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Making Hits Left And Right: A Cool Convo with Writer And Producer A1 Bentley

Making Hits Left And Right: A Cool Convo with Writer And Producer A1 Bentley

The producer and artist who’s probably behind your favorite song on the radio, now.

Kansas City is known for its barbeque and the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL. But, Kansas City is also responsible for hitmaker A1 Bentley, music producer, and VH1’s Love and Hip-Hop Hollywood cast member. 

A1 moved from Kansas to Los Angeles to pursue his career in music, which has put him in the position he’s in now as one the top writers and record producers in the music industry.  “I kind of told myself when I was younger, that I would move to LA,” said A1. He revealed that the move to the west coast came shortly after a relative’s R&B group broke-up. His cousin suggested that A1 move to Los Angeles if he was serious about music. The man behind 30 singles on the Billboard Charts, took time out of his schedule to speak with me about music, Love & Hip-Hop, and the release of his EP.

So, where did the Kansas City native and LA resident get a name like A1? Growing up he was known to be nice on the basketball court. “I was known to do a lot of And 1 scores, and people began to call me A1. And, it just stuck with me.”

What’s an And 1? When a basketball player gets fouled, and still manages to score.

Sources have referenced him as A1 or A1 Bentley, but the producer prefers just to be called A1.

With every song that A1 has been a part of, it seems to become a certified hit. He has worked with Gucci Mane, Justin Skye, Ty Dolla $ign, Omarion, Sevyn Streeter and French Montana. How are these billboard charted songs created? Because A1 doesn’t have a list of artists, he wishes to work. He seems to be open to whoever may want to create great music.  A1 reads off people vibes and, if the vibe is right, you’re guaranteed to have a hit. But, like record producing characters in films with dim lights and candles lit, I wondered if the hit-maker is guilty of doing the same. Maybe no candles but, he does like for colorful lighting to be dim and not have a lot of people in the studio while he creates. For the single ‘Party,’ that magic was created a little differently! “I got a text from Chris Brown at 4 in the morning that said I need a club record and if you nail it that’s my next single. I stopped what I was doing and, 20 minutes later I sent the sample to him and, he texted me back and said that’s the first single.”  And, just like that the single topped the Billboard charts and now is certified platinum.

When he’s not in the studio, A1 is filming for reality TV series Love and Hip-Hop Hollywood. My observation of A1 is that he’s laid back, with positive energy and a hard worker who loves his wife, singer and songwriter Lyrica Anderson. Because his personality doesn’t match the show’s high energy and memorable turn-up moments, it doesn’t seem to affect or change who Floyd ‘A1’ Bentley is. “I actually enjoy watching the show, it’s hilarious to me,” said A1. And, now that the public has a glimpse of who he is, I asked the producer if it is difficult to maintain the normal status of his marriage. A1 doesn’t find it difficult at all. He stated how both him and Lyrica can be a little competitive when writing music, to determine whose was better. Can you say relationship goals!

“I moved to LA to be an artist, I put that to the side to focus on producing and writing to get my foot in the door.”

Now, A1 has the chance to become that artist he set out to be. With the anticipated release of his EP available January, he has already released singles ‘TUH’ featuring OT Genesis and ‘Always’ featuring Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $ign. The EP will also feature PARTYNEXTDOOR. Like many producers, A1 has stepped from behind the engineering table to the mic. He has had a chance to scratch that itch and has no plans of turning back.  “I got it started now, so I’m going all the way,” A1 explained. He has teamed up with his partner to start the RightNowSound, which is a production company that consists of new up incoming artist, writers, and producers. Speaking of the right now sound, every producer has a sound that automatically lets listeners know who produced the track. For example, producers like Timbaland signature beats, DJ Khaled’s ‘We the Best’ introduction or Swizz Beatz ‘Showtime’ statement. The hitmaker and his team signature tagline ‘RightNowSound’ or ‘Hitmaka’ can be heard at the beginning of songs. And, that tagline can be heard on 19 tracks off Chris Brown’s album ‘Heartbreak on a Full Moon’ released October with 45 songs, which went gold in 3 days!

Being from a small place like Kansas, you may think the odds are against you if you’re an aspiring producer, artist, actress or songwriter. For A1 he made the impossible possible and encourages you to do the same. “Go for it and don’t give up. Get out your city, go somewhere else to make it happen and when it pops your city will stand behind you.”

Making hit after hit is a talent that many don’t possess, or create in 20 minutes. But, for A1 it’s who he is and what he’s excellent at, it seems he doesn’t miss a beat!


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