Trackmasters Tell All: The Stories Behind Their Classic Records (Part 2)

R. Kelly "Fiesta" (2001)

Album: TP-2.com
Label: Jive

Tone: “When we did ‘Fiesta,’ we actually we had split our duties. I would fly down to Chicago work with R. Kelly.”

Poke:“Meanwhile, I was handling Will Smith. It got to the point where it was so much work. The way that we produce, our best efforts are when we make complete albums. It was so many albums back to back, plus we were handling everything at Columbia, so we had to be at the office, be at the studio, and make sure that all these other side projects are getting done.

 

We used to have every studio in the city locked down. On a night, we would have six major studios locked down. - Tone

 

“We couldn’t be in the same place at the same time all the time so we would be like, ‘Okay, Tone, get on a plane and go handle R. Kelly because that’s a big deal. And we gotta make sure that Will is taken care of so I’ll go handle that. Oh, Nas is in the studio?’ We used to have 10 sessions running at the same time and we were running back and forth in the city.”

Tone: “We used to have every studio in the city locked down. On a night, we would have six major studios locked down.”

Poke: “Not only all the studios, but all the engineers.”

Tone: “Hit Factory would be locked, Sony would be locked, Right Track would be locked. Those three would definitely be locked, and the rooms inside.

“For ‘Fiesta,’ we went down to Chicago. When the track came on, R. Kelly’s first thing was like, ‘Ohh it’s a party.’ He just started saying the word fiesta, it was the first thing that came to his mind. So he said, it was just like a party. We sat, we wrote the record that night, he vocaled it, but ‘Fiesta’ didn’t take a life of its own till the remix. The remix is a whole another story.”

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