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“I visited L.A. on a writing trip and two things made me say ‘OK, I’m gonna move here.’ First of all, the hotel bill was like $12,000 and I was like ‘Oh hell no.’ And the second thing was that I was only supposed to be doing some small sessions and they just booked a couple extra days in case something popped off. And bro, I kid you not—just from me going into sessions a lot of things happened through word of mouth.
“The way L.A. works is there’s a big studio, let’s say Westlake for example. So one room could be booked out for me and working in the next room is Mary J. Blige and in the next room is someone else, for example, Mariah Carey. So, people pass by doors and they hear things and they’ll say, ‘Who’s in that room?’ Then they hear it and say ‘This guy named Redd was in there just going in.’ So then eventually some of these execs and managers of these artists were coming to me like, ‘While you’re here, let’s meet, let’s talk, and through that I ended up getting a session with Mary J. Bilige. I went from writing songs hoping that the artists would hear them to being in the studio with them. And then the next thing I know I was on a plane because Mark Pitts had played a song for Usher. He was like ‘I think this kid is the future.’
“I met Mark Pitts through an artist named Juwan Harris. I ended up doing some songs with Jim Jonsin for Juwan and Mark Pitts ended up hearing then and saying, ‘Who the hell is this kid?’ After that he pulled me aside. He was like, ‘You know what your thing is?’ The reason that every writer and every artist is successful is they know what they have to offer. When I listen to you what I love about you is you’re able to take the lingo and certain cool and quirky things that people say in the streets and put them to a melody and make it so everybody feels like they can sing it. The only other person I hear doing that is Bruno Mars—and even he doesn’t have the street terminology. That’s like your niche, to take street terminology and cool little sayings and incorporate them into pop culture and not make them sound so aggressive and hard to where people are like, ‘I don’t know if my kids want to hear that.’ Mark was like ‘That’s your thing.’
“Anyway Usher wanted to do some new stuff this time around. So I got a phone call—it was night time and I was half asleep—and it was like, ‘I need you to get on a plane and go to New York.’ And I was like, ‘For what? Does it have to be tomorrow? They said, ‘Yes.’ I said ‘For who?’ And they said ‘Usher.’ And I was like, ‘Huh??! You got the right number? Are you calling the right person?’ Cause for me it’s like Michael Jackson then Usher, and when Michael was gone I was like, I have to meet him. I didn’t get that chance to rub shoulders with my icon.
“So I was packing, and it was supposed to be for a two-day session, and I got on the plane, got there—I’m late, and Usher’s already there. And as I’m walking in Usher’s stepping out the room and just as humble as can be. He’s like, ‘Hey, how’s it going? I’m Usher.’ And I’m like, ‘I know who the hell you are—do you know who I am? Do you even know why I’m supposed to be here?’ The whole time on the plane I was like, ‘I’m gonna embarrass myself. He’s not gonna know who I am. He’s gonna be like, ‘What the hell are you doing in this session?’ I was thinking Mark PItts is just trying to look out for me and he’s gonna have to introduce me in the session as I go in.
So I sit there and Usher goes to talk on the phone and when he gets back in the room, Usher looks at me just like I thought it was gonna be. He says ‘What are you guys doing here?’ And me and my composer go “Uh uh uh uh….” And I end up saying, like, ‘Um, well, Mark Pitts told me to show up here for the session to write with you.’ And he was like, ‘You’re supposed to say, We’re here to make history, man!’ And he was like ha-ha. And we was like, ‘That wasn’t funny man. We thought we were about to get kicked out.’ He was like, ‘Nah, we here to make history man.’ I was like, Cool. And he was like, ‘Once you say that from the beginning and that’s the goal, that’s what it’s gonna be.’
“So when we got to work with Usher, he was saying ‘I’ve gotten so much success from the pop world recently and I can’t just leave them hanging, but my real fan base is from the urban world and from what I’ve been able to accomplish in R&B. On this album I want to be able to please everybody.’ He was so successful with [songs like ‘O.M.G.’] and the R&B people were like, What about us? So I had like the hardest task—how do I please both of those audiences? Honestly when he was telling me that I was like, Hell if I know, cause that sounded difficult as hell.
“So he plays me some of the stuff he’s done and then Diplo is sitting there and I didn’t even know that was Diplo, cause I had never seen him. He was talking and I was like, ‘Who’s that…?’ I thought, maybe Usher’s experimenting cause I don’t even know who these guys are; I don’t feel so weird cause they are new guys too. So then Diplo is like, ‘What’s your name?’ And when I told him he was like, ‘Oh, I’ve heard of you.’ And I was like, ‘What’s your name?’ And he was like, ‘Diplo.’ And I was like ‘Ohhhh.’ This shit should have been on a TV show, cause I was like, ‘I heard of you too, man.’
“Usher was so focused on, like, bridging the gap that he was like, anything that was a good song he would say, like, ‘OK, that’s a good song but I just wanna be great.’ And they would go to the wayside. So we were all kinda tense cause we were like, If it’s not the best shit ever then he’s not even gonna listen to it.
“What really broke the ice honestly was Connect Four. I’m unbeatable at Connect Four. It’s very spooky how good I am. So he sends the intern and the intern brings back Connect Four and Usher’s competitive so the fact that I said no one can beat me was enough to get everyone. It was a room full of guys so those were fighting words: I said no one could beat me. For days, honestly, me and Usher played round after round of Connect Four and Usher would not stop. I was like, ‘We gotta get a song’ and he was like ‘Nope.’ He was like, I can’t believe this guy is so sneaky. Everyone was taking turns and could not beat me. Why I was so good at that game is, when I was younger I was a hustler, and they had a Connect Four thing at recess after lunch. We would have it in classrooms so that’s how I would get extra lunch money to buy the snacks that my mom didn’t want me eating. So I would play people in Connect Four and get their money.
So I got really good at that game but Usher kept wanting to play me and I understand that he was competitive but after a while he’s gotta want to stop. But this guy was learning my strategy and he played me for like two days and I was killing him. I was like, ‘It’s not even fair.’ I’m talking all this trash. Then the third day he kicked my ass. He mastered my technique and killed me. And now I’m like, OK, but that taught me something. You don’t always have to get it right the first time as long as you get it right. You know what I mean? Me killing him and beating him that many times it didn’t discourage him. It just made him wanna learn it more to be better than me. And so he’s just like, Lemme show you why I’ve been able to stay in this game this long. It’s cause I’ve been able to adapt. And that’s what he did. He adapted to my playing style and then as he beat me. He was like, ‘You’re really good at this. There’s only one person I’ve ever played that’s been as good as you.’ I said ‘Who?’ And he said Beyonce. I said ‘Get outta here’ and he’s like, ‘She’s incredible at this game.’
“So that broke the ice and then the next day we ended up doing it. Diplo had the track for ‘Climax,’ and we were like, ‘This is a great track but what the hell do we sing to it?’ And we were just like putting our ideas out and I was singing melodies and he was like, I like this, I don’t like this—hands on. And we ended up coming up with ‘Climax.’
At the time I was like, I know this is a weird song, I dunno how it’s gonna end up being perceived cause it’s like… I didn’t know. So the next day Usher came through and blasted it and played it—it had to be like six times straight—and danced to it. Or definitely more than that. I don’t wanna sound like I’m exaggerating but it was a lot, and he was like performing to it in front of the speakers and I was like, Wow this could really be something.
“The way ‘Climax’ happened honestly was I actually have a bunch of concepts in my phone, like a ton of concepts, I have like at least like 400 concepts so usually when we write I will just throw out concepts and he’ll be like, I like this, I don’t like this—and bounce them around. So the concept of that song was the peak of a relationship where it comes to a stop not because someone cheated or lied but just where there’s no excitement left because everything has been exhausted and two people just call it a relationship cause they’re comfortable and don’t necessarily know if they want to invest the time to start a new relationship let alone look for one so you’re basically torn.
“The melody and the hook is what came first and then I was like, ‘This is so high… Is he gonna drop the key?’ And then he went in there and sang it falsetto. Sometimes I get in trouble cause any song that I write is like super high, so people always say ‘There goes another Redd song,’ cause it’s like super-high. But every now and then you come across a talent like Usher who can sing those types of songs and not have to change it. I just felt that song was something special when we did it. They say you know but I really knew—cause me and Usher did a lot of songs. And people were like, You told us there was one song that was gonna be it. And they know it when they hear it.”
After opening with his worldwide smash ‘OMG’, Usher reminded the crowd at London’s Hammersmith Apollo last night (June 11) that he’s been in the music game for 18 years.
“I’m going to take you on the entire journey,” he told the audience, which also included fans across the globe who were streaming the show live through Vevo as part of the Amex Unstaged series.
It’s a course that has rarely seen him fall from the top, leaving him with an enviable back catalogue to cherry pick from as he guided us through what he considered the major milestones of his career – from smoochy R&B numbers ‘You Make Me Wanna’ and ‘There Goes My Baby’ to his recent robo-electro efforts ‘DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love’ and latest single ‘Scream’.
The 33-year-old continued to prove he is one of pop’s greatest dancers, pulling off his own version of the robot on ‘Yeah’ and ‘Love in This Club’ without even the hint of a snigger from the crowd. Backed up by a harem of dancers, he gyrated provocatively on sex-fuelled number ‘Lil Freak’ and wasted no time in revealing his impressive torso.
Of course, the journey culminated in his new album Looking 4 Myself, where he demonstrated his self-proclaimed “revolutionary pop” sound on a mash-up of the electronic-heavy ‘Euphoria’ and ‘Numb’ as well as a stunning rendition of ‘Climax’.
The production, as you’d expect from a veteran, was polished and utterly seamless. But amongst all the laser shows, firework displays and live tweets revolving around the stage, his music remained the real star of the show.
Après avoir démarré son worldwide avec “OMG”, Usher a rappelé à la foule du Hammersmith Apollo de Londres la nuit dernière (11 juin) qu’il ait été dans le jeu de la musique depuis 18 ans.
“Je vais pour prendre dans l’entier voyage”, il a dit à l’audience, qui inclut des fans à travers le globe qui ont vu le show en streaming à travers Vevo.
C’est un cours qui voyait rarement qu’il tombe du sommet, le laissant avec des ouvrages qu’il a considéré comme les majeures étapes importantes de sa carrière – De “You make me wanna” à “There goes my baby” à son récent “Dj got us fallin’ in love” et son dernier single “Scream”.
Le chanteur de 33 ans a continué de prouver qu’il est un des meilleurs danseurs, avec sa propre version du robot sur “Yeah” et “Love in this club”. Sauvegardé par un harem de danseurs, il a tournoyé de façon provocante alimenté par “Lil Freak” et n’a gaspillé aucun temps en révélant son torse impressionnant.
Bien sur, le voyage a culminé avec son nouvel album “Looking 4 Myself”, qui nous démontré qu’il c’est auto proclamé un son “pop révolutionnaire” avec “Euphoria” et “Numb” aussi bien que son interprétation stupéfiante de “Climax”.
Usher says his protege Justin Bieber’s story has “yet to unfold” and says he expects the ‘Boyfriend’ singer’s popularity to keep on growing for the foreseeable future.
The ‘Climax’ star discovered Justin at the age of 13 back in 2007 alongside eventual manager Scooter Braun, and says he is glad people can see the same thing in Justin now that he saw back when he first watched the ‘Never Say Never’ singer perform.
“As I said in the beginning of his career, and I still say now, his story has yet to unfold,” Usher told Billboard this month. “It is a story that is his own, and as he finds his voice I think that people will continue to see what it is that myself and Scooter Braun saw in him as a young, young child who I just thought really had a great opportunity.
“I’m happy to see that people are receptive to it, that he’s been received well all around the world,” Usher continued.
The ‘Scream’ singer also reiterated that Justin’s brand new album ‘Believe’, which is due out in the UK on 18th June and a day later in the US, is an important one for the 18 year-old singer because it’s his second main record release.
He added: “You know, this is his sophomore and they always say, if you make it past the sophomore, it’s all good from there on out.”
Both Usher and Justin performed live at the Capital FM Summertime Ball 2012 over the weekend, with Usher performing tracks from his brand new studio album ‘Looking 4 Myself’, which was launched in London last night (11th June).
Usher a dit que l’histoire de son protégé Justin Bieber doit “encore se dérouler” et il dit qu’il s’attend à ce que la popularité du chanteur de “Boyfriend” continue de grandir dans un futur proche.
La star de “Climax” a découvert Justin à l’âge de 13 ans, retour en 2007 à côté du manager Scooter Brown, et il dit qu’il est heureux que les gens peuvent voir en même temps dans Justin maintenant quand il ont d’abord observé le chanteur de “Never Say Never” se produire.
“Comme je l’ai dit au début de sa carrière, et je le dit encore maintenant, son histoire doit encore se dérouler”, a dit Usher à Billboard ce mois. “C’est une histoire qui est unique, et comme il a trouvé sa voix je pense que les gens continueront à voir ce que c’est dans moi même et Scooter Brown a vu en lui comme un jeune, un jeune enfant qui je pense à juste eu une super occasion”.
“Je suis content de voir que les gens sont réceptifs à cela, qu’il est reçu partout dans le monde”, a continué Usher.
Le chanteur de “Scream” a aussi réitéré que le nouvel album de Justin “Believe”, qui sortira en Grande Bretagne le 18 juin et quelques jours après aux Etats Unis, est important pour le chanteur de 18 ans car c’est son second album sorti.
Usher et Justin ont tous les deux performé en live au Capital FM Summertime Ball 2012, Usher a performé des chansons de son nouvel album studio “Looking 4 Myself”, lequel a été lancé à Londres hier soir (11 juin).
On top of his club-banging hits and soulful voice, Usher has another impressive skill: creating the song of summer. Usher has ruled the airwaves in the summer for years, with hits like “You Make Me Wanna” and “U Remind Me” making fans roll down their windows and pump up their radios to his infectious tracks.
Most recently, in 2010, Usher hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 during the summer months with his inescapable hit “OMG,” and now he’s looking to repeat that success with “Scream,” the second single from his seventh studio album.
“Let’s get going, summer is almost here!” Usher told MTV News. “It’s intended to be that, but I don’t think that was the only thing. We thought about live performance, we thought about mixing and matching and also giving people an energy that only [producer Max Martin] would be able to create.”
“Scream” is the latest single from Usher’s just-released album, Looking 4 Myself, which he hopes will not only get people on the dance floor, but also affect them in a more personal manner.
“If I’m gonna move you, I want to move you. I hope that it could be something that could be life-changing,” the singer last month during “MTV First: Usher.” “You may be going through something real crazy, who knows, and just need to get out and just enjoy yourself. So I always think about the club, I always think about that song that will be able to let you out of that slump, if you’re in it.”
Usher’s latest album, which he called an “evolution” of sound, is just the next step in his musical risk-taking. He credits longtime producer Jermaine Dupri with the opportunity to reach many different genres of music.
“If I do track back to the first time I was about to take a risk, even though it wasn’t about my direction, it was more so by Jermaine Dupri’s direction with ‘You Make Me Wanna,’ ” Usher said. “You didn’t really hear that tone or that instrument on top of an R&B record, so it was an incredible collaboration or mixture of urban and classic R&B or pop… that really began to open up the conversation and allow people to understand, ‘Oh, wow, this is not just an artist that you could put in a box or put in a specific category.’ “
Au top avec ses hits et sa voix attendrissante, Usher a un autre compétence impressionnante : créer la chanson de l’été. Usher a dirigé les ondes l’été pendant des années, avec des hits comme “You make me wanna” et “U remind me”.
Plus récemment, en 2010, Usher est resté #1 du Billboard Hot 100 pendant les mois d’été avec “OMG”, et maintenant il répète ce succès avec “Scream”, le second single de son septième album studio.
“Allons y, l’été est presque la !” a dit Usher à MTV News.
Il est destiné pour être comme sa, mais je ne pense pas que c’était la seule chose. Nous avons pensé à la prestation en direct, nous avons pensé au mélange et aussi à donner aux gens une énergie que seulement [le producteur Max Martin] pourrait créer”.
“Scream” est le dernier single de l’album d’Usher qui est tout juste sorti, “Looking 4 Myself”, lequel il espère qu’il entrainera pas seulement les gens sur le dancefloor, mais qu’il les affectera également dans un manière plus personnelle.
“Si je vais vous déplacer, je veux vous déplacer. J’espère qu’il pourrait y être quelque chose qui pourrait être changer la vie”, a dit le chanteur le mois dernier pendant le “MTV First : Usher”. “Vous pouvez peut être aller à travers quelque chose de vraiment dingue, vous savez, et avoir juste besoin de sortir et apprécier vous mêmes. Donc je pense toujours à propos du club, je pense toujours à cette chanson qui pourra vous laisser cette récession, si vous êtes dans cela”.
Le dernier album d’Usher, qui est appelé une “évolution” dans le son, est juste la prochaine étape dans sa prise de risque musicale. Il reconnait le mérite du producteur de longue date Jermaine Dupri avec l’opportunité d’obtenir différents genres de musique.
“Si je suis vraiment à la trace en arrière, la première fois que j’étais sur le point de prendre un risque, bien que ce ne soit pas ma direction, c’était plus ainsi par Jermaine Dupri avec “You make me wanna”, a dit Usher. “Vous n’endentez pas réellement le ton ou l’instrument du top d’un enregistrement R&B, donc c’était une collaboration incroyable ou un mix d’urban et R&B classique ou pop… cela a réellement commencé à ouvrir une conversation autorisée aux gens pour comprendre, “Oh, wow, ce n’est pas juste un artiste que vous mettez dans une boite ou que vous mettez dans une catégorie spécifique”.