Interview: What’s a ¡MAYDAY! Studio Session Like? Ask Llamabeats

Aug 29 2017

With the magic of the internet, everything from dinner dates, to pictures of cats, to Game Of Thrones spoilers are available in a matter of seconds with just a few clicks (or swipes).

Music is the same too; not just finding it, but creating it.

Though there is no substitute for the magic of a live-an-in-person studio session, the internet has made it possible for artists and producers who, otherwise, wouldn’t be able to collaborate to do just that.

It’s not an either or though. In some cases, as with Llamabeats and ¡MAYDAY!’s collaborations, great tracks can come from both.

In honor of Search Party–and the three cuts the Miami duo helped create (including “Do”)–we talked with one half of Llamabeats, George Spits, about the studio sessions with ¡MAYDAY!, and, as it turns out, they spawned from sending beats.

Before we get to Search Party, I understand y’all did some work on Wrek’s Into The Further.

I did “Further,” Unknown Number,” “Middle Of The Night,” and “Knowtifications.” It was super cool to do that with Wrek. We feel free to be ourselves because he’s super open.

We did it at my studio in California and sent him a ton of beats. We just hit him with a bunch of beats at the right time. It was awesome. We made three of those specifically for Wrek, based off conversations we had had.

A few of those songs we didn’t use we ended up looking at for Search Party stuff but we did a lot of custom stuff. We found things that fit better for the new one and I actually ended up going to Miami for Search Party based of how successfully things were on Wreko’s album.

I’m sure it was amazing to get in the studio with them.

That’s what you gotta do…Especially in hip-hop where it’s a very collaborative culture.

When you flew out there, what was the initial “pitch” they gave? What did they say to help you shape your work?

When we were in the studio together, I just played beats back to back; some I had made with them in mind and others I had from the Llamabeats files that I thought would fit their vibe.

There were so many ideas being thrown around. We made a ton of tracks. I threw 20 something beats at them. There was talk of a double disk.

It was a pretty loosely themed studio session; a lot of ideas were being bounced around.

What’s a ¡MAYDAY! session like? What goes on?

Anytime I go to the studio I’m blessed to work with real people who make real music and it was exactly what I expected before going in there.

Incredible energy. Unfiltered and uninhibited. They have this environment where it’s like being at a good friends house. We’re bouncing ideas around. It was so natural.

You kind of lose track of why you are doing it you know? Obviously with the thought of working hard, we’re there to work, but it’s just a hang. It’s a property party. The drinking gets real, the smoking gets real [laughs].

As much fun as we’re having, though, there’s always a goal.

Is there a session you remember vividly?

“News To Me.” It was actually a song I wrote a while ago. I didn’t know what to do with it and it never went anywhere.

Even compared to what I do it’s completely differnt and I never thought anybody would really want to fuck with that; just super weird.

One of the last days I was there, I played it and they were like” ‘this is sick!” The way they warped the hook, they totally made it theirs. It’s really cool with their perspective.

I was just happy to have one of my babies be raised.

One of the album standouts is “Do,” what about that one?

I think “Do” is my favorite track out of the Llamabeats Search Party productions. That one was with Mitch Geist who I met in L.A; he’s this ridiculous producer. He came to my studio in L.A. with the skeleton, the whole idea for that.

The beat was done as far as the drums and the “do” vocal chops. The idea was to keep the vibe intact so I added the bass around the 808.

That one was actually made for Into The Further and we sent it too late, but Wrek wanted to use it for the ¡MAYDAY! album. We were just hoping the hype wouldn’t die.

For a little while, it wasn’t worked on, then, in the middle of us working in Miami, he pulled it up again and things got rolling.

Whats the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being with ¡MAYDAY!?

Don’t take too many dabs after 2 in the morning [laughs].

For real though, it reassured what I’m doing. It makes me feel like I’m on the right path. I trust myself that much more and I trust my collaborative efforts.

When Search Party drops on September 8th, be sure to keep an ear out for the stellar work of Llamabeats on “News To Me,” “Extra,” and “Do.”

While you wait, why not check out their recent work with a familiar face to ¡MAYDAY! fans, Kendall Morgan?

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for a Llamabeats album, which, according to George, could drop before the year is out.

Now that we know how much they love to work (and dab) together, who knows, maybe you might even find ¡MAYDAY! on there!