Boonie Mayfield, aka Boon Doc, came to prominence through his YouTube videos; considering most beatmaking clips are lucky to break a four figure view count, the fact that one of Boonie’s is approaching a million views is indicative of something special. Despite years of putting in work (and putting out videos) he’s only just released his debut LP, but as you’ll see from our review we were relieved to find it was worth it. We caught up with Boonie for a chat on production style, advice, perseverence, and a whole lot more…
Boonie Mayfield: Yeah, it was really important. Basically, I’ve been on the YouTube scene and everything like that for the past four years, and people have been waiting forever for an album.
“a lot of the stuff I was hearing I thought I could recreate and it would sound like something I would sample”
I’d started using Ableton to do live sets and originally Black Koolaid was gonna be an instrumental album but it was gonna be ‘normal’, you know, and what ended up happening was I was practicing one of my sets I was gonna do for a show, and I burned it on CD just to ride to and see how it sounded, and I was like “you know what? This is gonna be Black Koolaid. A listening experience where everything flows”… I was more excited about the album once I decided that.
OD: Gotcha – so when it comes to the way everything flows, what are you using? Did we hear Stutter Edit in there, or is it custom stuff in Live?
BM: Ahaaa! (laughs) A lot of people have been asking that, and I’ve been kinda keeping it a secret! I use a lot of the effects that are in Ableton, but there are a couple of programs… I’ll give one of ‘em away, The Finger from Native Instruments. I set up the automation to the faders and pads and do all that stuff live.
OD: I gather you had a bit of bad luck about 18 months ago when your studio got turned over – it must’ve felt like the end of the world at the time, but what did having to build your set up from the ground up again do for your sound and approach?
BM: I’d just started to dabble in Logic around that time, and at the time I was rebuilding the studio there were just so many VSTs and AUs that were coming out that I was just researching, you know, “what VST has really good sounding horns?” and all that stuff, and I built a pretty good arsenal of a lot of instruments that sound to me really authentic. Although I love sampling I kinda got a little bored for a while, and at the same time learning all this music theory and getting better with keys and all that, so a lot of the stuff I was hearing I thought I could recreate and it would sound like something I would sample – that’s what started happening after I got robbed. After it happened I think a lot of people thought I was was gonna lose my mind, and to tell you the truth I did… for like an hour. Something in me just kept on telling me “this is not over”. Truth be told it was kind of a struggle for a bit, but I wouldn’t take it back at all.
OD: It’s good to hear that it kind of turned into a positive experience, I guess.
BM: Yeah, it definitely did! (laughs)