Harry Fraud, one of the illest up-and-coming producers out of New York City, gave women’s buyer Donica White the scoop on the ferocious “New York Minute” track featuring French Montana and Jadakiss, how he creates his bangers, and what the “wave” movement means to him.
“La Musica de Harry Fraud!” Typically when I hear that in the beginning of a track I know it’s gonna be a banger – how did that drop originate?
The drop was actually me and my right hand man Red Walrus’ idea. He was in a session with a singer friend of ours who happens to be Dominican. I’ve always used drops on my beats, and I was really in need of a new one. He asked her to say that line and the rest is history.
I’m gonna be honest, Harry Fraud tracks are hard as fuck! With artists like French Montana, Jadakiss, Waka Flocka, Uncle Murda and Max B rapping over them, do you ever think about switching up and going completely opposite, like doing Pop music?
I’ve produced and written all types of music throughout my career, but it hasn’t always been under the “Harry Fraud” brand. I like the ability to move into different genres of music without being prejudged by anything I have already done. I’m proud of ALL the music I’ve been a part of, but using different aliases has allowed me to really paint broad strokes all across the board. Recently I’ve seriously been thinking about producing everything I do under Harry Fraud just to show people my true range as a writer and producer.
When I first heard “New York Minute” I ran the track back at least 10 times. Bananas! What was the feeling you had when you made that track?
The bare bones of that record were put together years before the actual song was recorded, so it was a really long genesis with that one. I do remember the feeling I had when French woke me up one morning and played me Jadakiss’ verse over the phone. I was blown away by how good it was. That was really the first time I had heard someone who’s music influenced me so much over my production.
Everyone who follows the “wave” movement has a different definition of what “wavey” means to them, but how would you describe the “wave”?
I would say the “wave” is all about the feeling that the music is conveying to the listener. All of our music has a certain level of emotion to it and a dreamy futuristic feeling behind it. That has translates into everything that we are about, from how we speak to how we carry ourselves. It’s just a different progressive feeling behind it all.
French Montana is always performing the bangers that you produced in clubs across the country, but you seem like a laid back dude that’s not really a club type. Am I wrong? Is Harry Fraud out moshing shit!?
I don’t really do the clubs at this point in my life. Mainly because I’m so focused on creating this art. It’s hard for me to even enjoy myself in that setting because I’m just so driven towards succeeding in my career. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve partied with the best of ‘em. Once in a blue moon I’ll let off a little steam, but it definitely is not where I’m at right now.
Morbid question, but I’m curious… if you could dig up one music legend to work with who would it be?
That’s one of those questions where it’s hard to choose just one answer. If it was a rapper it would be [Notorious] B.I.G. without question. If it were a guitar player it would be Jimi Hendrix. When it comes to singers, I’m just so torn. From Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield to Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain there are so many singers I would love to have worked with.
Sometimes I feel like some of the hottest songs out are only hot because of the beat, not necessarily the lyrics. Not enough people give the producer the credit. Do you also feel like producers aren’t given enough credit?
Being a producer is essentially a behind-the-scenes type of role. Fans who are in tune with how music is made will naturally try to seek out who produced a record they enjoy, but the average listener probably doesn’t care about that. They just know they like the record, and as a producer that needs to be enough satisfaction for you. I will say that I learned the hard way to fight for my credit every chance I get. That was one of the reasons I started using drops on my beats, I wanted to brand my music with something that let people know who was behind it.
Do you feel like you have competition and are pressured to constantly stay on top of your shit?
Anybody that knows me will tell you I’m a highly competitive person. I push myself incredibly hard to be the best everyday. I know there are thousands of people out there trying to do the same thing I’m doing. Only a handful of people are actually successful at it. If I don’t work as hard as possible, there’s a hungry cat out there willing to take my spot in a heartbeat.
What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?
I usually get into the studio around 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. and begin whatever I have on the plate for that evening. Whether its making beats, mixing finished records or tracking vocals, I’m always hard at work in the lab. Of course me and my team will goof off from time to time, but I definitely try to run a pretty focused operation.
Have you ever thought about rapping over your own beats?
I think any good producer has to have some sort of idea as to how vocals interact with whatever soundscapes they are being laid on top of. As far as me rapping, it has never been something I’m interested in for so many reasons. I will say that I respect anyone who does rap, especially those who make it look easy ’cause its not.
What’s a motto or quote that you live by?
I try to make forward progress everyday and live life with no regrets.
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