There’s been a murder! Pop music’s top songwriter details his diabolical M.O. for killing radio.

By Damien Scott; Photography by Matt Salacuse;
MORE CREDITS: (STYLIST) DIGIT; (CLOTHING) HAT BY NEW ERA; SUNGLASSES BY LOUIS VUITTON; VINTAGE JACKET BY MCM; JEANS BY NOM DE GUERRE; SNEAKERS BY AIR JORDAN; (PHOTOS) WOLF: EVERETT COLLECTION; REMAINDER: AP PHOTO
Terius “The-Dream” Nash doesn’t scream “Radio Killa!” just to promote his newly minted Def Jam imprint. He yells it out because he believes he knows exactly what it takes to craft the songs that radio stations (and your brain) play ad infinitum, those songs you can’t help but hum to yourself. And now that the Atlanta native has penned those hits for everyone from superstars like Rihanna (“Umbrella”) and Beyoncé (“Single Ladies”) to rookies like J. Holiday (“Bed”), he’s ready to take it one step further by making himself—along with his label’s artists, girl group Electrik Red and Christina Milian—go pop. Can he do it? Why not? He’s the Radio Killa!
Aside from writing your own hits, you’re mostly known for your work with female pop stars. Where does your ability to understand the female sensibility come from?
The-Dream:
What’s the most important part of your songwriting process?
The-Dream:
Really?
The-Dream:
With the Radio Killa imprint, you’re not only responsible for writing hits for artists, you’ve got to make sure they actually have a career, too.
The-Dream:
The-Dream
What makes a record a hit record?
The-Dream:
Do you sell those hit songs to anyone who’s willing to pay?
The-Dream:
But what about somebody like J. Holiday?
The-Dream:
With your latest album, Love vs Money, you’ve lost a couple of pounds and you’re putting yourself out there more. You trying to be a pop star?
The-Dream:Laughs