New York City, NY – In the years that preceded his transition for an artist to a multi-platinum producer, Kwamé secured a plethora of high profile placements. Some of his other clients have included names like Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott and Will Smith — for his 2005 single “Switch” (which marked The Fresh Prince’s third Hot 100 top 10 hit song).
After explaining to HipHopDX how he almost lost his production credit for Lloyd Banks’ “On Fire” to Eminem, he then broke down how his publishing company tried to stifle him from producing the Will Smith hit, which turned out to be a pivotal song in his discography.
“We were locked in,” he says of his time in the studio with Will. “We did several records … ‘Switch’ came out of that. He was filming the movie Hitch at the time. So after filming, he would come to the studio.”
He adds, “Will had a smaller budget [for this particular project], So he was not willing to pay me my normal fee. Which was fine, because I saw the opportunity.”
Despite not obtaining a “big bag” from an A-lister, Kwamé reveals the experience is one he shares with a lot of producers he encounters. His production company was oddly against the record, explicitly telling him it would severely hurt his career.
“They wanted to rescind the deal or restructure the payment of the deal because they thought that they weren’t going to make any money if I did the Will Smith record. I stuck to my guns,” he recalls.
Kwam says he’s been eternally skeptical. “I’ve always wondered if the publishing company genuinely thought that I wasn’t going to make them money or didn’t want me to do it because they knew that if it were successful, I would be out of debt to them sooner than expected.
“That’s the whole point of publishing companies: they want their artists to be in debt to them so they can keep lending them money, and they can keep taking money off the top.”
Revisit the hit “Switch” below.