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Envelope Music Producers Roundtable: Hitmakers discuss magic behind frequent collaborations

February 8, 2011 | 11:38 am

Behind most every successful artist is a producer (or team) responsible for helping the artist construct that certain cohesive sound that fans come to associate with him or her.

In hip-hop, Eminem plays quite nicely with Dr. Dre; Aaliyah took the Mary J. Blige/Diddy brand of R&B/hip-hop hybrid productions to another level with the aid of Timbaland and Missy productions; Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis shaped a young Janet Jackson; Rodney Jerkins helped Brandy trademark a sound that shaped late-'90s R&B; and Max Martin and Dr. Luke anchored quite the pop coup d'état with Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson and Ke$ha.

That sort of indelible pairing is something that two-thirds of our panel knows a thing or two about. Ari Levine of the production trio the Smeezingtons made his mark by helping Bruno Mars (he too is a part of the Smeezingtons) sniff out a sound that led to four nominations, including record of the year for both B.o.B.'s “Nothin' on You” and Cee Lo Green's “[Forget] You.”

Nadir Khayat, the Moroccan-born producer known as RedOne, is best known for his work with frequent collaborator and muse Lady Gaga.

In the clip above, watch the group discuss Grammy-nominated magic.

Check back daily until the Grammy Awards on Feb. 13 to see more of this conversation on pop music.


Check out all the Envelope Music Producers Roundtable videos here

— Gerrick D. Kennedy