When it comes to Tony Roche and Zach Henderson, opposites do attract, but in this case to form skillful production duo Odd Couple. Holding it down for Chicago, these two have a distinctive sound which can be heard on their recent debut project, Separated At Birth, which features the likes of Smoke DZA, Freeway, Chance The Rapper and more. Read on as they talk about the strategy behind Separated At Birth, what to expect next, Chicago hip hop and more.
Can you give a little history on how you two linked up to form the production duo that is Odd Couple?
No doubt. I (Zach) had been friends with Tony’s older brother Phill, and it came up one day that I made beats. So after rappin’ back forth for a minute, Phill was like, “Man you should link up with my little brother, he’s a producer too, and he’s raw.” So when Tony came to visit one time, we linked up, played some beats for each other, and we were just vibing to each other’s stuff a lot. We sent tracks back and forth and finally we were like man let’s just form a team, we could run sh*t.
How did you come to name yourselves as Odd Couple?
The name comes from the fact that we are a great team, but we’re opposite as hell in so many ways. Like I (Zach) was born in Milwaukee, I’m 6’6” black dude, and Tony is like 5’6” white guy from Boise, ID. But we get together and just have a blast, crank out tracks, crack jokes, we just homies who are mad different, but complement each other well at the same time.
Your debut project, Separated At Birth, featured a variety of artists, were each of the beats crafted to their sound?
Yeah, we’re really detail oriented with our approach to everything. We wanted to put a project together that was cohesive and followed a general aesthetic, but at the same time really wanted to push the envelope. We were very selective as to what artists we wanted, and the beats for each. Some of them were no brainers, though, like with Freeway and Bombay State of Mind. The minute he said he was interested, I was like, “Bet, this is the song for him”.
In the future what can we expect from Odd Couple?
We’re working on a lot of projects with other artists right now. Some we’re trying to keep under wraps. You can definitely expect to hear a lot more with Uno Hype. That’s the fam right there, we’re all Bombay Knox artists and that’s for life. We’ve been working a lot with more Chicago artists, as well. Most importantly though, we’re working on our next project, which is just gonna be huge. Bigger features, bigger, crazier sound, we really want to just go off on the next one.
What are your thoughts on the progress and success of Chicago hip hop?
It’s just crazy to see how far it’s come. When Ye came out it was that soul sound, and then that died off for awhile and it was like “What’s up with Chicago?” Now, the city has its own sound and big artists with a story to tell. The production is on-point, and everybody got love for everybody. That’s the thing, it used to be the city of mad haters, but now it’s like everybody’s eating, it’s just love.
Describe the typical work station and essentials needed when you are crafting beats.
Ha, our typical work station is a desk, a keyboard, monitors (maybe) and headphones. We just manipulate our software, and what we have, to the best of our abilities and try to make everything sound as perfect as can be.
What is one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?
Most people don’t know, cuz we make a lot of gritty, dark, music, that we’re really goofy guys. Like we just sit around and crack jokes all day, we have about 15 minutes of serious conversation and like 45 minutes of laughing and saying crazy sh*t.
Any last words?
Just wanna thank everybody for the support. Shout out to the Bombay Knox fam, JR Rubin (our manager), that’s the dude right there, always putting in work. Phill Roche, too. Shout out to Uno Hype, he’s a crazy talent. And just continue to look for us, cuz we’re workin’ hard tryin’ to get better and better.