Our Producer of the Week is 31 year old RIAA Certified Gold producer FAKE UZUMI from Norfolk, VA! Some of you may also know him by his artist name SHADED ZU. A couple of his production credits include Mac Miller, Al-Doms, Key, Lil B, and more. On top of being a producer and artist, FAKE UZUMI is also a DJ and graphic designer as well!
The last time I wrote an article for ZU, it was almost two years ago for one of his singles. I always love supporting artists from the 757, and I really enjoyed SHADED ZU's collab EP with Mack (With Haste) that dropped earlier this year. That's how I knew it was due time for this interview to be released. Keep reading to learn more about FAKE UZUMI -- the producer behind SHADED ZU!
Vy: How long have you been producing? How did that start out for you?
FAKE UZUMI: I’ve been producing for a little over 15 years now. I was actually a writer at first, but I started teaching myself when I realized I needed my own production.
Vy: Who are some of your production credits?
FAKE UZUMI: I’ve produced for Mac Miller, Al-Doms, Key, Lil B, FishSkale Rabble, Bobby Blaze, Lex Lucent, Mack, HalfCab Jalf, & more.
Vy: Briefly describe your sound.
FAKE UZUMI: My sound is cute chords with aggressive 808s.
"It’s like a hammer wrapped in silk."
Vy: Who are some of your musical influences/inspirations?
FAKE UZUMI: My musical influences consist of The Neptunes, Missy, Timbaland, Jazzy Pha, & Darkchild.
Vy: What is your work process like when building a beat?
FAKE UZUMI: My creative process is very scatterbrained. I never have any idea of what I want to do until I'm actually doing it. It’s very quick but random.
Vy: Who is your dream artist to produce for?
FAKE UZUMI: I would love to produce for Sade, MIA, & Ray J.
Vy: What is the hardest project that you've worked on, and how did you overcome it?
FAKE UZUMI: The hardest project I’ve ever worked on was the FlipPhone+ album titled PhoneCalls. That was only because I've never worked with so many people at one time before. Eventually, it ended up flowing so naturally that it became one of my favorite albums.
Vy: What advice would you give to producers just starting their musical journey?
"My advice is to always be a student and to never be complacent." - FAKE UZUMI
Vy: lastly, name one fun fact about yourself!
FAKE UZUMI: In high school, I would make beats with my bedroom windows open just to get a reaction from people walking by in the neighborhood.
It was truly a pleasure being able to learn more about FAKE UZUMI through this interview. He is such a down to earth individual with an array of artistic talents! Now that I know he produces most of his own songs, It's definitely time for me to go back and listen to SHADED ZU with a new perspective. Be sure to check him out too, and stay tuned for our next Producer of the Week!
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Written by Vy Truong, @avocavy on IG