“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” Sandy Vee should have a T-shirt imprinted with the “Wizard of Oz”-inspired line because the modest, French-born dance music producer/songwriter is behind some of the past year’s biggest pop tunes, garnering Grammy nods for Katy Perry’s “Firework” (Album of the Year), and Rihanna’s trance-infused smash “Only Girl (In the World)” (Best Dance Recording).
Still riding high off of his Grammy accolades, Vee is also celebrating his work on Rihanna’s latest, the controversial “S&M,” which he co-produced with Norwegian electronic duo Stargate.
“I speak for all European producers: When you’re from Europe — [especially] when you’re French — and you’re in America, and you find out that you’re nominated for a couple of Grammys? In the life of a producer, that’s just amazing, that’s, ‘Wow, I worked so much,’ and just wow!” he told MTV News. “I’m just really excited and I have a lot of fun in what I do, and this is important for me.”
Despite his work with high-profile artists, Vee said he prefers to remain behind the scenes and cherishes the sanctuary of the studio. “I love to be [in the] background, you know?” he said “My place is in the studio. … I take everything and go produce in my studio and then I make magic happen. I try to get some type of signature by [using] some crazy type of treatment on a song to make it sound more warm, dynamic and large. It’s a bit different, [but this is] the way I do this.”
Vee now regularly brushes shoulders with EDM’s elite. After meeting fellow Frenchman David Guetta in 2009 at the nightclub Pacha in Ibiza, Vee became an integral part of the production team that helped create Guetta’s latest album, the massively successful One Love.
“Everything started with Guetta; we worked together and we did the song ‘Sexy Bitch’ with Akon, and it was the first big song jumping on top of the Billboard in America, so it changed a lot of things,” Vee explained. “Then a lot of people wanted to get a more uptempo, dance-club sound. All these came naturally, after doing the song with David.”
Vee’s production wizardry has made him sought after in pop-music circles, so much so that he’s even drawn the attention of the Princess of Pop herself, Britney Spears, who’s been making waves with her dub-step infused single “Hold It Against Me.”
“We’ve got a song with Britney. It’s not official right now, but we’ve got a song and we’re talking about it so we’ll see!”
In addition to the possible Spears pairing and more work with Rihanna, Perry and Guetta, Vee told us collaborations with Enrique Iglesias, Kylie Minogue and Mike Posner are all in the pipeline.
Don’t miss “Snooki & Sway: Live From the Grammys,” a red-carpet live stream kicking off Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on MTV.com. And stick with us all Grammy night for coverage of the red carpet, the show, the afterparties and beyond!