Artist Spotlight : Nate Coop - Desiigner, Lil Dicky & Anderson .Paak's XXL Freshmen Cypher 2016 Producer

It really feels like Texas is on a wave right now, or maybe it is this whole 3:AM Ugly crew shaken stuff up on their own terms. Nate is one of two producers behind the beat for the XXL Freshman Cypher for 2016 - Desiigner, Lil Dicky, & Anderson Paak - all on the beat. Nate is one of the most talented producers coming out of the south right now, with an interesting story, experimental sounds, and general sense of what people are going to vibe with, we can expect more from Nate for years to come. We got a chance to catch up with him a bit to talk about his experience in being chosen for the XXL Freshman 2016 Cypher as a producer on the beat. 

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow with Charity Evaughn

Name: Nate Cooper
Age: 25
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Website: Nate Coop - Soundcloud

Where are you from and give me a little insight about your background and how you got into producing?

I was born in Germany but moved to San Antonio, TX when I was 3-years old. Both of my parents were in the Coast Guard so my family traveled a bunch before settling down in San Antonio.  I got my first drum set for Christmas when I was three or four and I've been jamming ever since.  I was a percussionist/drummer in band from middle school all the way through my 3rd year in college, but around middle school is when i started having aspirations to be a music producer.  I would always pay close attention to the beats and the music behind the songs I listened to.  More so than a typical person would I think. I messed around on FL Studio for about a year or so in high school and then didn't pick beat making back up until the summer of 2011 when I got a Macbook Pro and a keyboard.  I’ve been making music almost nonstop ever since.  

Historically speaking, you work solo as a producer but you collaborated with Charity to win the slot on the XXL Freshman cypher. How did that partnership come about?

After graduating from Texas State, my homie Amir Rofoogar and I moved to Houston with some of our friends to work and pursue music. One of our friends suggested I enter in the Space City Beat Battle and I was really apprehensive about it at first. I honestly thought I wasn’t going to do well but I entered anyways. That first competition is where I met Charity and we ended up battling in the final round. I beat her at that very first battle but honestly she beat me at all the other battles and showcases that we ended up competing in after that one. We all became friends and at this point Charity is more like my big sister than anything else. Eventually we started collaborating and making some really dope music. Once it came time for iStandard’s Beast of The Beast 2016 Competition, we ended up teaming up and winning by beating out thousands of producers from across the country. Ever since then, we’ve been working closely with our friends at iStandard and they presented us with the opportunity to submit beats for the XXL Freshmen Cypher.  

There was a little shade thrown from Anderson Paak. What are your thoughts on that? 

Yeah he ended up tweeting “I hated that beat” which is unfortunate, but I’m a big fan of his and I thought he did his thing in the cypher. It was a pretty open, straight-forward beat that seemed to work for Lil Dicky and Desiigner so I’m not worried about Anderson’s tweet. 

What are your thoughts on the current state of the producing world? 

I think that it’s a challenging, yet exciting time to be a music producer.  Now all you need is a computer to start making music and we have all the tools we need to be as creative as we want to be right at home.  With that being said, music is becoming saturated now that so many people can make it.  But like I said, the tools that you need to be creative and stand out are more accessible now than ever.  Also thanks to the internet and companies such as iStandard, the producer community is starting to come together and it’s becoming easier to collaborate and share ideas. One of the main challenges now though is getting paid for your work. Something that I’m trying to get better with too.  

Where do you find most of your inspiration? Who influences you? 

Like most producers I know, the list of people who’ve inspired and influenced me is vast.  Timbaland’s music in the late 90's/early 2000’s is what made me start paying attention to production and inquire about who was making the beats to the music I listened to. He was one of the first producers that I was able to associate a certain style/sound with and from there countless people have influenced me. Besides that, a lot of my inspiration just comes from life.  I’m big on vibes so I just create what feels good. I like randomness in sounds and by my nature a lot of my music comes out sounding different and unique. Though the XXL beat might not be the best example of that but, to name some musicians that have influenced me, here’s a not so short list: Pharrell/The Neptunes, Kanye, Dre, Danjahandz, Just Blaze, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin, Flying Lotus ,DJ Premiere, Diplo, S1, Curtis Mayfield, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, James Brown, Prince, Rick Rubin, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Tame Impala, JMSN, Radiohead, Drake and 40, and so many more

Do you have some more projects coming up that you can let people know about? 

Charity and I are currently finishing up an EP. 3:AM Ugly has a lot of new music with Alex Harris and some of our friends around Texas that we’ve collaborated with on the horizon. Look out for new music coming soon from our homies Kenny Gee, Lee-Lonn, Rocky Banks, and Jake Lloyd.  

Well thanks for your time Nate! Any final thoughts or shout outs before we sign off?

Definitely gotta give a shoutout to iStandard Producers.  They have helped Charity and I network and learn about the music business as well as land this XXL Placement! My boys Alex Harris and Amir Rofoogar for helping get this 3:AM Ugly movement off the ground. Charity of course, what up sis! Field Report Collective for being so damn dope and helpful. All of our extended team and friends that we’ve created music, visuals and ideas with. And my parents who have helped me tremendously in following this musical dream of mine.  Good friends and family is everything in life.

We're also doing a Cypher Contest sponsored by iStandard Producers.  Rappers can download the XXL Cypher beat and submit a verse on it and the winner will be receiving a prize package.