Production Credit: Detail
Noel "Detail" Fisher has been buzzing in the industry since Lil Wayne's "How to Love"— a track he produced— skyrocketed up the charts back in May, but by no means is he a new kid on the block. The Detroit producer first got a taste of notoriety when he produced the bulk of Ray J's independent debut, Raydiation in 2005. Since then, he's crafted tracks for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Mya, more Ray J, Akon, New Boyz and Wiz Khalifa, just to name a few. Detail has consistently accumulated placements in the past six calendars, but with tracks on upcoming projects from T-Pain, Diggy Simmons and Julio Iglesias coming up, he's looking to make 2011 his breakout year. Word is he's been hard at work in the studio with Weezy and is poised to land several tracks on Tha Carter IV. XXLMag.com caught up with the confident boardsman to discuss "How to Love's" mixed reviews, self-comparisons to Quincy Jones and joining the Young Money/Cash Money family.—Carl Chery
XXLMag.com: How did you link up with Wayne?
Detail: I did “So Paid” for Akon. Wayne was on it. [Young] Jeezy was on it. [I] caught Jeezy at the mall three days before the shoot and told him to hop on the record. Then we did the video in Miami, so that’s when I first met Wayne. When I started to build my relationship with him I did a mixtape song called “Tattoo Girl” and Wayne showed me love and jumped on it. From there we just started to build. Obviously the song was a little pop/rock so it gave us that outlet. He did the Rebirth album and we kind of was on the same page.
I’m hearing that you have several songs onTha Carter IV. How did that happen?
Obviously, Lil Wayne works and he doesn’t stop workin', so I’m on the same page too. Mack Maine has been a key player of just keepin' me involved with the process, so we’ve done a whole bunch of records. It’s more of a situation where whatever Wayne wants he just uses so obviously there’s a couple in there that he’s definitely fuckin' with, so we just keep recordin'. We still recordin'. We about to record tonight. I’m fourth quarterin' them. I came through last night with another monster, so we gonna cut that tonight.
It sounds like you’ve actually been able to be in the studio with Wayne instead of sending him tracks. Is that correct?
Oh, 100 percent, man. [I've been in] direct studio sessions, the whole nine. I’ve pretty much been with Wayne since he been out [of jail] from L.A. to Miami. I hopped on the tour for a quick second, but pretty much outside of the tour I’ve been in the studio with him.
What is being in the studio with Lil Wayne like?
He a beast, man. The [Sorry 4 the Wait] mixtape is incredible. The album is amazin' and you know Wayne is an extremely creative person. Every time I think there is no more words, just no more metaphors that you could use in the world he comes up with he just keeps coming up with 'em.
“How To Love” obviously peaked at no. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the reviews out there are kind of mixed. What are your thoughts on the response so far?
My thoughts is…I’m lookin' at the top [of the] charts on iTunes and it’s still there. If you look at the charts on iTunes you’re connected to an unbiased world that’s likin' music and buyin' music, so obviously in that territory no different from “Super Bass” or “Moment for Life” anybody would say about Nicki or Drake or anybody. It’s like they’re so versatile artists that when those points come then it’s the people’s choice. For me I’d rather be the people’s choice then to stick to a certain curriculum, so I feel like it’s somethin' that we just felt strong about doin'. I just wanted to listen to the song in my car and enjoy it by myself, so the world is actually experiencin' somethin' that was hidden. It was really for us. We embraced the song and it’s a great feelin' when the world connects to what you embrace 'cause sometimes you gotta do songs for certain reasons. There’s no reason. The reason is it’s just how we felt and it’s a very organic, genuine record.
FOR MORE DETAIL, GO TO PAGE 2
You started doing R&B and transitioned into hip-hop...
Yeah. I’m like the Quincy Jones of today. A lot of people have pockets in the game. Obviously this is a hip-hop realm, but we're crossin' hip-hop right over to popular records like a “No Sleep” or like “How To Love,” so it becomes for me just a matter of runnin' with the flow of where music is today. If everything goes country next year and it’s all about country music I’m a have a job. [Laughs]
But you said Quincy Jones. Now that’s some pretty big comparison to make.
Quincy Jones, yes. I studied it and I understand it to that perspective like the Motown world. When you’re in Detroit there’s nothin' to do. There’s no opportunities. All the record labels left, Motown, Atlantic and it’s just been a desert so all you can do is just be in five churches, sing, play the piano, write... those are the only opportunities you get so you hear some dance, some R&B. I came up from that era of just tappin' into all genres of music and the only solution to it is if you’re good at it then it’s gonna work. I’m in the process of workin' [with] Enrique Iglesias so I know who to bring in to get my beats at the point where it’s absolutely solid in that world. It's not different that you havin' a house and you pullin' in the person that does the air conditioner and the person that does the water plummin' on a house. I'm gonna bring in the right people to do the structurin'. One person can structure maintainin' the household, so that’s what I’m doing with my music. It’s a household and I’m just maintainin' my key elements like the plummin' which would be pop music and the electrical which would be this [hip-hop]. I'm connectin' with the best people to make that happen, kinda like bein' an executive producer and that’s what I think Quincy has always been and that’s what I am. The first song that I ever produced on an album was Raydiation and I co-executive produced the album my first shot in the game.
Who else are you working with?
I just did Mike Posner, which is more in the pop area. I got a good blend and some good music with him. I got a single that’s comin' out in the next week or two weeks with T-Pain. It’s called “Bottles.” This record is a monster. We’re gonna own the clubs. I promise you. I’m doin' a lot of Young Money/Cash Money obviously. I was in the studio last night with Birdman. I’m a team player with YMCMB. I got my shirt on right now.
So it’s definitely an in-house type of thing? Y’all got a deal in place?
Yeah. We’re doin' a lot of stuff. I’m not just producin'. I love that company. I love the way Wayne move and I love the way they deliver music to the music business. Wherever I need to go in there whether it’s Drake, Nicki, Baby, whoever, Twist, I’m there and I’m comin' with it. I personally feel I’ll be a good addition to the camp. You can call me the new Mannie Fresh if you want [Laughs].
Is it on paper or you're just work with them a lot?
If you hear anywhere in the future Detail gettin' signed on Young Money don’t be surprised 'cause it just happen, but we don’t talk about it. We don't talk about the next projects we’re gonna work on, artists we’re lookin' at signing right now. We don’t talk about it. We just do it. They been in the business for a long time. It’s a great opportunity to come. I’ve always been good at workin' with camps. You know what Drake said: “I got a small circle. I’m not with different crews.” I just put it out there like that.
Detail's Notable Production Credits: Bone Thugs-n-Harmoney's "Young Thugs" (2007), Akon's "I'm So Paid" feat. Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy (2008), Travis McCoy's "Ms. Tattoo Girl" (2010) feat. T-Panin, Wiz Khalifa's "No Sleep" (2011) New Boyz's "Magazine Girl" (2011)