Nowadays, producers are the real MVPs. Insert Tweek Tune, who’s musical background goes back to 4-years-old.
His father started him off in a band with all his siblings, where real name Allan Lopez would play drums while his sisters sang and played piano. In 2006, he discovered the Litefeet dance which would propel his name into the cultural scene in the Bronx.
The 26-year-old describes himself as a “legendary Litefeet Harlem Shake pioneer,” but he knew ultimately he didn’t want to be a choreographer. Instead, he turned his focus to producing. Aptly named himself Tweek Tune, the New York native got his start producing for A$AP Ferg and now is working with Lil Tjay, even staying with him for the last 2 months. For Ferg, he did “Butt Naked,” “Verified,” and “Not The Boy,” and for Tjay, he did the intro track “Ice Cold” on his new EP State of Emergency.
AllHipHop caught up with Tweek Tune via FaceTime to discuss how he got his name, how he got tapped into A$AP Ferg, curated a whole new sound for Sewer Sounds, staying at Lil Tjay’s during quarantine, and more!
AllHipHop: How’s quarantine over there in the Bronx?
Tweek Tune: I’m in the house. It’s crazy. It got calm now, people are coming outside again. I’ve been working with Lil Tjay, been staying with him for the last 2 months.
AllHipHop: You say you’re a musician at heart, how did you get into dancing?
Tweek Tune: As time grew, I started finding new hobbies. I started dancing. I picked up this dance called Litefeet, it’s a cultural dance in the inner city. It’s worldwide now. It’s still young, but a lot of kids are doing it in Japan, Africa, London, UK. It’s picked up everywhere on the internet. I’ve been doing that before Instagram, around 2006. That helped me get a name and notoriety for myself. It ‘s a new thing so whoever’s good at it, you gain some type of fame or popularity.
Tweek Tune: That’s how I became Tweek Tune, but my first name was Tweek Baby. I got it from my friend who passed away, he’s also a dancer. I converted it to Tune because I started learning how to engineer and produce around 2009. I started drifting off dancing, but I kept the name. My popularity never left as far as dancing. People always wanted to see me come to events, they’d book me. I stopped doing it heavy because I didn’t see myself being a choreographer, so I picked up producing.
AllHipHop: Talk about how your name helped you get around people like A$AP Ferg and Joey Bada$$.
Tweek Tune: A lot of the inner-city rappers from New York are heavy on the culture, so they knew what it was. That was a plus. When I met Ferg, he already knew who I was because I had my name from dancing. He came from that background too, but he had a fashion background. He wasn’t really dancing, he was in the loop. There was a fashion loop and dancing loop in Harlem. It’s stuck together so if you were in fashion, you knew about dancing. He danced, but he didn’t go full-fledged with it. He kept going with his career in fashion and art.
I kept getting better at production. I met one of his friends Marty Baller, he comes from a dance background. There’s this team called Swag Kids with DJ Webstar, who helped Young B. get to where he was. They made “Chicken Noodle Soup,” which blew up based off the dance. Marty Baller was Ferg’s main man. Marty Baller brought them onto a platform in the industry, that’s who I got connected to. I was basically making Marty Baller’s music. Ferg heard the music and asked “who’s making your music?” I got invited to the studio, boom. Ferg kept inviting me, told me he wanted to sign me. Boom, this was 2018.
AllHipHop: Did you sign with A$AP Ferg?
Tweek Tune: Mmhmm, I’m signed to Ferg. He has a publishing company. He put me on the map. He’s still helping me out. I have a pub deal with Sony/ATV. Sony/ATV handles my pub, but they have to report to Ferg. My first record with Ferg was “Verified,” the first record I ever dropped and publicized. It did well for what it was. “Not The Boy” was the second record when he first signed me. I got “WAM” recently, about 10 months ago.
AllHipHop: What were those initial studio sessions with Ferg like?
Tweek Tune: I was nervous. He asked me to make a beat from scratch, which I’ve never done in front of an artist. I made the “Verified” from scratch. He wanted to drop it right there. He wanted to upload it but his manager said “nah, we have to get it mixed and mastered.” That session was life-changing, it felt like a new chapter of my life.
We went to LA and did “WAM” and “Butt Naked,” a track on the Floor Seats EP. I played the beat for “WAM,” Madeintyo was there and did a hook real quick. Ferg said “yo keep doing that voice.” It was a high-pitched voice that the fans were reacting to, like “is that a girl or boy?” Ferg curated that, then went in and freestyled the whole s##t. Same for “Butt Naked,” we did it in New York then sent it out to Rico Nasty. It took awhile for her to get the verse back because she was on tour. She got back to us in 3 weeks, it was lit from there.
AllHipHop: How did you land with Lil Tjay?
Tweek Tune: Ferg manager’s manages Tjay as well, so he looped me in with Tjay. Tjay and I go back to dancing, we have mutual friends. The people who gave me my name is Tjay’s OGs. In the dance world, they’re looked at as OGs and CEOs. Tjay has a story as well, I don’t know if it’s out there but people know about it.
AllHipHop: Tjay was dancing also?
Tweek Tune: In the midst of him going on the train and selling candy, there’s dancing stuff going on. He was young, trying to make a dollar for himself. We got acquainted through music. Before he got going, he came to Polo Grounds Studio which is the label Ferg’s signed to. He worked with this artist Jay Gwuapo who’s also signed. They had interest in each other and I was engineering all the artists who came into Polo Grounds. One day, Tjay came in there and I was appalled. This kid is talented! Who is he?
He remembered me from getting Lite and Harlem Shaking. We started talking about the past, then got back into the music. Me and him got a relationship from that point. A couple of months later, he asked me to come around so I could record him. During the quarantine, we linked up because there’s nothing else to do. I’ve always been nagging him to work but when somebody’s busy, they don’t have the time to put interest in something unless they’re going to fully do it. He found the time to do it, he’s like “you could stay here and we could work.” On May 1st, he dropped “Ice Cold” off State of Emergency.
AllHipHop: Bring us back to that session, I love that song!
Tweek Tune: We did that in the house. He works anonymously so you have to be on point. I was asleep, he woke me up like “let’s work.” It was 4am. He goes to sleep early so that’s why he woke up and was up. He’s always joking like “don’t play no wack s##t.” I played the “Ice Cold” beat, he’s like “this s##t’s hard.” He kept freestyling to it. We sent it out to the label. the label said “omg, this is a good record. We want to drop this, put a video to it.” I cooked up a few other records with him that’s going on the album.
AllHipHop: You’ve been quarantined with him for 3 months. What’s the vibe when you guys aren’t working?
Tweek Tune: He reminds me of a little brother, I’m probably big bro around him. We have a friendship like anybody else. We prank each other, he likes to play fight. He’s 19, I’m 26. I got passed that but I’m still in the middle because I get immature. Everybody has a moment. Some people know how to turn it off and turn it on. Sometimes, I take my time to be on his time. It’s all good and gravy, he’s a kid who’s no different from me so I understand. We come from the same town so we have the same talk. We know a lot of the same things.
AllHipHop: Talk about curating the sound behind Ferg’s label Sewer Sounds.
Tweek Tune: Sewer Sounds is a NYC experimental sound that can be anything. My mission statement is to help people be free to express themselves through my beats. It’s being free using cinematic sounds, using sampling and sounds from retro 80’s. It’s a bunch of original sounds, under the category of experimental. Right now, we’re working on a hip-hop experimental sound. We’re the Sewer kids. We have a style we dress as, grungy and dirty but at the same time it has art and light to it.
AllHipHop: Are you still dancing?
Tweek Tune: I’m more of an entertainer. I dance when Ferg brings me out. He brings me out whenever my song plays because “WAM” has a Litefeet aesthetic. I collabed with another producer Dylan Skyler, who’s a Litefeet producer. Any time we collab, we always have a dance jiggy vibe. Ferg was looking for that and that’s what we made. I dance whenever he performs but not for content.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
Tweek Tune: Me and Ferg are coming out with a new sound.