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Chart Beat Podcast: Alex Da Kid on Writing & Producing for Dr. Dre, Bono, Eminem & More

The hitmaker also discusses how IBM's Watson program helped initiate the writing process of his new single, "Not Easy."

“The way I create is based around me making fictitious partnerships up in my mind,” says Alex Da Kid. “Like, what would happen if Wu-Tang Clan and Kings of Leon made a song together? I love the idea of mixing things that haven’t been mixed before. That, to me, is the fun part of making music.”

On the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, the British-born writer, producer and artist chats with Billboard co-director of charts Gary Trust about his chart-conquering career, which has been infused with genre-bending collaborations, from his first smash, B.o.B’s “Airplanes,” featuring Paramore’s Hayley Williams, to the recent Suicide Squad hit “Sucker for Pain” by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa and Imagine Dragons (with Logic and Ty Dolla $ign and featuring X Ambassadors). The Grammy and Emmy Award-winning Alex Da Kid also crowned the Hot 100 for seven weeks in 2010 as producer and writer of Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” featuring Rihanna.


Now, Alex Da Kid has released his first single as an artist, “Not Easy,” featuring X Ambassadors, Wiz Khalifa and Elle King. Along with his trademark blend of sounds, he crafted the song from a mix of human and electronic collaborators, as IBM’s cognitive program Watson analyzed trends in pop culture, including social media posts, to help provide an overview of listeners’ current mindsets and inform the song’s lyrical angle.

“My creative process always starts with conversation,” Alex Da Kid muses, “so I was turned on by the fact that I could do that with Watson and understand human conversation, the human condition and thinking a little more in-depth.”

Alex Da Kid is also founder of the Kid on a Korner imprint and places immense value on the role that music can play commercially. “Music is super-underleveraged in marketing,” he says. “Music is the language of emotions. And, research shows that when consumers are moved emotionally, it boosts product sales. [Music] can move people’s emotions better than anything else.”

A sampling of previous episodes with host Gary Trust:
Author Marc Myers / Anthony Head on the “Buffy” Musical Episode / Suzanne Vega / Bobby Bones (hosted by Jim Asker) / How Daya Broke Through on New Label Artbeatz / The Eagles’ Timothy B. Schmit / Joel Whitburn / Debbie Gibson / Hit Songs Deconstructed on The Chainsmokers & Meghan Trainor / Lionel Richie (hosted by Trevor Anderson)

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and check back for more upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!