Super Producer Scott “Robot Scott” Carter is one of music’s hardest working producers. From composing original music, to developing new artists and being the co-founder of the production group Triangle Park, he continues to leaving a last impact on the music business. Having worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Kehlani, Teyana Taylor and Bebe Rexha to name a few, Robot Scott is ready to take his musical gifts to new heights in the new year.
I had the pleasure of catching up with the hitmaker for an interview as he candidly discussed breaking into the industry, passion for creating music, and making hits for some of music’s biggest R&B and Pop acts. Checkout it out below.
Robot Scott Interview
Respect: When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music and how did you get your start?
Scott: I realized I wanted to do music production around 16 but music I started around the age of 4 as a result of growing up in a musical family. Like my parents were not into music completely, like they did not do it constantly but my dad played the piano and flute and my mom played the piano. My dad was a lawyer so it wasn’t like he was a full time pianist. However, we did have a baby grand piano in the middle of our living room so as a kid I would hear my father practicing Autumn Leaves or another song, and would go sit by him. I used to think they were coming from him directly but obviously he was reading music. I would tinker on the piano and started making up my own songs that I called “Fallen Leaves”.
Once my mom heard me making my own songs, she decided it was time for me to take piano lessons. I took lessons from elementary school to junior high and would go every Wednesday after school. That was my first dive into music. My music dream came later of composing which I still do, but I wanted to compose like scores. I was really into the composition of Star Wars at the time, so me and my brothers got the record of the score and the official audio from the movie and we would play it over and over again as if we were watching the movie through music. That is what inspired me to want to start composing.
While I was taking piano lessons in elementary school, I started doing orchestra which is violin. My orchestra teacher in high school told me if I wanted to score he had these computers that can be used to create sheet music. After school I would watch him create since the school couldn’t afford to buy the original it back then and he would print it off from an apple computer and show me how to do the same. That is when I became intrigued to want to compose. The Christmas of my freshman year, I received a Casio keyboard and at the same time best friend Brandon Jackson said he had a friend who had a beat maker machine. He thought it would be a good idea to start a rap group so we did.
That is when I made the transition from classical scoring to hip hop production. I remember the first time Rio (riotheyneedahit) said he saw me. He always tells me “when i first saw you scott i saw you playing some classical pieces on the piano in the auditorium. They opened up those curtains and there you were playing classical piano.” I got more into production and Hip Hop during my Sophomore year but was well known for classical music.
Respect: When did you catch your big break?
Scott: I got my first placement with my mentor Chris Henderson on a record for a Def Jam artist at the time named Kandice Love. I was actually in college at the time studying graphic design at Hampton University. I met my now line brother named Bryan Hawkins in my dorm in which I was carrying around my $2500 ASR 10 keyboard my dad bought me during my senior year of high school. So when I bought my keyboard to my dorm, people that rapped were around and Brian heard some of my beats which resulted in him telling his cousin who is my now mentor Grammy Award Winning producer Chris Henderson( Jamie Fox, T-Pain).
So basically, Chris and Delante Murphy (Trey Songz, K. Michelle) had this production company called Hung Low at Hampton and they would put on events as well as production for Teddy Riley’s artists at the time. That is how I kind of got with Chris through Bryan Hawkins and got my first placement with Def Jam, as I co-produced the Kandice Love song I mentioned earlier. I consider that to be my first break because it is when I realized I could make money off of this and live off of this. Some of the people that were in the collective Hung Low include DJ Envy, and Kris Haskins. Kris actually did the song “Wanksta” by 50 Cent. At Hampton we had a really good group of talented guys who are now today successful.
Respect: What was the inspiration behind Triangle Park and who all is apart of it?
Scott: The idea started from when I was in Philadelphia working with another production company I had created at the time. I started developing a girl group (@wearegoodgirl) with a company called Walk The Sky with my good friend Dyshon Pen, Bizkit N Butta (John Legend). We were trying to create an original sound for the girls and process how that would work so Shon ended up introducing me to my now partner Ali, who is also a producer/music director.
Since we were going in a different direction than the original production company, me and my brother William A. Carter Esq decided that we should start something new and truthful. Being that truthfulness is something that was embedded in me as a child and something I promote everyday it just made sense.
I grew up in front of a Triangle Park, so the name “Triangle Park” comes from the Park I grew up in front of that inspired me to do music. That is a truth that is constantly with me. Once I understood my thought process I realized the truth. Growing up in front of this park it what inspired me when I used to compose so we named my production group after it. It made since because that is the truth going through. It was the perfect move to make and get behind good girl.
Ali’s upbringing was in the church and I was classical so that kind of pairing of r&b, urgent hip hop, gospel and classical brings a sound to Good Girl that people can attach to. I knew it would also catch the ear of the production company that we were trying to get them to (Starr Island) who eventually got the girls their deal at RCA, which they are still currently signed to. Starr Island is now our management production company and we knew that the type of sound and the type of development is what was needed to capture their attention for the girls. We just finished working on half of their album with the production company.
Respect: As K. Michelle recently released her fifth studio album All Monsters Are Human, talk a little bit about what it was like being apart of her creative process and building a working relationship with one of R&B’s most known voices?
Scott: K is very passionate! She is one of the most passionate people I know from her story and the way she shares it through music. When she gets into the studio it is very much emoting like she wants to make sure that the records fit her as she is a very in depth song writer. I like the fact that she puts that much attention on her story and how it is told for her listeners to understand while remaining truthful to herself. She is very open about who she is and how she perceives things. She gets in there and pours her heart out.
I think that is what soul and Rhythm & Blues really is about. Soul music is truth to the soul and it is a reflection of a period of time that others have gone through. Simply showing that I have gone through some of the same stuff the next person is going through. The duty of an artist is to literally unveil themself in the truest form to the world, so that people can understand what that artist has gone through and know that they too can get through whatever hardship they are facing. Essentially being the soundtrack to people’s lives is their responsibility. I love K’s style to say the least as she is a TRUE R&B singer.
Respect: How would you best describe your sound as a producer as you have a very distinct sound?
Scott: I believe that our sound is urgent R&B Pop. The urgency comes from the Hip-Hop feel which can be heard on Ty Dolla $ign’s forthcoming album. It is an urgent R&B Pop sound because it gives you the feel of R&B which is like the base of what that would be. That is where the soul comes in. The drums are the urgency of hip hop and the writing behind it has a pop appeal. We try to get all of that together in one which is how our sound came to life. Urgent R&B Pop is definitely the best way to describe our sound.
Respect: What advice would you give an aspiring artist looking to break into the mainstream circuit?
Scott: First of all, if you have not started yet, drop everything and start now. Get yourself around people who are doing it at a higher level than you are. Get yourself in the room with people who are doing it at a higher level than you are even a mentor so you can see it in order to achieve it. As human beings we can map to other people so if you surround yourself with greatness you are going to be great no matter what. You automatically become a sponge to the greatness surrounding you.
I would also say trust the process and simply do not give up. When you get into that position where you have people around you that are at that high level, it seems as though you are not moving as fast as them. But in reality it probably is just not your time. Just stay there and stay in that uncomfortable state. Human beings, being thrown into an uncomfortable state will always figure it out and conquer because god is with us and god would not put us in a position to where we are not able to overcome. You’ll be in that spot but the timing is key.
You have to make sure you are disciplined enough to stay in that uncomfortable state. The fear that you may not be adequate enough occurs but if you are in front of someone showing you that they are that good, you will be able to learn how to get to the space that they are in. It just all takes time. Trusting the process is really important and understanding that you are in a process.
Respect: What are you most excited about in the new year?
Scott: I am excited about our girls Good Girls as well as my guy Anthony Clemons (@antclemons) who is like a little brother to me and someone I do a lot of music with. We found out at the same time that our record made it onto Kanye’s Ye album. I love his story which is a testimony completely. He is walking in his truth and I am very proud of him.
I am proud and also excited for the records I have on Noah Cyrus’ upcoming album. There are a bunch of songwriters such as Jozzy (@dopebyaccident) She is with Columbia Records. I cannot forget Ty Dolla $ign as I am definitely excited to see how the records we did for him roll out.
One more thing. I am looking to get an artist that we are developing signed to a major label. Me and my camp are developing artists now so I am currently working on developing the next act. It is important to me to be able to develop an artist who has that urgent R&B Pop sound that we can get behind who understands our process.
To stay up to date on the next hit Robot Scott might be cooking up, be sure to follow him on social media @irobotscott .
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