From Working with Lil Gnar and YNW Melly to Slipknot‘s Sid Wilson, Brian Spencer is the creative you need to have on your radar this year.

Starting off, what’s your name and where are you from?

My name is Brian Spencer I am from Camden, Delaware, currently living in Los Angeles, California.

How do you think being from Delaware impacts your sound and the music you make?

It impacts my sound because of a combination of where I’m from and my age. I was kind of like, at the cusp of the internet thing, so YouTube and all these things that are available now weren’t available when I was just starting out as a musician. Being from somewhere that’s such a small town that doesn’t have anything going on you sort of had to entertain yourself when it came to things like that. You had to go search for new music and like minded people. It was in me the entire time–I knew I wanted to play heavier music and be in that scene but there wasn’t anything around me in that area like that, so it made me stand out for sure. It’s pretty conservative where I’m from but that doesn’t matter to me. It’s home but it’s a shit hole.

I feel that. The Internet has allowed a lot of different music to come out, and you say that you were different, but do you think that it helped you with being able to make your music and make it so you are able to stand out? You aren’t really forced to conform to what people say is selling, rather you can just put music out for yourself?

Yeah, for sure, and I think that it gives everybody a voice. It’s much easier to put yourself out and you don’t have to wait for some record executive to come find you. It’s not up to some white guys in suits to say these people can put music out and these people can put music out. It allows you to put music out as much as you want whenever you want. It allows you to be in control of your fan base. As far as you being an individual, I don’t think the internet has anything to do with that I’ve always been who I am.

I know you like to blend metal and trap in your beats; how do you feel about that scene? I feel that scene has been able to build their audience because of the Internet.

I’m sort of torn on two different sides about that. On one hand I think it’s a great evolution of music and it’s good to see it go in that direction. It allows me to do my thing, you know? I’ve always been into this stuff, but what leaves a sour taste in my mouth is where I grew up for a black kid who skated and played guitar and wore Slipknot shirts it was not cool. On the other hand ever since Kanye and a couple other people starting wearing metal logos on their shirts its become some sort of a fashion statement. This is something that’s like a lifestyle for me it wasn’t just a fashion thing for me. So it’s kind of cool that it’s shining a light on it on the other hand it’s not cool that it became like a novelty item.

That kind of leads into my next question: how do you think the genre is going to grow, and do you think it’s reaching that phase where people are making it off the hype as opposed to the love of the music?

I’m excited for what it’s going to turn into but on the same token with those people that are really into hip-hop and really into metal now you have people in this scene where they are picking apart every little thing and saying this isn’t apart of that genre they do this they do this that this isn’t real isn’t trap metal. I’ve heard people call it rage core there isn’t really even an official name for it. I call it trap metal cause the music I make is literally like metal and trap. Other people say trap metal but there isn’t anything metal about it other than people screaming over a distorted 808. I don’t know, I think it’s still in its infancy.

I’ve seen from you being in the scene that you’ve been able to work with Sid from Slipknot, and I know you are a big fan of them – how did that come to be?

Social media man. I followed him on Instagram and saw that he was at this studio, so I followed the studio and over time I saw that he was always there. So I thought, maybe I can maybe get in there or book a session, so I went on their website and saw that they had this deal like, you can pay this much, and you can work with this producer for the day, and you can have them go over your song. So I just reached out to the studio like, “Yo if I pay this fee can I work with Sid for the day on a day that he is there?” They didn’t respond but he ended up following me back. For me right there that was enough for me and I was like “Woah, holy shit.” So I started sending him DM’s and music and stuff and after a while he responded to one of them with something simple like “Yeah that’s dope.” So I would hit him up like “Yo lets work I’m a fan, I want to work with you, here’s an example of my work” And he was like “Yeah cool.” I would hit him up every so often and out of nowhere one day I get a FaceTime from an Iowa phone number and I’m looking at my phone like “Iowa? The fuck. I don’t know anyone from Iowa,” so I ignore the call and a few seconds later I get a text and it says “Yo it’s Sid call me back.” I’m like “Sid? Iowa? There is no fucking way.” He says “Yo man I’ve been following you see you been grinding your ass off.” And I was like “Oh shit.” After a while he eventually said “Yo come over.” And from there we would link up every so often and make beats.

You said this has all kind of resulted from social media. Is that how you’ve been able to work with all these artists? You’ve been fortunate to work with some dope artists like Lil Gnar, YNW Melly, and Zillakami. 

Most of its social media but not all of it. There was a guy, another producer, named Beatsbysaif. He would set his notifications to when a rapper would post on Twitter he would immediately post a video of his beats and a comment. I noticed he would get feedback, and I was like “Yo this dude is kind of on to something here,” so I kind of took that format. I started doing that or DMing people. With Lil Gnar, I saw him in a video in the studio kind of wilding out, like jumping on top of shit. It ended up being the song “Gnarcotic Gang” and I was like “I got to work with this guy, this is the shit I’m trying to do,” so it was the same shit. I sent him a video of me playing the guitar over a beat. He hit me back like “Yo this is fire, send some shit like that to my email,” so I sent some shit and never hear back from him. Throughout a couple of weeks, I’m sending him shit through Twitter, email, or whatever. Then the same fucking thing I get a text out of nowhere like “Hey, what are you doing pull up to the studio 9:30 here’s the address.” A scenario where it wasn’t social media was my good homie Ben Jayne, a producer who’s best known for “New Freezer” by Rich the Kid and Kendrick Lamar. One day I’m walking down the street and I’m walking down to the corner of my apartment, and I see this dude standing in front of the pizza shop. I’m looking at him and he’s looking at me I’m like “Shit I know who that is.” I keep walking and I look back, and he is still grilling me. Then I stop and I’m like “Oh shit, that’s that dude from the Genius video.” So I turn back around and I’m like “I fuck with you big time”. He ended up being like “Hit me up on Instagram.” Well the next day we ended up linking up making like ten beats. One of them ended up being the single for his album and the other ended up being that YNW Melly track.

That’s dope, lastly any advice for up and coming producers out there?

First off be self-aware. Be persistent and be patient.