Producer Deputy is etching both his name and sound into the minds of the masses – thanks largely to the commercial and Pop cultural success of Rihanna‘s ‘Bitch Better Have My Money.’
Together with songwriter Bibi, the Roc Nation talent crafted the hit on everyone’s lips – and is gearing up to bake even more blazing numbers for RiRi.
Speaking to That Grape Juice while in London recently, the rising star relived his journey and revealed that he’s also worked on new music for Beyonce and Alicia Keys.
Check out our EXCLUSIVE chat with Deputy below…
That Grape Juice (Sam): You’ve got a lot of buzz at the moment. For those that don’t know, tell us a little about your journey up until this point.
Deputy: Journey up until this point—well, I started off as an intern at Jive Records, used that to get to know the people that I needed to know in the industry. Ended up signing with Roc Nation about 7 years ago (yeah, about 7 years ago). And here we are at Rihanna’s ‘Bitch Better Have My Money.’ [Laughs]
TGJ: So you obviously name-checked ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ and that’s really blowing up at the moment. Matter of fact, it’s the biggest track from her current album, thus far —
TGJ: Take us through the creation process – as the track’s producer.
Deputy: Well I did the track—actually yesterday was a year from when I actually did the production. So the track was done a year ago, and then I ended up having a session with the writer, Bibi. We went in, we just really went in to trade our hot records, you know, something dope, and by the end of the session, I kind of was like, “Man, this is a Rihanna record” because we just felt like she was the only one that could deliver that record and it be believable. So, we got it to her, she loved it, we went (back) in, she freestyled some of the words, and I added to the beat, and the record was here.
TGJ: And what a record it is!
So, we hear that you have more records on her upcoming album. Sonically, what can we expect from those, and how many do you have on the album?
Deputy: Well, I’m not sure exactly how much is going to be on there. I’m supposed to be coming back in with her to do some more stuff. But sonically, I don’t know. I feel I will let her explain sonically what’s on that album. From what I’ve heard, I don’t know if what’s going to be kept (what’s staying, what’s not), so, I can’t really, I haven’t heard the final ideas and stuff like that.
TGJ: OK, so rounding out on the Rih front, what’s it like working with her? You mentioned that you did the track a year ago and then you kind of went back in with Bibi, and you kind of refreshed it and she put her own swag on it. What’s it like working with her? Like how involved is she in the whole process?
Deputy: She’s very much involved in the process when I’m in the studio with her. It was a cool environment, man. She’s really cool. She knows what she wants to do. She knows what she doesn’t want. You know? Sonically, she takes to sounds, and it was a cool process to be in the room with an artist of her stature—to just kind of like see her work.
It’s a great experience, man. She knows what she wants and that’s a big part.
Final question on re Rihanna; do you know when we might (even like a window) be able to hear more, or is that again all pending?
Deputy: Yeah, that’s all pending. Like I said, we try to work it out to where I go back in with her, to do some more records right now. So, it’s all pending. I’m pretty sure she wants everything to be to her liking and to where she feels comfortable, you know—and make it happen.
Who else are you working with at the moment— here in London and home in the US?
Deputy: Out here, I’m working with the artist Ray right now. Met with Dizzee Rascal earlier during the visit. Tinie Tempah, Nick Brewer.
Over in the US—Zendaya, Keke Palmer, Beyonce, and Alicia Keys.
So, you’re not going to say Beyonce’s name and we’re not going to kind of hone in on that. Tell us a little bit about what it’s been like working with her?
Deputy: I actually don’t know. I did a record, and for the people who heard it, thought it was really a dope Beyonce record—so, we got it over to her and she liked it.
The whole ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ experience has opened a lot of doors. It’s also taught me to not overthink things anymore. You know, once I do the record and I decide to just leave it alone and just let things happen, right? And then if they happen, they happen, and if they don’t, I just keep it moving—work on to the next project.
Deputy: I’m just like you, man—trying to find out. I promise you, I’m trying to find out myself [laughs].
TGJ: And just in regards to Alicia Keys, as well, is it a similar situation? What’s it like working with her?
Deputy: Well, yeah. I went in to the studio with Swizz Beatz randomly. Randomly had a meeting with Swizz Beatz and he picked a couple of tracks. He told me that she wrote to one or two that she really loved. So, again I don’t know when that’s coming out. It’s all pending. Everything is all pending right now.
You know, these artists as Alicia Keys and Beyoncé, they’re like perfectionists, so there’s no telling when that album, or when anything, is going to come out.
But, you know, good records always will find a place.
TGJ: Yes, definitely!
You’ve worked with J. Cole, you’ve worked with Ne-Yo. You’ve worked with Rick Ross, The Dream, Sean Garrett—to name but a few —
TGJ: Who would you like to work with? Who’s Deputy’s dream collaboration?
Deputy: Man, if Jay Z could put a verse on that record, that’d be dope. Jay Z, man. I’m originally from Brooklyn, so just growing up, listening to Jay. He’s always been one of the artists that I looked up to that kind of inspired me, influenced a lot of my musical career. So, just doing a record with him—it could be a verse. It could be anything with Jay, for sure.
TGJ: What would you say is the best and worst advice you’ve received?
Deputy: Best advice? Best advice I probably received was: Don’t take anything for granted. Do you know what I’m saying? Don’t take a moment for granted because it’s never really promised again. Once you have it, you have to put the same work to maintain it, right, and not get caught up in the moment and get relaxed.
Worst advice — I would say, is probably listening to everyone’s opinion. Right? Kind of like sometimes we think delay is denial, right? You know, everyone has their own opinion. Don’t allow people’s opinion to guide you somewhere where you don’t believe in yourself.
Do you know what I’m saying?
Rounding up now—what advice would you, in turn, give to people that are looking at your position and want to be where you’re in (aspiring song writers, aspiring producers, people that are looking to break in to the industry)? What advice would you give to them?
Deputy: Believe in yourself–that’s number one. Believe in yourself.
Perfect your craft. Two—perfect your craft.
And, don’t allow anyone to, again, tell you, or place their opinions on what you believe. Once you put the work in, man, it will all come through.
Most importantly, to trust the process. Like sometimes we go through this thing trying to achieve a goal and sometimes it doesn’t happen automatically, right? And sometimes it’s not meant for it to happen automatically because it just grows you at the character, right? It grows your personality. It grows your character, and it prepares you for success.
Also, trusting the process and appreciating it—understanding that it’s just really growing on you as a person. You know, when it’s supposed to happen it’ll happen. Nothing happens before its time.
TGJ: That’s a great answer.
Final question—what’s next for Deputy?
Deputy: Next? What’s next for me, man, is to really introduce my sound to the world, right? ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ is a small sample size of what I have to offer. My range is pretty much wide.
I just want to continue to just give to the world and brand my sound. And, just keep working with these artists. It could be an upcoming artist. It could be a well-known artist. So, to just work and really brand the Deputy sound.