Raised in Knysna, South Africa, G-Wizz, The Slayer started out producing their own beats on FL Studio and writing lyrics as a teenager. Drawing on personal experience, often touching on depression and crafting into their distinct sound of punk rap and hardcore hip-hop influenced by Tyler The Creator, Eminem, $not, XXXtentaction and Denzel Curry. Find out more when we caught up with RepostExchange member G-Wizz, The Slayer in the studio!
I’ve been writing and producing music since 2009. It could be earlier, but I’m not quite sure... I taught myself by watching my cousin make beats with FL Studio and recording vocals with Magix Music Maker, he was still an amateur at FL studio so it was pretty easy to catch on!
FL Studio is very convenient to use and there are way more sounds to use to make a beat than any other DAW that I know of (I might be wrong). But, FL Studio also has a huge variety of FX to use either on your vocals or instrumentals. It’s nice to experiment with plus a lot of artist I collaborate with use it so it’s not that much of a hassle to send vocals to each other.
I own a PC, condenser microphone, amplifier, speakers and a Yamaha PSR-E443 keyboard. Out of all the above mentioned, the keyboard is probably the best piece of equipment I own. I use it as a midi controller so it's much easier to lay down chords. The mic that I have is quite cheap but it gets the job done. I feel as long as you can hear what I’m saying and you get the message, I have executed my mission!
Izotope Pro Suite is an all-in-one plugin that has helped me a lot with mixing, mastering and cleaning up my tracks. Apart from Izotope, I usually use FL Studio's stock plug-ins such as Fruity Limiter, Maximus, and Parametric EQ which basically do the same job. Izotope is just way more convenient to use because of the new feature that allows the software to auto-assist you. I enjoy auto-tune as well but I try not to overuse it, meaning I try not to use it in every track I make.
I usually start out making a rough draft of a beat. I then write the lyrics and then record what I wrote. Sometimes I would think of a line and record them as they come to me. I find that to be the best way to record because that way I don’t second guess myself, plus I get done faster. Once I’ve done recording vocals, ad-libs and backings, I just fill in the negative spaces on the instrumental, anything that I could have missed. When I’m finally satisfied I finally start mixing and mastering. When I come to this step I usually watch tutorials because I don’t fully understand mastering! I am getting there though.
I recommend anyone that doesn’t fully understand mixing and mastering and has the Izotope plugin to watch this video!
Don’t sit on music too long, get it out so you can create something new. I also wish I knew earlier on about mixing and mastering. I just recently started learning about it. I still have problems grasping all of it but with every track I make, I just keep getting better at it. I also wish I knew more about music theory because just like any other business it also has its own jargon.
Lastly, don’t listen to the haters, don’t let someone’s opinion make you feel less than. What haters don’t know is that they are good PR and they're helping the algorithm make people discover you. And don’t feed into the negativity, not everyone is going to like you or your music. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and express yourself in your music, I found that when you are the most vulnerable that’s when people relate to your music.
When I get writer's block or feel uninspired I would listen to my favourite artists, which normally helps me record again. I’m literally the only one in my neighbourhood rapping and taking it seriously, so it can get frustrating doing everything alone: from writing to producing and paperwork etc. I just got to remind myself every time about the bigger picture which then alleviates some of my anxiety. Sometimes I would feel a great deal of depression, then I would just read some of the comments and that helps me keep going
Make notes, whether it be on paper or voice notes. Sometimes I would forget something then at least I have something to refer to.
I usually send my unreleased tracks to a select few friends and family over WhatsApp and hear what they have to say: my family are usually brutally honest! RepostExchange’s feedback function is also a great way to get constructive criticism from other artists. I’ve used it a few times and all the feedback was constructive. I think I’m going to be using that for my upcoming project just so I can get an early opinion before I release it on major platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify.
In each of these tracks, I was very vulnerable and transparent, I treated these tracks as a therapy session. I touched on topics such as anxiety, depression and loneliness. When I played these tracks to my friends, they told me that these songs were so relatable.
When I wrote these songs I thought I was the only one that felt like this so it really meant a lot to know that I’m not the only one and also that I could help someone going through these things.
RepostExchange helped me gain 80% (if not more) of my followers, and get likes and comments from other artists. It’s safe to say that without RepostExchange I wouldn’t have acquired 2k followers on SoundCloud. A lot of my upcoming features are from artists that I met through RepostExchange.