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  • Writer's pictureBen Mirka

Boi-1da, The Free-Spirit Super Producer, In His Grammy Moment

Boi-1da isn’t one for repetition — he’s an explorer of sound. Throughout his run as a top-booking producer, he’s fused his love of hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, R&B, and other genres in pursuit of the next sonic wave, and he’s done it by refusing to limit his creative ambitions.

“I don't like to just do the same thing,” Boi-1da said. “I'll get bored and just feel like doing something completely outside of the box just to challenge myself or push myself. And it's good for the mind. You sit there and make a million rap songs, beats, ideas, and whatnot. But then sometimes I just want to do something different and just get outside of my box and comfort zone.”

From the days he spent obsessing over FruityLoops beats as a teen to the years he’s been cranking out platinum-selling hits like “Headlines” and “Work,” the Kingston-born and Toronto-raised producer has harnessed his artistic powers to spearhead the industry’s biggest musical trends and established himself as one of the top producers in the last 15 years. Between collaborations with heavy hitters like Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, and fellow Canadian superstar Drake, along with a slew of platinum plaques to his name, Boi-1da, born Matthew Jehu Samuels, has the hardware to back up the claims.

As the Grammy winner’s star has grown brighter, he’s kept his profile low and his goals in frame. And his approach to life and music has led to a second Grammy nod this year for Producer of the Year in the Non-Classic field, with songs like Jack Harlow’s “Churchill Downs,” Kendrick’s “Silent Hill,” and Beyoncé’s “Heated” helping him score a nomination. “It's always a deep honor to get any sort of nomination from the Academy. So to have this again, it almost feels surreal,” the 36-year-old producer said. “It's hard to even muster up a feeling. This is stuff I dreamed about as a kid.”

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