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GRAMMY TALK: BOI-1DA
From the 6ix to the Stars

Acclaimed producer Boi-1da has worked with everyone from Drake to Rihanna, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Lana Del Rey.



You are one of the main architects behind the wildly successful Drake’s sound. Since your start together in 2009 (“Best I Ever Had”), how has your working relationship evolved over time (“God’s Plan”)?
I’ve been working with Drake for over 10 years now. After working with an artist of that stature, and for that long, everything just starts to become so natural. It feels like second nature for me. Our working relationship hasn’t changed one bit. From the first day I ever worked with Drake, until now, working with him has been an incredible experience. I get to be alongside the greatest to ever do it, for his entire journey. Through it all.

You’ve said, “As a producer, you have to make a canvas for an artist to paint on.” Whose canvas has been the most challenging to create?
Every artist is challenging to create for. That’s what makes music so fun—the challenge. Figuring out exactly what an artist wants, and delivering it to them, and then watching them make something magical. That’s the best feeling ever—knowing I had a challenge at hand, and conquering it.

You’ve been recognized for your work before, nominated for a Grammy multiple times. What do the Grammy Awards mean to you personally? Did you ever watch the show growing up as a kid in Toronto?
The Grammy Awards mean a lot to me. The award itself embodies the entire meaning of musical excellence. It is the epitome of the golden standard in music. It’s our gold medal, our World Cup, our ring. As I was coming up in music, I watched a lot of producers that I looked up to win a Grammy. Pharrell, Dre… Those guys are legends. I loved being nominated for a Grammy, it’s always a good feeling when you know you’re being recognized for your hard work. But winning a Grammy is on another level. That would be an insane moment for me.

 

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