The 18-time BMI and 3-time Grammy award winner LA Reid is in Atlanta, Ga promoting his new book, Sing to Me. During an evening discussion hosted by Big Tigger, program director Reggie Rouse of V103 (CBS radio), and Gentleman Jack, the crowd was very shocked to hear LA Reid hasn’t musically worked with Beyoncé. Although LA admitted they have done business together, Beyoncé’s name was dropped when LA Reid was asked if there’s anybody he hasn’t worked with that he wants to.
It was great to hear the opinions of the Harvard University Alumni award winner for music and media entertainment. The night started with a private meet and greet reception at SCAD in Atlanta where guests were able to take one picture with LA Reid. After everyone took their pics and sipped on complimentary cocktails by Gentleman Jack, guests were escorted back to the main theater where the discussion would take place. LA Reid spoke about everything from his relationship with The Deal, Kenny Edmonds, and Babyface and why he didn’t watch Lifetime’s biopic about TLC. He did, however, express that he promised Toni Braxton he would definitely watch her biopic but was unable to find it.
When asked how he has managed to stay at the top of his game in the industry, LA Reid responded, “By never doing anything giving half an effort. The efforts are all about being great. Being passionate about it and being the best is how you remain great. Just being the best.”
A piece of advice LA gave for a new artist is to make sure you put in your 10,000 hours. Be patient and put in the work. It may not happen fast. Their are advantages and disadvantages of owning your own company, claims LA. He also mentioned the real point into building businesses is selling businesses. If you want to get rich, find something people like and sell it to them.
When asked what LA Reid is listening to when he’s driving in his car, he reminded us that he is 59, so yes he is listening to a lot of Marvin Gaye, but in his CD player he’s listening to Future and The Weeknd. It was kind of surprising to hear of LA Reid’s particular fondness of the city of Atlanta. “It’s just something about that red clay in Atlanta,” Reid claimed, adding that the beauty of Atlanta embraced him and helped him to find himself. His decision to stay in Atlanta as opposed to going to Los Angeles with his brother Darryl was in part because he wasn’t interested in producing Madonna. He wanted to work with OutKast and he says he wasn’t interested in moving to LA to work with Eric Clapton; he had rather stay in Atlanta and work with Tony Rich.
Big TIgger played a word association game with LA Reid and he said the first word that came to mind when Big Tigger mentioned the following names and words: LA Face – Atlanta; Pebbles – LA; Usher – Atlanta mega star; TLC – Mega original megastar; Music – OutKast; Mariah Carey – My musical soulmate; Jay Z – The best there ever was; Toni Braxton – sultry; LA Reid – ambitious; Failure – unimaginable.
LA Reid expressed that he is looking for the next “Michael Jackson Caliber” artist, someone that can crack the code and live forever, someone that has a message that will change the world. What does he look for in particular? He couldn’t reveal his secret but he did make known it’s a combination of things: personality, music, passion, the look in an artist’s eyes that he wants it and overall it’s just a feeling that he gets when you know “it’s the one and recognize star power.”
Real love to LA Reid is “new talent.” That’s who he looks most forward to working with. The feeling he got when Kwan Prather brought T.I. to him, when his brother Darryl brought Usher to him and when Usher brought Justin Bieber to him. Seeing them transform and grow and develop into what they are today, “those are the gifts” he loves to receive.
To read more about the amazing journey LA Reid has traveled in this business for the past 30 years, pick up a copy of Sing to Me.
Check out the photos after the break.