My 2013: Mike WiLL Made-It – March

Miley's super-producer on why his Ciara collab Body Party was “a new sound for R&B”

Music Feature
Mike Will

Mike WiLL Made-It has been killing it since 2011, but 2013 was the producer's career-defining year. His steady ascent into super-producer stardom has been fueled with a collection of hits that traverse ideas of what genres should sound like. While Mike WiLL has remained a prominent force in Hip-Hop – working with the likes of 2 ChainzDrakeKanye West, and many others – he’s thoroughly dipped his MPC into other sonic ponds. We all know he gave Miley Cyrus’ career some mouth-to-mouth when he exec. produced her album Bangerz – but it was in March that Ciara’s “Body Party” dropped. With its gentle basslines and slippery synths, sampling and riffing on "My Boo" by Ghost Town DJ's, it single-handedly propelled CiCi right back into the conversation, and was arguably the biggest R&B single of 2013. Without Mike WiLL’s soundbed, the track might have never been what it was. He details the song’s journey below.

"I feel like “Body Party” was really the biggest R&B song this year. I don't know about numbers and whatnot, but I just know that as far as how it came through and how it took over the radio, it really took over. It started because I had this perfect beat for Ciara. L.A. Reid introduced us, and they were trying to get us to work together, and then we had one session and we had worked on some stuff but we didn't really get anything out of it. Then Future was working on a project, and Future was like, 'We got to get something crazy for Ciara,' and I was just like, 'Yo dog, I got this beat I let her hear when I first met her, and I just know that that's the one for her. I'm not going to give this beat to anybody else.' And he was like, 'Let me hear it,' and then he heard it and then when she came to him about writing, it was pretty much the same thing. He was like, 'Yo Mike WiLL has this one beat that he let me hear, I want to see what we can come up with to it.' And then they just started working on it, and they just kept working on it, and we were all just vibing in the studio. We just worked on it for a minute, and then they went off to New York and finished it up. They were moving around and just working on it in different cities and it ended up coming out like that. Then I changed up the beat to match it a little bit more so it had like a new bounce – it's a new sound for R&B – and it ended up being “Body Party.”

"It's the perfect Ciara record. It's a slow one that makes people want to move"

Really man, Ciara is real cool. She's good at taking direction. She has good ideas herself. She has good taste and she's one of those cool artists. Pretty much any artist you ever see me work with is pretty much a cool artist. It's not like no artists that's on no extra shit. I don't work with artists that's on extra shit. I work with artists that's cool and that's about their business and that's creative and that loves making music, and she's one of those types of people. She loves making music, she loves new ideas, she loves trying new things, she loves beats. She's not just going to get on any beat. She knows pretty much what she's looking for, but if you have a dope idea and a dope vision for her, she'll hear it out, and then she'll run and go in on it how you want her to. She'll collaborate and be like, 'Oh I want to say this, I won't say that.' So she's pretty much like that.

We knew that the song was going to work too. That's why we threw out “Wake Up No Make Up", just because we knew that was a cool song, but that's why “Wake Up No Make Up” didn't get the look. It didn't get a video, it didn't get the push that it was supposed to get because we knew what we had with “Body Party.” So we just kind of cancelled that out and threw “Body Party” out because we knew what it was going to be. That was just like the perfect Ciara record. It's a slow one that makes people want to move. When it comes on, it makes people want to dance. People know all the words."

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