For “Studios Sessions,” we delve into the stories behind the long hours in the studio and all that goes into making an album by talking with artists, producers, engineers, photographers, and more who are intimately connected to the recording process with some of the biggest artists in the world. These are the stories that rarely leave the booth.
Years before Mulatto was staking claim to the queen of the south title, music duo Purple Rocc was in the studio with her as she grew her sound. The duo comprised of IRoccOnTheBeat and DJ Young Pharaoh helped Mulatto work on her Queen Of Da Souf project and witnessed how not even a pandemic could stop her determination.
“She’s very dedicated and locked. It was a process of being consistent and keeping her locked in. It was a lot going on such as the COVID situation and people trying to make sure their families are OK. But, she locked in a lot of her time to get the album finished,” DJ Young Pharaoh told REVOLT.
In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” Purple Rocc discuss Mulatto’s recording habits, the Queen of Da Souf deluxe version, and an upcoming collaboration between King Von and PnB Rock. Read below.
How did you first link with Mulatto?
Pharaoh: I first linked with Mulatto through Steamcut, the company I’ve been working with for four years now. This was about three years ago. I’ve been her engineer for a minute now. At first, I started recording her very early and I realized she was very dedicated to her music because it’s hard to get young people to lock in. I knew she was a student of the game because she was deeper into this music stuff than a lot of people her age. She was knowledgeable of how to switch up her flow. She knew what eight bars were. She knew what 12 bars were. Her favorite influences were Gucci Mane and T.I.
Rocc: I started going to the studio with Pharaoh three years ago. Before that, I was playing basketball in college. I didn’t have any thoughts about music at all. I started making beats two years ago. Before, I was just hanging out with them and watching Pharaoh. The first song I produced for her was “Boss Ass Bitch.” I told her, “Hey, ‘Latto, I’ve been working on my beats,” and she was like, “Let me hear one.” She listened to it and got on it in the last hour of her session. I made that beat two years ago.
How did her album Queen of Da Souf come about?
Pharaoh: It was after she dropped the [Hit The Latto] EP. It was a situation where she wanted to show everyone it was time and really make a statement for her career. So, she put an album together. Those sessions were about nine to ten hours each and we’d do them Monday through Thursday. She’s very dedicated and locked. It was a process of being consistent and keeping her locked in. It was a lot going on such as the COVID situation and people trying to make sure their families are OK. But, she locked in a lot of her time to get the album finished.
What is a typical Mulatto session?
Pharaoh: First of all, we make sure she has some food in her system. We want to make sure she’s taken care of. She mainly eats fish now. She doesn’t eat any beef. I try to make sure she’s OK mentally because it is important for artists given everything we’re going through. She’s a big T.I. fan, so I’ll put on some of [his songs’] instrumentals and have her run each of the songs down just to get out of the boring vibes, and then we go straight to work. She tends to just go into the booth and create a vibe. She’ll hear a beat and whatever she comes up with in her mind, she puts it down. We keep it very simple in the studio.
What lines came from some of those random moments?
Pharaoh: That line ,“Bitch, I’m Big Latto, not Suzie” [from “Muwop”]. That’s big because a lot of people won’t think of [Gucci Mane’s] “I Think I Love Her” song, Suzie was the female on the song.
What sound does she like?
Rocc: She from the south, so that’s all I know. She wants the beat to hit hard and she wants to feel it. Whenever we’re in the studio, it’s a vibe.
For a song like “Muwop,” how does that sort of track come together?
Pharaoh: We had a group of producers who come in the room and help create a vibe. It was me, J. White, and Mulatto.
Have you seen any changes in her recording over the years?
Pharaoh: She definitely improved daily. She works on herself and tries to find different words to include in her music. She’s very trendy and pays attention to what goes on in the world.
What’s the funniest memory in the studio with her?
Rocc: We know we got one when she starts doing Triller [videos], jumping around and vibing.
Pharaoh: I remember Mulatto would sing T-Pain songs with autotune on that joint crazy (laughs).
How many unreleased songs do you all have?
Pharaoh: At least 10 full songs. We’re in the mixing process for a new project for her right now. We’re mixing the deluxe.
The album came out in late August. When did the four days a week studio schedule slow down?
Pharaoh: It didn’t really stop, but due to her taking care of personal stuff with her family, that’s where she was at yesterday (Dec. 1) and the week before.
You also worked with Los Angeles Lakers player Javale McGee.
Rocc: Yeah. He produces.
Pharaoh: After connecting with a mutual friend, he came down to Atlanta and linked up in a session.
What’s 2021 looking like for you two?
Pharaoh: We’re trying to make Purple Roc bigger than life, on god. We’re trying to spread and empower everyone.
Rocc: We’re trying to spread knowledge. We’re going to be putting out a project soon. We can say this: Be on the lookout for the PnB Rock and King Von song. We also got the Offset song coming real soon. This was before [Von’s passing]. Long live Von.
Pharaoh: I want to change the standard of the industry. I hate how if you’re the janitor, you’re treated as the janitor. If you’re an intern, you’re treated as an intern. I feel we should all be treated the same. If we’re all in the same building, then we’re there for a purpose. That’s the standard I’m going to set.