An invitation to cook during Canadian Music Week. Cook beats that is. Cooking Beats with WondaGurl and Rich Kidd, a panel presented by Socan, was unlike the others during the week. Socan’s Education and Outreach Manager, Rodney Murphy, joined the Toronto producing-powerhouses to deliver the seminar discussing their tricks of the trade.

The two Mississauga, Ontario based producers led their session with polar opposite personalities. Rich Kidd, otherwise known as Canada’s sweetheart, added his comedic value while sharing tips and stories about his production process, while the teenaged WondaGurl radiated with her shy demeanour that only further triggered the curiosity of everyone inside the ballroom of the Marriott hotel.

During the hour-long session, tips were traded, stories were told and beats were bumped. Here are the 16 things I learned from WondaGurl and Rich Kidd:

1. Rich Kidd chooses the drums first.

2. WondaGurl always uses samples.

3. Fruity slicer is recommended by Rich to chop samples at a certain peak or point. “Sometimes I mess with the sensitivity so it doesn’t chop so hard so I can go in and make some strategic chops and people can’t tell what I sampled,” he says.

4. Rich Kidd’s neighbours don’t like him or his rumbling bass and he uses the Sausage Fattener plug-in to make the walls shake.

5. You can never download too many plug-ins like BSTIs and Gladiator. “I try to add as many plug-ins as I can until my computer gets chippy,” says Rich.

6. WondaGurl urges producers to change the Legacy Effects and use a soft-clipper in the master.

7. Only make beats when you feel inspired. “When you feel the block, don’t even force yourself,” says Rich. “Herbal Essence” helps, he shares.

8. It cost $10,000 to clear the sample on the beat Rich Kidd made for Saukrates, which became the successful “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman”, sampling Phantom Planet’s “California”. “If you don’t have to sample it and you can get more money, then try not to,” he shares. Socan can help clear samples, Rodney added.

9. Internet collaborations don’t work for WondaGurl; she likes collaborating with other producers in the studio.

10. Rich Kidd just registered his business this year and is starting to be more selective about which artists he works with.

11. WondaGurl doesn’t mix her beats anymore. “You don’t need to mix your beats, because in the end, it’s still going to the artist and they are going to have it mixed. Just make sure that everything is leveled,” she says. Many in the audience, including Rich, seemed surprised.

12. After practically stalking Hit-Boy on Twitter and sending beats to people in his circle, WondaGurl was invited to his house in LA, which branched to a relationship with Travi$ Scott, which led to the “Crown” beat on Jay Z’s Magna Carta being made.

13. Travi$ Scott told WondaGurl, “I’m about to change your life.” He called her on June 25, her brother and sister’s birthday to tell her the news that Jay Z would be using their beat.

14. “Modern bang with the sense of melodic beats that go with some heavy-hard shit,” is how Rich Kidd describes the sound of Toronto.

15. WondaGurl is still trying to find her own sound.

16. Food inspires the 17-year-old producer. “Whenever I eat lasagna, I want to make a beat,” she says.

Words By. Samantha O’Connor + Photos By. Adrian McKenzie

By taking in her nickname, One Woman Army, it’s easy to understand the grind of Urbanology Magazine's Samantha O’Connor. Over the past two years with the magazine, she has positioned herself in the heart of Toronto’s urban music scene. She has interviewed the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T, DJ Drama, Ciara, Tech N9ne, Machine Gun Kelly and Melanie Fiona, and reviewed live shows from artists such as Jay Z, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa and Action Bronson, to name a few. With a passion for the culture and helping build the future of the Toronto hip-hop community, she is the visionary behind Samantics, one of the original columns featured on

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