Having produced for everyone from Curren$y to Domo Genesis to SaveMoney, Thelonious Martin’s production credits are well above average.
Firstly, briefly introduce yourself and your style of production.
I am Thelonious Martin, born in Chicago, raised in Montclair, New Jersey. I’m a music producer, 21 years old. My production style is influenced by the likes of J Dilla, Alchemist, MF DOOM and others but I really came into my own with a futuristic boom-bap/soulful twist. It’s weird, I hate describing my style because it changes so often.
What would you say are the most popular beats you’ve created?
Probably the entire 3 Piece Set EP I did for Curren$y, people still bug out about those.
What is your favourite song you’ve worked on and why?
On the recent project with Retch, ‘Polo Sporting Goods’, I’d have to say ‘Marmalade Sky’, it’s so visual, and has ridiculous replay value.
Do you think that production software becoming more accessible to just anyone is a good or bad thing for music?
It’s good because everyone can make music and bad because everyone can make music. But shit sinks and awesome stuff rises, can’t be mad at everyone trying their hand in production, or music for that matter.
What influences you as a producer?
Dilla, Alchemist, Fly-Lo, MF DOOM, 9th Wonder, DJ Premier, Large Pro, Just Blaze, Hi-Tek, !llmind…
How did you begin making music? Was it a particular influence or circumstance?
I definitely became inspired after hearing J Dilla on Adult Swim. I started making music seriously like my freshmen year of high school, I was about 14 or 15.
This is an extract from the Spring Issue of Viper Magazine. Read more from the magazine here. Buy physical and digital copies here.
Photo by Matt Stith