Today, I had the opportunity to visit with Kyle Otto. He’s a Hip Hop producer, former DJ, and vinyl collector from Hamilton, OH.
Otto produced a big part of Blayze513’s first solo release – #HIStory. Together they crafted the Hamilton anthem, “Hometown.” He also produced “Building a Dream”, “Decisions”, “Find a Way” and “W.T.M.C.” for the project.
“Decisions” and the ballad “Hometown” are two of my favorite records on #HIStory. Listen below to hear how Otto flipped the “Hometown Glory” record by Adele.
Kyle Otto, formerly The Cincinnati Kid, is quickly becoming a go-to producer for Cincinnati MC’s. He has produced beats for Santino Corleon, Trademark Aaron, Blayze, Menace and I.O. He’s also produced for Hamilton artist Trey G, Trub, and DBurbs.
Let’s get into the interview, here’s what he had to say:
How long have you been producing and collecting records?
“Producing since 2006. Record collecting for 13yrs. I was producing Hip Hop prior to 2006, but that was the year I sold my first record, that makes it official. I started collecting records back in 2001. My mother bought me an entry level set of Numark decks for my 17th birthday, November 13th. She doesn’t know it but that day changed my life.”
So that’s when you caught the fever?
“I walked an hour to the record store that morning and bought 2 records. Outkast’s ‘Aquemini’ and Mos Def’s ‘Black on Both Sides’.”
Your production style is very sample-based, How many records are in your collection?
“I have bought and sold thousands of (vinyl) records over the years. Currently, I have a few crates here and a few in storage. I wish I could have kept all the records over the years.”
Yeah, I know the feeling. What’s your favorite album in your crates?
“Millie Jackson’s 1972 self titled release, ‘Millie Jackson’.”
When you find that perfect sample on vinyl, what are you using to chop it up?
“First things first – sample selection is HUGE! When I find a sample, the first thing I do is track it into ProTools. I used to be 100% hardware and do it all in the MPC 4000. I now use a plethora of digital & analog gear to process, chop, and play the sample or flip it.”
What’s in your studio?
“I use ProTools 8 HD for recording and mixes. I use logic for 75% of production. I have a Roland Fantom G8, Roland MV-8800, MPC 2500, MPC 4000, and a Audio Technica AT-120 Direct Drive for sampling. And a MacBook Pro.”
Are your beats first inspired by a sample, or do you start by programming the drums first?
“I make 90% of all my samples and drum sounds. If you sample and its not a record, I live by the motto, no one should be able to tell you where you got it.”
What other producers/dj’s/artists do you see as your primary inspiration?
“I’m inspired by a lot of producers and artists from Hi-Tek to Just Blayze, Jay-Z, Eminem, Outkast. I could go on and on…”
Do you have a favorite record that you’ve worked on?
“Projects are like children, you have to love them all equally…or at least say that you do.” (Laughs)
There’s some heavy sampling on one of your most recent projects – #HIStory. I’m very biased, being Blayze’s DJ and life-long friend, but I feel like #HIStory is a very solid Hip Hop album, props on those beats! How did you and Brandon link up?
“Appreciate the compliment sir, Blayze and I went to school together. It wasn’t until 2010, almost 10 yrs out of school, that I sent him a record and reached out to him. I barely even knew him really, but music has a funny way of bringing people together. We recorded a track and that sparked the relationship.”
What can we expect from you in the near future?
“I currently have projects in the works for Blayze, Santino Corleon, Trademark Aaron, Sleep (of II-man Cypher), Joey Mack and a few other records to be named later.”
Trademark Aaron and Sleep recently dropped ‘You Don’t Want It’ How did you cook up that sound?
“We wanted to take it back to hip hop, but give it a horror story feel. Wait till you hear the rest of that EP… I’ll let Trademark Aaron fill people in on that joint. S/O to TM Aaron and Sleep btw!”
Well I wish you the best of luck. Any last words?
“ALWAYS be truly honest with yourself! #supportlocalart #frequencyrulesall”
This guy is about to attack the industry. I can’t wait to get in the studio with him again. Check out Kyle Otto on FaceBook and Soundcloud.