‘A fan of music period!! Beat maker, Patriot. Entertainment’.
This is how Likwid Ice (Kobina Amoah) describes himself. A couple of months ago, I was sent a link to an EP and upon listening, it was the production that got me screaming. That EP was Kwadjo SPiRi’s ‘’FLY EP’. An IT guy by day and producer by night, Likwid Ice’s production blends sampled classic highlife and hip hop. A self-taught producer whose interest for making music was inspired by the legendary RZA (of Wu-Tang Clan), Likwid Ice has been producing music since 1999. Mainstream success isn’t something Likwid Ice craves for at present.
According to him, most attempts at creating commercial music had left him feeling empty: ‘I switched to the commercial side but I had no feel for it’. In the words of Kwadjo SPiRi, Likwid Ice’s major competitor when it comes to chopping up smaples for songs is DJ Juls. Few weeks ago, I caught up with him at the AccradotAlt organized ‘Sabolai Radio Set’ where we spoke about a wide range of issues-mostly about his craft.
On Meeting With Kwadjo SPiRi
I listened to his first album, ‘Restitution’, which I think was good. ‘I AM’ was the first song he recorded and when he sent to me, I was shocked. To me, it was like a jump or a strong leap compared to what he did on his first project. I felt he couldn’t match ‘I AM’ but he proved me wrong. He’s a good artiste.
I love sampling. I don’t know how I do it sometimes. The Kojo Antwi ‘Medofo Pa’ sample was the first beat I sent him (Kwadjo SPiRi). Initially when I created it (the beat), I was thinking of getting a mainstream artiste to jump on it, but, I started listening to SPiRis album and as company mates, I felt he should have the beats instead. The creation was spontaneous. I was listening to some old tracks and it came on. I immediately chopped it up and slowed down the tempo and that was how I it come to be. Same went with the creation of ‘Ogya’. When the tracks are too low or high, I either increase the tempo or show it down to get what I really want.
How it started
I’ve been creating music since 1999. It’s a hobby; self-taught. I used to listen to Wu-Tang Clan a lot and my favourite producer was RZA. He amazes me with his work. KG (formerly of hiplife group KG & PM) had this software called EJ, which was the first software I used for production. I used EJ for probably a years and PM (The DJ) also sent me Fruity Loops (FL) 2. I started sampling probably in 2003 and the first sample I made was Osibisa’s ‘Welcome Home’, which SPiRi will probably put on his next album.
Producers Earning Respect and Money
Producers should be unified and demand what’s due them. They shouldn’t always be giving beats for free. Artists, after earning a hit off a producers beat will continue to live off it, yet the producer gets nothing. There should be an established structure to earning a beat as an artiste because the producer is the most important next to the artiste. Artistes I have worked with include Enek (he’s on Hitz FM now). He had a song with Wanlov and it’s off one of the very beats I gave out. I’ve also worked with Flippa as well as a gospel artiste called Billy Graham B who’s about to release his album.
I listen to a lot of old school music like those by Wu-Tang, Nas and Dr. Dre. Producers like RZA, 9th Wonder, J.Cole inspire me.
I can go five months without making a beats. After work, I pull my laptop, listen to old classics and try to create. And on weekends too. It doesn’t always work out good. I had a studio but dumsor (the energy crisis) forced me to shut it down. But, anything can happen in the future.
EL and Jayso were the people who inspired me when I started making beats. I admire them a lot because they went for what they believed in, so I always listened to them. I sent EL a DM (on twitter) even though I’ve never met him following the release of the FLY EP. He gave us a good feedback, probably he gave us the most positive feedback. I’d like to give him thumps up for that. I really like what he’s doing. I’m hoping for something positive to come up later.