Kicking off this week’s production sessions, Mike Shinoda produced a track by an artist named Becko titled “Darkest Days”.
This marks the start of the third week of Shinoda’s live production sessions featuring various different artists, songs, and genres since Shinoda announced the idea last month on his Twitch channel. This is also the second week Shinoda has decided to produce three tracks rather than two, this time starting with Becko’s track “Darkest Days” to produce live on Twitch this Monday, February 1.
— Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) February 1, 2021
Shinoda began the production session by listening to the original multitracks Becko sent him. In addition to the vocal tracks, along with three tracks of reverb, delay, and other effects, there are three other groups of tracks. There is a keyboard group, a synth, a guitar group that roughly sounds like it has two or four guitars, and a bass group present in the verses. The structure of the song itself is quite traditional and there is only one chord progression present, which Shinoda immediately focused in on to experiment with starting with adding 808 drums and keyboard.
Coming up with three different ideas for keyboard additions and two ideas for 808 drums beats Shinoda utilized a poll to allow viewers to vote on which piano chords and drums they though fit the track best. After creating new piano chords, however, Shinoda was not able to use Becko’s original piano or guitar tracks as they had entirely different chords, meaning that Shinoda also had to record new guitar parts. After a few tries (in which Shinoda forgot to press record at least twice), the song had new heavy guitar tracks and Ebow.
“One thing I want to do with these production streams in particular is … if the song comes in sounding like … it fits easily into a box … I’m gonna try to work out of that box. Like if it’s, ‘this sounds like really good Warped Tour music’, then I gotta do something to it that takes it out of that. Because if you want ‘that’, then you’d go somewhere else and get that, or you’d just make that yourself. But my job is to say, ‘okay, how can I make it sound, in my opinion, more interesting than that?’.”
Becko is the name of a solo project created by Italian vocalist, DJ, and producer Marco Calanca, which he formed after involvement in a band called Hopes Die Last. Becko is a mix of many influences, such as EDM, hip-hop, and emo-rock, and already has multiple releases under several different labels from as early as 2014. He has released various singles, such as “Chandelier” and “Our Last Time”, along with multiple EPs. Becko also has a YouTube channel, which features various cover videos, such as Halsey’s “Americana” and Muse’s “Time Is Running Out”, as well as original songs. He has also come out with a few albums, including one from 2017 named CVRS, featuring remixes of popular songs such as Owl City’s “Fireflies” and Linkin Park’s “Faint.” More recently, Becko signed a multi-album deal last year with the US independent label FiXT, which specializes in electronic-rock, and released multiple singles such as “Cyberfriend” and “Genesis,” leading up to the release of his newest album titled Inner Self, as well as the re-release of Becko’s earlier album New Odissea. Becko’s music can be found on various platforms including Spotify, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and FiXT’s official website.
If you weren’t able to see Becko’s “Darkest Days” be produced by Mike Shinoda live you can still watch the Twitch video below! Make sure to check out Becko’s music, as well as Shinoda’s previous production sessions. Stay tuned to Shinoda’s Twitch channel weekdays around 10 a.m. PT, especially as he already has the rest of this week’s schedule lined up! Tuesday, February 2, will see Shinoda finishing up Becko’s track, as well as Megan Lenius’ song “Not Your Game”, which was initially featured during last Friday’s production stream. Wednesday, February 3, will feature a track titled “Enough” by Kintsuku, followed by a track from Trivium’s Matt Heafy on Friday, February 5!