5 Questions With ... Benny Blanco

Exclusive interview with producer behind Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa's GRAMMY-nominated "Payphone"
  • Photo: Riccardo Savi/WireImage.com
    Benny Blanco
February 13, 2013 -- 2:42 pm PST
GRAMMY.com

GRAMMY-nominated producer/songwriter Benny Blanco, née Benjamin Levin, was the recent guest for an installment of The Recording Academy's 5 Questions With … series. Held at Sheffield Studios in Phoenix, Md., Blanco discussed collaborating with other artists, the songs of which he is most proud and The Academy's "Give Fans the Credit" campaign, among other topics.

"I can be at my house sitting there making music alone, and every single time I've ever done that the first thing I do when I'm done, no matter if it's 4 in the morning … I literally just pick up my phone and I call someone. And I'm like, "Yo, you got to hear this,'" said Blanco. "I don't want to make music alone in a dark studio and make me feel awful and depressed. I want to make music and feel happy and get to share it with people."

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Blanco has worked as a producer/songwriter on tracks by artists such as Justin Bieber, Taio Cruz, Gym Class Heroes, Katy Perry, and Rihanna, among others. Along with GRAMMY-nominated producer Dr. Luke, Blanco co-wrote three tracks on Britney Spears' 2008 album, Circus, including the title track which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The following year Blanco and Dr. Luke co-produced Perry's No. 1 hit, "I Kissed A Girl," which garnered a 51st GRAMMY nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Blanco, along with Dr. Luke and producer Max Martin, garnered a GRAMMY nomination in 2010 for Album Of The Year as co-producers on Perry's Teenage Dream.

Additional songs produced or co-produced by Blanco that topped the Billboard Hot 100 include Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" (2009), Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" (2011) and Rihanna's "Diamonds" (2012). Blanco co-wrote and co-produced Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa's "Payphone," which garnered a 55th GRAMMY nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. 

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