The greatest musicians know that it takes a solid team to create long-lasting success in the industry. Whether you’re starting from the bottom or Drake himself, we all need wholesome people to work with along the way.
It’s a sentiment shared by Rogét Chahayed — the mastermind behind the saucy horns and chords on Drake’s Billboard chart-topper “Laugh Now, Cry Later.” He’s a 4x Grammy Award-nominated producer and songwriter who worked with names like Nas, Miguel, Kehlani, and of course, Travis Scott (for whom he produced the unforgettable “Sicko Mode”).
Chahayed states that the most crucial thing in the music industry is the connections you make; though his humble spirit and positive energy have now made him the person with whom everyone wants to connect.
That is why he started his own publishing company called TruSauce.
“I’m at a point in my career where I get asked to do a lot of sessions and work with new artists, so having my own publishing company means I am able to put people that I trust to work with the artists I love,” he explains.
He adds, “I think it’s very important to connect with other people and give artists something fresh. The best way to do that is having a diverse team of producers and writers who all bring something different to the table.”
Alongside his manager, Greg Katz, and with the support of Kobalt, TruSauce was born with the goal of helping dope underground artists get the sessions they need to further their careers. With such an honourable mission comes great expectations — and his team isn’t only about finding the best talent, but also finding the best whole package.
“It’s more about the attitude and the vibe,” he says. “I’d rather sign someone who has no cuts coming their way, but they’ve got a good head on their shoulders and serious chops in the studio.
“Some of the important things I look for in a potential artist or writer is confidence, willingness to collaborate with others, good work ethic and positive energy. I want them to know the importance of collaboration and sustaining good relationships. That’s the biggest thing for me.”
It’s not just about the money with the TruSauce squad. They are building a buzz with an exciting stable of new artists. Recently he signed innovative singer, songwriter, AND producer Chong the Nomad, who was initially discovered by his manager Greg Katz.
“She makes incredible music that sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard, and I do firmly believe the world needs more female producers,” he says of Chong. “There are a lot out there who deserve more shine and recognition for their incredible work.”
He was so impressed by her song “Ghosts in the Shower” that after 10 seconds of listening to it, he knew he wanted to work with her. I can’t blame him; her style is super smooth. One of my favorites is her song “Take Two” — it’s like R&B and Funk had a baby. Her talent is undeniable, and according to Chahayed, she’s exactly what they are looking for at TruSauce.
They aren’t just building a team; they are growing a family.
Rogét has roots stemming from Damascus and Buenos Aires. Growing up, he was introduced to many different cultures and shaped by genres like Arabic, Tango, Classical, and Jazz. He was heavily influenced by composers like David Axelrod, Astor Piazzolla, Maurice Ravel, John Williams, and Ennio Morricone.
Graduating with a degree in Piano Performance and took classes in orchestration and 20th-century harmony, he went on to work at Record One under the legendary Dr. Dre and Mel-Man (who are some of his biggest influences) — a position previously held by Scott Storch.
Humorously, he recalls slightly disappointing Mel-Man (whose credits include songs like Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” and Dre’s “Still D.R.E”) on a track they were working on back in 2013.
“Luckily, I redeemed myself, but I made sure when I went home that night, I listened to many records driven by crazy bass lines and tried to really listen for the pocket,” he says. “After that night, I feel like I really understood how to rate more bass into my beats, and I never had a bad comment after that.”
Chahayed’s hunger for authenticity and well-roundedness is the special sauce of his brand.
“I try to emphasize the importance of being reliable, having good communication skills, and being open to new musical ideas,” he explains. “My goal is and always was to bring back the organic feeling into Pop and Hip-Hop music. I never really chop samples or use Splice loops, and I think that’s what makes me different, and it’s something you can hear and feel in the music.”
The vision for his career is exactly what I think the industry needs. We need real, bona fide people making natural, potent sounds. Music is so important in its influence on us, especially with everything going on in the world. Right now, we need music that manifests positivity, and it starts with the artists, producers, songwriters, scouts, and everyone else involved in the creation of a song.
“I just want the industry to know that musicians possess greater power than they think.”Rogét Chahayed
I believe music is the most natural medicine we can find, and it takes the right people and connections to create a truly healing experience. Rogét Chahayed and TruSauce are a dynamic team that I’m personally so excited to watch as we head into 2021.
And if you’re wondering, there is already a lot to expect! Besides unmentionable projects in the works, he is hype about the New Zealand band DRAX Project.
“They’re all incredible musicians and writers who have a unique blend of Jazz, Hip Hop, R&B, and Pop all rolled into one big sound,” he notes. He executively produced their next undertaking, so be on the lookout for that. He is also working with Big Sean, Kehlani, MAX, Olivia O’Brien, Kali Uchis, Hit-Boy, DRAM, Joji, and more.
Also — keeping the family strong —he is producing for his sisters, Juliana and Andrea.
When asked who he would like to work with in the future, he responded with a list. “I’d love to get in with Kanye, Pharrell, Lil Uzi Vert, Da Baby, Tame Impala, Radiohead, Tyler the Creator, Brian Wilson, Erykah Badu, and Frank Ocean. Those are just some examples of my wish list, but I think it will happen.”
I think it will happen, too!