LargeUp Interview: Meet Jamaica’s Only Female Producer, The Wizard

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May 25, 2012

Favorite chill-spot in the studio—everyone should have a red couch!

LU: Tell me about being a woman producer. There aren’t very many of them as you know. Why do you think that is and what have been some of your experiences that have been different from a male?

The Wizard: Yikes. Well I’ve never been a male in a previous life so I really don’t know. I really haven’t run into any problems being female. I think my peers, male counterparts, they see me as their own so it’s not really a gender-biased thing that I’ve experienced. I’m not sure why there aren’t more female producers. I couldn’t answer that question. I think they should get into it cause it’s a pretty cool field to get into. I know we had Sonia Pottinger as the first female producer here. I thought that was pretty cool. I wish more females would come on board so we could take over.

LU: Do you know any other female producers in Jamaica?

The Wizard: No I actually don’t which is kind of sad… Yeah, I don’t know why that is because you send out beats and you say it’s a female, they’re like what? A female built that beat? Why can’t a female build that beat?

LU: Your name—where did that name come from?

The Wizard: My cousin, Courtney John, branded me the Wizard so I ran with the name. I guess he was saying you can create magic with whatever you are doing. So I said that’s pretty cool, thank you and just ran with it, humbly of course.

LU: So tell me about some of the projects you are working on right now…

The Wizard: There’s a rapper by the name of Rob GS from Toronto. You guys need to look out for him, he’s someone to watch. He’s 19. I’m actually doing an album right now for myself, I’m also finishing up Courtney John’s new project, The Courtney John Experiment. It’s really different, trippy. I actually just finished up Mr. Lexx’s album a month ago.

LU: You produced the whole album? Can you tell me about that?

The Wizard: I mean it’s dancehall, I went retro with some of the things but it has a new flavor to it. I think you’d enjoy. It’s really cool.

LU: Tell me about some of the artists, as you’re coming in and establishing your name, who are some of the artists you see yourself working with?The Wizard: I’d love to do something with Common. Azaelia Banks, she’s pretty dope. I like her.  And it’s far fetched, but not really, Adele. I think that would be a wicked collab. I like more the UK vibe…

LU: I hear that. So who are some of the producers that opened your mind to experimental sounds when you started building rhythms?

The Wizard: I used to be in love, total infatuation, with Neptunes. Timbaland, Missy Elliot—people like that who used different sounds and it just sounded crazy. Just Blaze was pretty cool too.

LU: What can you tell me about Beres Hammond that people wouldn’t know?

The Wizard: Man, he’s a straight comedian. He’ll keep you rolling. I don’t think you get to see that side of him much cause every picture his face is always made up. But the funniest guy, trust me.

Lift-off! The sky is the limit for Jamaica’s first full-fledged female producer…

LU: And he’s embracing the new sounds that you’re bringing to him?

The Wizard: Yeah man. He’s good with it. I think hes down for this project that I mentioned to him so I think that’s going to be a good look.

LU: He’s listening to dubstep?

Wizard: I don’t think he’s listening to dubstep. Believe it or not, hes very versed with a lot of genres so don’t put anything past him.

LU: What’s your favorite Beres Hammond song?

The Wizard: There’s a lot. I’m actually his biggest fan, I don’t think he knows that.

LU: There’s a lot of women over here who would probably fight you for that spot.

The Wizard: There’s a song called “Love Means…” and “No Disturb Sign” I think the production on those, the songwriting just crazy. “One Step Ahead.” There’s too many. “Last War” by what’s that group daddy was in back in the day?

LU: Zap Pow! Do you remember being in the studio with him when he was making his big hits in the ’90s?
The Wizard:
Yeah, he used to take me to the studio. I’m actually in one of his recordings with Donovan Germain. I was making fun of somebody in the studio while mixing one of his tracks, so they captured me on the record.