California producer Michael Uzorwuru’s most recent project, Winter in Prague, a mixtape with rapper Vince Staples, highlighted his ability to craft tight, energetic, drum-heavy beats. An earlier project, Paisley Palm Trees, was looser and more sample heavy. He’s a diverse dude with an ear for and an interest in rap of all flavors, and this mix highlights his wide-reaching tastes, from Thelonius Monk to DJ Unk. He’s working like crazy with Staples and is in the studio every day, so expect lots to come in 2013—he filled us in on a little of what that may be.
Download: Michael Uzowuru’s FADER Mix
How does California shape your production? Growing up most of the older people i knew listened to Dr. Dre. So I get some of my sensibilities from The Chronic 2001. other than that, not really much.
You collaborated with Vince Staples for Winter in Prague—what’s next? I’m working on my album right now. I’m going back to school next semester too, that should be fun. There’s a certain fulfillment school gave me that I just don’t get anymore. Acting, modeling and creative directing, too.
You just turned 21—what are you going to do now that you couldn’t before? I’m not doing much different. I don’t drink. but when I see alcohol I think, “I can buy that now.” I got kicked out of the FADER Fort last year for not being 21, the bouncer took my fake ID and started asking me questions like when’s “my” birthday. and what’s “my” addy, I never thought any one would ask me that. so I couldn’t even tell him. I can get in next FADER Fort no problem now though. If I really wanted to go to a club, I guess I could do that, too.
Who do you most want to work with? Mostly Kanye, of course. That’s a given. Pharrell, Chad, Jay Electronica, RZA. But more than anything, I’d much rather learn from them than work with them.
Madlib, “Enter… Hot Curry”
Neptunes, “What Happened To That Boy (Instrumental)”
Dr. Dre, “Fuck You”
Kanye West, “Addiction”
The Neptunes, “Excuse Me Miss (Instrumental)”
DJ Unk f. Andre 3000, “Walk It Out Remix”
Gucci Mane, “Lemonade”
Kream Team, “Loading Screen”
Wiz Khalifa, “Up”
Ludacris, “Southern Hospitality”
Soulja Boy, “Zan With That Lean”
D-Lo, “No Hoe”
Michael Uzowuru, “June 29th”
Andre 3000, “Hey Ya!”
Lil Wayne, “Boom”
Thelonius Martin f. Topaz Jones, “Trapdmnds”
Project Pat, “Chickenhead”
Vybz Kartel, “Love Me Give Gal”