Producing H.E.R. ‘Hard Place’ with Rodney Jerkins

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We’re excited to deliver our debut series with Rodney Jerkins! Also known by his stage name ‘Darkchild’, the urban music producer extraordinaire garnered two Grammy nominations for the featured record of this series – ‘Hard Place’ by 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.

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