Unique Songwriting and Workflow Strategies With YKES

Upcoming producer duo YKES is quickly becoming known for their heavy-hitting remixes of major tracks including Slushii & Ookay’s “By My Side” and Getter’s “Solo”. Currently hailing from Los Angeles, California, YKES is set to release their first original later this month, shortly followed by their “Bad Decisions” EP.

These guys have a really unique sound and we were lucky enough to catch up with them earlier this week to learn more about their workflow, songwriting and promotional strategies.


What does the typical production process look like for you?

It usually starts with a particular sound. We tend to write our drops before the rest of our songs because the verses and such usually comes quite a bit easier to us, and in our genre the drop is definitely the most important. Once we feel we have a really solid idea going for the drop we expand upon it until we have 2 or 3 complete ideas. We then move to the verses and flesh those out usually starting with a chord progression and adding more complex instrumentation and samples as we go along. After the creative part is done we start mixing by getting all of our volumes right and then begin “cleaning” by adding EQ’s, Compressors, and other plugins. After we get to a point where we think it sounds good we master it and call it a day. 


What is one of your favorite production techniques to use in your songs?

Resampling. This is the most key aspect to our approach on sound design. Messing around with a sound and then bouncing it down to audio and then messing around with that some more and repeating the process. This method allows us to come up with some really unique sounds.


How important do you think it is to understand music theory as a producer?

Fairly important, you definitely need to be able to hear certain aspects of music theory (i.e. if something is out of key or what chords sound good together). Its great because nowadays there are so many online tools and sources that can really help any up-and-coming producer develop these skills. 


What is one of the biggest mistakes you see new producers make?

Putting music out before they are truly at a professional level. You shouldn’t be putting energy into promoting your music to labels or artists unless you truly believe that your songs can stand side by side with some of the top professionals. 


What tips do you have for promoting your music and cutting through the noise?

This one is tricky because we feel that we still struggle with cutting through the noise. However, we reach out to a TON of youtube and promotional channels. On Soundcloud we use promotional channels and some repost chains. There is a negative stigma around these repost chains but when we were brand new they were key to our growth and early success. 


Connect with YKES:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud