When Rihanna’s latest single “Only Girl (In the World)” debuted at #1 on the top of the U.S.A. Digital Song chart, it marked the latest career plateau for French producer/songwriter Sandy Vee’s meteoric rise to the top of the pop charts. The song has gone on to hit #1 all over the world, topping charts in the U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Australia, Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Norway.
Sandy’s blend of melodic pop chops, studio expertise and underground aesthetics has culminated in a fresh new sound that brings an underground mentality to the world of worldwide smash hits. He is exceptional amongst hit producers as he does the final mixes to almost all work himself. Over just the past six months, Sandy Vee has become an increasingly regular presence on the global charts with hot new releases from a dizzying array of Top 40 A-list artists including Katy Perry (“Firework,” which also hit the top 10 Digital Song chart in U.K., Canada, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Portugal), Ne-Yo (“Beautiful Monster,” which peaked at #1 in the U.S. and U.K.), Taio Cruz “Higher” Feat Travie McCoy (US release) and feat Kyle Minogue (UK release), David Guetta (“Sexy Bitch,” which peaked at #1 in a slew of countries, including the U.K., France, Germany, New Zealand and Canada) and Pitbull feat T-Pain (“Hey Baby [Drop It To The Floor],” which reached #39 on Billboard Hot 100 and #19 on Billboard Rap song chart).
Only for a short six months, Sandy played out in clubs but now focuses on behind the scenes production. “I’d been playing out as a DJ, mostly for fun. I was spinning at Pacha in Ibiza for their ‘F**k Me I’m Famous’ party a couple of years ago, and David Guetta came up to me after my set to tell me how much he loved my track ‘Bleep.’” Sandy remembers today of the fateful night when he first met up with the Grammy-winning producer over his track that spent three months at #1 on the Beatport chart. “He was immediately talking about us working in the studio together, which was crazy to me.”
Once the two producers bonded, what was planned to be a one-track deal — co-producing will.i.am song “On The Dancefloor” turned into Sandy working on eight songs for Guetta’s groundbreaking One Love album. “We discovered that not only did we work well together, but we worked fast. The sound was just so big,” Sandy explains of the fast friendship and working relationship with Guetta. We figured there was no reason to stop, so we just kept going.”
Sandy is especially proud of his work with Guetta, as the overwhelming global triumph of the “One Love” album has had a noticeable effect on popular music at large, including hip-hop. “I was walking through a recording studio in New York recently, and all I heard were other artists working on danceable, electro tracks. It’s the same when I turn on the radio,” Sandy enthuses. “That underground four-on-the-floor house beat is everywhere right now. I believe it’s the success of Guetta’s album played a large part in making that happen.”
Sandy is still amazed at how quickly his name has risen among the pop production elite. After spending years playing bass in a wide variety of bands including jazz, rock and punk, exposure to underground DJ culture changed his whole outlook as a professional musician.
“Something just happened in my head. I had this feeling that I was listening to the future of music. It’s so funny that I was right,” he laughs in retrospect. “It was really important for me to learn all aspects of production, though. I taught myself how to do everything it takes to make a track, including engineering and mixing. This way I can make music that sounds exactly the way I want it to sound.”
It was during Sandy’s first trip to New York City in November of 2009 when he first met up with Stargate, the Norwegian production team who have had much American urban and pop success. “I played them a few tunes I was working on at the time, and they went crazy for one in particular,” Sandy remembers now of that fateful meeting. “So we worked together and finished it. It’s kind of ironic — we just delivered that first track we ever worked on all those months ago to Sean Kingston for his next album.
The Sandy Vee/Stargate connection has resulted in a fruitful working relationship with co production/co writes of hit songs as “Fireworks” (Katy Perry), “Only Girl (In The World)”, “S&M” (from Rihanna’s forthcoming “Loud” album), “Beautiful Monster” (Ne-Yo) and many more to be confirmed.
Sandy has collaborated with known topliners such as Claude Kelly (Kesha, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera), Ester Dean (Katy Perry, Rihanna, Ciara), Cristyle (Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson), Bonnie McKee (Katy Perry, Kesha) and August Rigo (Sean Kingston, Justin Beiber, lyaz).
“I’m so happy that I’ve found my place, which is working in the studio with other artists,” he says, denying any rumors about a solo album in the near future. Happily relocated to New York City where he’s built a recording studio, Sandy Vee is enjoying the fruits of his hard work. “Everything has changed. I still can’t believe all of the amazing talents I’ve had a chance to work with so far. I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished so far, but the best is yet to come”
Sandy Vee is currently residing in New York City.