AO! Preciate the key to The Beat Suite, I’m more than thankful to come through with our fourth segment highlighting another one of the toughest producers out right now. While kickin’ it from my new spot in NYC, I got a chance to hop on the web-cam with a talented craftsman from the Finally Famous family tree. With Big Sean and the entire movement at G.O.O.D. Music and FF down, you hear the detail and finesse in their music; the expression helps you understand the stories of making something out of nothing, and turning it into a financially free lifestyle that could make you feel invincible.
You know here at AO we show love to the people behind the scenes – the men on the boards. Reppin’ for Detroit, but checking in live with me all the way from Nashville the other day was producer and songwriter, KeY Wane. Although he has been holding it down with his good friend Sean since they were just teenagers, the up and coming noise maker is coming off a really successful year, and ready to continue his momentum on the sophomore album for Big Sean, Hall of Fame: Memoirs of A Detroit Player. I was lucky enough to get a bit of time the day before Superbowl Sunday to chop it up with the kid, and ask him some questions about his journey through the industry so far.
Both of us fresh out of college, it’s just a re-run for KeY Wane as he continues to work on projects and prepare for the next step in his career. The critical acclaim came after his hit single with Meek Mill dropped, “Amen”– right or wrong, controversy boosts chart slots, and the record did exactly what it needed to. His new mixtape So Many Keys dropped yesterday, and down below you can see what the process has been like leading up to this point.
After ducking rumors about collaborating with Beyonce, Wane went on to tell me stories about his first encounters with Kanye, and how everything has been something to remember this entire time. It might be his Detroit player shit, or just maybe he’s picked up a few characteristics from Ye, but there was no reluctance to dish many details or surprises planned for this upcoming year. With due process, when you’re working with the best, you better act the part. Check out our interview on page 2.
Read from left column down, to right column down DC: Wassup bro, first off, why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers please?I’m Key Wane; I am a producer from Detroit – Finally Famous. You Know.
I just graduated from college in December; I read that you did as well – congratulations. I remember how hard that shit was working full time, doing internships, and still managing to keep good grades – Where was your career at during the time you were still in school, and what kind of advice would you give students who are in similar situations you were?
Congratulations to you too. I really started takin’ shit more serious my sophomore year, things really started happening. I did a song with Tyga that came out, and I co-wrote it. I did some shit for Sean, and it really started building up. It was a progress it definitely took a minute.
As far as advice, I’d say don’t give up, and just be patient. Like, have faith. Man a lot of people lose faith. They give up you know, when something’s not working from them. Those are really my main three things – just have faith, be patient, and make creative different stuff. Don’t make the same shit you always hear. Be different, be yourself.
What is a typical day like now in the life of Key Wane?
Oh man, its great. I get to create all day. Its not the stress of doing a five page paper anymore, I don’t gotta worry about homework and shit. So, a lot more free time. I get to travel more. When I was in school they had me on some stuff, like I could only fly out to meetings on the weekends. I couldn’t do Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday visits because I had class. So now they can fly me out during the week, so there are a lot of benefits to it.
Yeah, I don’t miss being in school at all. I can definitely see how you wouldn’t be missing it either.
Did you meet Big Sean back in high school?
Yeah umm, I met him when I was back in middle school, right before I went to high school.
Wait, so did you start producing before you met him?
I actually was kinda just starting up when I first met him; this was like when I was 13. I was just kinda starting to take it serious. Then, I went to high school – he was at Cass, I was at St. Martin Deporres. That was 2004, in 2005 I went to Cass, that’s when I started going to school with Sean and started giving him tracks.
Okay word. So you had work on all three of the Finally Famous mixtapes?
No, no, no. I was really trying to get on all of them, but like my shit wasn’t good enough. It was like; I had to make it better. I remember when he started working on the first one, and I really wanted to get on. But my beats weren’t you know – all that. So boom, Finally Famous Vol. 2 came out; I really thought I had a chance to be on that. I was really getting better but it really wasn’t my best work. And then volume three..
You made that..
Yeah, kinda turnt up that summer.
You made the debut too.
Yeah! That was crazy.
You are already recognized for your affiliation with Finally Famous; You’ve cut records with Jeezy, Tyga, of course the big “Amen” record with Meek Mill; Is there anybody that you haven’t work with, that we can expect you to work with?
Uhhhh…. I haven’t really…I’m working with all the people I’ve always wanted to work with. I’m just gonna leave it at that. There’s just one person I’m not working with right now, but I know that’s gon’ happen…soon.
Somebody you have worked with already, Jhene Aiko. How was it working with her?
I met her; it had to have been last spring. I was going out to LA. a lot, Sean was flying me out there for the album and the mixtape, and then she walked up in a session. Sean introduced me to her, so I played her some tracks, she picked some, and then I came back a couple months later and she already had stuff recorded. So she played it and it was crazy – she has a wonderful fuckin’ voice.
I assume you’re gonna have some stuff on her debut project, the Souled Out joint?
Uhhhh….maybe, maybe not. Lol.
Haha, alright…Lets talk about your project though – the one coming out February 4th.
Oh, the So Many Keys joint – it’s a compilation. I really wanted to do that because I feel like people know my work, but I don’t think people really know all of the stuff that I have done. So I feel like putting it together would give a nice little, you know…
Do you have anything new on there?
Mm, yeah. I ain’t gonna say what, but there’s something on there – we got a few exclusives.
Alright cool, I’m sure we’ll have that on the site…What is the creative process for you in the lab?
Man, honestly. It starts like; I go to sleep everyday around eight or nine. I don’t know, like my sleeping pattern is all fucked up. I go to bed at eight, and wake up at two o’clock in the morning, and be up for the whole day.
So, I wake up early and just go through my iTunes and listen to stuff. Then I’ll prolly open up some files, you know, do some touch ups on things, make some stuff better – then from there I’ll prolly start creating new ideas. And that’s how I be, I’ll probably make like two or three tracks a day. I don’t wanna burn out my creative process.
Would you rather get in the studio with people, or just send them beats through e-mail?
Man I’d rather get in the studio with people, I feel like its so much more affective. Like really during the whole Detroit recording process, and like the album, it was so affective ‘cause I was able to sit there with Sean and I’d be like man listen to this- and I’d give him the headphones. So then he’s like, “no no, do this and do this to it,” while he’s recording to my track. We’d be working on some shit that I just made, while he’s right there recording the song. It’d be crazy; I feel like its more affective when I’m in the studio versus just sending the beat. I can have more input you know.
Does your process change depending on each artist that you work with, or do you kinda just stick to the same thing you do?
I don’t know I mean, it’s kinda the same. I’ll let people hear ideas; we’ll bounce ideas and just create from there. I think like the most fun experience I’ve ever had was recording for Detroit and Hall of Fame. Fa sho.
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Okay word… I have a question from fans on Twitter and stuff. They wanna know if you travel a lot – Have you gone on tour a lot with Big Sean, or have you not been able to?
I went on the road…with Sean and Wiz … I think that was the Rolling Papers tour right?
Yeah, they were in New York, I went there for a couple days that was really it. It was kinda cool; actually, when I went there for the Rolling Papers tour, I met Meek Mill on my way back to the city. And that was like, how “Amen” really started.
Have you ever been out of the country?
Nah. I wanna go so bad though.
We’ve heard Sean talk about meeting Kanye & Jay after idolizing them for so many years, and it being surreal. Have you met anybody that was of equal shock to you?
Shit…. Sean’s Half of Fame concert, that was this past January/December I think..
The one in Detroit at the Palace?
Yeah, I met Kanye there. Now that was crazy, ‘cause I look up to him a lot musically. So my nigga walked up to me and was like, “Man Kanye behind you!” And I’m like, “No he not.” I’m sittin’ there talkin’ to my manager then I turn around, and it was him.
He ain’t even have no security with him, it was just him.
Kim wasn’t with him?
Nah it was just him, Pusha, and a couple other people around him – I was like oh shit man. My girlfriend was coming in too, so as I’m walking to let her in, I’m talkin’ to Common about this track, and like she walks past me. So I’m like…alright? So I walk past and I turn in and I see Kanye, I’m like, “Oh wassup, I’m Key Wane.” He’s like “Oh shit wassup, Key Wane”. It was crazy.
I’m not gonna even ask you if you’ve cut records with him yet because I know you both really like to keep shit on the low.
Have you had that I made it moment, yet? Like where you take a look at everything and you’re like “I’m on.”
I don’t know, I’ve never really honestly felt that. I’m glad I’ve never felt that. I feel like if I feel that, then I’ll prolly get comfortable and get lazy and shit. I don’t wanna lose the goal of the day, so no, I’ve never felt that feeling.
Right, I feel you… Okay, so then I got my last two questions here. You’re already a songwriter and producer under a great label, but where do you see yourself in the future? Are you gonna branch off into clothing, what are some other ventures you want to get into?
I was just talkin’ to my nigga about this the other day. I really wanna like teach a music production class at a college university on some real shit.
Wow, that would be big.
Yeah you know, possibly Tennessee State somewhere. I really wanna teach a music production course though, that would be kind of fun.
I’m saying, you should really used that damn major you went and got.
Any shout outs? Tell everyone where they can find you..