Producers Only: Yung Icey
Written by Greg Harris
When people first saw that Modern Life Mag was going to launch a producer based interview series, the reception was quite drawn back, to say the least but it was something that was only needed for the culture but it was something that these creative artists needed to have as well in order to speak volumes for other budding producers as well.
In the process of presenting new people behind the boards to the forefront, we started our series with ChasetheMoney, a midwest producer who's bridging the gap between the trap and the younger generation with working with the likes of Jeremih, Valee, Comethazine, and more. We continue our series with another budding producer, Yung Icey, who's producing a very secular sound for artists such as Yung Bans, NGeeYL, Slime Dollaz, and much more throughout the years. The South Carolina bred creative has placed himself as being one of the key figures for this new generation when it comes to production and how he's helping artists evolve.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Icey about his upbringing, how he feels about South Carolina growing their sound, how his relationship is with Yung Bans, and more.
How’s Your Modern Life?
Just cooling man, always working. Never not working, we really on our money shit this year the out the mud way the off the muscle way all that, you dig.
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up?
Really not much bra, I know for a fact I gotta roll me one though. I usually max out take a shower think about all the shit I gotta get done that day and wash my ass.
How was your upbringing?
Growing up shit was pretty smooth. I come from a small city with only about 70,000 people so you figure out who really fuck with you and who fake real fast. I had the same group of homies all through middle school and high school never really kicked it with a lot of niggas cause they hated on everything we did. But where I’m from and everything we went through it taught me a lot about this life shit early. Shit was mad boring though, most of the time.
How would describe coming up in South Carolina and how do you feel like it’s different from the rest of the South?
I would describe coming up in South Carolina as unheard of simply because we never had anybody come out of this state. Nobody has really caught attention (consistently) from here on a major level with the exception of Speakerknockerz (RIP Knock).
I also know a couple people who actually are from here but don’t really claim the state so that don’t even really count. As far as it being different from the rest of the south, I think we have our own future. A lot of people like to compare South Carolina to Atlanta or put us in the category of a “nobody state” but I think South Carolina has its own wave. We have our own culture, I just feel like the state can’t move due to a lot of hate and jealousy, but it’s coming. We gone make sure of that.
When it comes to the origins of your producing you pull from a lot of melodies, where would you say the influence of your sound derives from?
I came up listening to a lot of music. Whether it be playing video games or listening to music in general. When I was in middle school I used to listen to a lot of Wiz Khalifa, Big KRIT, Curren$y, Casey Veggies, etc. So I would say my inspirations for that more classical feel on vinyl played a part.
I also would say that the dark movement of the underground was a big inspiration to me (the early eras of Raider Klan and ASAP). I used to always get into the lo-fi shit and also listen to chillwave. I also really fucked with Clams Casino coming up. I’d say he’s a big inspiration, his production speaks for itself. When I was younger I would hear music and always hear the loops in the beats so I think I picked up the rhythms of music early on............and also Chief Keef
With South Carolina not necessarily being known for its hip-hop scene, how would you say you are creating a lane for the state to prosper?
The stats don’t lie. I put on for my state. I feel like I’m paving a way for my state. Not saying I’m the only one making noise, I just feel like I’ve put down a lot of the groundwork to get the Carolinas, in general, a lot of attention.
I like to call it connecting the dots. I know how to build artist, and put them in the correct direction, and get them to a point where they gain a lot of attention and become stars. Not only does that make a big difference but no one else is really doing that here right now.
Being based there, you exceeded the expectations and connected some of the brightest artists in the game such as Yung Bans, D Savage, UnotheActivist, Steve Cannon, and more. How did you establish these relationships over time and how you think your work with them has helped your sound?
All that happened really just off the strength. Many of those relationships established over the internet, a lot of the artist just reached out to me asking for beats and we built the relationship from there. Everything is really organic that’s what makes it even more fye. I think the work really just put a lot of attention on me and my beats. A lot of the songs gained me the popularity in the newer wave so it’s cool to see people rocking with me everywhere because of that.
Out of all of them, you share a special bond with Yung Bans. How did you guys link with one another and how would you describe you guys relationship?
I met Bans in 2016 through some mutual friends that we had at the time. I was in the process of working on my first self-produced tape entitled, “Sloppy Holiday” that I planned on dropping that Christmas and wanted him to be apart of it. Yung Bans is one of the most genuine niggas I ever met in this music shit. He instantly fucked with me from the start. After talking to him and him agreeing to work, I sent him the “Right Through You” beat.
Funny thing about it is after we finished the song Bans didn’t like it, but I convinced him to let me drop it and the rest was history. Since then, we’ve built a relationship deeper than just the music. He’s like my little brother but age doesn’t really change nothing we still kick the same as if he was my age. It’s like family, we eat together and we shine together.
Aside from your work with some of the younger generation of rappers, you’ve established a special footing with Yung Simmie and Lil Champ Fway in your early years. How did you feel working with them helped your sound over the years?
Really Denzel Curry, Yung Simmie, Lil Champ Fway and Black Kray were artists that helped me develop my name early on when I started making beats in High School. I feel like I came into the game when it was changing from the older dark underground shit to the new wave shit. It gave me an advantage because it gave me different fan bases and I got supporters from that as well as all the new supporters from the new wave. I feel like that was the evolution of my music and I still pull inspirations from both periods.
Aside from working on the boards, you’ve also played an instrumental role to Daily Chiefers. How would you describe your experience with them?
Since joining Daily Chiefers last year it has opened a lot of doors and given me a lot of opportunities. I was on the periscopes doing Beat Critiques live for producers while writing here and there but I stopped live streaming because everyone else took that idea. Currently we’re coming up with new ideas and rebuilding the entire brand so I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Being able to support the culture and also be apart of it is something that I really fuck with. I like the ability to support new and upcoming artist because I can relate to the feeling of when I had my own first blog post covering me. It’s dope. S/o to my boy Joey and the Chiefers team.
Living in a time and space where producers are speaking more and more on how they’ve been put in the backseat when it comes to appreciation in the music industry, where do you think producers need more support when it comes to them fully prospering in 2018 and beyond?
It starts at the producer themselves. Know your worth. Producers have to learn the business before they can conduct good business. I feel like a lot of young producers are money/clout hungry in the wrong ways and it comes off as a bad vibe on the whole community. It is important to read up on things know your rights and what you’re supposed to be collecting. There’s a lot of ways to get it, you just have to apply yourself. Never be afraid to invest in yourself because it comes back times ten. And most importantly have fun, a lot of people make music for the wrong reasons.
Not only does this bring up the ideology of bringing more attention to helping out producers, but it also brings forth the equation of producers sticking together. What are your ideas when it comes to producers to possibly making a union?
Unions are cool I used to be in one called Dying Rich with a couple of my homies. We would just chop it up, cook up, and help each other a lot of the time. Networking with other producers is fye especially the ones you rock with outside of the music. I probably wouldn’t join one at this moment because I’m at a point in my career where I usually want to produce everything solo. I might start a collective of young producers and bring them up in the near future.
Respectfully so, we consider you as one of the innovative independent producers who’s pushing forward a new sound. How do you feel like you can progress in 2018?
In 2018, I feel like the sky isn’t the limit. I broke a lot of expectations in 2017 so I just feel something special about this year. I’m working on perfecting my craft and continuing to turn Yung Icey into a household name in the music industry.
"I want to go down as one of the greatest in the Carolinas and Worldwide (although that sounds cliche). I want to help pave the way for my state. I want to be remembered for all the work I put in as a producer but also all the foundational work that I laid out to help artists to be successful under me. "
What are 3 goals of yours in 2018?
- Bring more artists up under my brand
- Make more timeless music
- Get the Foreign Whip
How do you want to revolutionize music?
I want to change the game. Against all odds, I want to be a young nigga in the industry with a solid music presence. Music is in a state right now where people can express themselves in all type of ways. It’s a new art, some understand it and some don’t. I want to change the way people see it and solidify what this wave is. People call it underground but in a sense, the underground is the mainstream. My goal is to revolutionize music but to also break barriers through chasing my own dreams. whatever happens, happens.
When it’s all said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
I want to go down as one of the greatest in the Carolinas and Worldwide (although that sounds cliche). I want to help pave the way for my state. I want to be remembered for all the work I put in as a producer but also all the foundational work that I laid out to help artists to be successful under me. It’s bigger than the beats, I want to change the way people look at producers. You can be a producer and a boss in this music game.