This week we are highlighting Kevork "IsThatKizzy" Ohanes. He has been a Producer for about 15 years and an Engineer for about 7 years. IsThatKizzy got into music after hearing Still D.R.E and realizing that Dr. Dre was not only an artist, but a music producer and you could make a living doing that. He instantly fell in love with creating music. A few years into learning how to make beats, IsThatKizzy got introduced to his first artist "Gotti Banxx", and that's when he started to learn how to engineer. Since then, he has been building his brand up online and turning his passion into his career. IsThatKizzy has also had the chance to work with artists like FRVRFriday, Enima (a big artist from Montreal), and a few others.
Q: Where are you from, and how did it mold you into the person you are today?
A: I am from Montreal, Canada, but of Armenian origins. I love my city because it's so multicultural. We got Italians, Greeks, Haitians, Jamaicans, and so many other different cultures in our city and it has had a huge impact on who I am as a person because I get to be influenced by all these different cultures. Being from a city where our winters are long and horrible, I had so much time to spend creating and working on myself as a person because there wasn't really much to do outside in the winter except freezing your ass off.
Our sound is very similar to that of Toronto. It's ambient and dreamy with some hints of Jazz, Rock, and Blues. The mix of the Montreal sound and my obsession with the West Coast sound have helped me become the producer I am today.
Q: How did you get your producer name?
A: My first name as a producer was High-Class Beats Productions (this was back in the SoundClick days). I chose that name because I thought it fit the mold of what was going on back then in the production world. One day, I decided it was time to change my name, but couldn't figure out what I wanted it to be. I got the name Kizzy back in high school when I was freestyling with one of my friends, and it's just a word that randomly came out of my mouth and it stuck with me.
I started off ass KizzyBeatz, then changed it to ProducedByKizzy but those two names still bothered me because of the words Beatz and ProducedBy so about 3 years ago, I changed it to "IsThatKizzy?" and it has stuck with me ever since.
Q: What inspired your name?
A: It really just came to me randomly as I was freestyling.
Q: What was your first record placement?
A: I've never gotten a major placement, but I did production on FRVRFriday's Fiji Trap song. I got the record through a mutual connection of ours who is also an artist I work with closely called "Lone Starr". FRVR heard one of my beats and really liked it, but wanted to do something different with the drums, so I sent him the files and the rest is history.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you learned while working in the music industry?
A: Be patient. Things move very slowly in this industry, especially when it comes to releasing records. If you stay focused, keep growing, and networking, your time will come.
There will be a lot of days where it's just you in the studio working on your craft with no one there to clap for you. You can stay down through that because it's part of the process.
Q: What is your favorite record you placed and why?
A: It would be the FRVRFriday record (Fiji Trap) because it showed me that I can actually do this for real and if I stay focused and dedicated, I will succeed and turn my passion into a career. It also taught me that a placement will not change my life (except if I get something with an A-List artist like Drake or Future) and that I should focus on actually building a brand that provides real value to those who follow and support me.
Q: What is your favorite DAW and your favorite plug-in to use? Why?
A: My favorite DAW has and will always be FL Studio. I've been using it since day one, and even after trying Ableton, Logic, Reason, and Studio One, FL Studio is the DAW I keep coming back to because I'm so used to the workflow. My favorite plug-in would most probably be Kontakt. I'm a huge fan of live instrumentation and the amount of incredible Kontakt banks that are available is mind-blowing. You can get anything from great pianos and guitars to instruments from other cultures (Middle-Eastern, Asian, etc). It allows me to bring different sounds and textures that you might not hear as often. Though, I am also a huge fan of Analog Labs for anything that has to do with synths.
Q: What makes you a hot producer?
A: What makes me a Hot Producer is the experience I have working in different genres. Coming up, I was making a lot of Boom Bap and West coast Gangsta Rap vibes that were influenced by Dr. Dre and DJ Premier's sound. As time went on, I got into Trap, Electronic, and R&B music, which shows that I am versatile and able to blend different styles together. I also love being experimental with music, which I feel is something that is becoming more rare as time goes by.