6 Famous Recording Artists Who Started As Producers

1. Kanye West

Kanye West is One of the biggest producers to artist success stories in recent history is Yeezus. Of course, there’s no better way to listen to West’s trials and tribulations in trying to make it as a rapper than him on the mic.

Ye has produced some of the greatest records of the past decade and has gotten really good at rapping in the process.

These days, we know he’s still behind the boards, but Kanye is thought of as a solo artist first and foremost, and he has the catalog to support that.

2. Neyo

Ne-Yo is also on the list of producers who started off as artists. He jumped on as a recording artist first, but after a few setbacks, which included being dropped from Columbia Records, songwriting seemed to be the avenue for the budding artist.

Marques Houston gave Ne-Yo his first Billboard 100 hit with “That Girl” being placed on Houston’s album MH.

In 2004, his songwriting breakthrough came in the form of ”Let Me Love You,”

This garnered him a contract with Def Jam and His debut album, In My Own Words, went double platinum and the rest is history.

3. Puff Daddy

Diddy’s production kicked off with Mary J. Blige’s What’s the 411? and after production successes with Biggie, TLC and Faith Evans, he then kicked off his artist career in 1997 with No Way Out. 

If there was a record executive who was born to be a star in his own right, then it was Sean Combs.

After Biggie passed, he had to step up to the plate as MC, and since, has proven to be one of the most entertaining fixtures in the rap game.

He’s had a laundry list of talents help him write, from Biggie to Nas, so it’s only right that so many of his verses came out awesome.

4. Sia

Sia Technically an artist before she became a songwriter.

She enjoyed a lucrative recording career after writing the hit single “Diamonds” for Rihanna.

Two years later, her huge single “Chandelier” was everywhere. Her latest album, This Is Acting, is comprised of songs that big artists like Adele, Rihanna and Beyoncé didn’t want on their projects.

5. Tekno

Tekno Miles is one of Afrobeats’ most gifted Nigerian music producers. He is behind Davido’s ‘IF’ which is one of Afrobeats greatest songs among other countless songs.

As an artist, he has recorded tremendous success with several hits songs. And he remains one of the most respected sound shapers and reliable hit makers in Afrobeats.

6. Davido

Not many know this but Davido started out wanting to be a music producer. While schooling at Oakland University, Davido bought musical equipment and began making beats.

Davido is even credited as the producer for his break-out single ‘Back When.’ Davido would eventually give up production to concentrate on his music career after he met Shizzi whose influence set his career on a new path.

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