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Interview: Nedarb Nagrom

We talk to the LA-based producer about becoming a tastemaker, selling beats online, GOTHBOICLIQUE, dream collaborations and the future of the underground

Even if you don’t know who Nedarb Nagrom is, chances are you’ve heard his music.

If names like $UICIDEBOY$, Xavier Wulf, Lil Peep, Slug Christ, Black KrayGhostemane, Lil Tracy, Craig Xen6 dogs, or OmenXIII sound familiar, then there’s no doubt you’ve witnessed his production at some stage.

From humble beginnings in New Hampshire, Ned’s talented production, A&R sensibilities, and genuine love for music and hip hop culture have quickly seen him become a staple of the flourishing underground scene.

Starting out in 2014, Ned’s first big break came when Black Kray of Goth Money Records used his beat for the track ‘WHY MAH SOULJUHS CRY’. Following this, Ned continued to build the hype surrounding his name, and it wasn’t long before his distinctive brand of dark, melodic trap instrumentals were making their presence felt throughout the Soundcloud world.

Another defining moment came about when Ned linked up with Xavier Wulf, of Raider Klan and Seshollowaterboyz fame, to release the super-rare instrumental mixtape ‘Tears On My MPK’. Along with this release, the pair also teamed up on stand out Xavier tracks like ‘Incase They Ain’t Know’ and ‘Hollow Be Thy Squad’.

However, the biggest achievement of Ned’s career so far is quite possibly his work with emerging superstar Lil Peep. Ned was quick to realise the potential of the New York teenager, exclusively producing his early 2016 mixtape ‘California Girls’, and in the process, creating one of Peep’s break-out singles ‘beamerboy’.

The pair continued to work together all 2016, creating some of Peep’s most popular songs to date, in ‘white tee’ and ‘white wine’ with Lil Tracy, as well as ‘OMFG’, and ‘drive by’ featuring Xavier Wulf off Peep’s ‘Hellboy’ mixtape.

Another important part of Ned’s quickly-expanding legend is his ability to scout emerging talent. Widely regarded as one of the underground’s most important tastemakers, Ned’s famously helped to spread the word and raise awareness about a number of now-popular artists.

Truly one of the game’s good guys, he’s also well-known for supplying underground artists with high quality beats for super cheap prices via social media, DJing various functions throughout LA, and his podcast ‘Ned’s Place’.

For the first installment of our new series Producer Talk, we caught up with Nedarb to ask him a few questions.

How long have you been producing for? And what motivated you to start?

I started making beats in January of 2014, when my friend knowsthetime taught me how to use Ableton. I was always into making music (I used to rap a lot, I still do, but not as much) but I was never that good, so I wanted to find my place. I was super inspired by producers like Clams Casino, Eric Dingus, Friendzone (RIP James), and suicideyear. 

Ableton, Fruity Loops, or Logic?

ABLETON BABY.

When did it start feeling like you could be successful at this?

I still don’t know what that feels like. I can live off of music currently by selling beats, but I want to do shit that’s even more meaningful. But then at the same time, making music has changed so many kids’ lives and made so many kids happy, it reminds me of what it was like before I made music. Being a fan of music is way cooler than making music. That’s all I can say. Making music makes you appreciate music less.

You’re often described as a ‘tastemaker’ for the underground – how can you tell when an artist is going to blow up?

I don’t even mean to be a “tastemaker” intentionally, I just fuck with good music. If something is good, I’m going to promote it. In 2014, i was super into yung bruh, Horse Head and BB Sun specifically. In 2016 I was super into Smokepurrp and Lil Peep, and now in 2017 it’s 6 dogs. I don’t know, I just like what i like and people seem to fuck with my musical taste. 

Who are the artists you’re most excited about right now?

6 dogs, Lil Tracy, Lil Peep, Money Posse, yunggoth, Ghostemane, Wavy Jone$, and lederrick

What has Goth Boi Clique’s rise in the underground been like to be a part of?

I’m not sure – I’m not an official member of GBC, but I’m definitely an affiliate. I introduced a lot of the members to each other. GBC has been a thing since 2013-2014 and it’s jus starting to get hella buzz now. I just fuck with my bros and people I fuck with, it’s all natural. We really only make music in person these days, I think that makes the music better, which makes the fans like it more because it’s more natural, more relatable, and just slaps harder. 

Where do you see the scene headed in the next few years?

Who fucking knows… I just think really cool shit is being made right now, and I’m sure it’s going to get even more creative, because you’ll need to be unique to stick out since the scene is becoming so oversaturated. 

What are the best and worst aspects of selling beats online?

The best part is that it’s super fucking easy to reach out to people, send beats, and close deals really quickly. Worst part is that I look like a total fuck boy sometimes posting about it. Fuck it though, it’s how i pay my rent. 

If you could produce for any artist who would it be?

Lil B, PARTYNEXTDOOR, or Drake.

Do you have any advice for all the up and coming producers trying to make a name for themselves?

Be unique, practice making beats for hella long before you start putting shit out (I didn’t do that which is why my early releases are so trash).

Will you be releasing any more projects with you rapping any time soon?

Yeah, but my main focus is producing right now. Rapping’s just a side thing.

Are more Ned’s Place episodes in the works?

Some day…

What else can we expect from you in 2017?

A collab album with Slug Christ, tour with Peep and GBC, and a lot more beat tapes.

Follow Nedarb Nagrom on Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud to stay updated on all new music.