NBA Player Wrote A Song For Justin Bieber
Wow! Javale McGee, an NBA champion wrote a song for Justin Bieber. He studied YouTube videos and released a full album.
Something interesting took place in show business: Justin Bieber returned after a long pause with the “Changes” album. New York Lakers Javale McGee, an NBA champion in the Golden State and former star of Shaqtin Fool show, took part in a high-profile comeback.
“Changes” has the song Available. McGee wrote and produced it (in iTunes at 7th most popular album out of 17 tracks).
Why Is That Cool?
McGee is an NBA player, not a professional producer. And I can’t imagine Justin Bieber playing basketball. Bieber is one of the main pop stars of the world in the top music industry, “Changes” songs are at the top of the charts.
The new album is also more valuable, the last one Bieber released in 2015. A lot has happened in Justin’s life for several years: Justin Bieber took a break from concerts, released a minimum of material (the single Friends plus collaborations with other artists), struggled with depression, got married and grew a mustache, but in February got rid of them on Instagram.
This is an important experience for McGee, he has been making music for 12 years and even released a full-fledged album under the pseudonym, Pierre.
How Did It Happen?
McGee did not know that was creating music for Bieber. Let’s start with the background: the key meeting for McGee took place in 2013 when he arrived in Los Angeles during the offseason (then he played for Denver) and he met with producer Jason Boyd, known as Poo Bear. Working with Bieber, he participated in the production of tracks Where Are Ü Now, What Do You Mean? and remix for Despacito.
Thanks to Poo Bear, Bieber’s album has a McGee track.
“I began to develop as a producer in 2008, but did not understand the intricacies of building relationships and producing music,” explained McGee. “I thought this: you just make beats and give them to the artists. But no, I realized that this is more about relationships, not about making a million bits and hoping that someone will take them.”
Let’s make it clear right away: rappers call bits a piece of music that lacks only the vocal track. You can call it a minus.
The story with the track for Bieber began in November last year when Jawale hung in the studio with Poo Bear. “I did not know for whom I was making music. I played several songs and samples. He stopped at one of my samples, looped it, downloaded it to a computer, and we just started writing. In the end, we did the whole song, but there were no drums or anything else,” recalled McGee.
What was next is unclear; Jawale did not specify whether he participated in studio sessions or whether he saw Bieber. Announcing the album, he wrote that he produced Available. This is already serious. The work of the beatmaker ends at the stage of production, he does not go into further processes. And the producer works on the song itself together with the performers and authors ‒ he thinks out not only the beat but the sound of the song as a whole (he can edit the text, suggest how to sing better). He controls the whole process: from creating a bit to release.
In February, Justin Bieber and Poo Bear dialed New York Lakers’ player, the men talked about their homes, which were robbed (in September, two safe deposit boxes with cash and a championship ring were taken from Jawale). “Oh yes, you’re on the album,” said Boyd suddenly. The basketball player at first did not understand what it was about, but then he got it. “This was great. Justin Bieber is one of the best artists, if not the best. Therefore, it is amazing to create something for such an artist. Also, I’m a basketball player,” admits Jawale.
Jawale and Music
He released an album, studied on YouTube, uses Logic Pro, has his own studio and label.
McGee began producing at school. He downloaded the free trial version of FruityLoops (now called FL Studio), a simple music creation program, onto his computer. At the Nevada University, Jawale did not leave a hobby, and with the help of music, he fought boredom, hanging out in a dormitory in Reno. Two years later, in 2008, he was drafted by Washington, bought a MacBook, and downloaded the Logic Pro application, a much more serious program than FruityLoops.
“I’m self-taught. Learned to use Logic on YouTube. I learned how to sample music using the YouTube lessons of Just Blaze. It looks like it was 2009,” recalls McGee.
Having mastered Logic, Jawale began publishing beats (in the style of hip-hop, rap, R&B, and techno) on SoundCloud.com under the pseudonym Pierre. The basketball player did not want to be recognized, for several years he was making tracks in secret mode, many friends and teammates didn’t know about his hobby.
The way out of the shadow took place around 2016 when Jawale moved to the Golden State ‒ the next year he released three singles. The most productive period is 2018: four singles and a full album of 16 songs called Pierre. All tracks were co-authored with other artists, there is an important reason for this ‒ McGee does not sing in his compositions and does not write lyrics, he makes music and produces.
McGee has a label ‒ Pierre Music Group (the album was recorded just under it). There are not so many artists, in the composition of Jawale and rapper Rome Castille. But the label has no restrictions in the direction, performers of different genres are welcome. In this regard, the inspiration of McGee is rapper Akon, pop singer Lady Gaga, who was once signed to his label Konvict Muzik.
“There is a feeling that people don’t know that I make music. Or they think that I just financed a project or something like that. It seems to me that people don’t understand that I create about 90 percent of all my music, except for the songs that I write with other people. I go to the studio with the performers and all that. As soon as people understand this, they will be pleasantly surprised,” said McGee.
Klay Thompson, an ex-partner at Golden State, liked the tracks of a colleague: “It feels like he always works on music. He let me hear a couple of his songs. I won’t lie if I say that he is very good.”
Moving to the Lakers, Jawale set up a studio in Inglewood. Everything is simple: two monitors, a mini synthesizer and a laptop. The music does not interfere with basketball, McGee has enough free time, a standard day looks something like this: rise at 9 a.m., at 10:10 a.m. to workout, breakfast, workout, procedures, shower, at about 15:00 he is already at home.
“I have nothing to do after returning from training. When there is no activities to do, I am very bored due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I have an office, which I turned into a small studio, and I work there. I go there for a couple of hours and just make beats, some other things related to music. From 18:00 to 19:00 I can play Call of Duty. I mean, I have a lot of free time, but it should be so if you are an athlete,” explained McGee in December 2018.
Jawale absorbs various genres, including electronic music (like Diplo and Calvin Harris) and even country music. Regarding rap, being close to the Atlanta school, he has contacts there, and sometimes he hangs in the studios of this city with other rappers, for example, Big K.R.I.T.
In the summer of 2018, in Atlanta, McGee made the track Ain’t Talkin ’Bout Nothin’.
“I love listening to Drake, Future, Young Thug, Migos, Lil Baby and Lil Yachty. Yes, there is a tendency towards rappers from Atlanta, because I really like the way they write music ‒ not necessarily for dancing, but their tracks make you shake your head. It is more about my atmosphere. Plus R&B, but my niche is to make more music like Atlanta’s trap,” admitted Jawale.
Another question is why Jawale does not rap in his tracks. Basketball player named at least two reasons. He voiced the first one in 2018: he said that since he made basketball, he did not want the texts or any other details reflected in his profession and contracts.
In this year’s interview, McGee said he could have rap, but it took too much time because of the recording in the studio: “All the work that I need to do as a producer is on my computer. To do this, I do not need to go to the studio.” Being a producer, studio work, although not so frequent, cannot be avoided, so Jawale prefers to come to the studio early because there you can hang out for a long time.
Play NBA and write fucking music! What else do you need to be popular?