Producer King Graint is already achieving more in his young career than most musicians dream possible.
The up and coming producer has worked with a variety of notable artists including west coast crooner Butch Cassidy, Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and others.
Last summer, producer King Graint and west coast legend Butch Cassidy teamed up to release “Get On Up”, a feel-good single with all the LBC/West Coast/rhythm-n-gangsterisms we all know and love. The single was featured on a bevy of top media sites, including DubCNN, and made enough noise to land on Eminem’s Shade45 Sirius XM radio station.
DubCNN sat down with King Graint for a short Q&A session to discuss the making of “Get On Up” and collaborating with Butch Cassidy, what the keys to his early success are, what we can expect from him in the near future, and more.
Interview conducted in January 2017.
Questions Asked By: Chad Kiser
Photo Credit – Peardon Carrillo
DubCNN: Your latest single, “Get On Up”, with Butch Cassidy — Tell me about this particular track? How did the collaboration happen?
Butch and I had done a couple of other songs together when I first started making beats, but nothing really came of them. Some years passed, and I kept getting better and better. So I felt like I was ready to approach Butch, and make something happen of it this time. When we linked up at the studio again, I brought 15 new beats. “Get On Up” was the second to last one. He asked me to loop it, and wrote the whole song in 20 minutes.
DubCNN: How did you first discover your musical talent?
I’ve been playing instruments throughout my entire life. One of my first memories of playing anything was when I was 4 years old. My grandfather put me on a drum pad, and taught me rhythm at a very young age.
DubCNN: Who or what have been your greatest inspirations musically and why?
For me, it’s not necessarily an artist that inspires my music. I’m inspired by sounds, whether it’s a random synth, hi-hat, guitar lick, or piano chord. I’ll make an entire song around one sound that moves me. I could hear a random hi-hat, and the tonality of that hi-hat can inspire an entire song. Even hearing the same chord on two different instruments can lead me in completely different directions. Yes, I’ve been inspired by artists my whole life, but they’re not what inspires me to make music. One sound does.
DubCNN: How would you describe and/or define the style of music that you create and perform?
I don’t have just one style of music or sound. I want to continue to grow my versatility to the point where I can work with anyone and everyone. I listen to other music to keep up with what sounds are being used, but really, I use everything in my own way. For example, “Get On Up” with Butch Cassidy is a classic, feel-good type of song, but then I can flip it and make a trap, hip-hop banger like what I did on the upcoming “Lit” song with my guy Gunny H.
DubCNN: Where does your moniker, King Graint, come from?
I don’t really remember exactly how it happened, but in high school, people started calling me that. When I decided I wanted to make music, and needed to come up with a name for myself, I remembered being called King Graint in high school.
DubCNN: Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?
Looking back on my life before making music, it was like every bump in the road directly led me here. Ever since I decided I wanted to make music, everything has unfolded more perfectly than I could’ve imagined. The challenging part of my life was before I discovered this passion. I was lost for a long time. Music saved me.
DubCNN: What do you want people to get from your music?
For me, when I listen to a new song that I love, that shit gets me high. When I sit down and make music, it’s to pass that high along to other people. I want to get people high.
DubCNN: “Get On Up” was dope. When can we expect some new music from you? Like maybe perhaps a full length solo album…
I’ll start working on my full length solo album mid to late 2017. Right now, I’m focusing on singles and albums with Gunny H, Butch Cassidy, Trapbo’ Chad, Dephree and some new, up-and-coming artists. I’m also working on launching my own record label.
DubCNN: What do you feel has been the ultimate key to your success thus far? And, of course, what will continue to sustain you in this gruelling business of music?
Listen, I’m strung out on music. It’s all I do and all I think about, 24/7. I’m addicted to music. When I made my first banger, it got me so high. Once that high wore off, all I wanted to do was chase that high again. I thought, “I gotta make a better one.” Then I make a better one, get high, and chase it again. It’s a never-ending cycle – I’m always making that next banger to get me high. That’s the reality. I’ll wake up at 4 in the morning sometimes, thinking “I gotta make a banger.” Then I won’t, and I’ll be low. But at 6pm, I’ll make a banger, and bam, I’m high as fuck again. Like, right now talking about it, I want to get in the studio and get high.
DubCNN: Do you have any other outside/additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
I’ve battled with drugs and alcohol in my life, and one of the biggest things I have always wanted to do is to help other people in the same situation. I want to give struggling adolescents and adults the opportunity to see if music and creativity can help save their lives, like it saved mine.
DubCNN: Are you happy with the current state of Hip-Hop music?
Overall, I’m happy that hip-hop keeps progressing with new styles and new sounds. Progression is what it’s all about.
DubCNN: If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d make a rock/hip-hop album with Jimi Hendrix and The Notorious B.I.G. I’ve been wanting to make a rock/hip-hop mashup for a while now, so why not take the all-time best from both genres? Imagine The Notorious B.I.G. spitting over Jimi Hendrix’s funky ass, crazy guitar licks. It’d be fucking crazy.
DubCNN: One track of yours that you think defines you and why?
From the beginning, I set out to not have just one sound. So the truth is that I will never have one track that defines me. Each song I make comes from the specific, unique mood and mindset I have in that exact moment. Instrumentals are pure emotion, and emotions always change.