There’s a huge amount of succesful music producers active in the business. However, if you would see one walking down the street, you might not recognize them. Therefore, since it’s usually the artist that gets all the fame, let’s put the producers in the spotlight for a change!
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
The start of his career wasn’t very succesful, since financial conflicts caused him to part with two different record labels.
A wide variety of musicians have collaborated with him, but perhaps the most notable ones are Bob Marley and the Wailers. However, during these years he was under a lot of stress, which caused him to burn his own studio in 1978.
After attending a presentation about non-musicians using tape machines, he became inspired to make music himself. A few years later his professional music career started as a synthesizer player for a glam-rock band. But he quickly grew tired of the rock-star life and disagreements with the lead singer made him quit the band in 1973. This was the start of Eno’s solo career.
In the early years of this career, his tendency to use a wide variety of ambient electronic and acoustic elements, earned him his popularity. Since then, Brian Eno is generally regarded to be the first to make ‘ambient music’. During his solo career he also produced albums for a large amount of artists, including U2, Talking Heads and Coldplay.
The list of achievements of his entire career until now is remarkable. For instance, Microsoft even asked him to produce music for Windows 95. for which he composed the start-up sound known as ‘The Microsoft Sound’. At the moment, Brian Eno is involved in various projects.
Starting out early with Trip-Hop and Remix CD’s, he became well-known after ‘The Grey Album’ in 2004. This album was created using vocals of Jay-Z’s ‘The Black Album’, backed up by beats made from samples from The Beatles’ ‘White Album’.
After gaining popularity, he was chosen to produce the Gorillaz’ second album ‘Demon Days’, which released in 2005 and contains tracks like ‘Feel Good Inc.’ and ‘Dirty Harry’. His work on the album earned him his first Grammy Award nomination for Producer of the Year.
Danger Mouse has collaborated with many different artists, including The Black Keys on the albums ‘El Camino’ and ‘Turn Blue’ as well as A$AP Rocky on ‘At. Long. Last. A$AP’. But the most notable collaboration is probably the one with CeeLo Green, called Gnarls Barkley. They released two albums of which ‘Crazy’ became an international hit. At the moment he’s working with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their eleventh studio album.
Determined to become successful in the music business since he was in eighth grade, Babyface started as guitarist and keyboardist in various funk and R&B collaborations. His first success came in 1983 when he wrote the song ‘Slow Jam’ from Midnight Star, which is still regularly being played on various radio stations.
His popularity was greatly increased after being part of the ‘new jack swing’ movement. This allowed him to co-found LaFace records together with ‘L.A.’ Reid. Artists of this label include Usher and Toni Braxton. Other notable artists Babyface has collaborated with are Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, among many others.
Babyface is still active in the business, his most recent success was winning the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album in 2015 with the album ‘Love, Marriage & Divorce’ together with Toni Braxton.
MMax started out as singer of a glam-metal band called ‘It’s Alive’. During this time he started producing with Denniz PoP, who thaught him the basics. In an interview with TIME Magazine he once said: “I didn’t even know what a producer did, I spent two years–day and night–in that studio trying to learn what the hell was going on.” His first huge success was when Max took part in the production of ‘Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)’ of the Backstreet Boys debut album.
To date, Max has worked with many other pop artists including, Westlife, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. In total, he has (co-)written and (co-)produced 21 number one singles. This long list includes singles such as “…Baby One More Time” from Britney Spears, “I Kissed a Girl” from Katy Perry and “Shake it Off” from Taylor Swift.
Currently Max is supposed to be working on a number of projects with new artists.
So now you know 5 successful music producers, thank you for reading!
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