Seven Tracks: Take A Daytrip

Seven Tracks: Take A Daytrip

Production pairing on how they crafted their biggest tracks...

Take A Daytrip are currently a pivotal part of music culture right now.

The New York based duo are the hottest producers to watch on the scene and the reasoning speaks for itself. David Biral and Denzel Baptiste form the team known for ‘taking it to 10’ which means to take everything to completion. They aim to include a family aspect in everything they do and in doing so their productions have been successful changing the profile around them.

With collaborations alongside the likes of Lil Nas X, Octavian, Vince Staples and more, the pair break down their most important tracks right now and give Clash an insight into the process and outcome.

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Raury - 'Cigarette Song'

Denzel: So ‘Take A Daytrip’ was just supposed to be a project we were working on going to different places, cities to make music using inspirations. But then we didn’t have enough money so we were gonna fake it and build it around a narrative.

David: We met Raury and he didn’t have anything out so this was the first artist we were sitting down with and vice versa. We created Cigarette Song combining two worlds as he was into folk and Andre 3000 type sounds and we were mostly delving into more dance music at the time. From that, Raury actually ended up getting signed and they wanted that song for his project and bought it back which wasn’t an issue to us as we were on our last bit of money.

Denzel: He ended up getting big and we got roped in to some of his meetings and that's how we signed our first publishing deal at Universal. If it wasn't for that, we would’ve probably just got regular jobs out of college and everything would be different - that was our starting money. The ‘hey’ in our producer tag also came from that song.

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Vince Staples - 'Home'

David: 'Home' was created in the very early days of our Universal deal and we had made the bare bones of the instrumental. We had been working with an artist but the song was never used.

Denzel: That was our first time working with analog keyboards and were kind of channeling the Gorillaz. It was sitting for so long until our label said we need songs for hip hop inspired trailer music so that was a specific intent for music like that and they picked out this beat.

David: The song reaching the finish line took about three years and was our first time working in film/television space. Their goal was to get a Def Jam artist on the track but the issue we ran into was that there was too much production that didn't leave space for someone to do their thing over it so we had to strip it back a bit.

Denzel: Then they shopped it to different movies and had mentioned an animated Spiderman movie which we were skeptical about but still excited. Eight months later, a week before Christmas the trailer came out and we thought ‘that’s fire’.

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Sheck Wes - 'Mo Bamba'

Denzel: After ‘Home’ came out, we had made enough money to keep working at our studio and that's when we made 'Mo Bamba' with Sheck Wes. It was a random night when producer 16yrold was in town and we decided to get together and try some stuff.

David: We respect how he is a producer as well as an A&R and knows how to pick talent extremely early. That night, at first we were really tired but then 16 hit us up and we invited him down to the studio. He was fucking around on our Prophet 12 and there was a bit he played that we got excited about. We were putting down the bass notes and drums and then put in the 808.

16 said he knows someone who would sound great on this which was Sheck Wes who we had heard of prior to. He happened to be around the corner and he came through and based his lead vocal melody on Denzel’s lead bassline on our sub phatty.

Denzel: He was really going for it and at that time our computer was so slow and I’m trying to copy the beat out so he could keep going but then my computer froze and thats where the ‘oh fuck, shit, bitch’ came from.

David: The whole song is basically happy accidents. But the amount of time it took for this record to catch on was months. We made it in June 2017 and the first time we saw a proper reaction was New York Men’s Fashion Week in February 2018. It wasn’t manufactured, it was straight culture and it opened up a bunch of doors for us.

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YBN Cordae - 'Kung Fu'

David: When we did this, Mo Bamba was still bubbling and YBN Cordae was still a mystery at the time. We had the Kung Fu beat already prepared from beforehand and we were really into spaghetti western shit with a take on latin music so we put rap drums on it.

Denzel: Cordae was also really good at involving us and open to being produced which takes a certain level of maturity and professionalism. With the chorus being so wordy we thought it would go over people’s heads so the beat drops out so everyone can hear what he’s saying.

We wanted to keep that moment and show how much space plays a role in music and keep the same effect as the space on Mo Bamba.

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Juice WRLD - 'Legends'

David: We made this the same day XXXTentacion passed away and 'Kung Fu' had just come out. We had a meeting scheduled at Interscope but getting the news that morning, we didn’t really want to work that day. It was surprising that this session even happened.

Juice WRLD was at the studio with us at 8pm and he was talking about how much X meant to him. The feeling in the room was very grave and we played a few beats we had picked out for Juice but we knew he wasn’t gonna make an entirely happy song.

Denzel: Then we played the ‘Legends’ beat and he really liked it. It was a one take freestyle the whole way, even the moment of silence. He just managed to get everything off of his chest.

Once released, it was very interesting to see how everyone was reacting and how the song was helping them through the tough times. After that, everything started to grow for us even more and this was actually our first Billboard charting song.

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Lil Nas X - 'Panini'

Denzel: We had heard 'Old Town Road' through Instagram and TikTok etc. and were just observing what was going on with that song. We initially thought it was a meme song but we thought let's follow him and see what else is happening in this world.

We met with him in LA and everything was new to him. We took that time to just get to know him and get comfortable enough to be in a creative space.

David: We played him the start of 'Rodeo' but wanted to put that aside for the time being because didn’t want to be the generic country guy and wanted to hear other things so we played the 'Panini' beat. He completely resequenced the whole thing and intuitively knew how the arc of the song should work.

After posting a snippet of the song, we started getting attention from people who we consider our idols and began a dialogue with them.

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Lil Nas X - 'Rodeo'

Denzel: We linked up with Lil Nas X again about a month later and his whole life was different. He had a stylist now and his song had gone to number one but it was as if nothing had changed. His demeanour was exactly the same and that's a reason why we really fuck with him. He previewed this one and it went crazier.

David: It got three million views on Twitter in two days. Everyone was saying 'Panini' is awesome but 'Rodeo' is the one. We hadn’t finished the song when he previewed it and Cardi B ended up hopping on it a week before the EP dropped.

We got the file and it said ‘Lil Nas X & CB’ and we thought it was Chris Brown and were a bit confused. We listened it and heard Cardi’s voice and literally began screaming and we had been wanting a Cardi verse for so long. We literally lost our shit.

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Words: Debbie Ijaduola

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