How Music Producer Dr. Luke Is Assembling No. 1 Hits

“A hit song is the right song, with the right artist, at the right time,” Luke says. Described this way, a hit might sound like mostly luck or happenstance. To Dr. Luke, it’s more like an intricately managed miracle. “It’s a million things going right, and any one thing can derail it. So I want to make sure the right decisions are being made—or, more important, that the wrong decisions aren’t being made.” This often means orchestrating the work of six or seven different collaborators and listening carefully to assemble the right beat, the right hook, the right singer, the right sound. “He’s a really good editor, that might be the best way of putting it,” says Maura Johnston. “He can look at a song from a certain high-level view and see exactly what’s working and what isn’t.” Of course, many super-producers have enjoyed their own moments, from the Neptunes in the early aughts to Timbaland teaming with Justin Timberlake. “I don’t think Luke is changing the tempo and tone of music in the way that someone like Timbaland did,” says Sean Fennessey. “But there’s a professionalism and clarity to the delivery of his songs that’s incredibly appealing. I think he’s kind of a genius. I’m curious to see how much longer he’ll be able to do it. There’s not a lot of guys who stay this hot.”

via New York Magazine.

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