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John Legend, is an American soul singer, songwriter, and pianist. He has won six Grammy Awards.  Born John Stephens, Legend was a child prodigy who grew up in Ohio, where[…]

The challenge of not producing clones.

Question: How is producing music different?


John Legend:  There is a difference. I’m starting to see that difference now because I’m producing other artists. And I have a small label where I’m developing a couple of artists myself.

Part of the challenge is to not make them just clones of you; not try to make them sound just like you, or exactly have your creative imprint on everything that they do, but to allow them to be themselves. And fortunately I’ve worked with people who have their own style, and have their own special charisma that they have that is not the same as mine. And because of that, part of my philosophy is just to allow them to shine, but still to be a good editor.  Help them when I feel like they’re lacking in an area. Help them make the right decisions with their career.

I think I’ve been able to do that pretty well so far, but we’ll see. I’m releasing my first artist named Estelle in May [2008], and I’m really happy with the album ["Shine"] for sure. And now we’re in the marketing phase now, so it’ll be interesting to see how that comes together, and if it sticks, how we want it to stick. But one thing I know is, we made a really great album.

Recorded on: Jan 29, 2008