RSG Presents: Mingo

Mingo Allen better known as “Produced by Mingo” is on his way to becoming one of Atlanta’s hottest producers. With an eclectic extensive musical background, Mingo is equipped to work with artists of various genres. Born and raised in Alabama, Mingo grew up with music in his life. The grandson of a preacher who loved music and a grandmother who sang in the choir, Mingo was steeped in music. His father was a percussionist in a band and his mother was a singer and songwriter and he’s now continuing music in the family. Recently, RSG caught up with the hitmaker and got the scoop before he’s back in the lab and in overdrive churning out the next hits. 

So how do you think your childhood influenced your music style?

“My family was very musically inclined,” he affirms. “A lot of things we did involved music. My grandparents’ being in the church and with me being in band pretty much all through grade school really gave me a solid background in instrumentation.” Mingo goes on about his dad’s affinity for heavy bass. And every Saturday morning, his mom played Jay-Z as they cleaned.

What were the first steps in your production journey? 

I became obsessed with the craft of production. I downloaded the 9th edition of FL Studio and started studying Kanye and Ryan Leslie’s sound design style. I watched him on Youtube and how he would make sounds out of shakers and coins and anything he could get his hands on. I began recording my little brothers in our make-shift dining room studio made with two mattresses.

Who was the first person you recorded?

My mother was the first person I ever recorded. I was in 9th grade. The stock market had just crashed and both of my parents having been in Real Estate, had lost a lot. We were living with my grandmother and I recorded my mom in my grandmother’s living room. My dad was working often and couldn’t always record her. So he sat me down in front of the computer, showed me the button to begin/stop recording. She had an engineer who was based in North Carolina who would mix the vocals. But I really became exposed to Fruity Loops/FL Studio and Pro Tools during my early stages of recording her. I was immediately hooked.

How would you describe your production process? Do you go in with something in mind? Or do you just start with a fresh slate? Do you have a particular sound in mind or are you freestyling?

Honestly, it depends on how I’m feeling. I may have a sample or loop in mind. Sometimes I just go in and start playing with the chords and it just goes from there. I never really have an end result in mind as I like to consider myself limitless. I like to blend genres. 

Who are some of your favorite producers of all time? 

“Of all time?” Mingo, exclaims. Kanye West for sure. When I first heard, “Good Morning” on “Graduation,” I knew he was making magic. Dr.

 Dre is another favorite. “Let me Ride” was classic. Pharrell’s way of infusing Jazz, hardcore rap, and his work with the Neptunes, was remarkable. I couldn’t help but chime in and mention how “Grinding” was the beat played by billions of students on the desks for years.” Mingo continues, “Just Blaze is amazing as well. His depth of production, horns, symphonies, and grand sound in, “Why You Hate the Game” just immerses you. Sonny Digital and Lex Luger are favorites as well.

And are there any current producers who inspire you?

Metro Boomin. He established the sound of a generation. The sound he’s influenced in the south, particularly, Atlanta, can’t be denied. He continues, “I love Pi’erre Bourne’s work with Playboi Carti and Young Nudy also. The bounce in his beats helped curate and hone their sound.” Turbo is another amazing producer as well. The way he was able to introduce the guitar in Gunna’s sound and overall rap overall was remarkable.

If you could make a song with anyone who would it be?

Mingo answers emphatically, “Quincy Jones!” Once I understood production, I went back and listened to Thriller and it blew my mind.

This producer was responsible for something that changed music forever. Me being a Quincy fan, “I totally agree. After watching his documentary, no one has been relevant for seven decades other than him.”

What would you say has been one of your struggles as a producer?

I think my passion, drive, and creative talent is limitless. It comes as a blessing and a curse. As a result, I sometimes struggle with living in the moment and embracing it. I’m always evolving, I’m in a race against myself. But I have to remind myself to stop and take a second to absorb and enjoy the moment before chasing another one.

Are you working on any projects currently?

I’m working with Von Arrington. I believe he is the best. He gives all his energy to anything he’s creating and the synergy we have is infectious. I am thoroughly enjoying working with him.

What’s your message to your fans? What’s the message you’re conveying with your music?

You don’t have to give up one thing to chase another one dream was to graduate college and get a masters. I will be done with grad school at the end of this year. I moved here (Atlanta) 3 years ago but I was able to do both. The mind is a powerful thing.

What’s your why?

My “why” is to be the best. Because I am the best. I will impact music on a historical scale. Everyday I wake up and study history so that I can be part of it. That’s my why.

Anything else we would like to add?

Shoutout to Dasha and RSG team. I didn’t know how to do anything moving here. The way it’s played out and how much she has played in setting up my career.  Support of him and family. Kade, Donnie, GDMG.

Follow Mingo on IG at @prodxmingo