Last month, producer Matt Friedman got his first taste of the upper tier of the Billboard 200 when Kid Cudi's debut album, "Man on the Moon: The End of Day," for which he produced a track titled "Enter Galactic," entered at No. 4. Now, Friedman and partner Jedd Cappelli, who collectively make up the duo Illfonics, hope to continue cracking the upper echelons of the charts by one day making beats for the likes of Drake and even Miley Cyrus.
"One of our strengths is our diversity in our sound," says Capelli. "We don't want to be pigeonholed into only working with one genre."
Even though Cappelli didn't work on "Enter Galactic," he mentions how "the stuff we've been making lately hasn't been straight hip hop beats," yet that seems to be where their work has been sought after the most. Prior to landing on the Cudi album, Illfonics produced the Jim Jones track, "Na Na Nana Na Na," which spent five weeks on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. They also worked with LL Cool J and Re-Up Gang, along with doing production on television shows like "Entourage," "CSI: New York," "Everybody Hates Chris" and "My Super Sweet 16." Additionally, Illfonics recently worked with Gorilla Zoe, Shanell and Gudda Gudda from the Young Money click and Red Café, among other projects.
On the other hand, "Sometimes we'll record a track with a specific artist in mind, but it'll end up that an artist in a completely different genre will want to use it," Friedman says.
The Kid Cudi track came about in a similar way, says Friedman, confessing he originally made the beat with "a few other artists in mind. Kid Cudi did a really good job matching the track, though," he adds, describing the beat as having a futuristic disco house sound. "It's a really exciting project because they really went the extra mile on it."
Friedman and Cappelli hope to use the next year to expand the Illfonics roster. Aside from wanting to work with Drake and Miley Cyrus, they also hope to go in the studio with Jay-Z, Nas, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot, along with expanding into the heavy rock and pop scenes.