The 5 Greatest Producer Duos
While music awards season is underway featuring plenty of familiar nominees, one relatively new entity to the Grammy nominees this year was production duo The Chainsmokers, who had an incredible 2016 with hits like “Don’t Let Me Down” and the Halsey-featuring “Closer.” Of course, the concept of the production duo is hardly a new thing – in fact, there have been plenty of production groups that have proven that sometimes two heads really are better than one. Here are the five greatest production duos that have changed the game, all of which you can download for free on the Trebel Free Music Downloader app:
1) The Neptunes
For much of the ’00s, it was impossible to turn on the radio without hearing some of the Neptunes’ work. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo carved out their own lane as the go-to production duo with a sound that was all their own, lacing some of hip hop, pop, and R&B’s biggest names – including Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Snoop Dogg – with some of their greatest hits. Though Hugo and Williams no longer collaborate as much as they did in their prime, their influence still reigns heavily on modern music; and of course, Pharrell continues to be a consistent figure in pop culture.
2) Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
James Samuel “Jimmy Jam” Harris III and Terry Steven Lewis first worked together as part of Morris Day’s The Time, touring as the opening act for Prince. The duo went on to shape the sound of ’80s/’90s R&B, most notably with Janet Jackson, for whom they produced/wrote nine Billboard Top 100 number-one hits. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have also crafted songs for Mariah Carey, Usher, TLC, Michael Jackson, and Mary J. Blige.
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen are two Norwegians who know a thing or two about making a hit song in America. Collectively known as Stargate, the duo have produced/penned over 50 Top 10 singles, most notably with their frequent work for Beyonce, Rihanna, and Ne-Yo. In 2011, they scored a Grammy award for Best Dance Recording with Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World).”
Much like their contemporaries the Neptunes, Trackmasters defined an era of popular hip hop and R&B for much of the ’90s and ’00s. Everyone from Will Smith to Jay Z to Destiny’s Child to 50 Cent to Nas tapped the duo of Tone and Poke to craft their slick-sounding, commercially-friendly tracks to dominate the charts and bring a new level of finesse to their album cuts. Though their popularity definitely waned in the last decade, they have reformed and added new members, and have made an impact by producing songs as recent as some of Wiz Khalifa’s Deal or No Deal album in 2009.
5) Rock City
Brothers Theron and Timothy Thomas took the sound that they cultivated in the early stages of their career in the Virgin Islands and took the industry by storm, producing hits for the likes of Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and R.Kelly. Rock City have also put out music under the R. City moniker, most notably their single “Locked Away” featuring Adam Levine.