Hailing from St. Louis, Mo, Chopsquad DJ has collaborated on hits with the likes of Juice WRLD, Trippie Redd, Lil Durk, King Von, and countless others on his way to more than 20 RIAA certifications. Having used FL Studio for more than a decade, we wanted to learn more about his story and experience with the DAW.
Chopsquad DJ – In the studio
Tell us about yourself and how you got into music?
I got into music as a kid. I was an orphan and took classical piano lessons for 9 years while I was in and out of St. Vincent Home for Children in my hometown of St. Louis, Mo. While I was there, I would use my natural singing capabilities to awe potential foster parents who came to visit the kids. It was a tactic I used to get their attention and possibly a new home. As the years went by, I gravitated to music as a natural way for me to express myself and drown the outside world out. In a way, it was like a mental retreat I used to be able to feel like a regular kid and not an orphan.
How did you start using FL Studio & what does it mean to your productions?
I originally started using FL studio cause there was a free version I could download and explore with. I didn’t know the spread that it had across the country already and in 2008, I saw Soulja Boy make his numerous hits using only the demo version of the program. Shortly after, one of my good friends (Popo) used FL to make a popular song in my region that ended up getting nationwide attention: “Pop Lock And Drop It” with the artist Huey, who has sadly passed on since then. That both validated the authenticity of the program for me and also made everything seem that much more achievable to me. From there, I just naturally learned all of the ins and outs of the program and it became my go-to for anything musically orientated.
Trippie Redd – Topanga
Tell us about your work and some of the artists you worked with?
I consider myself as more of a composer rather than a producer. I have almost 400 placements and I like to play around with different sound profiles and help artists build their careers by finding their distinctive sound. I’ve always started the process by just organically building with the artist, even if it’s outside of the music and more on a personal basis. Since I’m from the Midwest, I worked my way outward and expanded from there. Chief Keef gave me the name Chopsquad DJ. Since we are all from the same region and area, I started with Lil Durk. Since 2013 I’ve been on every last one of his projects he’s put out. On to Trippie Redd with his hit single “Topanga” and all the way to Tee Grizzley’s projects. Using the artists I work with to show my range in production took time, patience, and above all, the trust in myself as an individual to push that specific artist’s sound forward. On to my very own artist who I developed from song number 1: King Von. We made every song together and he trusted me completely with his sound, all because of the time we put in and the previous work I have accumulated with other artists. He was one of my closest friends and favorite artists. Even though he has passed, it’s my job to continue to push his legacy forward and keep the culture moving.
Tell us about your production environment and the gear you use?
My DAW of choice has always been FL Studio. All I ever needed to make a banger was my FL Studio and a MIDI controller. Since I’m a musician at heart, I like to be more hands-on with the song creation. starting with just the beat itself. These days I use a lot more equipment outside of just the DAW. For instance, in some sessions, I may use one of my analog keyboards, and in others, I may use a sampler to chop up my favorite songs. Either way, it always comes back around to being dropped in FL, built and arranged right in the program itself. I feel like it has all the tools I need in the ultimate DAW.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I want people to understand that with tools like FL Studio, the sky isn’t even the limit anymore. There are countless possibilities in arrangements and approaches that will give any producer the perfect environment to create their ideas with, with just the click of a mouse. The future is now, and it starts with the creators of today.
Chopsquad DJ – Social media:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/chopsquaddj/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/chopsquaddj/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/chopsquaddj