Posted On 10 Aug 2018
The producer, Laquan Green of Toxic Productions is quickly earning his keep as a young producer on the rise. The 24-year old garnered major recognition as co-producer of Cardi B’s singles “Bodak Yellow” and “Money Bag” (featured on her platinum debut album Invasion of Privacy). The accomplishment represented years of hard work for the versatile producer, who prides himself on his ability to transition from trap to folk with ease. Currently signed to Chicago-based production company, Toxic Productions (Twista/Faith Evans/Keyshia Cole), Green is currently being positioned for prominent success.
The Virginia-native has been immersed in music since childhood; mastering various instruments and dabbling in singing before landing on production. Green was introduced to the industry by his mentor, Everett Collins (Isley Brothers), and eventually teamed up with current manager, Fred “Toxic” Taylor. The young producer has also solidified a publishing deal thanks to a recently announced partnership between Toxic Productions and Imani Media Group, led by Manny Halley.
In addition to his music, Green is active in his personal endeavors which include his work as a Christian minister, youth mentor and founder of the Lifewell Coaltion.
Learn more about Laquan Green in the following All Access interview:
Can you talk about being from Virginia and how it is has influenced the kind of artist of you are and the kind of music that you create?
I’m influenced by creativity, and so I’m thankful for being here, because that really gave me the space to create along with other producers in Virginia. So Lex Luger, who works with Block and all those guys. He came out of Virginia. New Port News, as well Tim Bolin, he came from Virginia and Pharrell, he’s from Virginia, so I looked up to all those guys.
So I guess it’s easy to say that you don’t plan on leaving and moving to say L.A.?
We’ll see. I’m not sure, but I love it where I am. It’s so beautiful and relaxing.
Why do you think that Toxic Productions is the right place for you and your music today and where you are at in your career?
Yeah, I think Toxic was really the perfect fit for me. Just because of the track record that he has in placing records and being a producer and as well has having variety of different placements. And so, he’s worked with Twister, Keisha Cole, all those people so it kind of gave me insight into the diversity of the label, so I’m super thankful for him, and it’s so much more than just music. Right? It’s just like having an older brother around to kind of mentor you. Yeah, it’s like having an older brother around to mentor you, to kind of show you the ropes, because he’s been in it for like 25 years, and so having that experience on your side, and having somebody who’s been in this rooting for you is so amazing, so I’m super thankful for Toxic.
That’s awesome. So let’s talk about Cardi B’s singles. How did it first start? How did you get that call like, hey you want to work on producing this single with Cardi B or how did it all come about?
Yeah, so I have a company called LGMD, and so we create loops and samples and all that for producers. And so, Jay White picked up my sales pack and kinda that’s when it came about and that’s when I got the call like, yo let’s do this record whatever. You know, incredible record here, and I was floored, like when I heard it I was like blown away because it’s so different. It’s so bold. It’s so cutting edge. And so that record for me was just mind-boggling. So it was pretty cool to be a part of that.
Did you know that this was the start of like this incredible woman’s career at that point? Did you have an idea?
You know how you have that idea that something is here it’s good, but you really don’t think that it would kinda explode the way that it did?
That was exactly my thought pattern. And so, it was a great song. I knew that it would be like groundbreaking, because just of the heart behind it and just the swagger in it. But to think that it would sell like six million copies, I didn’t see that coming. None of us really say like that kind of success coming. And I’m really thankful that I’ve been a part of that to be such an integral part of her career, and it’s only going up from here.
Yeah. Is it still hard to believe that you were nominated for a Grammy for that?
Do you ever pinch yourself?
Absolutely yes. Like there’s still days I wake up. I look at my plaque. I’m like, what happened? You know? And so it’s like dream come true.
So who’s on your bucket list of artists to work with? Who would you love to work with next?
Adele. Adele would be top of my list. Just because I love the live music, the live drums, the trumpets, the violins, like all that stuff, because that’s how I grew up at a musician. And so, Adele, Imagine Dragons, Selena Gomez, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Pharrell. All that stuff. So, I really want to create music that will be timeless, and that’s what I set out to do in everything, so from Adele to Sam Smith to Jay Z, Kendrick that’s my bucket list. Just creating music across all genres.
What are some producers that have really inspired you and you feel like you’ve learned the most from over the years?
Yeah. I think it’s a mix because like producers and artists especially people like Pharrell and Prince or and Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, because they kind of blurred the lines between producer and artist.
And so, I learned a lot from like just their creating things, and so Pharrell with his mind, it just thinks outside the box. There is not one beat that is same for Pharrell, and so with Peter Gabriel, especially the 80s stuff, it kind of gave me a feel for how to make music that will last longer than 20 years. And so, especially like Phil Collins and all those guys. Just seeing how they created, inspired me to just create what I feel.
So how did you first get started producing music?
So when I was about 13, I was in middle school, and my teacher, my music appreciation teacher, taught me how to use Ableton back when Ableton first became a thing. And I was producing dance music. Like I was nowhere near the hip hop, trap, all that stuff that you hear today. It was all like dance music and house and techno and all that, and so that was my lane, and then I started listening to Waka Flocka, and listening to Lex, and taking my music theory and putting it into hip hop. And that’s how I became the hip hop guy.
I understand that you dabbled in singing and playing instruments, like do you ever want to get back into doing that and focusing on being a musician and not a producer ever?
I kind of meld the two. Like a lot of times like when I’m creating, I’ll also write, and I’ll sing and reference stuff, ’cause that’s just kind of my process so, but yes I would love to drop an EP soon, kind of go into the artist lane, ’cause I love, yeah I love that stuff and so the plan is really to keep being a producer, start writing songs, drop and EP, as well as the musician stuff as well.
Now last night I was stalking you on Instagram and I saw you have a teaser video about giving back to the producer community. Can you elaborate on what that is without, I guess, giving it away ’cause you don’t want to give it all away huh?
Right. Yeah, so with the teaser video, I really wanted to create premium sounds for producers so that way they can have sounds and samples that they can always come back to, and I think it’s a great way to kind of pay homage to the way Bodak Yellow start by kinda keeping the same tree going with the samples and all that stuff. And for me, it’s a legacy point, and so if I can create sounds that will influence other producers, then my legacy of sound and creation will live longer than I do. And so, I want to see this go on for like 40, 50 years and see artist and see producers just using those samples just like a Marvin Gaye sample or a Michael Jackson sample. So, that’s the plan.
Wow, now will all of your music work, how do you find time … I read that you’re also a Christian Minister and youth mentor. How do you balance all of this? How do you find time for everything?
Yeah. A lot of times, when I do that, I just try to prioritize, and so if I’m not making a beat, I’m writing a blog, or I’m not doing that I’m working on my next book for the Christian space, so it’s a lot to juggle, but it’s worth it. You know there are a lot of nights where you don’t get much sleep and early mornings with the getting up so. But all in all, it’s worth it to me.
Yeah, that’s amazing. So, what is next up for you? How do you plan to spend the rest of the summer?
Working. Just creating new music and doing what I love to do. I recently got signed with Atlantic records and a publishing bill with BMG Media, so me and Toxic, we’re just rolling. You know creating new music. I would love to get some hits for the summer. This is my favorite time of year. So if we created some music it comes out like in the summer months, and so I just want to be a part of that creative space.
You better give Adele a call, she’s working on new music right now.
And my final question that I like to ask everyone is, at the end of the day I think that all musicians want their music to be enjoyed and appreciated by everybody, but I think sometimes there’s a greater message to music and what do you hope is the greater message behind the music that you’re a part of?
The message that I hope to send to people is that they’re worth something. Like that is the underlying message between ever beat, and every song, and every lyric that I’m a part of. It’s just to kind of have people see like they’re valuable. Right? I think in current times there’s this devaluation of the human sole, and so I really want my music to be that light of hope. That spark of like yeah you’re worth something. You’re valuable. Life is worth living, and it’s worth living to the fullest, and so that’s the message that I hope to bring, just a message of worth to human life.