2016: The Year in Charts
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The Year in Country Charts: Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, FGL, Maren Morris & More
Making 'Fetty Wap': A Preview of Fetty's Debut Album With His Producer Brian 'Peoples' Garcia
That's about to change this Friday (Sept. 25) when Fetty drops his self-titled debut via 300 Entertainment and RGF Productions. The 17-track album will feature the rapper's four Hot 100-charting singles ("My Way," "679," "Again," and of course, "Trap Queen") as well as a number of new tracks and redone versions of SoundCloud smashes.
Billboard spoke with Brian "Peoples" Garcia, fellow New Jersey native and architect of "679" and "Again" (as well as the engineer on "Trap Queen"), about his work on the new album, Fetty's process, and what his next radio hit will be.
How involved were you in picking the songs for this album?
They picked the songs -- I just put them in order. Make sure it sonically sounded proper, stuff like that. Make sure it gives you a bunch of different feelings. That's how I felt I wanted it -- happy feelings, and dance-y feelings...there's this one song we ended it with that's pretty sad. It leaves you like, "Man, this guy can do more than just what he does [on the radio]," because it's just totally out of left field.
It was a matter of putting it together knowing what the audience had already heard. That's why when you go on [Fetty Wap's] SoundCloud, all those songs are off -- the ones that went on his album. I gave them a whole new feel. I didn't want people to be like, "Well, I heard this song already." The album is not the same as what people think it's going to be. If you're like, "Well I heard this song on SoundCloud," [now] that song does not sound anything like how it sounded on SoundCloud.
We have "Rewind," we've got guitars on that one at the end of it. It's really sad. He keeps telling the girl that he wants, you know, whatever...it's kind of a "My Way" thing, a slower version of it. But the way it breaks down at the end is kind of crazy.
How many of the songs are you responsible for on the album?
I mixed the whole album, and recorded it. I produced seven songs. My name is all over the album, so I'm satisfied with that.
With the songs on the album, are they all from last year around when you recorded "Trap Queen"? Or are some of them more recent?
I think there's like seven or eight new songs. And then the other ones are songs that were in high demand [from SoundCloud]. Instead of putting these songs to waste, leaving them on SoundCloud, [we said] let's just put the album out. But it's like night and day when you play the SoundCloud version (which you won't find anymore) and then play the album version.
Even with "Again," if you listen to the old version and then you listen to the new version -- you can hear all the instruments now, the drums are louder, everything is just clear, in your face, mastered. He's not like, talking at the end of the record -- none of that. Even with the talking at the end of the record, he did what, 70 million clicks on SoundCloud with that version?! Now we're at like 13 million with the new version?
"679" is the one that's taking off right now though [it's currently no. 7 on the Hot 100]. And I produced that so I'm like, "Fuck, so awesome!" I didn't think it was going to go that crazy, being that we have so much material out, and the song was made last June [laughs]. I didn't think it was going to be almost platinum already. That was a surprise.
It is surprising, given that it has such a niche sound -- it's very specifically you guys, which is not necessarily a pop radio-ready aesthetic.
It's on freaking Z100 and shit. I did this for my whole life, and it took so long to get here. But it happened so fast that I wasn't even ready for it. It's all overwhelming to me -- I'm still getting used to it.
Fetty's like, "Why do you still work in the studio everyday?" and I'm like, "Because I have a family to feed?" When I go to the mall and people say, "You're Fetty Wap's producer!"...It's weird man, it's so weird.
I remember when we spoke about "Trap Queen" before, you said that the radio version had an mp3 beat that you had mixed over, because you hadn't been able to get the stems [the root files, used to mix and master songs]?
Yeah, he [Tony Fadd] never sent me the stems for that.
Yeah, he never sent them. Everything else I got stems for though. Everyone was pretty polite with the album, even when I was emailing them at one or two in the morning being like, "Hey, I need the stems for this beat." They would be like, "For what?" And I'm like, "You made the album" -- then you hear the guy flipping out on the other end of the phone. That's a cool part I guess too, that I was able to call everyone and kind of say, "Hey, you made the album."
How many different producers are represented?
The majority of the album is me and Yung Lan, and then it's Frenzy, my friend Allen Ritter (who just did the Travis Scott album) -- he made a beat with me though, it's on the deluxe edition.
When I played the album for my wife, she was like, "I never heard that song!" and that was a song that had been out for a long time. Yeah, the songs were on SoundCloud, but there's a lot of people that haven't even heard freakin'...some people are still buying "Trap Queen." When I see the sales, it sold 30,000 copies last week! Last week, 30,000 people just bought "Trap Queen." Just imagine all the people who haven't heard "679" -- I don't know what cave you're in if you haven't heard that song.
I think the album's going to do very well. It's a cool album -- not one of those where every song's the same and every beat's the same. It's not like that.
What's your studio process like with Fetty?
He'll just be like, "Load this beat up," and then he'll either write to it or have it written already. Sometimes he doesn't even write it, he just goes in the booth -- I guess the beat gives him a certain feel? He just does what he does.
Now I'm getting more sponsors, and they're sending me more equipment -- his voice is just sounding better and better every time he comes back in the studio. Now it's like you can't even hear the Auto-Tune in his voice. I use it, very minimally, but now it's to the point where you can't hear it anymore -- it sounds like he's really just singing on it. I have a new program that I use on him.
Sometimes he comes to me, like, "What do you think about this melody?" I'm like, "That's dope, switch this part," and then he'll take that and switch it in his own way...I don't know, I think that's what makes him dope. We all feed off each other, you know what I mean? He'll be rapping to Monty, and I'll overhear it and be like, "Yo, you should do it this way." Monty will be like, "Oh that would be dope, do it like that and then do this" -- he feeds off everybody in the studio, and then he just takes that energy and then goes in the booth with it, and just makes magic.
I don't really do a lot to his voice. I just know how to use my stuff. I've been doing this for a long time, and I want a certain sound. It's really about how open he is to trying new things, even though he already has his sound. He doesn't really listen to a lot of music, so it's hard for me to be like, "Well, let's put a reverb in the background, like on Travis Scott's new record." It's hard for me to explain things like that, because he doesn't really listen to [a lot of] music. He pretty much just listens to the Zoo Gang stuff, and whoever he's cool with.
Are there any specific tracks on the album that you think have that explosive potential that we haven't heard yet?
Definitely --- we have this song, "Trap Luv." That one has potential to be something big. "Time" -- we put guitars on that one as well. There's an element of Fetty in that song that people haven't heard. I think it's going to be one of those like, "Oh shit, this guy can actually sing" type of things. When we made that beat for him, we asked him, "What don't you have?" Because we'd pretty much covered every corner of the sound.
"Time" and "Trap Luv," I think they just gave me that feeling like, "These are records. I gotta spend a whole day mixing these."
You might think it's the same, but it's not the same. Everything was remixed -- I did the beats over. "Rewind" has a whole new beat -- it's not the same one that's out on YouTube. To me, it's a whole new song, because there's a new feel to it. I'm bringing the feeling back to the record by the way I did things over. It just sounds so nice now!
Fetty Wap is out this Friday, Sept. 25 -- preorder the album here.