When you try to name some of the most talked about producers in recent history, some popular names that come to mind right away are Timbaland and Dr. Dre. Both producers have had a ton of success over the past twenty years, but a commonality between these two heavweight producers is one thing: Scott Storch. As a production partner to both Timbaland and Dr. Dre, Scott has been a part of classics such as “Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre, “Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake along with plenty others. On his own as a producer, Scott has been no slouch either as he’s created hits like The Roots’ “You Got Me”, Beyonce’s “Me, Myself and I”, Chris Brown’s “Run It”, Terror Squad’s “Lean Back” and the modern day classic “Let Me Love You” by Mario. YouKnowIGotSoul had a chance to speak with Scott about his history in the music industry, his experience working with Dr. Dre and his goals moving forward with his music.
YouKnowIGotSoul: How did you get your start with The Roots?
Scott Storch: I started with the Roots around 1992. There was a gentleman by the name of Richard Nichols who I met in Philadelphia. He was developing acts and he started managing my career at a very young of 16. He came across ?uestlove and everyone. He paired us all up together and I joined the group. We were just jamming on the streets on South Street. We got discovered at a block party by Jackson. He was there to see something else and then somebody dragged him to see us perform and then he obtained a deal with us with Geffen Records
YouKnowIGotSoul: You’ve had a chance to work with Dr. Dre after The Roots situation. What was the difference between working with him and your solo stuff?
Scott Storch: It’s fun to collaborate with others. It was a team effort there. I was working with people who had the talent and everybody had something whether it was Mike Elizondo, Dr. Dre, Mel-Man. I guess Dr. Dre was really good in the room so people had the authority to know when the best thing was happening. Everybody didn’t try to just dominate. We all knew what was the best thing and latched onto it. Everybody always had ideas and it was just the chemistry. With my solo work, I got to use my own vision, but it’s cool to work different ways. You get differences out of it. Making music should never be one formula. I find that if you do it one way or the same way, it sounds one dimensional. It’s a learning experience when you’re watching other people co-produce with you. You think about what they may be thinking and their perspective so it helps you grow as well.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Tell me about one of your biggest hits “Let Me Love You” by Mario. How was that song created?
Scott Storch: That song was something that happened fast. I made the music portion in like half an hour. It was something with not many elements. It’s just the particular things I used worked like the cymbals, bass, rhodes, drums and a little one line and a couple of strings. After that it was like “Okay, let me add a bridge” and I did a Michael Jackson “Off The Wall” kind of bridge. It was cool collaborating with Ne-Yo who top lined the song. That chemistry was amazing. We complemented each other, it was great. At first there was doubt that the record was even going to make the album and then at the 11th hour, a guy named Peter Edge was like “We really love this record” and I was like “I like it too”. Then it became number one for many weeks. That’s one of my favorite records.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Another artist you worked with is Static Major. What do you remember about working with him?
Scott Storch: It’s so funny you mention Static because I just saw his widow the other day. It was so sad because I really miss him a lot. He was a great guy. He and I were just getting started on a bunch of writing together. Man, he was an incredible talent. He’s probably up there working with Aaliyah right now. I think he helped out mold her and that was his baby. He was a genius and I miss him very much.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Recently you’ve been out of the spotlight in terms of music. I read you’re getting back into music now. How did you know now was the right time to get back into it?
Scott Storch: I redid my sound and I created some new type of sounds that I’ve been working on for quite some time now. I just feel like I’m inspired. I have some great partners that have helped me find my passion for music again and my drive for success. God gave me the passion and ability to make music and I really have the certain clarity and inspiration that has me willing to work the ridiculous hours that it takes to produce and make a difference. I think it’s time to show multiple songs on the charts at the same time like my past years and I just had to un-spoil myself. When you go so far into this business and you make a lot of money, you get spoiled and you’re not as excited about what you’re doing or why you were doing it in the first place. When I was young, it was for the love of the music and I found that again.
YouKnowIGotSoul: I know the music industry comes with a crazy lifestyle. Did you ever have thoughts of stepping away for good?
Scott Storch: No I didn’t think I would stop. I just needed time. I’m still a forced to be reckoned with. I’m working right now! *Laughs*
YouKnowIGotSoul: Tell us about this new sound you’re working on
Scott Storch: I would just say it’s a hybrid of all music from the past 100 years.
YouKnowIGotSoul: What projects are you working on?
Scott Storch: I just got done working with French Montana.
YouKnowIGotSoul: You’ve had some issues that were well publicized in the news. What advice would you give to new musicians who think the industry is all glitz and glamour?
Scott Storch: I would tell them to respect music and not to depend on a machine to create it. Make it with your hands and play a keyboard if you’re programming around keyboards. Learn how to play with more than one singer. Don’t depend on samples because that’s music that’s already been created. Learn an instrument whether it’s guitar or keyboard driven tracks. Just get a better understanding for music because it’s really hurting right now. A lot of music is being hurt by the simplicity and people who don’t know about music will conform or be programmed into thinking everything is good. People are trying to beat budgets and trying to use their in house producers to save a buck or to own the publishing. Respect the industry, respect the records, respect the music and make a difference. Do something with some integrity and show the love for music. Don’t disrespect it.