Pensado’s Place

Evan Laray and Leslie Brathwaite Explain How Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’ Was Engineered

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion‘s collaboration “WAP” is in the midst of a record-setting Billboard chart and streaming run establishing new standards of success for female rap hits. On the latest episode of the Pensado’s Place videocast, Leslie Brathwaite and Evan Laray — the multiple Grammy Award-winning tandem responsible for audio engineering this massive hit (as well as Cardi’s debut album Invasion of Privacy) — reveal some of the secrets of their, and the track’s success. As well, if ever looking for helpful hints on how to blend multiple different recording sessions — with their related plugins — plus varying audio levels and an artist’s precise rules for how they enjoy their voices to sound, this is for you. Plus, how the duo and their related mega-stars handled recording and engineering during a quarantine is also discussed.

“[Because of COVID] Cardi really had time to lock in and focus on what she wanted to say and how she needed the track to sound. Before COVID, she was touring and traveling so much that she wasn’t as focused and able to put her full effort in on the recordings,” Evan Laray notes on the episode about working with Cardi during COVID. “During the pandemic, we’ve been locked in the studio for months. While recording, she’s saying some crazy things! And for [“WAP”] I picked a beat that fit her mood.”

Watch the full interview above.

Related Post: Murda Beatz Breaks Down His Hitmaking Success On Pensado’s Place

Murda Beatz Breaks Down His Hitmaking Success On Pensado’s Place

Multi-platinum producer Murda Beatz recently sat down with the Pensado’s Place YouTube show for a glimpse into his career.

The 25-year-old Canadian beatmaker has produced ten top 10 singles in the past three years. He released back-to-back hits in 2017 and 2018 with Migos, Cardi B, and Nicki Minaj‘s “Motorsport” and Drake‘s “Nice For What”.

Murda Beatz discusses his production inspirations, working with Drake, how to make it as a “Youtube producer” in the social media age, and more. He also talks about how Toronto has been able to maintain creative domination over much of hip-hop music and culture.

Watch the interview above.

Related Post: Ricky Reed Explains How Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ Was Produced

Ricky Reed Explains How Lizzo’s ‘Truth Hurts’ Was Produced

Ricky Reed

After a year that feels like it was powered by Lizzo, the latest episode of Pensado’s Place reveals the secrets of her success. Ricky Reed, the veteran producer/songwriter behind the now three-time Grammy-nominated single “Truth Hurts,” (and four other tracks on Cuz I Love You) returns as a guest to the videocast to break down the methods behind the ubiquitous song’s popularity. As a bonus, he discussed what keeps him — an ever-busy and platinum-selling (Jason Derulo and Snoop Dogg, “Talk Dirty”) creative and father — grounded and balanced.

Regarding “Truth Hurts,” it’s the idea of cutting almost everything from the original demo of the track save a two-bar piano intro that actually makes the final production truly connect. “When I heard that bit [of music], I heard an emotion in it that was really rich and hard to define. Building a song around it allowed me to tease out all of the magic that was there.”

If also looking to hear about how having a short attention span, being emotionally aware and available, and yes, learning Spanish, aid him in his personal and professional life, this episode is worth checking out.

Watch the full interview above.

Related Post: Watch Lizzo’s ‘Good As Hell’ Video

Ben Billion$ Talks All Things Production on ‘Pensado’s Place’

Ben Billion$
Ben Billion$ (Source: Instagram)

Multi-platinum producer Ben Billion$ recently sat down with the Pensado’s Place YouTube show.

Based in Miami, Ben is best known for producing hits like Future‘s “Low Life,” Yo Gotti‘s “Down in the DM,” Maroon 5‘s “What Lovers Do,” and The Weeknd‘s “Often.” Most recently, Ben scored placements on DJ Khaled‘s new album Father of Asahd, including “You Stay,” which was one of DJcity’s most downloaded tracks of May.

Ben discussed a number of topics in the interview, such as starting out as an engineer, his signature “low end” sound, his definition of “strip club drums,” using live instrumentation, the importance of being humble, and more.

Watch the interview below.

Related Post: D.A. Doman: One of Hip-Hop’s Most In-Demand Producers

Producer Louis Bell Talks Working With Post Malone and More

Louis Bell

Chart-topping producer Louis Bell sat down for an interview on the music production show Pensado’s Place. Bell co-wrote and co-produced many of the songs on Post Malone‘s album beerbongs & bentleys, including the hits “rockstar” featuring 21 Savage and “Better Now.” The Boston native also worked with Post on “Wow.” and Preme‘s “Jackie Chan.”

In the interview, Bell talks about his studio sessions with Post before discussing his creative process, favorite plug-ins and more.

On creativity:

“I think that’s what creativity is, is taking something so small and being able to manipulate it and bend it and stretch it out, and, without watering it down. That’s the key.”

On what he looks for in his artists’ vocals:

“Feel, energy, vibe, and emotion. There’s no app yet that can fix that stuff, so that’s why I demand that.”

On what makes Post Malone unique:

“He sounds like he has so much soul and pain… and just hearing him sing, I just felt everything he was saying… There’s not one line that he sings, that he’s just singing to sing it.”

Watch the full interview above (it begins at the 7:56 mark).

Related: Chart-Topping Engineer Manny Marroquin Talks Working With Post Malone and More

A-Trak Discusses How Being a DJ Helps Him as a Producer

A-Trak at Holy Ship! 10.0. (Credit: Miranda McDonald Photography)

Fresh off the release of his single “Ride For Me” featuring Young Thug and 24hrs, A-Trak sat down with the legendary Pensado’s Place show.

Back in December, the Fool’s Gold chief got a chance to tell his story in a comprehensive interview with Complex’s Blueprint series. This time, A-Trak focused mostly on music production and how DJing has influenced his work in that realm.

On how being a DJ and turntablist has helped him as a producer:

“My DJing definitely informs my production. The obvious way to explain that is just like, DJs know what works well in the clubs. So there’s a bit of that, but even on a very, an almost unconscious level, some of the programming that I do, if I’m chopping up a sound, my friends will say that I make it sound like it’s a scratch. I don’t even realize it, but my ear is so accustomed to sound manipulation and certain patterns. … But the thing that’s been interesting for me in recent years is I feel I’ve learned how to produce my scratching. So there’s a lot of full circle things going on … .”

On his limitations as a producer:

“One of the great lessons for me as I went more into production was to accept my limitations. It’s hard, and I’m stubborn, and I like to know how to do everything, but there are certain things that I’m not as good at. And I definitely still believe that I’m a DJ who got into producing, who got into remixing, who got into running a label, all these other things. And when I was learning how to produce, at first I really wanted to do everything myself. … I would drive people crazy, and by the way, even now today I’m a month and a half late delivering a remix. Sometimes I’ve very late delivering things because I stubbornly wanna do it my way or [do it] myself. And again, I’m in my element when I’m DJing. When I’m producing, I’m still trying to get the ideas out of my head, and sometimes there’s roadblocks.”

Watch the interview below.

Related: A-Trak Tells His Story in Comprehensive Interview