”Written byFreddie Hiney
Born and raised in Somerset West, Courtsyde’s [Ryno Smit] versatile music is carefully articulated. His motto? ‘Slow it down and make it funky.’ The progression to making beats has been a long and musical journey that comes with an impressive musical resume. In his first solo release ‘Yours’, he is the producer; beatmaker, guitarist, and vocalist creating a harmonious blend. Scratch being a triple threat, Courtsyde has all four corners covered.
His smooth Lo-fi beats bring you into a space of tranquillity as if you were under the Gardens of Babylon. The sound is mythical in its own sense, combining melodies and rhythms from vinyl, synthesizers, drums, piano, guitars, as well as anything else that makes a sound. Talking about what inspired him to name one of his songs Tchagra, (named after the bush bird) he said ‘There was a Tchagra tweeting in the background while I was making the beat. I had my headphones on, and I could hear them through the headphones, and I was like I’m going to put this in the beat and recorded that’. He can orchestrate sounds from the unlikeliest of places, whilst giving it an alternative jazz spin. The inspiration behind the song ‘Tok Tokkie’ came from “the sound of a Tok which is like a knocking sound. In that beat, there’s a lot of knocking and like bell type of sounds and the percussion is quite a cool thing.”
Having only started making beats three years ago, Courtsyde’s professional sound is the result of hard work, dedication, and finesse. ‘I’ve always practiced music. I don’t know if it’s ever come naturally to me. I think it’s just something I do every day and train my ear and the more you practice the better you get It’s like with anything, I guess. In lockdown, I’d say was the first time I spent days on end, there was a while where every day I would wake up and just make beats.’ He approaches each track with a melodic scientific formula. Testing the sounds and rhythms of everything around him. “I’m getting to a point where I’m learning, not just the scales, but how to compose melodies, different keys and how all of that stuff works with diminished chords and the whole idea of seven chords and how jazz is a whole new world. If I make a beat, I always see if like there’s some space for some guitar.”
His smooth low-fi beats bring you into a space of tranquillity as if you were under the Gardens of Babylon.
Courtsyde’s beginnings in producing and creating beats was a perfect mistake waiting to happen. “I started kind of messing around with fruity loops. I got it because I wanted to record guitar and sing and like to do the whole thing. Then I started really getting into nineties old school Hip Hop like A Tribe Called Quest and J Dilla. Listening to them was the first time I saw the blend between new-age jazz and old-school hip hop and how you can like put them together. So, if I make a beat, I always see if like there’s some space for some guitar.”
His sound is the combination of a variety of genres and eras, whether it be old-school Hip-Hop, Jazz, or synthesizers. You name it, he mixes it. Sampling vinyl is a big part of Courtsyde’s beat-making process that helps him to formulate a wild cocktail of jazz and hip-hop samples with a Lo-fi synthesis in his sound with songs like ‘Diablo’. You will notice the vinyl crackling in the background in the tracks, bringing it back to the older style with a modern twist.
‘it’s a whole other world of music to go into a record store and dig for vinyl’s and flip the vinyl. Flipping vinyl has become such a big part of making beats. It’s cool how you can get one sound or like a melody of a vinyl, add your own drums, add your own guitar. It’s such a sick process that I never thought existed.’ He tributes the foundation of his songs to the use of drums and percussions that came from an unlikely inspiration: Old School Hip Hop. “I started really getting into my hip hop and then I think that’s where the love for the drums came in. I don’t play drums myself. I spent a lot of time on the guitar, especially this year, a little bit of piano and drum. The drum program has become one of my favourite parts of making beats. It’s so intricate, like the rhythm aspect of it to a beat is the beat. You can have a beat without melody, and stuff if you just have the drums. That’s what makes it a beat. I always think I’d rather spend most of my time on the percussion and stuff. Because I’ve spent so much time on it I’ve started to love it so much. you get so many different styles, so many different percussive sounds, and I just like exploring that so much.“
He approaches each track with a melodic scientific formula. Testing the sounds and rhythms of everything around him.
With his first solo track ‘Yours’ having been released today; it is clear to see that we have an exciting young cat bursting onto the scene with his smooth vibrations and funky vocals. Courtsyde’s music is a breath of fresh air, sticking to his musical roots whilst bringing in the modern-era sound of synthesizers and samples. He is in pursuit to release more tracks by the end of the year. “I’ve got a couple more upbeat stuff that I’m just finishing up and I’m excited to get out there. I’m going to go single by single and then at the end of it, I hope to put a little project together.”
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Thank you to the talented Courtsyde for giving up your time. You can find his music on all streaming platforms such as Spotify and Soundcloud. If you want to listen to Courtsyde’s first solo project ‘Yours’ then click here.
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