5 Top Music Producer Personalities and Influencers
If you’re just beginning a career in the music industry, the road to success can be a long and arduous one. You might find yourself staying up late at night in the studio slaving away at what you hope is going to be the next big hit, wondering when your big break will come. But you wouldn’t be the first. Some of the best music producers started from modest beginnings, and they have probably been in the same place you are right now.
Here are the five top music producers you should probably know:
Andre Romelle Young was just a young kid growing up in the notorious South Central region of Los Angeles when he first took up music production. Dr. Dre started his career DJing for local clubs and events, and eventually radio stations. But his real rise to prominence came after meeting a local rapper named O’Shea Jackson, otherwise known as Ice Cube, and being introduced to Eazy-E, owner of Ruthless Records. Together they formed the rap group N.W.A., and eventually gained international stardom by popularizing the gangsta rap genre. Dr. Dre went on to form his own record label, Aftermath Entertainment, and eventually signed some of the best-selling artists in the Hip Hop genre, including Eminem, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar.
The son of a shoe salesman, Rick Rubin first took interest in music production during his high school years. During his senior year of high school, Rubin founded Def Jam Records, utilizing little more than his school’s four-track recorder. Rubin is credited with launching the careers of some of the most famous artists in the last 20 years, including the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J, and producing some of the most recognizable and influential songs of the 90’s, including “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Say what you will about Kanye West’s public persona, but his career has certainly been consistent with some of the greatest producers of this generation. West first started his career producing music for up and coming artists in the Chicago area. After earning a few opportunities to work with some famous artists in the early 90’s, West eventually got his big break with Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records, producing songs for notable artists like Alicia Keys and Ludacris. He eventually went on to produce his own rap albums, and earned 21 Grammy Awards, solidifying his status as one of the most successful artists and producers of all time.
Martin Karl Sandberg, more commonly known as his stage name Max Martin, is regarded as one of the most influential producers of all time. His trademark pop sound has helped launch the careers of some of the best-selling pop artists, including Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, and Ariana Grande. To date, Martin has the second-highest number of Number One hits, and has had 54 top ten hits, more than any other producer or artist.
Timothy Zachery Mosley started his music production career in high school with a Casio keyboard, focusing on R&B and Hip Hop music. Under the moniker Timbaland, he was finally discovered by Missy Elliot, and began producing tracks for notable artists such as Aaliyah and R&B group Ginuwine. Timbaland later received even more success working with artists like Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, and Nelly Furtado to produce some of the biggest hits of the 2000s.