In 2013 at Florida Chapter's GRAMMY futureNOW event, James McKinney interviewed producer/composer Salaam Remi about his beginnings as a producer, and the mentors who influenced him such as his father Van Gibbs and DJ Chuck Chillout. They also discussed the 1996 Fugees album The Score, which he produced and brought Remi his first GRAMMY nomination for Album Of The Year at the 39th GRAMMY Awards. It also won Best Rap Album that year. While he is able to produce hip-hop, Remi doesn't consider himself limited to being a hip-hop producer. As a member "of the hip-hop generation" he believes in his right to remix samples from anywhere, because, "It doesn't make a difference where it came from, it's about where I put it."
In 2013 at Florida Chapter's GRAMMY futureNOW event, James McKinney interviewed producer/composer Salaam Remi about his work with Nas and Amy Winehouse, and scoring percussion with Lalo Schifrin. Examples of Remi's remix-oriented experience began with him drawing from Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache," and then Nas using that, and then Remi using it again. Or in the alternative, Nas took orchestral scorings Remi did on his 2009 album Praguenosis! and came back around sampling them on "A Queen's Story" from his 2012 Life is Good album, produced by Remi and nominated for Best Rap Album at the 55th GRAMMY Awards. Remi also related how great conversations turn into great music and how youth go through musical cycles. "Usually when the older sister is into dance music," Remi said, "the younger sister wants to play acoustic guitar."
In 2013 at Florida Chapter's GRAMMY futureNOW event, James McKinney interviewed producer/composer Salaam Remi about different styles of singing and production. They discussed his work with Jazmine Sullivan on "Lions, Tigers & Bears," written by Remi and Sullivan and nominated for Best R&B Song at the 52nd GRAMMY Awards, as well as for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Although Remi is known for percussion, they left the song without drums, and its songwriting nomination helped Sullivan gain respect for her writing. Another segment saw Remi contrast Amy Winehouse's singing with Nai Palm from Hiatus Kaiyote. In another segment, Remi called out to Bob James' 1974 "Nautilus" from One as "a strong hip-hop record." But through it all, Remi cautions that it's the lyrics that matter the most, telling the story, providing what the song is about.
In 2013 at Florida Chapter's GRAMMY futureNOW event, James McKinney interviewed producer/composer Salaam Remi and asked who he wished he could work with? The answer, Prince, led to comparisons with Miguel's growth as an artist. In this concluding portion of the interview, before taking questions, they also discussed working on "How Many Drinks?" from 2012's Kaleidoscope Dream — the song was started the day Remi and Miguel first met. At the 56th GRAMMY Awards "How Many Drinks?" received a nomination, later that year, for Best R&B Performance. Calling attention to the artist development stage after initial success, Remi said, "There's nothing like getting it back from an audience on a daily basis … you get to work towards becoming a crowd-pleaser." He believes "there's no commerce without the art" and that "it's really just down to what actually moves you," although personally he enjoys "blending it up with other stuff."
In 2013 at Florida Chapter's GRAMMY futureNOW event, James McKinney followed his interview with producer/composer Salaam Remi by taking questions from the audience. The answer to many questions about how to make it was boiled down by Remi to "first you've got to have it and then you've got to expose it." His advice to one artist about creative control cautioned about building the wrong business side too soon. "Things are negotiable but once someone is paying for something," said Remi, "then you are in another space with it, so it's about how much you can get it together before it even gets that far." He also makes the point that for artists who need a team behind them, they need to find the right team. Yet through it all, Remi believes, "The cream rises, it's always about having the best material."