Atlanta-based engineer Seth Firkins passed away this weekend. The 36-year-old Firkins, who was Future’s in-house engineer, died in his sleep, the cause is still unknown.
Firkins was a staple in the Atlanta rap scene. Artists from Young Thug to Zoey Dollaz sought out his expertise based on his impressive track record with other musicians. He’s credited on JAY-Z’s American Gangster, Rihanna and Future’s “Loveeeeee Song,” and Travis Scott’s Rodeo.
Most notably, the late engineer was responsible for Future’s DS2, which is arguably one of the best sounding albums ever. From there he’s had a hand in all of Future’s work following DS2, engineering the latest hit “Mask Off.”
I always gave racism a cold shoulder because my real brother Is a white guy by the name of Seth Firkins. I got a call saying u died in your sleep? First thing came to my mind is, why are you sleep at 5am? That’s when we record our best shit & I tell u “don’t” fall asleep we got more work to do.. but somethin told me I should’ve been at home recording for some reason. I was saying this in my head, then bad news beat me home! I love u beyond this post, I will cherish u forever big bro, I just wish u would’ve text me & told me u was going to sleep and i wasn’t going to be able to wake u up this time…the family will miss u 1000%!! No kap in my game kid, rest well my brother. Rest well.
Firkin’s impact on the Atlanta scene is one that can never be forgotten. Engineering is usually the least talked about aspect of creating a song but is definitely one of the most important. From Travis Scott to Future, Firkins is responsible for perfecting the sort of crisp, but muddy sound that is so popular today.
Back in July during an interview with Genius, when asked his relationship with music Firkins said,
“A song—and this is the dab talking—is an explosion caused by the combination of talent, timing and vibe.”
When engineering Future’s HNDRXX Firkins told Genius he had to take a different approach to the record, laying out roses in the studio was one of the ways he honed in on the vibe he sought to create.
Since moving to Atlanta in 2006, Firkins gave artists without access to big studios a way to compete. His passion and care for projects earned him back to back #1s and solidified his legendary status. The loss of Seth Firkins is a loss for Atlanta and hip-hop in general.
Ushering in a new and creative approach to the artist’s voice and instrumentals, Firkins will always be remembered for his contributions to the culture.
Rest in Power.