Y’all sleep on producers a lot, you know that right? Sure you might know Metro Boomin, the members of 808Mafia, Zaytoven, etc etc. You’ve known these producers for so long because some of your favorite rappers have been using their beats since the beginning of time. But what about the producers that produce you’re favorite underground artists instrumentals? *thinking emoji* You hear the skill and talent in those beats but yet you never think “Hey lemme go see what this producer is on, this sound is contagious.” Well while you have no clue on what to look for while trying to scramble and think of some good underground producer, why don’t I just introduce you to one? Meet HERTZKETCHUP, the 17-year-old producer from Virginia Beach, VA. Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “This kid’s only 17 and he’s being interviewed?” Yes, we are interviewing him; because not only do we see his current talent, we can also see his potential in the future. Hertz right now is in the mix of perfecting his sound and seeing what he can do himself, and he’s showing that he can be very diverse and fluent in his ability. I got the chance to sit down and talk with Hertz to get a better insight on the 17-year-old future super producer. Before the interview you’ll be able to get an idea of HERTZKETCHUP’s sound with GERONIMO by Raely which premiered earlier this week with Raely’s interview.

*GERONIMO by Raely (produced by HERTZKETCHUP)*

Who are you?

Hertz: I’m HERTZKETCHUP and I am a music producer from Virginia Beach, VA. I’m 17 years old and currently feel like I can change the fucking world.

Meet HERTZKETCHUP

How long have you been producing music?

Hertz: I’ve been producing since I was 15. I would play around on my Mom’s iPad with garage band and make the most horrible beats known to man. I’d always try to copy Dr. Dre because at the time i was super into Eminem and the whole Slim Shady vibe. The beats never came out sounding like what I intended but it was still fun to mash random piano chords and freestyle over my premature beats.

Did you ever see yourself taking music production as serious as you do now?

Hertz: Yes. I’ve always strived to be the best and I will continue to believe that I am the best. I’ve always taken an interest in music even before I ever touched an instrument. Not to sound cliche I’ve always wanted to be in the spotlight and always wanted everyone to know who I am. Before producing I wanted to be in a heavy metal band. I’ve just always wanted to “make it” with music. As i progress, I take music more and more serious and as I scratch things off my list of goals, I have more of a desire to accomplish bigger and broader things that I see myself achieving. When I first started out I always had a set plan to be where I am right now. At 15, I always saw myself doing things like working with some of my favorite under ground artist or producing a song with 8K plays. And as of now, I see myself making a record that’ll reach one million plays. I’ve always been about progress and forward movement

Do you have any idols or inspirations as far as producing? or music in general?

Hertz: I have a bunch of idols and inspirations. Musically I am inspired by Pharrell Williams and Tyler, The creator. I connect with them as people so much. Not another cliche, but Goblin dead ass saved me from doing something I would’ve regretted. Now I hate that album haha. But Tyler did a lot of fathering of me. He made me feel proud of who I was. I discovered Tyler in 9th grade. At 6th grade, I was that kid who would draw on his shoes and curse uncontrollably. Finding Tyler, a person that had so much in common with me REALLY exciting me and inspired me even more to do music. If I was a car, Tyler started the ignition and I’m just accelerating on right now. Tyler really helped me build confidence within myself and within my art. Now Pharrell, inspires me to flex. A lot of people know Pharrell that sings on Despicable Me but I know Skateboard p who raps about guns and drugs with Clipse. Pharrell really pushed me into trying out different genres of music. Sticking to rap is plaguing the community I really with some people would branch out and experiment. Pharrell could make Rock, R&B, rap and it’d all be a hit. A lot of my experimental music hasn’t hit my Soundcloud yet, but once I perfect those certain sounds I’m going to branch out into a lot of genres. Pharrell and Tyler made me feel like I wasn’t the only one. I’ve always felt like “that weird kid” that everyone fucks with but nobody KNOWS me. Pharrell & Tyler just make me feel mad comfortable with who I am.

Hertz: I’m also inspired by Kanye. I’m not really into Kanye’s earlier music but I’m super into YEEZUS and TLOP. Kanye’s whole demeanor really just catapulted me to not give a shit about what people think about my art. Kanye is teaching me that art is mad subjective and not everyone is going to agree/understand. Kanye’s personality really inspires me rather than his music. I connect with a lot of the things he says and I’ve watched hours of the “rants” and interviews he’s done. And I can really agree with almost everything he says. I want to change the world and just inspire the next generation and promote creativity to the masses. I think he wants to do the same

So when making music from scratch, what elements does HERTZKETCHUP look for when picking and putting sounds together?

Hertz: I always have the sound in my head. I’ve said to myself that i don’t make beats the beat makes itself and I’m just directing the program. I’m just pressing the buttons. The sound and the colors of the sound are so vibrant in my head so I just let it happen. Which is why whenever I make music t feels like time freezes. I’ve woken up at 3 am before and just went straight to the computer with no resistance. I’m just following the orders of the sounds in a way. And I always make what I want to listen to. I always hate getting asked to make a “______ type beat” if you’re working with me you’re getting a HERTZKETCHUP type beat. Some days I might pretend to be mexikodro and try to get in tune with his style or some days I might try to copy Tyler and use his style of producing but in the end, I will always add that HERTZKETCHUP flavor that is unmatched.

So what’s it like living in VA Beach rn? How’s the music scene out there?

Hertz: Honestly, I have no idea. I’m not really connected with these Virginia Beach cats cause I don’t really vibe with white boys saying their pushing weight and catching bodies when my school has the #1 test scores in the district. It’s just mad corny. I only really mess with like 4 of 5 dudes out here. Other than that, i REALLY fuck with Texas. The first rapper i ever worked with is from Texas and the majority of artist that I work with are Texan. Texas has just accepted me and I feel like I’m creeping into that Texas scene all the way from VA Beach. That’s why twitter is so imperative in 2016. Usually, an artist would have to get some local buzz in order to get big but now with twitter anyone can be from anywhere. The internet is just revolutionizing the way artist network and connect and it’s beautiful.

How did you get connected with Raely?

Hertz: RAELY’s been fucking with me since like February. I was just DMing him beats and asking for RT’s and he was really being supportive talking bout how I had this sound he’s been looking for and how we needed to work. I sent him this beat that sounded like nothing that was on his souncloud (our song SPLASH!) and it took off from there. Me and Raely both have abstract sounds and that’s why I think whenever we cook something up it always does numbers. Raely been on the HERTZKETCHUP wave forever and I’m going to make sure he’s gonna benefit from it.

Recently Raely just released a new single produced by you, what was the creative process for making Geronimo like?

Hertz: Honestly man I was just feeling like making a simplistic beat that the rapper could really shine over. I’m not into complex beats that have 17 layers that you have to listen closely in order to grasp the full sound. Simple beats can be so effective if the rapper does it right. Raely really outdid himself on that beat and I was waiting so long for that song to release cause it’s a hit! Honestly the GERONIMO beat was not intended for him at all cause it was a throw away. That beat has literally 10 different versions and I sent Raely the version that no other artist were messing with. And that version of the beat was my favorite and I’m glad he killed it. And I’m happy that he rapped on a beat with no 808s cause that’s super rare in 2016 unless you’re like Joey badass or something. He added that new wave flavor to a very minimalistic instrumental.

Should the fans be expecting anything else in future? A possible project?

Hertz: Between me and Raely? Most defiantly. It wouldn’t be right if me and him didn’t make an EP. But me personally I don’t want to get into projects until I have an established fan based to back me up behind my art. Like I believe that what Lil Boat did was genius. He got famous then dropped his first tape. It just makes you look better when your first tape has millions of plays vs. your first tape reaching a couple thousand. That whole era of dropping 28 mixtape before you get rich is getting old. I’d never release a full length tape until I have a following.

Do you have anything to say to the fans who’ll read this?

Hertz: Man I don’t even have fans just supporters but thank you all for rocking with me. Thank you for the overwhelming support and love. Everyone that’s been fucking with HERTZKETCHUP since day one will get paid and I mean that. I swear HERTZKETCHUP gonna change the world and it’s cause of everyone that supports me now and forever. And thank you specially to Xavier Walker and Caleb Hall for really jumpstarting my “career” and really getting me out here in the music scene. AMPM is family. 2000 is family. And to all the fuck niggas at school that wasn’t rocking with me when I first started out who was being all negative and now are struggling while I’m progressing fuck you and I love you for not believing in me cause it only inspired me to surpass y’all niggas. Thank you.

You can follow HERTZKETCHUP on Twitter, Soundcloud, and TrakTrain if you are interested in purchasing instrumentals. We hope you enjoyed this interview and possibly found a new favorite artists!