Rappers often get the majority of the glory and fanfare, but without the producer behind the scenes crafting the beats, the lyrics would not come to life. Before the emcee moves the crowd, the production will — and despite the role reversal of the producer and the artist — continues to be the crux of any song worth listening to. This past year, a number of records were released that resonated with the public in a big way. They were successful due to not only the artist performing on them, but the producer listed in the credits.
The production arena has never been as vast or open as it’s become in recent years, with a whole bunch of previously lesser known talent infiltrating the game and adding new sounds and motifs to the fabric of hip hop. If you scour through the liner notes of some of the biggest singles and most acclaimed albums, a few surprising names jump out that were responsible for what rap and R&B fans were, and are listening to throughout the year.
Yugoslavian born, Swedish based producer, Makalo, is one name that will surprise most. Coming out of nowhere like a whirlwind, Makalo already has credits with artists such as Young Thug, Pop Smoke, and DDG, as well as Tonee Marino, and a whole lot of others working in rap, hip-hop and trap music. Makalo’s melodic guitar hooks and other production wizardry have found their way onto a number of platinum albums, as he churns out the sounds that are all of the moment.
April has proven yet another phenomenal month for Makalo as he convinced yet another superstar to use his sounds, as he landed a production credit on the hot new single “Envidioso”, by Puerto Rican superstar Ozuna. This now puts Makalo firmly on the Reggaeton map, as Ozuna is one of its biggest stars. His numbers confirm that – 35 million monthly listeners on Spotify ,11 million fans on Facebook, and 24 million views in two weeks on Youtube for the single “Envidioso”.
Not content, Makalo is already hard at work finalizing collaborations with some of Brazil’s biggest producers and artists, as well as some of the hottest stars from the Balkans. Due to contractual obligations, names cannot be mentioned right now, but the songs involving these collaborations are set to release this summer. Aside from working with the stars, the Swedish based producer also crafts and releases, loop and sample packs for all interested parties who may need them.
“My total aim and focus is to sell the best samples I have and do my best because I see them as an investment,” explains Makalo. “That’s the difference between my packs and a lot of other royalty-free packs. They keep their best melodies to themselves and their own beats.” Makalo’s available works include his popular sound pack out, entitled “Sounds of Makalo Vol. 1”, which contains 147 Melodic Trap and Reggaeton samples in WAV format. It also includes various one-shots, FX, drums, and other percussions etc., totaling a sum of 205 audio files.
“Sounds of Makalo: Deluxe”, is another popular sound pack, and a continuation of the previous release. This pack also features Makalo’s signature guitar melody sounds, which are highly sought-after by the hip-hop and trap markets right now.
Makalo’s latest melody sample and loop pack, is called “The Blueprint – Makalo Samplepack”, which is receiving a lot of attention from the USA and Latino markets. Check out the credits on your favorite urban artist’s release, next time around, you might just find Makalo’s name among, as his brand is currently on fire.