Mista Hindz [Interview]
Vancouver, B.C. – Producers can be something of an enigma. They seem to live in their studios, quietly dipping their fingers into many different pots, heard but not seen as they create the sound of a movement. Mista Hindz fits that bill to an extent: he’s making some moves in this town but he’s through being behind the scenes. Stoic and articulate at 22, Hindz knows exactly what he wants and has no qualms about getting there. While his doe-eyed baby daughter – his latest and most potent inspiration – chewed on a teething ring, HipHopCanada got to trace the trajectory of a rising star.
HipHopCanada: So let’s talk a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Mista Hindz: I’m pretty much a music producer, I do a little bit of engineering. I started producing when I was 19, I went to school at Columbia Academy which was for engineering but I got so hooked on making beats that I just kept going. I want to get into everything: I want to do entertainment, like an actor, so I’m starting to do some auditions. And modelling too . . . I want to do everything involved with entertainment, not just music producing. When I was a kid I used to do a lot of commercials then I got really really shy: I didn’t open my mouth, I just played basketball. Now I broke down my shyness again. I’m just starting to get back into that but I move fast, so . . . next year I’ll be on a bunch of stuff.
HipHopCanada: What is it about the industry that appeals to you so much?
Mista Hindz: I just love entertainment, I feel like I always have an idea for everything. When I make a beat, I don’t just make a beat but I think of the song, and I think of the video, and how to promote it: I can’t just be a producer, it’s not even in my blood.
HipHopCanada: On the production side, who have you biggest influences been?
Mista Hindz: My favorite producer is Swizz Beats, I like him because he’s so untechnical, he’s like me. And I like Timbaland, and . . . nah, not Pharrell, just those two.
HipHopCanada: What hardware do you find yourself using most?
Mista Hindz: Computers, just a mini keyboard and MPC. I always use Pro Tools, I just use plug-ins on my Pro Tools for sounds.
HipHopCanada: So you were the winner of the last Vanquish Beat Battle. What do you think about the set-up of that battle?
Mista Hindz: I think it’s a good thing because I feel like a lot of people don’t know who the producer is, like they’ve heard the name and never seen the face and that Vanquish thing just gets producers to go show their faces and show what they do and really just be happy about their craft, like an artist for the day and get some new recognition. You also get to see what kind of music people make and if you win then you know you’ve been doing good; if you lose then you know you`ve got to grind harder cause somebody else is making hotter music than you. So it’s a really good thing, they should have it all the time and let it get bigger and bigger.
HipHopCanada: Did anyone have beef with you winning?
Mista Hindz: Yeah, one person, I wanted to shake his hand after and say “that was a good sound” and he just dropped his hand.
HipHopCanada: Who was it?
Mista Hindz: It was Jeff Spec. And you know why though, it’s cause he’s an artist too right, and he actually hollered at me about a beat and I told him a price and I guess he wasn’t really trying to pay, wanted it for free, so I had to go against him at Vanquish and when I went against him I played the beat that he wanted from me.
HipHopCanada: That’s cold!
Mista Hindz: I did it on purpose.
HipHopCanada: Tell me about The Gentleman’s Club.
Mista Hindz: Well this year I started making music with another producer, he’s crazy, goes by the name of Mercer. We were both working with Jahfus at the time, not together but separately, we were around the same people but never really got introduced. And then we just made a track together, just for fun, and that first track we made was crazy. I fell in love with that beat. We work really good together: I’m a really unstructured producer, I don’t go by the rules of music theory, I’ll take any sound and manipulate it and chop it up. I use a lot of sound effects, I can make a beat with just sound effects. And he’s really structured, he’s played with orchestras his whole life and musicals and stuff, he plays a lot of different instruments so when we mix that stuff together it’s just a totally different sound.
HipHopCanada: What was that first track you collaborated on?
Mista Hindz: It’s called “All This Time,” we haven’t even put out the beat yet. It has acoustic guitar in it. Mainly he and I make pop together.
HipHopCanada: What did you produce for Jahfus?
Mista Hindz: There’s this song called “Ye Ain’t Got Enough Green,” he’s on that one, another one called “Out The Gutta” and he’s on that one too, featuring HeatWave.
HipHopCanada: Who are you working with most these days?
Mista Hindz: Mostly I work with HeatWave, I’m starting to work with Lamar Ashe. I like to work with the same people continuously, you’re not going to see me working with a lot of people. HeatWave and I have a good relationship and a good studio vibe, we work well together. He’s got a great personality and I think that of all the artists in this city, he works the hardest.
HipHopCanada: I want to talk to you about your impression of Vancouver’s hip-hop scene. You used to live in Calgary, so you’re not steeped in this scene.
Mista Hindz: I love it but I think people need to work together more. Now people are starting to, but before everyone was haters toward each other. And I don’t think the city can come up unless people all come together. That’s why I like working with Killawatt because I like what Red1’s doing. He’s got a good team together and they just all go hard together. I love Vancouver, this is where I want to be forever, and the hip-hop will be there soon.
HipHopCanada: Got any exciting projects coming up?
Mista Hindz: Well we just put out one mixtape, me and DJ Icy Touch hosted The Original Jackboyz Mixtape, and I’m planning an instrumental mixtape, it’s going to be 12 beats, hosted by DJ Icy Touch, I’m probably going to drop it this summer. Anyone can just download it and hop on a beat for free, they can put it out, or send it back to me if they want. I’m just giving away 12 free beats. I don’t even have a name yet!
HipHopCanada: And where will this be available?
Mista Hindz: I’m going to put it on DatPimp.com, always on my MySpace, Icy Touch’s MySpace, Facebook . . . I`d like to use Facebook cause it’s so personal, people are going to see everything you do. You’ll see me on Facebook all the time, I talk on there so much. And Twitter. I love the internet.
HipHopCanada: So you have this beautiful little daughter in your life, how does that change the way you divide up your time?
Mista Hindz: It’s hard. Lots of people think you can’t have a child and do music but you can . . . you just have to work that much harder. You don’t really have time for anything else in your life like girlfriends or nothing like that. When I’m not working on music I’m with her and I make sure we always do something positive together. She affects my music a lot though: it’ll be 4 AM, I’ll be ready to sleep and I’ll close up my Pro Tools and then her picture’s on my desktop so I open it back up cause I`ve got to work for her, right? She’s my number one.
HipHopCanada: Wow, that’s really sweet . . . What does “Thank you Mista Hindz” mean? I hear it a lot in your music and it’s your tag line on MySpace.
Mista Hindz: It’s just my tag, it’s catchy. I make music for people so . . .
HipHopCanada: So you’re thanking yourself on behalf of everyone else? Isn’t that a little cocky?
Mista Hindz: [Laughing] It’s just catchy to me, I’m trying to be in your face like Swizz Beats and Pharrell, like you see me everywhere. On the radio, on TV, not just behind the scenes. I think I have the best tag in the country, everyone else who produces just has a deep voice that says their name. Mine’s the most catchiest tag you’ll see and it’s caught on, everyone says it.
HipHopCanada: Well, I guess I should be no exception; thank you, Mista Hindz.
Mista Hindz: Thanks to HipHopCanada.
Editor’s note: For more information on Mista Hindz check out http://www.myspace.com/mistahindz.
Written by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada