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SCOTT STORCH, February 7, 2006

Scott Storch has some words for the Grammys. We can't print them here, but given that Storch is not nominated for Producer of the Year after creating the music for some of 2005's biggest hits, you can fill in the blanks. The man behind such tunes as Beyonce's "Naughty Girl," 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" and Mario's "Let Me Love You" has shared previous Grammys, with his mentor Dr. Dre for Eve's "Let Me Blow Your Mind" and with the Roots for "You Got Me." Now he wants the big prize. Not that Storch has anything against producers who did get nominated: veterans Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Danger Mouse (who worked on the hit Gorillaz album), The Neptunes, Nigel Godrich (Paul McCartney's maestro) and U2 producer Steve Lillywhite. But after 13 years making music, Storch feels like his time has come.

So tell us your side, Scott.

"I'm just upset. This year, we were really aggressive about what were doing to make sure that we hit all the markets and every facet of music. I feel like we excelled, if not greater than, at least as great as everybody that's listed as a nominee for this award. And I think that there was a certain political role that I didn't have an opportunity to play this year, in terms of being down with the whole Grammy clique and being visible ... because I'm not in the videos. I do that intentionally because I like my music to speak for itself. I think that maybe they're not considering it based on the year of your music, but based on a familiar face."

Are you part of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (which administers the Grammys)? How often do you go to their functions?

"I spend six to seven days a week in the studio making records. I don't have time to go do a lot of things that you have to play the political game to get recognition with the Grammy crew. I thought the music was enough to speak for itself. I don't want to come off like a hater, or someone that's being overdramatical if it wasn't necessary, but I feel like I have to take a stand in this type of situation. This is important for the longevity of my career."

Does the industry respect your beat-making?

"Jim kind of got us to do stuff we wouldn't do. We got on the set. Everybody was so comfortable working with him; we actually had on biker shorts to match our skin complexion. We were supposed to shoot that scene from the waist up. He said, `That ain't gonna work.' I went back. He said, `50 take it off.' I took it off. Everybody did. Terrence (Howard) did. Everybody just did it."

Are you tired of all the Eminem "8 Mile" comparisons?

"You can call me a beat-maker, but I'm a record producer. I make records from top to bottom. Bring the best out of the vocalist. I deal with live instrumentation on all our records. I don't sample. I'm not like one of these guys who concoct some beat on my sampler and just turns it in."

Are you going to be more aggressive next year?

"I don't know if I'm going try to be more visible than I already am. I don't see myself starting a rap career."

A good argument for Producer of the Year could be made for Kanye West.

"Kanye as well, definitely. He's an artist as well and puts a lot of work into his own stuff. He's commendable on the work he has done and I think he's an incredible producer. ... It's not that I think Pharrell doesn't deserve a Grammy. He's an incredible producer and a good friend of mine. It's weird, we saw each other at a dinner at Nobu and I congratulated him on his Grammy nomination. He congratulated me on mine, I guess he assumed I was nominated too."

Are you going to change up your style to be nominated next year, or will it be business as usual?

"I always change up my production style to do something fresh and new. But I don't feel I left a thing untouched within music. I've been an innovator and leader in the game by making Number One hits. I don't think that would be the smartest thing to do _ especially to win an award I don't have much respect for right now."

Any last words?

"Yeah, ---- the Grammys. If I don't ever win a Grammy, I'll be a happy 'never won a Grammy' guy. I know we set the tone. We set trends."

-- The Associated Press


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