Six Things You Didn’t Know About “Old Town Road” Producer YoungKio
The Dutch Producer Is One of the Top Users on Music Marketplace BeatStars, Where He Sold the Instrumental That Became “Old Town Road” to Lil Nas X
Press for BeatStars:
“The music situation improved in October, when Hill stumbled upon the beat for ‘Old Town Road’ while trawling the site BeatStars, which allows aspiring artists to purchase or lease instrumentals. The track was made by Young Kio, a teen in the Netherlands. Kio marked the ‘Old Town Road’ instrumental as a ‘Future type beat,’ and Hill found it intoxicating.” – Rolling Stone
“Lil Nas X, however, says it’s all due to a combination of hard work and knowing how to use the tools of the internet to create something that would click with the masses. ‘Old Town Road,’ after all, started with a track he found on BeatStars, a site launched in 2008 for aspiring musicians to upload their instrumentals, that was created by YoungKio, a fellow teen from the Netherlands. Lil Nas X bought the track for $30 and wrote lyrics inspired by his anxieties over his parents’ disapproval of him dropping out of college.” – Vulture
“So, out of a combination of ingenuity and desperation, [BeatStars founder Abe Batshon] came up with an unprecedented idea. He hit up a producer in a chatroom, asking to use a beat. He offered to pay something, but less than the sale price—under the condition that the producer could still sell the beat to someone else. Thus the concept of a non-exclusive license for a beat was born. Batshon wouldn’t turn his idea into a full-fledged business until 2008, when he started Beatstars, an online marketplace for beats.” – Complex
“Sites like BeatStars help democratize the hip-hop landscape.” – Genius
“Old Town Road,” 2019’s defining number one hit didn’t arise from a songwriting camp, or the office of a major publishing company, or the mind of a Grammy-winning star. Instead, rapper Lil Nas X and producer YoungKio, two teenagers separated by thousands of miles and the Atlantic Ocean, connected on BeatStars, the world’s leading music marketplace. Atlanta rapper Lil Nas X gets the headlines and the TV appearances, but Amsterdam producer YoungKio, a top-selling artist on BeatStars, is an interesting figure in his own right. Below are some quick-hitting facts about YoungKio and BeatStars:
- “Old Town Road” originated from an instrumental track called “Ninety,” which sampled Nine Inch Nails’ “34 Ghosts IV,” billed as a “Future-type beat” and a “Kodak Black-type beat.”
- Before selling to Lil Nas X for $30, nine other rappers licensed the right to use “Ninety” for one of their songs.
- YoungKio has more than 300,000 total streams on his productions on BeatStars
- Kio has uploaded over 1,000 tracks to BeatStars to date, and is one of the site’s Top 300 sellers of all-time.
- Kio, a resident of Amsterdam, is one of over 1800 producers located in The Netherlands. There are over 325,000 active sellers on the platform out of a total of 1.5 million users.
- Rappers like Future, 6ix9ine, Flipp Dinero, and Joyner Lucas have purchased beats on BeatStars.
Check out YoungKio’s recent interview with NME: https://www.nme.com/features/sparked-conversation-old-town-road-producer-youngkio-controversial-song-year-2484969
Check out YoungKio’s profile on BeatStars: https://www.beatstars.com/youngkio/
Notable Beats sourced from BeatStars:
Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road” (Remix) (prod by YoungKio)
Future & Rihanna – “Selfish” (prod by Mantra)
Future – “Fresh Air” (prod by Mantra)
6ix9ine – “Kooda” (prod by Koncept P)
Flipp Dinero – “Leave Me Alone” (prod by Young Forever Beats)
Queen Naija – “Medicine” (prod by 30Hertz)
Joyner Lucas – “I’m Not Racist” (prod by The Cratez)
Youngboy Never Broke Again – “Highway” (produced by The Martianz)
Founded in 2008, BeatStars is the leading global music marketplace connecting over 1.5 million recording artists and music producers, helping them collaborate, network and license beats. Since inception, BeatStars has paid out over $45 million to music producers licensing beats to recording artists on the platform. Founded by Abe Batshon, BeatStars currently has offices in Austin, Texas, Funchal, Portugal and Porto Alegre, Brazil.