By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Producer Mike Will Made It is the hottest producer in the game. The 24-year-old producer covers Billboard this week and shares his journey from teen beatmaker to producing hits for everyone from Future ("Turn On the Lights") and Kanye West's ("Mercy") to 2 Chainz ("No Lie" featuring Drake) and Rihanna ("Pour It Up").
The Atlanta native started by working with Gucci Mane who offered him $1,000 cash for one of his beats. "I was like, 'Man, you've got to holler at my people,'" Will remembers. "I didn't even have no people. He was like, 'I like you. You're a little player.'"
Though he's in the studio with everyone and their mama, Will is hard at work on his debut album Est. in 1989 Pt. 3. The first single "23" featuring Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J is slated to drop Aug. 26. "I'm always that dude that's looking for the next thing," he says. "I've just got to keep a balanced head and stay focused."
Mike recently collaborated with an unlikely singer, Miley Cyrus. The duo's "We Can't Stop" is a hit and he looks forward to more music with the former Disney star. "Me and Miley just clicked," he says. "She has good ideas. She's real creative. Her whole thing is she's getting older so her sound is evolving, but she doesn't want to reach too far. 'We Can't Stop' has so many different vibes to it. She sounds country; the beat has these live, knocking drums; and then it has these pop melodies. It's a feel-good record."