Introduce yourself, crews, affiliations etc.
Sup everyone!? Its RDS from the 306!! I guess I just realized that I don’t have a crew or any affiliations. Damn.
What does RDS stand for and how did you get the name?
RDS is actually my initials. My dad said he always wanted the name Ryan, and almost legally changed it to that when he was 18, but instead he gave it to me and I got his name as my middle name. And my surname has just been passed on and on since the days of the Irish potato famine.
Your bio states that you are not a simple man. How are you complex, i mean do you read books and shit?
How am I complex? I’d say that I’m a pretty diverse guy since I am currently in my 3rd year of getting my Bachelors of Applied Arts, a computer nerd that enjoys drinking rye and cokes with a lemon, and I also enjoy making crazy ill beats. And, yeah I do read some books from time to time. Next one up is Fight Club!
How do you plan on taking the Canadian hip hop scene by storm? Do you own a weather machine?
Hahaha. You haven’t heard?! I’m like that guy in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan that can predict the weather by biting into a pigs spleen; except I make it rain, hail, sleet or snow!
You are from what some might call “Butt Fuck Saskatchewan” or Swift Current aka Speedy Creek. How has that helped or hindered you as a producer?
Being located in the Southwest corner of Sask has allowed me to focus more on my music and not the drama that can be associated with a scene sometimes. I can spend hours in my basement just digging, sampling, chopping samples and try my best to ignore the outside world. On the other hand, I think that being in Butt Fuck Saskatchewan has also hindered my exposure from the rest of the Prairie hip hop scene since there isn’t really anyone in that community that listens to any hip hop besides G-unit and other shit like that. But big props to Saskhiphop.com and all those heads. Thats what actually got me meeting artists around Saskatchewan and elsewhere.
You make your beats by sampling from old records. What type of equipment do you use to make beats?
Well Chaps, I know how you love to keep up with current technology and everything so lets get right into this! I currently use FL Studio 5 aka Fruity Loops for the majority of my beat making. I have done a few with Reason that I’m not really that fond of since they seem so synthy. Although some will come through (i.e. “Virtues The Truth” on Open Mic). Sometimes I will incorporate the two where I will have a chopped sample in FL but then drop in some strings or horns that I sequence in Reason. A good example of that is Gumshoe Struts “Forever Strut” on Open Mic. As for hardware I have my ex-girlfriends parents old record player that they gave me in Grade 12, and my Oxygen 8 midi controller.
Do you rob old ladies at garage sales in Speedy Creek to get records? If not where do you dig?
Well I have begun to notice that a lot of the garage sales in Swift Current that have vinyl will only either have a tonne of Christian records or old 45s from the 80s like Corey Hart or El DeBarges theme from Short Circuit, so I just end up hitting up the Vinyl Exchange when I’m in Saskatoon or Arcade Records and Tapes when I’m in Medicine Hat. But when I feel adventurous I will still hit up a garage sale or two with a case of beer and my homie Caswell.
How did you get started making beats? What were you early inspirations?
I started making beats very naively. I met my homie Clokwork (www.fatmanent.com, myspace.com / fatmanentertainment) on the internet back in like ’99 or something like that. It was in some chatroom and he told me that he made beats. Then I came up with this one that was just a sampled loop from the Animals House of the Rising Sun. Sent it to him and 5 min later it was just so much more dynamic because it had chops and fresh drums. That beat was eventually used for the intro of the Big Time Hip-Hop Productions web site. My early inspirations were definitely Clokwork, Dr. Dre, [didnt know it at the time but… Jay Dilla, RZA, Timbaland and The Alchemist.
What are your goals as a producer? What do you want to accomplish with your music?
I just want people out there to enjoy the beats and songs that I produce. But what I really want to see and encounter is someone driving down the street (especially Swift Current) with their windows down, and pounding one of my tracks. I won’t even care if its from a burnt CD! I just want that to happen sometime. I am trying to encourage growth with this album and the music that I produce. I want some kids to feel like they can do something like this even if they are from a small town of 15,000. You can’t ever let things like that hold you back, ya know?
How would you describe your sound?
I’d use a few choice words: Soulful, original, feel good baby making music.
Your debut album is called Open Mic what is the significance of that title?
I wanted to show people that with this album I was basically down for anything when it came to recording. I let the emcees rap about anything they wanted, let them choose the beat they wanted on, and kept it all pretty loose and chill when it came to this. It’s been a long time coming and I learned a lot!
How did you hook up with the artists you worked with on this compilation? What was this experience like?
Since I was so secluded being in either Swift Current or Medicine Hat, AB, my only real options were either contacting artists via the internet or telephone. I sent out links and beat cds all over to artists from Halifax to Victoria. It became quite hectic and stressful having artists tell me they were interested and then, at the last minute, drop out. But I wont say any names. I learned that you cant really take anyones word to heart. I had so many stressful times trying to figure out the line-up for the album and I had some real surprises pull through for me!
How would you describe this album to someone who was crossing the street at a busy intersection?
Well I guess that would all depend if they had the walk signal or not. If they had the walk signal, Id take my time and be smooth operator about it ya know. Something like a Future Shop salesman. If they didn’t have the walk signal I would just tell them that they better listen to it before they get hit by a car and die.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
Murs! I know that may seem a little ridiculous but I’d like to be another one of the Saskatchewan producers that has worked with someone from the Living Legends.
What are five albums that you are listening to right now?
Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere
Ghostface – Fishscale
Alexisonfire – Alexisonfire
Jamie Cullum – Twentysomething
And RJD2 Dead Ringer is always in there too
What does the future hold for RDS?
Well in about a year I’ll be done school and I’ll have letters behind my name so I guess I’ll have to get a job. As for music, I’m always in search of more dope artists to work with. I would eventually like to get into group projects with some of the artists that I already know too. I guess we will see what happens.
Do you have any last words, shoutouts, or stories?
I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to listen to any of my pieces of music since the very beginning of my journey, read articles like this, and especially anyone who has or is planning on getting my album! Shoutouts to all the artists on the album and all the people that made this possible!