Producing H.E.R. ‘Hard Place’ with Rodney Jerkins
‘Darkchild’, the urban music producer extraordinaire garnered two Grammy nominations for the featured record of this series — ‘Hard Place’ by H.E.R. Join Rodney at his Calabasas home studio for a walkthrough of how the soulful and gritty record was created.
He recounts the origins of the song and how the artist wanted a dirtier aesthetic to her acoustic guitar-based piece. Jerkins reveals how he infused hip-hop and soul elements by sampling beats from vinyl, adding crackle, 909 kick, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, and more. He shares his approach on how to enhance a song’s storytelling, elaborates on structure and arrangement, and examines the vocal parts. Furthermore, he explains how his production style has evolved and refers to his communication with the artist and mixer.