Producer London On Da Track Talks Transition To Artist & Working with Young Thug, Nicki Minaj & More
Producer London on da Track has been riding a wave of success since a breakout year in 2014 producing tracks for artists like T.I., Tyga, and frequent collaborator Young Thug. The Atlanta native's lengthy resume also includes placements for artists like Dae Dae, YG, Tory Lanez, Blac Youngsta, Gucci Mane, and Drake. Check his Instagram and he's also been cooking in the studio with Nicki Minaj, Migos' Quavo, 808 Mafia, Partynextdoor and the newly released Kodak Black.
Production credits aside, the beatsmith (real name London Holmes) now aims to make the transition from the sound board to the microphone as an artist. As part of a rap group called Dem Guyz while he was a teen, London was no stranger to spitting rhymes and feels like his next move -- including putting out an album called Who Would've Known -- could expand his brand.
London On Da Track spoke with Billboard over the phone to talk about his recent successes, crossing over into artist territory and what he hopes to accomplish in the near future.
You recently started a record label, LiV records. How did you come up with that name?
The abbreviation is L.I.V. and it means "living in volumes." Everyday, we live in volumes and we make music. We always in the studio, and we are making history.
Are there any artists you have on your label that you're excited about?
In addition to launching this label, you're also making the transition into an artist. It's not exactly new to you as you were in a rap group years ago. What influenced your decision?
I want my brand to be worth more than my money. I feel like being an artist and letting people know you as a person takes it to that level so that your brand is always accumulating no matter what. So I feel like being an artist would help my brand way bigger than just being a producer. I want people to know me as a person and not just this piano guy that plays piano. I want people to know when they see me or hear me talk, to know my presence. I feel like being an artist can definitely lead the way and help a lot.
What's your goal as an artist this year?
Platinum records. Help others become great as far as me being an artist, because I know me being the best I can be can help others be the best they can be. So that's why I want to get into standing out, and being able to capitalize with music. That's my main goal: to help others become what I did. I'm going to put my all into it as an artist so I can be branded like a Calvin Harris or a DJ Khaled or even a Rihanna, Jay Z, or Dr. Dre. to help others become the next Dr. Dre.
Let's move into production. In the past year you've had big wins with people like Drake, Gucci Mane and Young Thug, to name a few. How do you feel you have evolved as a producer?
I feel like I worked with a few people that I've never worked with before like Drake and also other people who haven't dropped music yet. That's why me becoming an artist lets people know that the songs that haven't come out yet or didn't make an album, I'm going to put it out there and make people believe that these are the songs I feel would've been good records, platinum records. That's why my album is titled Who Would've Known because nobody else didn't know it but me.
One of the particular songs that was a hit was "Sneakin" with Drake and 21 Savage. From that song, what opportunities came along or how has your profile elevated?
People hit me up all of the time. I feel like the way I've branded myself and carried myself being a producer, people want to know my talent. I actually study this. People know what I'm capable of doing so people are always going to hit me up. Even before this Drake record, people saw my versatility and [have] seen all of the platinum and gold records I did before that. The Drake record just showed more people [my talent] and it just helped with exposure. It helped me expose more of my music because of who Drake is and what he has accomplished today. I feel like whoever I work with, I'm going to give them a hit. I also feel like me and Thug not working in the past... well, we have been working but not putting out anything in the past nine to 10 months was a problem to my fans. But me and Thug have been working and we got some stuff.
Is this the project Young Thug teased back in April that will supposedly be executive produced by Drake?
No, that's not the project.
Describe what you're working on with Thugger.
When me and Thug work, I feel like there's no genre or type of records. Because when him and I work, we do all kinds of records. All these records are moments. They're not just beats, not just tracks -- we made moments in the studio so they are "moment" records. Every song is going to touch your soul. Whether it's trap, R&B, pop, no matter what it is, from start to end, it's going to touch your soul.
You recently posted on Instagram teasing a few tracks, and one track in particular is a collaboration with 808 Mafia. Can you give a little background on that track?
I don't want to give too many details on that but me and Southside, we've been knowing each other since we were 14, 15 years old so we come together and collaborate on a lot of stuff. We're putting something together but it's not all the way finished so I don't want to give out anything about that yet.
You also shared a picture with Nicki Minaj in the studio on the same day she was with Quavo. Are you working on anything with them together?
We definitely working. We got a lot of good news on the way. I'm not going to put too much on that either. The answer to that is good news.
How is it working in the studio with Nicki?
It's very comfortable. She's very straight-forward. I didn't see a flaw in her. We kind of just kicked off and vibed to the music. She's a very genuine woman. It worked out real good, and got a lot coming.
Do you have a release date for your album?
It will be this summer. First single will be dropping this summer. I don't want to put a date on it, but this summer, though.
You've had an incredible career already but what are you most proud of?
Being able to buy my mom a house and two cars. Then being able to help other people with life situations they go through everyday. Back then, I couldn't help anybody pay rent or put clothes on their back or give them shoes, or put them in the studio but now I can so that's a huge accomplishment for me [because of] where I come from not having nothing and making nothing into something.