Producer Evian Christ Talks Working With Kanye West, Mixing Genres And More


Kanye West wasn’t afraid to pluck rising talent for the production credits on his sixth studio effort Yeezus. Whether recruiting beat gurus like Rick Rubin or G.O.O.D. Music brethren like S1, ‘Ye also extended an olive branch to freshmen in the game like Evian Christ, the 24-year-old British producer responsible for “I’m In It.”

When asked how he crafted the hard-hitting backdrop, Christ says he churned it out naturally. “I didn’t have much time to think about it,” he tells VIBE. “I just got out there and got to work.”

Christ, born Joshua Leary, stands out as far as Hip-Hop beatmakers across the pond, where rap doesn’t have a dominant presence. Even Jay-Z just landed his first no. 1 album in the U.K. with Magna Carta Holy Grail. But it was the producer/rapper’s eccentric sound palette that caught the ear of West, who contacted Christ the night before the recording process started in Paris.

“I was surprised I wasn’t overwhelmed but I guess in that moment, it’s just people coming together to work on music. It was a good vibe,” he recalls.

Christ released his mixtape called Kings and Them back in February 2012. He says the project was passed around G.O.O.D Music’s team since their compilation LP Cruel Winter was in early development. According to Christ, it was only a matter of time before West employed his unique sound.

“One of the things that separates me from other people is that even though I have a classic approach to making rap beats with samples. I listen to a lot of soundtrack music, darker, ambient music, and a lot of industrial heavy music,” he explains.

And slotting on a Kanye West joint is only the beginning. After a recent U.S. tour with electronic duo Purity Ring, the producer is ready to get behind the boards for more outlandish Hip-Hop collabos.

“I have these crazy ideas about how adventurous you can get with producing rap music, like working on a Gucci album with Trent Reznor,” Christ said of the Nine Inch Nails singer. “We’re at this weird point where, probably because of the Internet, different genres of music are clashing together. Yeezus was kind of vindictive of all that.”

Catch Evian Christ performing at the Pitchfork Music festival in Chicago from July 19 – 21. You can also download his Kings and Them mixtape here.—Anthony Centeno