and being able to see sounds as color aids in this process. Bam Keith was diagnosed with synesthesia at the age of eighteen. He has always been able to view music as a color, but was not aware of the term. As he explained it to us, he reminisced on the first time he was able to see music. “I was in the car riding with my mom and a mint condition song came on. I asked her to rewind it and tried to show her that it was green.” Now, he is able to use this when creating music to see what color would be in harmony with another. Cool, right?
To hear some of Bam Keith’s work, check out soundcloud.com/bamkeith. The young producer is currently working on an album with G-Watts and an album with an artist from Brooklyn named George Watsky.
“You gotta be able to study and know someone else’s mindset. Gotta be flexible.”
Post Author: Fohni Wright