If you need a booming single, just ask platinum recording producer Bangladesh. The Atlanta-based beatmaker has a long list of chart toppers. He helped Lil’ Wayne’s “6 Foot 7 Foot” lead the hype for Tha Carter 4 and Nicki Minaj’s “Did It On ‘Em” came out the gate as a confident display of her rhymes. Next in line to potentially reach mass radio play is Rihanna’s “Cockiness” (Love It), off her latest release Talk That Talk. Yea, Bangladesh produced that, too.
The producer’s foreign soundscape has giving him the proper credentials to work with the industry’s best. In keeping with his philosophy of a grassroots approach, he has started his own label, Bangladesh Records. He recently signed Candice Pillay, who is originally from South Africa. While Bang is searching for talent that fits his world view, he’s also taking on a handful of new projects. R&B singer Brandy’s upcoming album, in which he co-produced with Sean Garrett, could be the album that lands gorgeous voice back into hip-hop. We sat down with the producer to talk about his independent hustle, new collaborations and the status of his untitled album. –Eric Diep
VIBE: You’ve recently started your own record label and signed Candice Pillay. What do you look for in an artist?
Bangladesh: I look for a hardworker, somebody that can do a variety of things, not just an artist. Candice writes and she produces. She wrote the “Cockiness” joint for Rihanna. It was a bigger investment for her artistry; one thing can catapult the other. So her writing on different projects, it’s going to help her in the future.
Do you look specifcially for international stars?
You got to have this national appearance, national sound. I didn’t want to be boxed in. When I first found her, she was just playing the guitar sitting down and singing. I just got her on some hip-hop, R&B, pop type music. So once we do that to get the foundation right, she could go anywhere at that point.
You’re big on being independent and have turned down offers from Bad Boy and Disturbing tha Peace. What are the advantages of being independent and having this reputation as a super producer?
It is for me, I kind of started from grassroots. It’s just hard to have an overseer. I think for me to do the things I want to do and change the game, I got to do them and move how I want to. I can’t really be restricted to certain moves. When you join somebody’s team, you got to take on everything they’re about. I really want to set a standard of who I am and what I am about. I don’t really think no team out there fits that, so I do it myself. Build my own team. I’m just trying to bring the realness back.
Artists like to go to you for a successful single. You produced Rihanna’s “Cockiness,” off Talk That Talk. How did you hook-up with her?
We are in the music, we are in the game. The elite will get with each other at some point. She is familiar with the music because of the singles and stuff. So when I gave her the music, it wasn’t really difficult. It’s kind of a great situation at this point. You’re kind of not in the beginner’s stage where you have no outlet and you can’t get the music there. It’s easier than the average. All I really got to do is really hit the foul shot. I got to get to the line and make sure the music is great and hit it.
Do you like doing a more collaborative approach?
Most of the time, I just prepare up the tracks and play them beats. Yay or nay, [they] pick something and go in and write on it. From there, they do what they do to it and I go in there and produce it, make changes, drops, add 808s, add music here, take this away. That part’s fun.
Some of your influences include Organized Noize and Timbaland. Talk about the power you have in your sound.
It’s just a reflection of my personality. Music is an expression of my personality, that’s why I make beats. It’s kind of like painting a picture. That’s how I feel inside, it’s kind of an impactful, “I’m in the room,” feeling. My influences were standout producers so I always learn from them. You got to have a sound to be relevant or to even be important out here to know who you are. I kind of wanted to be a standout so people can pay attention.
Who else are you working with in the studio?
I just produced a lot of Brandy’s album, just bringing her back to life. She got a great voice, one of the best singers in the game in her tone of vocal range. We got some dope joints. I’m working with Nelly, Ludacris, Gucci Mane, Pusha-T, Justin Bieber. Just a little bit of everybody. I’m about to sign Diamond, a female rapper. She has a big following on the Internet. [I’m] just going to match the music with the Internet presence that she has.
What’s the status of your own album?
Dope beats with all types of collabos and features. Everybody is rapping great, I’m rapping on there. I’m just really branding myself and putting a face with all these hit records. I don’t have a name for it yet. It’s going to give people good taste. I’m trying to make classic records with artists that I like.
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