Record Producer Spills Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and J. Lo's Studio Secrets
Diva to the dance floor again, please! Jennifer Lopez is still hard at work on her seventh studio album (anticipated release is later this year) and I got the inside scoop on just how it's coming together from the diva's latest hit collaborator, producer and songwriter Thaddis "Kuk" Harrell.
Harrell's also been in the studio with Katy Perry for her upcoming Teenage Dream (due in August), while logging quality track time with Justin Bieber on "Never Say Never," off the Karate Kid soundtrack.
So what are the secrets Grammy-winning Harrell keeps, besides how he's tweaked hits like Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It?)"? He checks in with Us.
UsMagazine.com: What's it been like working with J. Lo?
Kuk Harrell: Jennifer is really, really cool and really energetic. She's also one of the hardest workers I've ever seen. She doesn't like to sit around, she doesn't like to waste any time at all!
Us: Do Marc [Anthony] or their kids, Max and Emme, ever come to the studio with her?
KH: Marc was at the studio yesterday. We were actually in New York last week and the kids were there. It's really cool because sometimes the kids will come by the studio and they see Jennifer in the booth and they want to go in the booth, so she'll actually be recording while holding one or both of the kids. The kids are really cool because they know when she's in there. They don't try to sing or talk or anything when she's in there, we get a couple of takes done and they get to experience the early stages behind the mic.
Us: In addition to working with Jennifer, you've also logged studio hours with Justin Beiber. What's he like to work with?
KH: Justin is a pleasure. It's great working with him because I get to be around that young energy and to see a megastar in his early stage. I've gotten to see Justin go from being just a regular little kid with his first record deal when we did "One Time," no one had really heard of him besides his MySpace and YouTube presence. Over the past couple of years he's really developed vocally. His voice has gotten deeper, so what we've had to do is everytime we record, we've had to change the key to fit his voice now. Justin is an amazing vocalist and he is also a great drummer and keyboardist.
Us: Were there girls screaming outside the studio waiting for him?
KH: My daughters were [laughs]. Nobody knows where we're working. Three girls that screamed are my daughters.
Us: I also heard you worked on the upcoming Katy Perry album. Did her fiance Russell Brand ever come to the studio? How are they interacting as a couple?
KH: Russell was never around, the only time I saw Russell was when I met him at a Grammy party -- they came together. But when Katy's in the studio, her personality is great, she's a lot of fun. Katy's amazing, she's another hard worker!