It always blows my mind that people listen to music without wondering who makes the magic behind the scenes. From the engineers, techs, even the studio that was used can dramatically change the delivery of a song.
The real heroes of music for YEARS has been the instrumental production. How many people hear a song and not even think about the lyrics because the beat has you nodding your head and matches the vibes perfectly. That’s the producers job!
Someone that caught me be surprise with the magic of Tik Tok was Comp Keyz. A duo production team with a very versatile style and unique approach to the music scene. And if you take some time to visit their Instagram they have a placeholder in their bio I LOVE. “Credits: Coming Soon”. Of course they have been in music producing for numerous songs, but what they are searching for is the sky, and once that bio changes I will know that they have reached/or getting close the point they wanted to take their career.
How long have y’all been doing this?
Malik Allen: “How old are you both, and how long have y’all been doing music”
Comp Keyz: “ Comp (Ramsey) is 27, Keyz (Butler) is 28. We started making really crappy beats on Garageband senior year of high school (2012). We’ve been taking it more serious the past 5-6 years though. “
I have been very weary of wanting to learn more about music artists using Tik Tok, UNLESS they use some creative attention getter to pull me in. What that says to me is this is a calculated marketing attempt. And that is truly what’s needed when using Tik Tok. No one just goes viral on Tik Tok, it takes unique ideas, stand out art, and talent, especially when talking about music!
Thoughts on social media?
M.A.: “Thoughts on social media and platforms like Tik Tok?”
C.K. “Social media is everything to us. We are not ones to go out to networking events and venues, so we have to network through social media. TikTok is kinda where our new focus is because of the potential reach you have on that platform. Every up and coming musician needs to be on TikTok.”
This Minneapolis duo had the great idea of making a computer helmet/hat. One of the members had the hat/helmet on and started making a beat! It caught my attention immediately and I went straight to their Instagram.
M.A.: “Credits: Coming Soon” in your bio, who has been your favorite artist to work with so far that isn’t well known yet? Why?
C.K.: “Kemba has been one of our favorite artist to work with. The song we produced for him is our biggest release to date it’s called “The Get Back (Riot)”. That release was also cool because of the projects meaning and the fact that we donated/still donating all our royalties to the Anti-Racism Fund This year we are very excited to hopefully start producing for more artists in the city like J. Plaza, Bayo, Nur-D & Cashinvoa. Hopefully we can land a major placement one of these days as well haha.”
Where is home?
M.A.: “Where do you claim as home? Is the local producer scene competitive or open to networking and finding opportunities for each other?”
C.K.: “Minnesota is our home. The producer community in Minnesota is very open at least in our experience. We enjoy sending out melodies to other producers and we’ve been sent a bunch of things as well. I think as far as the rap community goes we’ve heard some negative things about how people don’t like to collab or are “fake” but I think with the artists that are popping in the city now that is all changing. We hope to be a part of that change as well. There are too many talented artists in Minnesota, we need to keep pushing to put Minnesota on the map.”
As I said before, these guys are good! And that major placement is on the way.
I’m not sure what it is about seeing an artist working on their craft, it’s very gratifying when you are interested in an artist that’s not main stream and you see that they make A LOT of content. And that was the case.
On their Instagram (@compkeyz) it’s basically a compilation of their producing journey, updating you on stream stats, playing sweet melodies, showing off piano skills and still showcasing their 1 of a kind production.
Do you guys enjoy video content?
M.A.: “Video content with production has been popular as of late, what’s your guys’ thoughts on it, do you enjoy it? Does it add or distract from the actual instrumental?”
C.K.: “We love making video content around beat making. Unfortunately with both of us working full-time we don’t get to spend as much time on pumping out video content. BUT we’ve been talking with some local videographers to help out with that so hopefully you’ll see more video content from us soon.”
The first video I stumbled on was them playing the infamous instrument producer “The Kount”’s splice kit. It was cool because they showed how well they worked as a duo as well as their creativity when they hear 1 sound or melody.
The best way I would describe Comp Keyz is pop mixed with hip hop influence with a dash of Lofi with the melodic “Keyz” and melodies.
Tell us more about the producer duo!
M.A.: “Is everything released under Comp Keyz a collab (collaboration)?”
C.K.: “Great question. Comp Keyz is a duo so technically we are always collaborating together. We are working on some new projects that we hope to release next year that will be more like a DJ Kahled / Internet Money style project where we are bringing people together to collab on songs we produce.”
M.A.: I’m someone who dives into all the credits of music. And love finding new producers because they usually lead you to music you enjoy. Who inspires you the most in the production world?”
C.K.: “There are so many producers we get inspired by. Producers like Kenny Beats, Timbaland, Take A DayTrip, Monte Booker. Too many to name.”
I love that DJ Khaled was someone that they said they would replicate because it always blows my mind that there aren’t 100 DJ Khaled’s. People that create their own vibes in one project while having a hand in each song on the project.
One thing I have been convincing all of my producing friends is to drop a project. So naturally I went to Spotify to see what Comp Keyz even has uploaded, and behold there was an album released in 2018 titled D.L.C. with a cover that looked like what I imagine a normal jam/chill session would be like with the duo.
The album was everything I expected. The artists featured fit their style perfect, some rap, some sing, some use auto tune, that diversity was exactly what I pictured on a Comp Keyz album. This type of production I could see on a Jack Harlow, Bryson Tiller, Cordae, 24kGoldn even one of my favorite Aminé. That melodic upbeat, I’ll give you a few bars and a catchy hook type music.
Tell us more about your latest project D.L.C.
M.A.: “ Personally, I love producer albums that include recording artists. Is this something you guys plan to continue like you did for your album D.L.C.”
C.K.: “ HELL YES! Summer of 2022 is hopefully when you’ll see another Comp Keyz Project like D.L.C. Already got a couple of the songs in the works for it.”
M.A.: “Seriously can’t wait! How did D.L.C. come to life, and what did you guys enjoy most about it?”
C.K.: “Making an album/projects just sounded fun to us. It’s a cool experience to sit back and start to brainstorm what artists would sound cool together on what beats. Can’t wait to get back into that.”
It was too hard to just pick one song but I loved “Try”. The topic, the vibe, the production. Overall a 10/10 song I can picture listening to at your lowest and at your highest just vibing through life finding who you really are.
Long term goals?
M.A.: “I just found out about you guys so I have to hear what’s the first long term goal that comes to mind for Comp Keyz?”
C.K. “ Financial freedom. That doesn’t mean making millions off making music, simply to make enough money to pay the bills by only focusing on music is the dream. “
M.K.: “Lastly, how’s the process going for your upcoming projects? Anything we should be excited for you to release and why?”
C.K. “ You might not see another Comp Keyz release this year but you SHOULD hear some of our productions. We’ve been working with a couple of different artists that should be dropping thangs within the next couple of months even. So be on the lookout! “
If you are new to learning about producers and their impact on music, I encourage you to go to Google and look up who produced your favorite song and you will find so much music they were a part of that you like.
Comp Keyz is that example of producers that will impact the industry by bringing that unique sound out of a recording artist they didn’t even know they had and make it sound like that’s been their style for years. Here’s to innovation, creativity, teamwork and a good vibeeee.