Roach Gigz's Producer CLoz Used to Sell Beats for $10
"C-L-O to the motherfuckin' Z"
CLoz sold his first beat for $10. That less-than-whopping fee came about as the East Bay producer was clawing his way up into the local hip-hop scene. Since then, Cloz has steadily built up an impressive body of beats, most of them hooked around rousing synth lines and synapse-sizzling snares; he's also become something of Roach Gigz's producer-to-go. So with Cloz's stock on the rise, we checked in with him to chat about his Bandcamp hustle, getting props from Shock G, and the hip-hop beatmaker's breakfast of champions.
When did you first start producing?
I started producing in high school. I had a friend who basically got me into it and started teaching me things and I was not better, but more creative than him, and I just kept on progressing.
So were you using all his equipment when you started out?
Actually, he was showing me how to make beats at his house, but I downloaded the Fruity Loops 7 demo so I was making music at my house as I had that. But at first I was using a regular typing keyboard to make beats!
Which producers were you trying to emulate at first?
The prodder I was really trying to imitate was Traxamillion. He has a sound that I was listening to for the longest time, so it was just trying to replicate things like the snares he used and the bass he used.
Did you ever get to a point where you thought you'd successfully made beats that sounded like Traxamillion's?
Not for the first year -- it took me about a year. I really sucked at first, to tell you the truth.
What was the biggest mistake you made early on?
Using the stock pack that comes with FL Studio. I wasn't looking out for like the Dr. Dre drum kit or the Drumma Boy drum kit, and I should have been doing that.
So when was the first time you got paid to produce a beat for someone?
I know it was after the song me and Roach came out with called "Rrrroach." After that one I had a couple of local rappers in Antioch telling me they liked my sound, so one day after another more people started coming.
How much did you sell that first beat for?
Ha ha, I sold my first beat for $10.
So how did you end up working with Roach Gigz?
I hooked up with Roach through MySpace back in late 2008. I had a beat called "Stupid 2009" and I wanted someone else on it, but the person I wanted never replied to my message, so I hit up Roach. He had one hit at the time; he messaged me back and said he loved the beat 'cause I sampled Husalah.
What was the name of the artist that never got back to you about the beat?
His name was Sirealz from Team Knoc. I've actually made music with him now -- he didn't get back to me for his own reasons -- but it turned out for the better.
Are most of your collaborations with rappers done in person or through the Internet?
Most of my collabos are through emails. I'm rarely in the studio with any rapper. I'm an in-house producer: I make a beat, I send it out, they get it mixed and mastered and rap on it, and they can send it back to me for final production. Or with Roach... Actually, I can't tell you exactly how we make songs together 'cause it's a secret, but we are never in the studio together.