NEW YORK-Chad Hugo has a few words. But while he produced some of the best songs of the early 21st century, his music could be even louder than he could.
“It’s always fun to see people enjoy music when the sound plays and cultivate your chances or opportunities for sharing opportunities,” said the two-time Grammy winner. “When music plays, it’s the voice. And if we can share this understanding of what we’ve heard, we can understand the souls of others and our goals in this world.”
The legendary production duo The Neptunes, formed by Hugo and Pharrell Williams, will be formally inducted into the Composers’ Hall of Fame this Thursday. The hit creators are part of a class delayed by the 2020 pandemic, which includes other icons such as The Isley Brothers, Annie Lennox and Mariah Carey.
A composer can qualify for selection 20 years after the first commercial release of a song and must have a well-known catalog. According to Hall, out of tens of thousands of singers, only about 400 are currently included in this prestigious group with names such as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jay-Z, Marvin Gaye, Burt Bacharach, Bruce Springsteen and Curtis Mayfield. Lil Nas X will receive a special prize.
“I never thought I would become a songwriter. You know, sometimes it’s just noise, “the 48-year-old joked. “It’s great to be a part of making records and to be a tool in making music.”
Like his personality, the ingenious producer downplays his musical influence. The futuristic sound of the production duo became so recognizable that it earned the nickname “The Neptunes Sound”. Their sound creations dominated the millennium radio with megahits like “I’m a Slave 4 U by Britney Spears”, “Hot in Herre” by Nelly, Snoop’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” Dogg, “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani. . and “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake. They also co-wrote Jay-Z-Pharrell’s Excuse Me Miss and Frontin, as well as the architects of the iconic beat for “Grindin” on The Clip.
Hugo, whose parents immigrated from the Philippines, met Pharrell at the band’s camp as little students and made close friendships through music. Virginia Beach residents eventually caught the attention of R&B legend and New Jack Swing innovator Teddy Riley, who signed them as a band before becoming a production team. Eventually, they became the famous rock band N.E.R.D. with a high school friend Shay Haley.
Jing Pharrell’s flashy, media-savvy and quiet producer is easy to overlook. However, when Hugo was asked if his contributions were well received by the public, Hugo refused the praise.
“I learned a lot from Pharrell and his music. He transferred records and we went through the records and got inspired by the records,” said Hugo, who is a non-classical 2003 Grammy-winning producer with Pharrell. won. But when he pushes when he gets the recognition he deserves, he says that’s not why he did it. “It’s about records and the experience when people hear records.”
While not always collaborating, Neptunes remains the standard today by collaborating with some of today’s stars, such as Rosalia, Summer Walker, Snoh Alegra, Brent Faiyaz and later Pop Smoke. Hugo is free in the studio with M.I.A., a budding artist of The BLSSM, and is working with another Filipino American, Jo Koy, on the soundtrack to the upcoming “Easter Sunday” strip special.
Hugo now also delves deep into the jazz he grew up on. He says he wants to learn music all the time – the same kind of ethics that brings him to one of the most exclusive songwriting clubs. “It’s great that we were able to make records and DJs saw it and played songs,” Hugo said. “I’m just grateful that we can move people and be part of people’s lives while being inspiring to the next generation or musicians.”
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