When you’re a superstar producer and you need a hit, it helps when you already have one to sample for it. As Will.I.Am tells Just Blaze and Katty Customs on the latest episode of Fresh Pair, inspiration can strike at any time — and have some unlikely origins. In this case, the hit he needed to produce was for Usher after being asked by RCA Records President Mark Pitts for “an international smash” with little other guidance.
At the time, Will was on tour with his band Black Eyed Peas promoting their 2009 album The E.N.D. and its No. 1 hit single “I Gotta Feeling,” which was a worldwide hit. According to the hitmaking producer, the group had just done a French TV show and after performing “I Gotta Feeling,” the crowd began a now-familiar chant. After getting the show’s host to email him the recording of the episode, he pulled the crowd’s cheering, turning into the foundation for Usher’s “OMG.”
It’s a good thing he did, at least for Just Blaze, who said the song has “saved my ass many times in a DJ set.” “OMG” did become the international smash Pitts wanted, topping charts in Australia, Ireland, The UK, and New Zealand, as well as the US, and selling 7 million copies worldwide in 2010 alone. Mission accomplished!
Watch the preview clip of this week’s Fresh Pair above, and stay tuned for the full episode tomorrow.