Words By Miki Hellerbach
The Producer’s Voice is a new series for GUAP where we highlight the stories of instrumental crafters. We hope to bring their stories to the forefront instead of kept behind the artist they are producing for.
Squibs is the Kansas City producer that brought together his early love of Dubstep with Hip Hop to create his own unique sound.
Producer Squibs was born, raised, and still lives in Kansas City. In his youth, he learned drums on his own and eventually formed a few bands. He even became a singer in a Punk band in high school. Squibs later became infatuated with producing synths which moved his sound into Dubstep. Then got into Hip Hop and sampling and sort of infused the two styles to make the type of instrumentals he makes now.
In college, through mutual friends he met Matt Alban of ‘Fashionably Early’ (Spotify Playlist) who put him in contact with emcees Chris Patrick and Baby Phace from the now bubbling New Jersey rap scene. His compositions with these guys have elevated him now beyond just his local scene which he was also thriving within. Squibs is also a solo artist beatsmith with his biggest song yet ‘Vases’ having landed on the Spotify Playlist ‘Lo-Fi Beats’ and has over 175,000 streams.
I asked Squibs to give the backstory of three of his top instrumentals. Take a read.
‘Peace of Mind’ by Chris Patrick
“Chris and I at this point had been going back and forth for a few years, but he hadn’t released a full project yet. That [‘Peace Of Mind’] was a later one I sent on a whim. At that point, he’d never done anything like that and even the beats I’d sent him before were nothing like that. That’s where my head was at, at the time. I was cranking out a bunch of House and Bass stuff. When Chris sent it back I was like, “This is incredible.” That tambourine and “4 on the floor” drum pattern, meaning there’s a kick every quarter note, made me think of “All Night” by Chance The Rapper and Knox Fortune. I knew Chris would do something crazy with it. I made the synths with a patch in Serum using Jazz and Soul style chords. The drum pattern gates or cuts out the synth, which gives it a really nice pulse.”
‘Lonesome’ by Domineko feat. Mike C
“That’s a Cello from part of Native Instruments Kontakt and then that pulsing synth is some Rhodes Piano I pitched all the way down. When I made this in 2014-2015 I was trying to recreate some Metro Boomin. But I did it the Squibs way. I know I also plastered it in some effects like flanger and chorus. My go to’s.”
‘Vases’ by Squibs
“This was at the end of 2018 when I linked up with Matt Alban. He said Lo-Fi stuff would be a really good outlet for me. I put together a few tracks and this was one of them. I wasn’t sure how it would be and it ended up being my best performing one. After that, I tried to emulate Lo-Fi playlist stuff and it had an adverse effect. I think “Vases” was so good because it was really just me. There are some pitched vocal samples on there, bringing that electronic influence. I draw from Flume for that with the sample chops. The influence is J Dilla for all my drums, and Madlib.”