Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Music Producers Roundtable With Ari Levine, RedOne And Alex Da Kid

Above photo courtesy of the L.A Times

This past Saturday (January 15th), I had the privilege attending a music producers roundtable presented by the L.A.Times - The Envelope at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live downtown. Ari Levine of the Smeezingtons, RedOne and Alex Da Kid were on hand with L.A. Times' Ann Powers as moderator, brought together in honor of the upcoming Grammy Awards in February.

All of the producers on hand presented their latest works to the sold out audience. Ann Powers was especially smitten with the Bruno Mars hook in the Smeezingtons' written song B.o.B's "Nothing On You" ("They might say hi and I might say hey").

The overall encompassing phrase of what it means to be a music producer in the 21st century is "Global Music". Moroccan born and schooled in Sweden RedOne echoed that phase often during the panel, as did his other music producer counterparts.

Ari Levine described the Smeezingtons' creative writing process as a jam session that eventually turns into a song. With drums, keyboards and other equipment around where everybody can jump in and add musical parts.

Alex Da Kid wrote Nicki Minaj's “Massive Attack” on a London subway on his laptop, while drawing inspiration from the electronica group by the same name. He also mentioned that Eminem / Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie" was written with a $100 acoustic guitar.

Equipment each producer could not live without:
Alex Da Kid - Logic and Waves plug-ins.
Ari Levine - Akai MPC
RedOne - Guitar

None did reveal their secrets, but each producer did say something about upcoming projects they're working on.

Alex Da Kid is working with his new artist Skyler Grey (who is currently heard on the Diddy: Dirty Money's song "Coming Home" and soon to be heard Lupe Fiasco's 2nd single)

RedOne is working with new artist Porcelain who has an upcoming song with a Lil Wayne feature. Zander Black a self described cross between Jim Morrison and Bono and new artist Mohambi, all coming through his new label 2101 Records via Universal Music.

and Ari Levine kept his lips sealed.

Advice to artists out there who want to make it in the music business:

Alex Da Kid:
If you are meeting with someone (industry person) research them. The internet is a great tool, use it.
Judge the competition and do better, out do them.

Learn to write and play an instrument.

All the producers:
They like to work with an artist with their own true musical vision.
Have faith in what you do.
Make yourself stand out.

Although no technical aspects of producing music were bought up, we got a true sense of what it means to be in the music producer drivers' seat, driving pop culture. This being the first music producers panel sponsored by the L.A. Times, judging by the response and turnout, I think there will be more planned in the very new future.

Read the Los Angeles Times account from the event HERE

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