How Boi-1da went from working retail to producing “Work”

The Canadian producer’s Red Bull Music Academy lecture is full of great advice.

February 01, 2018

Matthew Jehu Samuels, the producer known as Boi-1da, helped build up Toronto from a footnote in the hip-hop conversation into a full, unique, and highly-cited chapter. But how did he do it? Last fall, Boi-1da explained it all in lecture at Red Bull Music Academy's Weekender in Montreal with former FADER Canada editor Anupa Mistry, and you can watch the whole thing above.


The informative session flows along casually and with lots of color, detailing bits like Boi-1da's Jamaican heritage, and scamming his mum for a copy of FruityLoops. There's also discussion about his influences and producing for artists like Drake, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and JAY-Z, as well as creating something that's bigger than just an accomplished career. Over the course of an hour and a half, Boi-1da recounts the first time he heard "Best I Ever Had" outside of Toronto, working with Kanye and Timbaland, and everything young producers need to know to keep their careers in balance. Check it out above.

Thumbnail photo by Maria Jose Govea

How Boi-1da went from working retail to producing “Work”