I wasn’t quite pulling teeth when I got a chance to chop it up with SalaAm ReMi, but the Grammy-nominated producer isn’t big on bragging or throwing his accomplishments in your face. But with 20 plus years in the game and a musical resume that includes work with everyone from Nas, to Amy Winehouse, Miguel, and The Fugees, I was surprised at how-for a lack of a better word-regular he was.
ReMi (pronounced RE-mi, as in doh, ray-mi) is one of music’s most diverse producers, yet the most “quiet.” He enjoys the magic of creating records with today’s biggest artist, and yet, gets to walk the streets, sit on a park bench and people watch without a single disturbance. If you aren’t a real hip-hop head and saw him with one of his more famous friends, you might confuse him for security, not the man who sat diligently behind the board to create the records you bop your head to.
There was no big head, or arrogance. If anything, SalaAm proved to be a cool dude, who just happens to make classic music.
Ladies and gentlemen…SalaAm ReMi.
GIANTLife.com: Why did you take a liking to Mack? What was it about him that made you want to help nurture his musical side?
SaLaAm Remi: First, I think it’s just him and his personality. I was a fan of The Wire big time. I happened to be in L.A. I think I was at BMI awards and a friend of mine actually introduced me to him and after exchanging numbers while I was in LA working for a while he would just come by the studio and just hang out. I didn’t know he was a New York kid, I thought he was from Baltimore or LA or wherever else. He did a record with Warren Campbell called “Cold” last year and he had some other ones I really liked but once he did “Cold” that really stuck out to me because I was like ‘wow, this sounds about as good as anything on the radio.’ He didn’t sound like a kid in his bedroom trying something. So I made a plan, Once ‘90210’ ended in March we went right into the album. But to answer the question, more than anything else he is a cool dude.
GIANTLife.com: Were you nervous about trying to showcase him as a musical artist being that so many people know him from The Wire?
SalaAm ReMi: Nah, I think the proof is in the pudding, ultimately just like with Jamie Foxx, or Drake or anybody else, if somebody told you they were going to do that would you actually think its going to work? Probably not, but ultimately the material speaks. This music is going to be around a lot longer than we will.