Hailing from the South of London, with a history of working with some of the top artists in the game, Michelin is undoubtedly a talented producer. His released his latest project, 'Chef's Special' at the end of September which is a collection of the songs he’s made over the years. This 25 song project features the likes of JME, NO-LAY, J2k, Blade Brown and many more. FEAT met with Michelin at his studio for an interview, where we walked in on him working on Yung Rawz's song 'Feel like a Man'. Like a true chef, he is meticulous with his work, and we watched as he repeatedly went over the finer details of the song looking to perfect his recipe. He explains, 'It took me ages to get to a level where I'm happy with my production. I want to take my hat off like that is fucking blinding'.
Editor: Lauren Demir
Photos: David Franco
Collages: Annie Mcgill
I was always intrigued by music. I was about 16/17, one of my friends was a producer and I used to watch him make beats. He had a mac for and sold it to me. I was working for a youth club as a volunteer and they if you want to get like a full time job here you need to offer something. I was like I’m gonna teach young kids how to make beats so I taught myself how to make the beats. We got a government funding and a grant for like ten grand. We bought loads of macs and then we set up shop and started making beats with kids and i kind of developed there.
You have an idea of whats going to bang and whats not. Sometimes I make a beat and it might just be one pattern or different sound I’ll think, ‘There's something about this’ or I’ll be like ‘This is shit’. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes to finish a beat, sometimes 5 weeks because you come back to it. Its rare that I send beats out. I always get the artist to come in and we usually just vibes. Sometimes I go in with a blank canvas and make beats with the artist. Say ‘What do you feel like? What do you want to do? Whats the mood? Hows your day? what have you done today?’ Whatever it is whatever that is going to start that creative spark. I might get in the studio with someone thats around a producer that constantly blows smoke up their arse. Then they come in a session with me and I’ll say ‘Do it again,' and in the end we’ve got a product that we are both happy with. I tell a lot of home truths to a lot of artists I work with and I know they appreciate it. I think we need to have more of that. You couldn't just come to me with money and say I want to get a session because I am selective, I have to feel you.
I used to be a big Ludacris fan. Bare boy bands and ballads, 90’s RnB, like Jagged Edge. Thats what I enjoy making, but there is not an audience over here for it I don’t think for it, so the slow jams don’t really make it off my computer. Rnb is difficult to market at the moment. I’m talking about rnb rnb not an rnb singer or a pop tune? Like a 112 or a Jagged Edge, you wouldn't hear that in the chart. I’ve kind of gone back to sampling it now. Production wise I’ve rated South Side for as long as I can remember. 808 Mafia, Gucci way back they’ve always been fucked. Travis Scott production wise he’s sick.
One of the first artists I worked with is a guy called Benjamin AD we did a couple of beats and tunes. Then I started working with M.E who is a good friend of his and then from there I got into the studio with a guy called Sean White who is part of Fr3e. Little Dee would come in, P Money was there, a guy called Tommy was there. A lot of people in the South East area started listening out for me. Then I got in studio with Little Z and we did a project. As I was working with Little Z and I met Blade, then I started talking to Tef and you kind of just branch off. Since I’ve solidified relationships I’ve done projects, like full blown projects with artists.
Just keep working, you’ll always find something new about yourself everyday. You’ll always find little ideas, if you keep doing something you’ll get better at it. It took me ages to get to a level where i’m happy with my production. I’d love to have the plaques on the wall. I want to have a good legacy when I’m done and it be clear this is what i’ve done, my contribution to music.