KhmerLife Exclusive: Interview with Gigahurtz

Robert Chhuth aka Gigahurtz is a music producer, song writer and DJ who spent his early years growing up in Portland Oregon. He started his music career as a DJ and later became a music producer with a top charting #1 hit song “Mine” by Cambodian artist Nikki Nikki. Aside from music Gigahurtz owns his own record label and has a marketing lifestyle brand, HotGirlNights featuring a line of CBD gummies currently being sold online and in stores.

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Focused on the next play…

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How did you come up with your producer name?

I actually started off DJing in earlier in my career and came up with the name DJ Gigahurtz.  I chose that name because when I first started DJ, i was into using computers and technology.  Over the course of time, I wanted to be more known for my production, so I dropped the “DJ” from my name, and now I just go by Gigahurtz.

Tell us about the city you are from?

The majority of my life I grew up in Portland Oregon and in the surrounding areas.  This occurred from my early years in grade school, than as I entered college, I attended a university in Riverside California.  From there, I began to travel and live in other cities and even abroad to Cambodia for 1 year. 

How did you get into music and for how long have you been producing for?

 I got into music around 3rd grade.  I used to listen to the radio and my parents put me through piano classes.  From there I naturally gravitated into taking music on as a passion as I started studying music and hiphop.  I got into producing after my 1st year of collage, but didn’t pursue is as more of a career in 2013.

What made you want to become a music producer?

One of the reasons why I became a music producer was because I always wanted a chance to hear myself on the radio.  I pursued becoming a music producer after I learned that it would allow me to travel more as a DJ.  Producing music, would enable me to become known in areas I could not reach on my own, so it’s been a blessing in that regard.

Who are the producers who have most influenced your approach to music production and why did they have that influence?

Dre, his production quality and big sound.  Just Blaze, his originality and being able to create big sounding tracks.  Swiss Beats because of the energy he could create from his music.  I grow up listening to a lot of Timbaland and enjoyed listening to his unorthodox drum patterns.  The Neptunes and Pharrell, were big to me growing up, as Chad Huge was a huge inspiration to me.  Last but not least, Kanye West was probably the biggest influence for me.  His knack for delivery catchy and high energy tracks enabled a lot of the confidence I have today when it comes to production.

How do you approach the projects on which you work?

When I work directly with an artist, I try to figure out how I can produce a sound that will give that artist the most originality.  I try to figure out what makes them most comfortable in terms of style of music, than I try to bring a sound with my own twist and originality.

What was the first set of equipment/software you ever bought?

The first production software I used was Adobe audition.  I used it to record myself being a rapper.  I always thought I could rap, but learned over time, that wouldn’t be my calling.

What are a few key lessons you’ve learned about producing that other aspiring musicians and producers could take advice from?

Creating a song requires inspiration and good energy, which means you gotta keep a lot of negativity away.  I try to keep naysayers away and I try to work with good solid people.

What’s the process you go through in finding the perfect tune?  

I try to make music that comes from a strong emotion.  If I can make something that I feel is touching, I know that it will be able to touch people in the same way.  I try to let my close circle of creatives to give me feedback on tracks but I try not to let them sway me in the direction I know will work best for the record.

Did you study with courses, learn online or just experiment?  

I did a little of everything.  I took some online courses, along with watching a lot of youtube classes.  Producing is a never ending learning experience and it takes time to learn all the software and tricks.  It also takes time to train your ear to understand what to listen for in a production.  I think as I spent more time creating, I just became better.

What is the biggest struggle as a producer?

Producing is not easy, and it requires some business skills as well.  You have to really love music if you want to be great and successful as a producer.  I still have a long way to go, but I believe that every experience is a learning experience.  You can’t judge your success based on the money a song makes you, rather, you have to judge what ultimately makes you happy inside.

What is your biggest accomplishment as a producer? 

I would say producing and releasing a #1 record through my label ADG.  The record is entitled Mine featuring Nikki Nikki.  That record was pivotal to the direction of my career and hers.

What sorts of projects are you working on lately?

I’m working with a friend NBA superstar Andre Drummond for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  I have 3 records on his upcoming album.  I also have an instrumental album I am putting out this year.  Hopefully before the summer ends, hoping to get it out before the summer starts.  It will be entitled “ISO-LATE” which are R&B and chill sounding vibes people can listen to during the late night hours.

Where do you want to take your production career going forward?

I would like to have some placements with some major artists, but more importantly, I want my music to allow me to have a brand where I can transition into different business ventures.  I’m currently working on a CBD brand and hopefully more opportunities to work with major companies will arise from my music production.

How do you recharge your creative batteries?

I break away from my work and spend time with family.

What is one message you would give to your fans?

You have the opportunity to do what you love for work, than do it.  Passing up your passion in life will only lead you being unhappy in the end.  You only have one chance at life, and I believe it’s important to focus on the gifts you may have, and being able to showcase it to the world.

What is the best Khmer restaurant in your city?

Honestly, I’m not sure I can give you an answer on that one.  I don’t think I’ve had food from an authentic Cambodian restaurant.  I always told my mom if she started her own restaurant, it would be extremely popular.  

Do you want to give anybody a shout out?

I’d like to give a shoutout to my 2 boys, Cameron and Jerico.  I also want to shout my family for always supporting me when they can.

How can fans get in touch with you?

Instagram is the best way, @Gigahurtz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGigahurtz/
Gigahurtz Youtube

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