Exclusive Interview with Drake Producer Noah “40” Shebib—Part One

By in Music Creation, Pro Mixing

I visited producer Noah “40” Shebib at his Toronto studio and spent a few hours talking about how he and Drake forged one of the most successful partnerships in the history of rap. In my exclusive interview with 40, we discuss everything from how he wrote his first song to how he parlayed his gig as Drake’s engineer to become one of the hottest producers in the world. We’ll be hearing from the man in his own words in a special podcast this week that we recorded for this article.

Noah “40” Shebib at his System 5 console in Toronto

Lush, atmospheric sounds and minimalist beats aren’t terms typically used to describe production in a rap song. But they are indicative of Shebib’s individual creative style. This bold approach is why he and Drake have been able to carve out their own sound, challenging people’s preconceptions about the genre. Defying expectations has paid off—the first record he and Drake ever made together connected with a worldwide audience before they even had a record deal. Since that time, the three albums they’ve made together—Thank Me Later (2010), Take Care (2011) and Nothing Was the Same (2013), all debuted at #1 on the charts.

Still smiling and happy after 40 days and 40 nights working on tracks

Take a listen to Part One of our exclusive interview with Noah “40” Shebib.

Next week, we’ll be posting part two of our interview when 40 talks about everything from recording with Jay Z to giving an in-depth look at how he uses Pro Tools and other Avid recording tools in his production process.

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