A Hip Hop Hit Maker Breaks Down His Biggest Records for NYU Students

A Hip-Hop Hit Maker Breaks Down His Biggest Records for NYU Students

Nick Mira, one of the youngest producers in hip hop, visited NYU to teach a masterclass last week.

Nick Mira demonstrating his craft at NYU. Image by Jenny Kim, NYU senior.

Students got an insightful demonstration on making beats from producer Nick Mira — known for working with artists like Juice WRLD, Lil Tecca, Trippie Redd, and iann dior — at an event held by NYU Program Board and the Clive Davis Institute last week. The young but popular producer talked about his tips and tricks for making music and deconstructed some of his biggest tracks for attendees.

The masterclass was a combination of an interview, a walk-through of how Mira made some of his records, and a beat-making demonstration. It was the second in a series of masterclasses, the first being with Kenny Beats last year. This time around, it was held in the Clive Davis Institute’s newest building at 370 Jay Street in Brooklyn.

Graphic via NYU Programs Board.

The event began with information on Mira’s path to producing music. Balancing his beat-making with school work was a constant struggle in his early career. After struggling with school, he discovered producing as an alternative. A major career milestone came on his seventeenth birthday, which coincided with the release of the XXXTentacion album 17, featuring some of his production work on the song “Fuck Love.” It was his first placement in a major project.

He later met Taz Taylor, the founder of Internet Money, a record company and music collective. They initially became friends communicating over Twitter, sharing memes, and spending hours killing zombies in Call of Duty. After becoming close, Mira officially teamed up with Taylor’s Internet Money collective, going on to produce several big hits for them. One of his biggest successes was Chicago rapper Juice WRLD, who Mira discovered online. He helped craft records for Juice WRLD like “Lucid Dreams,” “All Girls Are the Same,” and “Robbery.”

After hitting it big with Juice WRLD, Mira continued his winning streak, producing hits like “Ransom” by Lil Tecca and continuing to explore the emo-rap genre by working with iann dior on nothings ever good enough. At the end of 2019, he reached the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 Producers chart, the youngest person to ever do so.

Photograph by: Jenny Kim, NYU MCC Senior

At the Program Board event, Mira used his computer to deconstruct three tracks for the crowd. Mira talked through his thought process when creating the tracks, isolating specific beats and breaking down the process that made each record shine. After coming up with a catchy melody, he would lay chords on top. Then came the drums and embellishments. Hearing every piece of a track completely dissected felt like watching one of Genius’ Deconstructed videos, but in real life.

Next, Mira gave students the opportunity to create music with him. For the last hour of the program, he invited different people from the crowd to help add vocals and instrumentals to his beats. He made three total beats, two with the help of students. Volunteers got to record their melodies, then Mira would tweak them and add effects. After drums were added, the beat was done.

With only seven minutes left before the event ended, students dared Mira to make a beat in the time left. He obliged, quickly scrapping something together. Many of his beats appear to rely on the same elements: 808s, hi-hats, claps, melodies, a bass line, and a few other embellishments. With the power and virality of the internet, the next Nick Mira could potentially be any teenager in America.

PC: Jenny Kim, NYU MCC Senior

“He’s probably the biggest producer right now and today was the first time I got to see him in person,” said Ross Tortora, a Steinhardt music industry first year. “He is super knowledgeable about production and FL Studio in particular. He gave a lot of great tips and it was just great meeting him.”

Program Board members were also satisfied with the success of the masterclass. Rupesh Barman, current NYUPB treasurer and a music business major at Steinhardt, said that this series of masterclasses with hip hop producers is what got him interested in NYUPB in the first place: “It’s cool that we do something like this every year.”


A Hip Hop Hit Maker Breaks Down His Biggest Records for NYU Students was originally published in NYU Local on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: nyulocal.com

A Hip Hop Hit Maker Breaks Down His Biggest Records for NYU Students