[Interview] Record Producers: A-Villa
Inspired by the death of Guru, Chicago-based producer, A-Villa, bought an MPC and set out to create a Hip Hop album that would survive long after he’s gone. “Like most Hip Hop fans, I’m a fan of Guru and DJ Premier, that kind of hit me. It didn’t hit me as far as losing somebody close, I didn’t know him, but being a big Gang Starr fan it was like, ‘whoa.’ That can happen to anybody,” A-Villa tells me on a hot summer day, sitting on my porch, retelling the story of how he started making Hip Hop beats nearly ten years into a successful career in finance. His journey into Hip Hop production isn’t motivated by money, nor is Villa chasing fame. He doesn’t chase placements, and currently, Villa tells anybody asking for beats that he is busy working on his debut album, Live From The Villa.
Villa’s motivation is purely to leave something behind, and to contribute to the Hip Hop culture which he loves. At this time, Villa’s album is 18 tracks deep, featuring over 40 different artists, all handpicked by Villa from the standpoint of a Hip Hop fan. “Going back where I come from and listening to Hip Hop, I’ve been a fan since I was 9-10 years old just listening to Public Enemy tapes when I was in the third grade,” Villa tells me. “That’s what I was doing back then. I loved it when I was that young. Coming up through the years and all these legends, I reached out to the legends first.”
And he’s had the success that most career producers dream of. At this time, Live From The Villa features appearances from Kool G Rap, Noreaga, Big K.R.I.T., Action Bronson, Sean Price, Joell Ortiz, Scheme, and many others. It’s an impressive list for any producer, and given Villa’s background, it’s quite the interesting story. Find out more about A-Villa in the latest Record Producers interview.