In The Boardroom With Harvey Mason Jr.

GRAMMY-nominated producer discusses his career, songwriting and the art of collaboration
  • Harvey Mason Jr.
March 26, 2012 -- 12:15 pm PDT
GRAMMY.com

GRAMMY-nominated producer/songwriter Harvey Mason Jr. was the recent guest for the inaugural installment of In The Boardroom, an educational series produced by The Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter Education Committee featuring interviews with past and present Academy Board members. Mason discussed his career beginnings, the important relationship between producer and artist, songwriting and crafting melodies, microphone preferences and production techniques, and more.

"[Vocal production] … is something I pride myself on," said Mason. "It involves working with the artist. It involves being able to get the right emotion and the right response from the artist on each line of the song. … A vocal producer is very important, and it's a very important component of an overall successful and good-sounding record."

Mason has penned and produced songs for artists such as GRAMMY winners Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Hudson, Justin Timberlake, and Luther Vandross. Mason and partner Damon Thomas comprise the production duo the Underdogs, who co-produced Timberlake's first solo album, 2002's GRAMMY-nominated Justified. In 2011 Mason was a producer on Hudson's second studio album, I Remember Me. The Underdogs co-wrote Brown's "Up 2 You," a track from his GRAMMY-winning album F.A.M.E. Through his company, Harvey Mason Media, he produced More Than A Game, a critically acclaimed documentary released in 2009 featuring NBA star LeBron James. Mason has received three GRAMMY nominations in his career, the most recent in 2007 for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television, Or Other Visual Media for his production work on the soundtrack for Dreamgirls. An active member of The Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter, Mason is a former Recording Academy Trustee, and he has participated in GRAMMY Foundation programs such as GRAMMY Camp.

(Recording Academy members can watch the entire interview with Mason at GRAMMY365, The Academy's member-only website. Not a member? For information on Academy membership, click here.)

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