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A Conversation with Scott Storch: the five keys to success we took away
Cadence Weapon & Scott Storch (Photo: Bruno Destombes)

Articles & Reviews

A Conversation with Scott Storch: the five keys to success we took away

Success leaves clues. If you follow the steps of those who have achieved the things you desire, you’ll find a trail of clues that show you how they made it to every key milestone of their career. You’ll also find traces of failure. And, failure also leaves clues – lessons learned and red flags planted signalling what not to do and who to avoid.

Last week, legendary producer Scott Storch shared his journey with a packed theatre in at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio during Red Bull Music Festival’s A Conversation with Scott Storch event.

“Be a pioneer. Listen to what’s in the market and make it your own. Stay strong and don’t give up.” – Scott Storch

The conversation, moderated by Rollie Pemberton (aka Toronto-via-Edmonton rapper Cadence Weapon), gave the audience a “behind-the-scenes look” at how some of Storch’s biggest pieces of work came to fruition. Through candid stories, the audience learned of how he got connected with The Roots, how he was introduced to Dr. Dre, and the hours he spent with Beyoncé in the studio creating.

Though the walk down memory lane with Storch was enjoyable (and was told against a pretty dope soundtrack), what stuck out for me were the gems of advice he was dropping to the crowd about how he achieved success.

Whether your goal is to become a legendary producer like Scott, or you’re an up-and-coming artist, an aspiring director, or established in your career it never hurts to heed advice from someone who has accomplished some pretty impressive things.

You can find our five main takeaways below. In other Red Bull Music coverage, don’t miss our review of the Toronto hip-hop showcase they ran to close out their festival. It featured Lil Berete, The Sorority, Ebhoni, and more.

A Conversation with Scott Storch: the five keys to success we took away

Scott Storch (Photo: Bruno Destombes)


Scott Storch: 5 Keys to Success

1 – Don’t let anyone decide what YOU can or cannot do

Storch has unlocked the key to creating massive hits through his mastery of the piano, but his illustrious career may not have unfolded if he listened to his piano teacher back when he was a kid. His teacher deemed Storch unteachable – “I didn’t take to piano lessons, but I took to piano,” Storch said during the event. Yeah, damn right he did.

2 – Remember, legends don’t have an expiration date

When Storch made the decision to move on from working with The Roots to teaming up with Dr. Dre, he was told that he was working with the rapper ten years too late. Storch ignored the naysayers and they went on to create “Still D.R.E.” – guess his timing was actually on-time af.

“…she casually said, ‘I want to take you to meet Dre.’ The rest, as they say, is history.” – Scott Storch

3 – Faith over fear

During the event, Storch shared a story about being low on money and stressed out about his financial situation – “I was stressing out about a phone bill or something one day and someone pulled up [beside me] in their car playing [one of my songs] and I was like, it’s going to be ok.”

A Conversation with Scott Storch: the five keys to success we took away

Scott Storch (Photo: Bruno Destombes)

4 – Building good relationships are (major) key

You never know where people will take their careers and who will become what down the road. Building authentic relationships can help open doors and secure opportunities when you least expect them. Storch shared a story about his relationship with Eve and how it lead to one of his biggest collaborations. He had worked with the female rapper before she blew up with the Ruff Ryders and after reconnecting with her she casually said, “I want to take you to meet Dre.” The rest, as they say, is history.

5 – Be a pioneer

“Innovators, pioneers, that’s the way artists of today should be,” Storch said. “Be a pioneer. Listen to what’s in the market and make it your own. Stay strong and don’t give up.”

You can follow @RedBullMusic and @ScottStorchOfficial on Instagram.


Written by Maricel Joy Dicion for HipHopCanada

Maricel is the Managing Editor at HipHopCanada and the host of HipHopCanada's "The Narrative Of..." and "Unplugged" series. She focuses on sharing timely feature stories and thought-leadership content – the kind of stories that make you think, change and challenge perceptions, and provide valuable industry and culture-related information. Maricel covers select artist interviews, select music/video releases, events, as well as industry and culture trends and news. maricel@hiphopcanada [dot] com | @mariceldicion

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