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Envelope Music Producers Roundtable: Hitmakers look forward to new year of bigger hits

February 4, 2011 | 11:21 am

Lady Gaga's “Bad Romance,” Eminem's “Love the Way You Lie,” Cee Lo Green's “[Forget] You” and B.o.B.'s “Nothin' on You” and “Airplanes” not only proved to be major game changers for the artists performing them, but it put the three hitmakers responsible for crafting the singles (Alex da Kid, Ari Levine of the production trio the Smeezingtons and RedOne) on the map.

After spending a better part of 2010 blanketing airwaves and filling headphones with indelible hooks and melodies, the three are now duking it out for Grammy gold in some hotly contended races.

Levine, as part of the production trio the Smeezingtons (with Bruno Mars and Philip Lawrence), has four nominations, including record of the year for both B.o.B.'s “Nothin' on You” and Cee Lo Green's “[Forget] You.” Alex da Kid too has four nominations, including both record of the year and song of the year for “Love the Way You Lie.” RedOne received two nominations this year, capped by an album of the year nod for his work on Gaga's “The Fame Monster.”

With February barely making a notch on calendars, the producers have wasted no time with their next hits. RedOne is riding a wave of buzz for producing "On the Floor," the leaked lead single from Jennifer Lopez's upcoming album; Alex Da Kid crafted Dr. Dre's heavily anticipated comeback lead single, “I Need A Doctor,” which features Eminem and Skylar Grey (Alex's own artist, by the way); and although Levine is mum on what he is working on, we've heard he is cooking up another year's worth of hits.

In the clip above, Times pop music critic Ann Powers asks the three what they are most excited about in 2011 after their respective breakout years.

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


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— Gerrick D. Kennedy