Ben "Billions" Diehl, the producer behind hits for The Weeknd and Beyoncé, among others, is a self-effacing beatmaker in a world that tends to reward a more assertive approach. Producers often stamp their work with a beat tag ("If young Metro don't trust you, I'm gon' shoot you," for example, lets you know that you are listening to a Metro Boomin production), but Diehl does not. Today's beatsmiths can be bigger stars than the rappers on their tracks, but Diehl keeps a low profile and barely does interviews.
"I like being behind the scenes," the 36-year-old producer tells Billboard on the phone from his home base in Miami, Florida. "Half the time, even my friends are like, 'You did that one too?' They don't even know what we're working on. I don't really gloat; I'd rather get your attention. I feel like hopefully I'm not going to oversaturate myself that way."
This modesty hasn't prevented him from quietly blanketing radio over the last several years. Not only has he crafted a steady stream of hits, he also tends to provide artists with trajectory-changing moments. Diehl produced The Weeknd's "Often," the first single from the crooner's 2015 chart-topper Beauty Behind the Madness, which signaled that Abel Tesfaye was shifting from critically beloved singer to pop star. Diehl also produced Yo Gotti's "Down in the DM," which gave the Memphis veteran a long-overdue moment of mainstream recognition when the track hit No. 1 on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart; Belly's "Might Not," which introduced the rapper to American radio programmers, eventually reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Rhythmic chart; and Future's "Low Life," which peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 last May.