The making of B.o.B’s breakout hit “Nothin’ on You” was a group effort, according to the song’s producers. Bruno Mars , who is featured on the track, said he and his production partners, Phillip Lawrence and Ari Levine — together they comprise the Smeezingtons — collectively pieced together the music that would eventually top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
“Me and Phil always had that hook,” Mars told MTV News, spontaneously breaking out into the chorus that is helping to make him one of music’s buzzed-about names.
“It was a different melody at first, though,” Lawrence added.
“So one day our other partner — the Silent Bob of the Smeezingtons — Ari, he walked into the studio and said he programmed the drums [over],” Mars explained. “It had this old-school hip-hop beat. I said, ‘Gimme the piano,’ and that was the first thing I started playing. Magically, that melody worked with this track we were doing.”
The result, of course, was “Nothin’ on You,” which landed atop the charts this year and has become an early contender for song of the summer. Now, the production trio’s services are increasingly in demand. Among the artists they’re hoping to get in the studio with is Keri Hilson, who’ll be prepping her next album.
Apart from B.o.B, the Smeezingtons also recently worked with Gnarls Barkley’s Cee-Lo on Mars’ debut EP, It’s Better If You Don’t Understand, and are hoping to get back in the lab with him. (“He’s incredible,” Mars said of Cee-Lo.) And their remix of K’Naan’s “Wavin’ Flag” has been selected as the Coca-Cola anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The Smeezingtons intend to apply the same principles that have brought them success so far to future projects, including Bruno Mars’ forthcoming full-length debut.
“We’re melody guys, we sing,” Lawrence explained of their sound. “That’s kind of our main focus, to have really good, memorable melodies. We’ll go into the studio, and [Mars will] start playing the piano and I’ll start freestyling or vice versa. We’re heavily influenced by the ’80s [sound].”
Are you looking forward to new material from the Smeezingtons? Let us know in the comments!