Wonder Arillo is a Grammy winning producer and sound engineer with a client list that includes Drake, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Fall Out Boy and many more. The Grammy winning hit maker for T.I.’s “What You Know” shares his story in our within our soon to be released Special Edition The Grammy Gods 2.0.
As teaser to the full-length Q&A, which will be released and published later this year, we are delighted share with you a short excerpt of the back and forth with Wonder Arillo.
BSM: How many Grammys have you received and for what songs?
Wonder Arillo: “Just one, for T.I. ‘What You Know.'”
BSM: How did you feel when you won your first Grammy?
Wonder Arillo: “It was surreal. I felt grateful and happy. It was a little misleading for me. That was my first big placement and I thought all of my songs would be that big, but of course they weren’t.”
BSM: How was it working on the T.I . album and what did you actually do?
Wonder Arillo: “When I made the foundation for that beat, I had no idea it would go to T.I. I actually did the majority of it at my grandparents house in Mexico, where I was visiting for Christmas. I was working as DJ Toomp’s engineer at the time, so it was in the back of my mind somewhere, but I had no idea it would be that big. The beat almost went to several other artists first: Jeezy had it but got a bad case of laryngitis, Benzino and Baby (Birdman) had it at one point(their version made it to HipHopDx), and 8ball and MJG also recorded to it. It finally ended up with T.I. but I didn’t make it to that session. Kind of a funny story: I was teaching DJ Toomp how to use Reason at the time and he would often call late at night needing technical support. I was asleep and my phone rang at around 4am, when I saw Toomp’s name pop up I hit ignore, thinking it was a simple Reason question, and went back to sleep. My mistake. The next day I found out he was calling to tell me he was in the studio with T.I. recording ‘What You Know.’ The rest is history.”
BSM: What records did you work on with Drake?
Wonder Arillo: “I co-produced a song called ‘I Do It’ by 2 Chainz featuring Drake and Lil Wayne. The beat was originally produced by D Rich with some sample elements added by Diplo. When Def Jam couldn’t clear the sample, 2 Chainz called me to replace it with original music that still fit in with the beat. This was something I had done for him previously when he was in Playaz Circle on a song called ‘Turbulence’ produced by Big Hurt. It was getting close to time to turn in the album and he needed it done the next day. I took the session on my hard drive back to my studio and made 2 different versions for 2 Chainz to choose from. He picked the first one, which you can hear on the song now. That song was on two different 2 Chainz releases, as well as a BeatsByDre commercial.”
BSM: How was it working on the project with Lil Wayne ?
Wonder Arillo: “One of the songs we did was ‘I Do It’ from the previous question, and his part was already recorded when I got involved. But before that, I had done another song featuring Lil Wayne, called ‘Big Dawg’ by Playaz Circle. 2 Chainz (known as Tity Boi at that time) was doing a lot of touring with Lil Wayne and Young Money. I was engineering and producing for Playaz Circle at Disturbing Tha Peace’s studio in the back of their offices in Atlanta. Tity Boi took the beat with him on the road and played it for Wayne who sang the hook and played electric guitar on the track! I didn’t actually see him in person until we shot the video.”