In the last ten years, the production duo of Christian Rich has been diligently creating a reputation among serious music connoisseurs as the dudes to watch. With them, it’s truly a family affair; the duo is made up of Nigerian twin brothers Taiwo “Christian” Hassan and Kehinde “Rich” Hassan. Over the years, they have collaborated heavily with the Neptunes, worked with Diddy and delivered pure dopeness for the 2013 album “Doris” by Odd Future rapper, Earl Sweatshirt. Their sound has an undeniable organic vibe that feels gritty yet lush at the same time. They have also gone on to produce records for Grammy nominated rapper Childish Gambino and Jaden Smith.
The stylish brothers have a huge year planned for 2015, so we decided to catch up with them and see what’s going on in their world …
“Our swing comes from Nigerian music like Obey, King Sunny Ade …”
Where are you based right now and when did you guys first start making music? Did you have any formal training?
We’re based in LA. We first started back in 1990 when we came back from Nigeria with no formal musical training just a good ear for what we like to hear.
How does the creative process go being that you’re a duo? Do you have specific things that each of you handle and then you meld it all together for the finished product?
We typically work separately then bring our ideas together to create one cohesive sound.
Are there ever any arguments about the sonic direction/arrangement of a track?
All the time but that allows us to hear each other’s ideas and consider alternative sounds.
How does your Nigerian heritage influence the music you make?
A lot, we incorporate ideas from Fuji and High Life into our music. Our swing comes from Nigerian music like Obey, King Sunny Ade.
Can you elaborate on your connection with Pharrell and Chad of the Neptunes – how far back do you guys go?
Shae from NERD is one of our best friends, he connected us with Pharrell back in 2010 and he mentored us a bit, introducing us to Puff, Jeezy, Kanye and others. Eventually we became friends with Chad – which led us to inviting Chad to work on Earl Sweatshirt’s album. We even introduced him to his new wife.
I really got onto your dope beats from the Earl Sweatshirt album – “Chum” is an amazing record – how did that come about?
“Chum” was a jam session that turned into a real song. That’s why it sounds so raw and unpolished. Earl laid down his verses and it just felt like a moment caught on tape.