Northe’n Lights is a collaborative production team of northwest artists Terminill and Sonny dedicated to bringing exposure to the northwest hip hop scene. While both artists come from two uniquely different musical backgrounds, they have found common grounds in productions and were able to collaborate to create a sound that varied from any style they had experimented with in solo production endeavors.
Kyle Steckley, better known publicly as Terminill began producing in 2002. His influenced ranged to encompass smooth R&B like En Vogue, Brandy and Boyz 2 Men as well as more notorious hip hop styles such as MC Hammer, Dr. Dre, Warren G and Snoop Dogg. He sold his first beats to an artist named Amsterdam and worked diligently to improve his skill and upgrade his equipment. In 2005 he began Flatline Productions and in 2007 Terminill established and began operation of an in-home studio. He currently works on FL8, MPD24 and MAudio 88ES keyboard for beats, Pro Tools for mixing and turntables to sample vinyl. Terminill has worked extensively with notorious northwest artists such as Cool Nutz, Kenny Mack, Maniac Lok, Ragen Fykes, Braille and The Wright Family.
Willie Horton, who goes by the artist name Sonny, was born in Memphis, Tennessee and was introduced to music through the sounds of Isaac Hayes, Al Green and Stevie Wonder. He found a passion for hip hop through artists like N.W.A. and Ice Cube. In 2002, Sonny began working with Portland, Oregon rap super group Seventh Science with emcees Luck One, Conscious, Illa J. and Mac Smiff. The group split when one member was incarcerated and another hospitalized after releasing their first album Live from the Underground. Sonny and Mac Smiff broke off to form the group Known Perfection and it was at that point that he began toying with production along with lyrics.
Terminill and Sonny met in March of 2008 when Sonny was a client of Flatline Productions. The two found common artist grounds with one another and found that they influenced each other creatively in a way that was able to produce a sound that had been previously untouched to either of them. They started a collaborative project under the name Northe’n Lights and composed their premier album, a compilation of various northwest artists entitled Cut ‘Em or Pay ‘Em being released December 2009.
Northe’n Lights has ambition to not only create a personal buzz around their name and a demand for their music, but to bring recognition to the northwest hip hop scene as a whole, and shed light on the talent that resides there in a real way. Their debut album contains a wide array of different styles ranging from underground lyricism to R&B vocals. A mainstream oriented sound appears between gully street style hip hop, as well as conscious rap with thought provoking lyrics. It features infamous northwest artists like Cool Nutz, Maniac Lok, Kenny Mack, Mikey Vegaz, Luck One, T Soprano, Toni Hill, Liv Warfield, Arjay, Mac Smiff, Illmaculate and many more.
Northe’n Lights makes a seamless transition from solo artists to group members, lending each other a rhythm that brings the other’s skill to the next level. They represent the region in a way that gives artists the ability to shine their brightest and represents the true diversity that exists. With a limitless potential and staggering dexterity, Northe’n Lights are quickly gaining recognition as some of the top producers of the northwest area, and it is doubtless that the acknowledgement of their talents will spread well outside the Oregon and Washington hip hop scene.
1. All My Life Ft Grynch, Amsterdam, Middle, Reed Thomas Lawrence
2. Soldiers Burden Ft Toni Hill
3. International Ft Dubble00 & Pricey
4. Keep Doin Ft Destro
5. Gawdzilla Ft Cool Nutz & Maniac Lok
6. Grand Theft Audio Ft Element Of Second Family & Knuckles
7. Hood Love Ft Arjay
8. Hello Ft Soul P & 6ix
9. No Pressure Ft 9DM, Scrips, Mausy
10. On Dat Other Shit Ft Playboy Tre
11. Let It Rain Ft Punchline & Toni Hill
12. Three The Hardway Ft T Soprano, Mikey Vegaz, Luck One
13. For The Gifted Ft Mac Smiff
14. Hungry Ft Braille, Serge Severe, Theory Hazit, Liv Warfield
15. Kicks To The Hat Ft Immaculate
16. Overdrive Ft Arjay
17. U Were My Only Ft Caitlin Cardier
18. Cop Cars Ft Kenny Mack
Grynch, Amsterdam, Middle, & Reed Thomas Lawrence – All My Life
Dubble00 & Pricey – International
Destro – Keep Doin
Arjay – Hood Love
Punchline & Toni Hill – Let It Rain
T Soprano, Mikey Vegaz, & Luck One – Three The Hardway
Braille, Serge Severe, Theory Hazit, & Liv Warfield – Hungry
Kenny Mack – Cop Cars