“Mustard on the beat!”
Unless one has been living under a rock for the past year, the chances of having jammed to a song with that tag are sky high.
Indeed, beyond being infectious club hits, tracks such as ‘2 On’ by Tinashe, T-Pain’s ‘Up Down’ and ‘No Mediocre’ courtesy of T.I. and Iggy Azalea all have a common denominator: DJ Mustard.
Recently, That Grape Juice caught up with the super-producer whose first album ’10 Summers’ was released exclusively through Google Play and is now also available in-stores.
Join us after the jump where we quiz the hitmaker on his album and the reasoning behind its roll-out as well as his rise to the top of the charts, he also spills the beans on his work Jay-Z and Rita Ora and of course he updates us on his work with superstar Rihanna.
Interview by: Joe Kams (That Grape Juice, Paris)
That Grape Juice: Congratulations on all your success.
DJ Mustard: Thank you, appreciate it
Here at TGJ we are well aware of your career up until this point. But for those who aren’t, tell us about your journey?
Well I’m just a kid from Los Angeles, California, South Central. I started out DJ-ing when I was 11 and I started making beats five years ago for YG. I made beats for Tyga like ‘Rack City’, I made ‘I’m Different’ for 2 Chainz, ‘RIP’ for Young Jeezy and the list goes on and on. I’m just trying to make a lot of records.
Your rise has been quite rapid. How are you adjusting to fame, people knowing your name, your face, your trademark tag?
It’s cool, it’s really flattering to see people enjoying the music that I do, I’m just having a good time, I’m having fun.
We ear a lot of producers duplicating your sound, do you see that as a compliment or is it something that annoys you?
It is a compliment because it’s only making the sound bigger, also it allows me to know when the time has come to reinvent myself and make new stuff. When you are a leader, you should have a lot of followers.
Your album ’10 Summers’ is getting a lot of buzz. Tell us about what folk who buy it can expect from it in terms of sound, collaborations,…?
It’s a real classic West-Coast album with a bit of everything. We have Lil’ Wayne, Yo Gotti, Young Jeezy, Nipsey Hussle, RJ, YG, Big Sean, Lil Boosie and the list goes on. It’s a really good album, I put a lot work into it so I’m glad it’s getting the respect I thought it would get.
Also you did something special with GooglePlay. Tell us a little bit more about how that came about.
I decided to put my album out through Google because I just thought it was something new and interesting to do. They put it out and they gave it away for free. I consider Google a big outlet so I thought it was a good idea to do that and give it to the fans for free for a limited time, and later on they’ll be able to buy it.
Which producers are some of your biggest inspirations?
Dr Dre, Lil’ Jon, Timbaland, Pharrell, all of those guys are incredible producers to me, all very different in their own right.
Given your own success, do you see some of them as competition?
No, I am not in a competition with anybody. I do the music that I love to do and I have a good time doing it.
Tell us who you have been working with recently?
I’ve been working with everybody: I’m back working with YG, Nipsey Hussle, Ty Dolla Sign’s new project is coming soon, I’ve worked on Lil’ Wayne’s ‘Carter V’… I did a beat for Jay Z, I don’t know what will happen with it though (laughs).
We know you’ve been working on Rihanna’s eight studio album. What can we expect from your time in the studio?
We haven’t got our club record just yet but we have a ballad that I really like and that she likes too. I did a couple of songs with her, we’re still working, we’re still in the early stages, trying to come together with a massive record.
What about your other Roc Nation sister, Rita Ora?
Yes, I’ve been working with Rita. We’ve been trying out different stuff and we’re trying to come up with the best record for me and her. Everybody is working hard to put out music the fans will appreciate.
You’ve enjoyed much success with Tinashe’s ‘2 On’, what can we expect from her album ‘Aquarius’ since we know you’ve been working on it?
I did a couple of records for Tinashe, I think it’s gonna be dope. I haven’t heard her project in his entirety but I like the records that I did.
A lot of people present Tinashe almost as a young Janet Jackson, who at the moment has the masses talking about her new album? We love your sound, we love her, could a collaboration ever happen?
Anything is possible, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do
What kind of sound would you give her?
Definitely bangers, some crazy records.
What advice would you give to people that want to break in the music industry?
I would just say don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do what you want to do. Do what you got to do, do it to the fullest, don’t let up, not one bit. Stay yourself, don’t pay attention to negativity.
Finally, when the dust has settled, how does DJ Mustard want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as me, DJ Mustard (laughs). As a trendsetter, someone who was the best at what he was doing. I’m 24 years old right now so I have a lot of time to do what I have to do, for now I just want to keep making records.