Grime’s ‘dirtiest’ producer, Nutty P on originality, ‘passion projects’ and the music industry today by Love Lee
To his friends and family, he is Anton Louis David Flanders, but to the music scene, he is Nutty P, music producer, rapper and songwriter. Nutty P originally started within the music industry as a 15 year old rapper, only to discover a passion for production as well. Having two strings added to his bow for the price of one, Nutty P has managed to spread himself across the border with a sound that can only be described as ‘deep, euphoric and just plain nuts’. Much like his character!
In 2004, Nutty P took part in ‘The Jump Off’ infamous Producers Battle and this is when things REALLY started heating up. He met the likes of Sway and Professor Green, whom he has also worked with.
From his unruly Hip-Hop rhythms to the grimiest of grime beats, Nutty P added fuel to the fire by igniting a Dubstep duo called ‘Stinkahbell’ in 2011.
By 2012, Nutty P had started to build an impressive catalogue of collaborations; from the ‘Oliver Twist’ remix called ‘Food’ with Baby Blue in 2007 to ‘Enza’ for rapper Smiler back in 2010 and the sexy smooth R&B shaped “Anniversary (Fall In Love)” featuring Alex Mills from Wretch 32’s second album ‘Black and White’, which was released in 2011 via Ministry Of Sound and deservedly went Gold!
Love: “So! Nutty P!”
Nutty P: “Yo!”
Love: “Tell me little bit about how you got into producing music.”
Nutty P: “First I rapped. And then, just because I couldn’t find enough good instrumentals, I just thought I’d make my own. I was putting together loops on Playstation’s ‘Music 2000’. Then there was a studio in Ladbroke Grove that I used to go to. It had Cubase. I kind of wanted that at home. So I got a PC, got Cubase and that’s it really. That’s the short version!”
Love: “How old were you when you made your first beat?”
Nutty P: “ I was in school. I made my first beat when I was like 15. It was for a leaving do. It was so sick because they didn’t think I made it. People in my class were like: ‘Nah bruv! You didn’t make that!’ I was like: ‘Yeah! I made it!’.”
Love: “Do you still listen back at it now? How does it compare to the beats you make now? Do you hear a difference in style or genre?”
Nutty P: “Mmmm, I guess what I do not is more varied. Starting back then, all I knew how to make were rap beats and a little bit of R&B. But now, learning guitar and the chords and keyboard, I can make whatever. So before, I was very limited…”
Love:“And now you’re all over the shop!
Nutty P: “All over the gaff!”
Love: “Back in 2004 you shut it down at The Jump Off Producers Battle. What was that experience like for you?”
Nutty P: “To be fair, that was 10 years ago! I was like 18/19. It’s difficult because now I’m a lot more jaded then I was back then. I was excited to get up on stage and show people that I could make beats. That was kind of it to be honest with you. The first time I went, I tried to prepare something before I got to the venue. But when I got there, they already had some samples ready for me to work with. I was like: ‘Aright cool.’ Obviously, I didn’t know that was gunna happen so I just kind of went with it. Whenever I put something in, I would listen for the crowd to react and I knew to keep going that way, if that makes sense.”
Love: “It makes sense! You fed off your audience. You have been prominent on the UK Grime scene for quite some time now. Who have you worked with back in the day and who are you cooking up a storm with now?”
Nutty P: “I started off with mainly just my people. And then I started working with Baby Blue, and then through her I met ‘S-A-S’, Pirelli, Sway, Sincere, Swiss, Nathan, D-Double, Newham Generals and LowKey, I did a lot with him back in the day. We were friends and when his stuff started kicking off I was involved with the production.
Now, I am working with Paigey Cakey, Lady Lykez, I’ve got my ‘Team Bakery’ people, that’s kind of it. It’s mainly my artists at the moment. I’m not doing a lot of work with people that are already out there to be honest with you.”
“The 2 On bootleg I did was a fun time to make. Kind of just let loose on it, all I had in my head at the time was making Tinashe trying to sound like Brandy in ’98”
Love: “There are a lot of producers who like to go on a creative journey with maybe two or three artists who are very different to one another and develop them as well as develop their production skills. What kind of artists does ‘Team Bakery comprise of?”
Nutty P: “With ‘Team Bakery’, there are like six or seven artists, different acts. There’s a band, there are rappers, there’s all sorts of stuff going on. I guess they’re like my little ‘passion projects’ that I’m just trying to work on and make special….”
Love: “Haha! ‘Passion Projects’ – I like that! #PP. What has been your favourite collaboration to date?”
Nutty P: Ah man… I dunno! There have been too many! And I feel like if I was to say one, I would hurt a lot of peoples feelings….”
Love: “Hmmm, OK, fair enough… so its safe to say you’ve got a lot of favourites. OK, let’s switch the subject up slightly. What is the first piece of equipment that you bought, both hardware and software?”
Nutty P: First thing I got was an MPC 2000 XL and it had a special edition orange one with the pink glowing pads. It was crazy! Yeah.”
Love: “And what’s your favourite piece of equipment that you’ve bought?”
Nutty P: “Ah man! I used ‘Massive’ the most, which is like a VST plug-in in Cubase. I guess I couldn’t really make my tunes without that. That’s probably my favourite. But, I like using everything to be honest with you. I just like putting all sorts of stuff together like not just one thing, having a bit of guitar in there and live shit.”
Love: “So if you were to advise a young budding producer, who has just started out, what equipment would you suggest? And I’m talking with limited funds and what not”
Nutty P: “Just get a laptop man and get ‘Logic’ or ‘Cubase’ or …”
Love: “Yeah literally. Or ‘Fruityloops’…”
Nutty P: “Yeah or ‘Fruityloops’. If you’ve got a friend who makes music, use what they use because they will be able to show you how things work. You know what I’m saying? You didn’t hear this from me, but you can get bare free VST’s that can really help out your production.”
Love: “Hmmm… yeah. Things have changed…”
Nutty P: “It’s a lot easier then it was when I started out. When I started, you had to have hardware; there were no VST’s. You had to get actual symphysisers and put sounds on them, which is long. They all cost like, £500 or whatever.”
Love: “People were making money off selling samples….”
Nutty P: “Yeah from like sample packs. But now you can just download it man.”
Love: “Yeah, you can download near enough anything. The music industry has changed a hell of a lot since you first started out…”
Nutty P: “Dramatically…”
Love: “What are your views on the way the music industry has changed in terms of the way social media has affected how artists have to just ‘be’?”
“I feel like it has made the music industry more watered down.” – Nutty P
Nutty P: “Back in the day, the only time you saw a music celebrity was when they were on stage doing their thing, or even a record signing. But now, you’ve got Twitter, YouTube, you see them on the toilet or whatever doing all types of mad shit.”
Love: “HAHAHAHA! ‘On the toilet’!! (hand over my face, too funny)
Nutty P: “So now, the idea of a ‘celebrity’ doesn’t mean what it used to mean. It doesn’t have the same impact. And now, it’s as if ANYONE can be a celebrity. When you’ve got things like X Factor, anyone can just jump and BOOM, verified. So, I feel like its made the art of making music less magical. It’s more about just trying to get the most views and followers rather than: ‘Ah man, I wanna make something classic that’s going to stand the test of time’.”
Love: “Hmm, it’s as if creativity isn’t a stand alone. Personality has to come into it. People wanna see what you do in your LIFE and it has become very intrusive.”
Nutty P: “Yeah definitely.”
Love: “What advice would you give a young producer in terms of getting started and networking?”
Nutty P: “I would say:
Spend as much time producing as you can – I heard a theory that once you spend 10,000 hours doing something, you’ve mastered that shit. So, be the best at your craft that you can be. Spend as much time learning what you’re doing.
Be original. Do stuff that no one else is doing.
Make something that people would want to come to you for – and then that’s when I would say start reaching out to people, like ‘Yo bruv I make beats’. You know what I was saying before about working with one artist? That’s good as well because you can bounce off each other and come up with different sounds.”
Love: “So developing your skills as well as theres and visa versa.”
Nutty P: “Exactly.”
Love: “Who, in terms of well known, successful producers, has inspired you the most?”
Nutty P: “Bait ones innit! Timbaland, Dr Dre, Just Blaze… no one that you haven’t really heard of! I mean, now I feel like I’ve made so much stuff that I can self-inspire, which is what I was aiming for. The worst thing is when you’re making something and you’re like: ‘Oh yeah this sounds just like my mans ting!’ You don’t wanna hear that because it’s just like, I am trying to be an original producer out here!
Also, Skream and Benga for what they did for the UK base scene. That had influenced me a lot in terms of the music I was making within Stinkahbell. More recently, Hans Zimmer, although he doesn’t do Urban music, but he does all those epic soundtracks, which has inspired me a lot recently.”
Love: “Obviously you listen to music…. Haha… but, some people say that they try not to see ‘what’s out there’, they try not to check out the competition, as it were, who’s in their lane…”
Nutty P: “I used to be like that. A couple of years ago I was like: ‘F*ck Drake! F*ck Lil’Wayne! They’re wack! But then, really and truly, I think you’re just limiting what is possible. I feel like when you listen to what’s out there and at least you know. I’m still going to do my thing. You’ve gotta be a fan of music first, I’d say. You gotta enjoy it, because otherwise it’s just work.”
Love: 100 %, otherwise your passion and creativity won’t shine through. So, what are you working on at the moment? I’m seeing a lot going on with ‘Team Bakery and you’ve recently released ‘The Zone Mixtape’!”
Nutty P: “Yeah, Team Bakery. I’ve got my solo mixtape ‘The Zone Mixtape Vol 1’ which was released on 25th August.”
Love: “Yup! Your album ‘Lucid Dreamin’ stood out for me. I felt it was quite a personal collection of songs. You give people a piece of your mind, politically as well as your personal life. (‘Fearless’) What is your interpretation of your new material?”
I’m kind of surprised that you would say ‘Lucid Dreamin’ is political. It’s probably more conscious, for me anyway. More introvert kind of stuff. Put it like this yeah, this mixtape, the way I see it, is kind of like ‘back to basics’. It’s not the same way people put out mixtapes nowadays where it’s an album pretty much and you’re getting all original beats. It’s not that. It’s jacked beats and spittin’. That’s it to be honest with you! It’s the kind of mixtape you would put on when you’re having a house party, you’re friends are over
“The Zone Mixtape Vol 1, is essentially a back to basics mixtape where I go back to the raw style I started with.”
Its like ‘Lucid Dreamin’s naughty little brother.”
Love: “You’ve got so many mixtapes! Everywhere I look! Like your ‘Summer Mix’, I was listening to that the other night, I heard some Queen in there, some MJ, some Missy Elliot….
Nutty P: “Yeah I dropped some Missy in there still!”
Love: “My mum was cooking whilst I was listening to it and she said: ‘That sounds like the instrumental to ‘Another One Bites The Dust’. It was that 80’s inspired intro I reckon…”
Nutty P: “Yeah, I think that ones called ‘Twilight’ – that’s MY beat!”
Love: “Well I’ll be sure to tell her to download it since she enjoyed it so much!”
Nutty P: “Basically, at the moment, I’m doing some work with Shacka. Besides him, Pagey Cakey and Lady Likes, I’ve got another girl called Laughter. But this is all outside of Team Bakery. With Team Bakery, there’s Ill Hayes who’s a rapper/singer-songwriter, who’s mixtape is almost done. There’s Clencha, who has an EP with Delta. It’s kind of done but there is still a bit or work to do…”
Love: “Ah, the tweaking stages…”
Nutty P: “Yeah, exactly. Tweaking. And then Mimi Storm, a female rapper who’s very good. We’re just vibezin’ at the moment. We haven’t yet got a solid project in the pipeline. Cash Cobane, he is a sick tattoo artist, actually. He just started taking clients, that’s my boy. Yeah, same thing, we’re just f*cking around.”
Love: “What do you see for the future? What’s next for Nutty P?”
Nutty P: “What’s next… Ummm I don’t know you know! That sounds bad! I just go with the flow! I think back in the day I used to get kind of disheartened because I would plan things out and it wouldn’t really go how I imagined. So I just thought: ‘Ah f*ck man this is long.’ I’ve been involved in so many projects that haven’t really come through. So now my whole thing is just to make the best music I can make and just try and get out there, simple.”
Love: “Give me a main hurdle that you’ve had and how you have overcome that hurdle…”
Nutty P: “I would say I’ve been in the game about 3 years roughly. My grandmother, who I was living with, passed away. When that happened, my whole life just went upside down. Overcoming that and still maintaining and making music was difficult. But, I’m still here so…”
Love: “Do you think you channelled some of those emotions into your music?”
Nutty P: “Yes. Definitely. And then the other hurdle that I want to mention is this. I used to work with this girl and we had a group called Stinkabell….
Love: “Yes! I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot of Stinkahbell!”
Nutty P: “That didn’t really work out in the end. We had a good run though. We did Glastonbury, Big Chill, went around Europe, all over the place. We toured. To cut a long story short, she wanted to be a solo artist and didn’t want to be part of a group anymore. But we had already built up such a foundation, I’ve gotta kind of take this on by myself. We were friends and now we’re not. So that was a personal gripe that I had to get over.”
The duo that is Stinkahbell
Love: “So do you think that the whole aspect of mixing business and pleasure is something that should remain separate?”
Nutty P: “I think it’s hard to keep it separate. Because, when you’re working with people so much, sometimes you become friends. You see each other all the time and you talk. I’m quite open init. With people in the studio, it’s like therapy. It’s like: ‘tell me whats up’ because you can’t work unless you’re alright, ya know?”
Love: “Yeah, it’s true. And being a producer, tell me if I am wrong, but it’s not JUST about the production. It’s about making sure the artist is cool as well.”
Nutty P: “Definitely. Yeah you definitely need a certain level of comfort for people to come out with their best stuff I think. But a lot of people do like recording with me. I’m not just saying that! It’s because I purposefully go out of my way to make sure people feel good and having a good vibe. You know what I’m sayin’? Because you don’t want to listen back to the tune and it’s a bad vibe: ‘The day I recorded that I was rubbish’ You want to feel like: ‘Yeah the day we done this was bless!’ “
Love: “Where do you see yourself in a couple of years?”
Nutty P: “Ah what year would it be then? 2016…. Hopefully, I’ll be in the cinema watching that new ‘Man of Steel’ movie!”
Love: “Uhuh!!! Hahaha! That’s a good enough answer as any ya know!
Nutty P: “I want to try and get into more visuals. For the music I make to be 4-dimensional. Rather than it just being a tune, I want there to be a visual and maybe a little story or comic to go with it, to make things more interactive. Also, I want to turn Team Bakery into an empire, running it like a label basically. Just, put out artists at a major label level but still independent. We keep the money and have full control of who sees us and where and all of that kind of sh*t.”
Love: “Interesting. Yeah quite a few record labels are under one umbrella label these days. Would you want to remain independent or would you consider being adopted by a major cooperation like Warner Brothers, for example?”
Nutty P: “It all kind of depends on the deal they are offering. I don’t really feel that labels do development deals anymore; where they are going to develop your fan base and nurture you as an artist or as a brand over the next 2 years, release an album and have a proper campaign. So, they kind of expect you to do all of that and then they jump in and give you like a ‘360 deal’ where they basically own everything. In that respect, I wouldn’t really want to. But then if they’re are basically gunna give me £100,000 and say: ‘Just do what you were doing anyway, and we’re just going to commission you to do it properly’ and you still keep creative control, then yes. I would be ‘adopted’ by a label.” (He giggles)
Love: “Haha, Nutty! That giggle was like Mr.Burns from the Simpsons! Finally, the ULTIMATE question: Is it what you know or who you know?”
Nutty P: “It’s who you know. Because, you can be the hottest artist ever, but if nobody knows you, nobody is gunna hear it. Unless, your goal is just to be a sick artist that no one knows of, then you’re gunna win! But, if you wanna be a decent artist that everyone knows of, you’ve gotta know people!”
Find Nutty P here:
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Instagram: @ultimateseminar/ @itsmissloveleeby: Love Lee | September 8, 2014 | News