Mike Dean Talks Experience Working on Kanye West's 'Donda'

Legendary producer Mike Dean has opened up to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 about what it was like to be part of creating Kanye West's latest album 'Donda.'

It’s now been over a week since Kanye West unleashed his massive 10th studio album, Donda

And while little is known about what took place in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, outside of those enormous listening parties, legendary producer Mike Dean has opened up to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 about what it was like to be part of it. 

“It was interesting,” Dean shares. “It was grueling, lots of hours, lots of changes. Yeah. Came out great though. For this album, it was… I mean, Kanye had three listening parties. So each listening party was like a test kind of. And after each one, I think he wanted… I can’t talk too much about his process. He took all the information he got from everyone, including online reviews, personal friends’ reviews, and [he’d] just kind of digest it all and adjust the album the way he wants.”

Dean continued, revealing where he was during the listening events for the 27-song effort, which just placed 23 tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 today

“I definitely looked at how the crowd moved to different songs,” Dean revealed. “Because I was up in the top of the stadium, DJ-ing the whole thing. I was up in a little circle… No. No, I was just up on a house, maybe four layers up, next to the top layer, running the songs off my computer.”

Dean also opened up to Lowe about his most recent effort, ECHOPLEX (Live 2021), which brought his synths to the popular venue in Los Angeles, and now online for a proper visual-album experience. 

“It was nice playing a small venue because I could look right in people’s face and see what they were thinking, what they were reacting to,” Dean says. “I think most of the people were on hallucinogenics, probably. As was I. I took a couple of little squares of chocolates. Me and a couple of the people doing production with me, we were all kind of tripping together. It was fun.”

Donda debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 on Sunday, locking in a year-best of 309,000 equivalent album units.

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