Key Wane Tells All: The Stories Behind His Biggest Hits

Big Sean "Higher" (2012)

Album: Detroit
Label: G.O.O.D. Music, Def Jam

“‘Higher’ was dope. ‘Higher’ was cool man. I actually wanted to use ‘Higher’ for myself. This was right before the mixtape came out, I went to LA for like a month. This was this past August. August 7th to like the 20-something. Something like that. On my way there on the airport, I was just going through songs in my iTunes. I came across this John Legend song. It was the intro to his first album, called ‘Prelude.’ I thought it would sound so sweet if chopped up right. I chopped it up and put some drums on it. I did all of that in the airport, and in the airplane I was just thinking of hooks. I was like, ‘Man, I ain’t going to use this.’ I went to the studio that night and let Sean hear it. He was like, ‘Dude, this shit cold. This shit about to be my intro for <em>Detroit</em>. Damn, thanks Key Wane, you came in the clutch.’

“Days passed, and we wanted to beef it up, so we got some live instruments on it. Some bass, Kevin on the strings, just all a collective process. We just turnt up. The response was crazy. I knew people was going to fuck with it, but I didn’t know people was going to fuck with it like that. It’s just an idea I had on the airplane and then beefed it up. Just involved ideas of others and turned it into something great man.”

“I don't really [use live instruments that often], but lately I’ve been trying to get more into utilizing those instruments. Not just those computer, supremely those type of computer-based instruments. Get that live feel. You write it out, I write it out, you play it out, you hear it, you play it back. Like that. I like live stuff, and I’ve been a fan of live classical stuff since I was a kid. Just get guitars to do stuff. Acquire those sounds that I can’t get. Just all of that. It’s just great. Just to really like see my music that I produce is living out a dream.”

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