Producer of the Year Nominee Benny Blanco

benny-blanco-producerProducer of the Year Grammy nominee Benny Blanco—the hitmaker behind such latter-day pop smashes asKe$ha’s “Die Young,” Trey Songz’ “Heart Attack,” Rihanna’s “Diamonds,”Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” and “Payphone,” Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream” and “I Kissed a Girl,” Taio Cruz‘s “Dynamite” and the Adam LevineGym Class Heroes collab “Stereo Hearts” and—comes out from the shadows in today’s L.A. Times. “If the producer’s work defies rote categorization, thank the crazy quilt of influences his songs reference: lite rock, hard-core hip-hop, chopped & screwed R&B, EDM, even folk—sometimes within the span of a single tune,” writer Chris Lee explains in the piece. “What unifies his discography is a kind of lowest-common-denominator mass appeal. Blanco’s pop offerings aren’t made for music snobs. They tend to become hot-selling ringtones or the songs you hear schoolchildren blasting out of minivans, the kind your co-workers drunkenly belt out at karaoke bars and contestants on The Voice slavishly cover. Blanco’s music is a soundtrack to the American mainstream.” “When I’m making records, it’s got to be simple enough for everyone to go, ‘I’ve heard something like that before.’ But different enough to where they’re like, ‘But oooh! I haven’t heard that before,’” the 24-year-old wunderkind explains. “It’s got to be a good balance of a little bit dangerous—weird sounds or a weird vocal melody—but everything can’t be weird or it’s not going to be a big song.” A fascinating behind-the-scenes read. [HitsDailyDouble]