The Making Of Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘N’ Nite” With Dot Da Genius | Deconstructed

The Making Of Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘N’ Nite” With Dot Da Genius | Deconstructed


My friend worked with Cudi at Abercrombie
& Fitch and he was like “Yo there’s this kid at my job.” “He’s really dope.” “You should work with him.” We would make songs and then put it up on
Cudi’s music page. When “Day ‘N’ Nite” was made, I’m
like, “This doesn’t sound like anything.” “It might not work.” But when we put out “Day ‘N’ Nite,”
it was different. I didn’t realize how mega it was but Cudi
knew. Cudi was like, “This song is gonna be a
number one song somewhere.” I remember Cudi was working a late night shift. He hit me like, “Yo, I got an idea for a song.” “We gotta work on it when I get off this shift.” I’m like, “Alright bet.” “I’m here.” “I’m at the studio.” He sang the hook idea for me. I was like, “That’s dope.” “Let’s do it.” At that point, it was really just all about
sound selection. I’m scrolling through the Triton. I’m looking for the best sounds that I can
get and I fall on this sound. What it provided was melody and rhythm like
right off the jump. Threw a delay on it to get the panning effect
on the main synth. Especially when people put their headphones
on, you want them to feel like they’re immersed in it. I went ahead and started programming the drums. At this point, I’m using the MV-8000. I was reaching a point that I felt like all
my drums were stale. I go to Craigslist and then I come across
this posting and it was like this dude like, “Drum sounds.” “In BedStuy.” So I was just like, “Man fuck it.” “I’m about to go there.” I need these sounds. And this time, there’s no like USB sticks
or none of that. We burning shit to CD’s. And on that CD, I found what would be the
kick and the clap for this song. Strong clap. Like a slap. Being that this is still very early in my
production career, I’m not pulling out like the crazy tricks. I’m just using everything that I had learned
up until this point. When you get to the hi-hat, very simple, again
it goes with the synth. Eighth note hi-hats. The next sound I put down is the counter melody
to the main synth. Together. And then, from that point, we needed something
else melodically for the hook to make the hook bigger. A lot of what helped it be futuristic in my
opinion besides sound selection was reverb and delay. Delay, if used correctly, just creates a space. Like you feel the space ‘cause you feel
the delay slowly start to die. Synth 2. This was… I believe a sound I got out of the Motif. And this is support for Synth 3. So that supports this. They all have to kind of support each other. So that’s the first chorus. So that’s all the sounds that you hear up
until the first chorus. And so for the meat of the track, that is
essentially what made up “Day ‘N’ Nite.” The ending part was an accident. I gotta play these chords out. I was getting ready to press record. I pressed shift + spacebar instead. And then it started playing in half speed
and we both looked at each other and we’re like… “This is crazy.” “We gotta find some way to put this into the
song.” I put a little stutter to signify that it’s
changing. That’s the wind effect that I threw in there. I thought it was so dope. Back then, back in those days, Pro Tools, I had the M-box
and you can only have 24 tracks. Like per session. And your Pro Tools will just start messing
up. So I had started making beats, bouncing them
down, and then bringing them into a new session and record vocals. The “What, what” sound and I have to let
you guys know this, the effect that I put on them is an old effect. So if you look here, it was called the Antares
Tube tech or something like that. That’s what gave it that sound. So you’re hearing his vocals really dry
right now. You hear “Day ‘N’ Nite” and he takes
a pause. So after I had that, I’m like, “This needs
to keep going,” so I just threw a quarter note delay on it. These are the throws on the “Day ‘N’ Nite”
phrase. I literally just had a send with a delay on
it and I just sent it and just automated on those. Just saying the hook and me panning them out,
like you know making them sound like they’re here. With all the other sounds in the beat, then
you get this with the hook. I almost regret… I feel like I didn’t soak the moment in
when it was happening. We’re on year 2 touring and I’m talking
to people and they’re like “Yo ‘Day ‘N’ Nite’ that changed my life.” “That saved my life.” And I’m like, “For real?” “No, that song saved my life.” And I just remember, man, music is just powerful. If it’s done correctly, it can be a healing
type thing. And that’s Cudi’s mission. That’s always been Cudi’s mission. It’s like, “Yo I wanna talk to these kids. I wanna let them know that they’re not alone.” When I met Cudi, he was not smoking weed. I had never smoked weed. I had never did any drugs up until that point. I’m just gonna tell y’all this story. My parents are probably gonna be mad as shit. Mind you, I’m in engineering school and like
one of the smartest kids in the class, I caught him smoking weed. And I remember walking in the room and being
like, “You smoke weed?” “Nah, nah, nah, pass that.” Cudi gave me this speech like, “Yo bro what
are you doing? Nah man, don’t fuck with that shit. That shit’s for the birds.” I’m like…

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