Words from Sángo, A Production Mastermind


written by ishmael brown, photographed by jordan nicholson

Ishmael Brown: Do you consider yourself an artist or a producer? I notice that in a lot of collaborations with other artists, you are featured as another artist instead of receiving the typical “Song Name (prod. by Sango)” credit. 


Sango: I see myself as both. Sometimes, I see myself as someone that wants to be in the background contributing. Sometimes, I see myself as one to lead an idea.


IB: What does your music setup look like?


Sango: Plain Jane. My laptop and my headphones... and my son occasionally. 


IB: There are a lot of worldly sounds and influences present in your music. How did you come across these worldly sounds and influences?


Sango: I have amazing friends from all over. They always put me onto stuff. I also am eager to discover on my own just by staying open to new ideas.

IB: It seems that you’re constantly doing something new and innovative with your music. Do you see yourself ever going back to creating baile funk-infused music and making a 4th installment in the “Da Rocinha” series? Or do you have a new sound/style currently up your sleeve?


Sango: I've stopped the Brazilian themed albums, but I create w/ Brazilian influences on a daily basis. My new sound deals w/ the south of the USA.


IB: Are the NOLA bounce-infused “Sango Bounced It” songs something that we can expect more of? Or is this just a phase?


Sango: My dad's side of my family is all originally from Louisiana. It's just in me to mess with music from New Orleans. I have been hip to bounce music since I was a kid. To be honest, most of us were exposed to it whether we've known it or not. It's everywhere.


IB: What piece of advice would you have liked to hear when you’ve first started making beats? Do you have any words of wisdom for any kids who are looking to start making beats?


Sango: One thing I wish I would have heard coming up while making beats was that I'm not too young to make beats. I started when I was around 9. To the kids that see this and love to read, learn where patterns and rhythms come from.


IB: What is the best way to send beats to major artists/labels without getting finessed?


Sango: The best way right now is to get into studio sessions or send music to someone in the industry who you can trust. I know it sounds intimidating, but you have to start building some sort of way.

IB: How do you feel about the “type-beats” trend?


Sango: If you're making money and not stealing any content from the original, then it's ok.


IB: Who are some of your favorite producers/artists at the moment?


Sango: Kaelin Ellis, Monte Booker, Bizness Boi, Helluva, Neenyo, Pierre Bourne, WondaGurl, Jake One at this very moment, but there are so many more.


IB: List 10 other producers that you feel deserve more credit.


Sango: I can't say. That's up to them to figure out. Know your value.


IB: Who is your favorite vocalist to work with?


Sango: Waldo. I have been knowing him since forever.


IB: So you’ve majored in graphic design and college. Have you been putting your graphic design skills to use?


Sango: Of course! Everything you see and heard by me, I've done. Every last thing.

Chioma NwanaComment