Producer Roget Chahayed Talks Crafting Beats for Doja Cat, Nas and Travis Scott
Interview: Kemet High
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.
In 2021, Rogét Chahayed’s golden ear for production, cosigned by Dr. Dre, was flaunted on Doja Cat’s Planet Her, Nas’ King’s Disease II and Baby Keem’s The Melodic Blue. Here, Chahayed, 33, from Los Angeles, discusses the formula that’s taken him to the Billboard Hot 100 chart top 10.
“Kiss Me More” by Doja and SZA is the longest-running, all-female top 10 hit in Billboard Hot 100 history. How did that come about?
I got a call from Yeti [Beats] and he wanted to start putting some ideas together for Doja’s next album. He mentioned something about anime and cuteness. I grew up watching anime because I have four younger sisters. So, we kind of bond over that stuff. But one thing I really noticed was all of the music. When he said that, it instantly clicked in my brain. When I heard it, in my mind I was like, This is really special. This is capturing the essence of the past, the future and now. And it’s such a bop.
What was the most important thing you learned from working under the wing of producer Dr. Dre?
I just learned about the importance of bringing the right people together in a room. That was really the main thing of like, when you put the right room together and the right two producers or the right songwriter together, it’s like, that is almost more important than your ability in itself to just create something crazy. Who you create it with and the power of collaboration is probably the most important thing I learned from being with Dre.
How did you find your rhythm and sauce for the beat of “Brunch On Sundays” by Nas and Blxst?
I was kind of trying to go with what the sample was doing, which is just very lush chords. I took a little moment to make sure that there was really a strong melody. I really just tried to build off of that and make it seem like this is all one and unified, sonically. When it comes to Nas, his voice is an instrument. I’m sort of just trying to accompany everything around what Hit[-Boy] and Nas have done.
Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” featuring Drake is now certified diamond. Are there any full circle moments from your contribution to the song?
I just think from a creative standpoint, it’s pretty crazy and a full circle moment to be like, this is what I studied for and what I worked hard for. I was actually able to do something that I liked to do and not follow any rules. We set the standard together. Shout-out to Hit-Boy, forever, and everybody else.
Check out more from XXL’s Winter 2021 issue including our cover story featuring the XXL awards board members, Juice Wrld's mother reflects on her son, Big30 gears up for his debut album, a look back at the history of remixing hip-hop songs, Latin trap star Eladio Carrion talks about working with Bobby Shmurda, Tobe Nwigwe's viral movement with a purpose, KenTheMan gets cosigns from 2 Chainz and Snoop Dogg, 10 moments rappers lost valuable possessions and more.