Rihanna’s producer, Soundz, breaks down how to make it in the music industry

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Soundz made a name for himself in music after working with the singing group One Chance and linking with Usher in Atlanta. He was soon signed by Usher as a producer and eventually caught the ears of top notch artists such as Rihanna, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber and Pit Bull.

After seven years in the music industry, Soundz has insight on what makes a successful career. He recently sat down with rolling out and broke down how to make it in the music industry.

What was one of the important lesson you learned about establishing yourself in the industry?

A big part of the business is being social. You have to talk to people and don’t be afraid to be yourself. You have to make sure your music is on point. But your relationships will take you further. You can be average and find work if you have great relationships.

What are essentials to have when embarking on a career?

You need a good manager to give you advice. You have to be sure people have the right intentions. People will always try to figure out how to make money off of you. You must also be patient. The checks may not come when you want them to come. You have to do it for the love. The labels pay you when they feel like paying you.

Can you explain how most producers have to wait months or even years to receive residuals on a song?

You have to have patience. It’s more important to develop the relationships than to worry about getting paid for a song up front. The record labels have to pay you eventually. I did a record on Rihanna’s album in 2010. The album came out in 2011 and I’m just receiving residuals from that work. The label must make all their money back first, then it depends on how many points you have on an album. That determines how much you will receive. You have to keep working and putting projects in the pipeline while waiting on residuals from other projects.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working with Gucci Mane, Ciara, Chris Brown and Justin Beiber. I also have a few ideas for Rihanna. I’m just waiting on the label to sit down with to discuss a plan. All year, it’d be Rihanna and Beyonce and just developing ideas for them. I focus on making hits for the biggest artists and I see what happens. On an average day, I can do seven songs. Everyone who is hungry should be able to make seven to 10 songs per day.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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