The music industry is a competitive and ever-changing landscape, but one producer has managed to stay atop the mainstream for over a decade: Boi-1da. With four nominations at the 2023 GRAMMYs, including the coveted Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, Boi-1da is a true industry leader.
Boi-1da rose to prominence as a trusted producer for Drake, creating beats for hit songs such as "Best I Ever Had," "Over," and "God's Plan." His portfolio has since grown to include work for artists such as Rihanna, Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Kendrick Lamar. In 2022, Boi-1da had a particularly strong year, contributing to Beyoncé's Album of the Year nominee "Renaissance," working on Kendrick Lamar's progressive and polarizing "Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers," and crafting the instrumental for Jack Harlow and Drake's "Churchill Downs."
One of Boi-1da's secrets to success is his ability to adapt and evolve. Hip-hop producers are often pigeonholed, but Boi-1da's three biggest records from last year have virtually no sonic overlap. This malleability has allowed him to remain relevant and in the zeitgeist. Boi-1da realizes that eschewing one signature sound is the best way to keep up with the rapidly changing music industry.
"There have been many times where I’ve created sounds and it gets emulated and everybody starts doing it," he says. "I like to come left-field and do stuff unorthodox and different, so figuring out how to pivot and keep yourself relevant is what I’ve been doing."
Boi-1da's growth as a producer is evident in the way he listens to and takes in music. He is constantly learning and adjusting to keep up with the changing landscape. He sees himself as a "young veteran" and feels that it is important to mentor young talent in the industry.
Boi-1da is gearing up to release his first solo studio album later in 2023. This second time being nominated for the Producer of the Year award is a special honor for Boi-1da, as he recognizes it as the highest honor for a producer. Despite more than a dozen nominations, Boi-1da still feels grateful for the recognition and acknowledges that it took a lot of hard work, sacrifices, and the grace of God to get here.
In conclusion, Boi-1da is a true industry leader and a testament to the importance of adaptation and evolution in the music industry. With a portfolio of work for some of the biggest names in hip-hop, Boi-1da is well deserving of his nominations at the 2023 GRAMMYs.
Boi-1da isn’t one for repetition — he’s an explorer of sound. Throughout his run as a top-booking producer, he’s fused his love of hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, R&B, and other genres in pursuit of the next sonic wave, and he’s done it by refusing to limit his creative ambitions.
“I don't like to just do the same thing,” Boi-1da said. “I'll get bored and just feel like doing something completely outside of the box just to challenge myself or push myself. And it's good for the mind. You sit there and make a million rap songs, beats, ideas, and whatnot. But then sometimes I just want to do something different and just get outside of my box and comfort zone.”
From the days he spent obsessing over FruityLoops beats as a teen to the years he’s been cranking out platinum-selling hits like “Headlines” and “Work,” the Kingston-born and Toronto-raised producer has harnessed his artistic powers to spearhead the industry’s biggest musical trends and established himself as one of the top producers in the last 15 years. Between collaborations with heavy hitters like Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, and fellow Canadian superstar Drake, along with a slew of platinum plaques to his name, Boi-1da, born Matthew Jehu Samuels, has the hardware to back up the claims.
As the Grammy winner’s star has grown brighter, he’s kept his profile low and his goals in frame. And his approach to life and music has led to a second Grammy nod this year for Producer of the Year in the Non-Classic field, with songs like Jack Harlow’s “Churchill Downs,” Kendrick’s “Silent Hill,” and Beyoncé’s “Heated” helping him score a nomination. “It's always a deep honor to get any sort of nomination from the Academy. So to have this again, it almost feels surreal,” the 36-year-old producer said. “It's hard to even muster up a feeling. This is stuff I dreamed about as a kid.”
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