Studio Sessions | Dcember Moon tells the stories behind unreleased songs from Nelly, Coi Leray and Lute
“Everybody said the record was crazy, but the record never saw the light of day,” Dcember Moon said of one Nelly song. Read up!
Hard work produces opportunities but not always results — a fact Dcember Moon knows too well. Even though he’s produced “The Other Half” for Jidenna and “Just A Taste” by Tinashe, the creative has plenty of sessions with artists that result in unreleased bangers.
“I mixed a raindrop with a snare to give it a certain effect, and it had these crazy chords. I woke up the next morning, and [Coi Leray] posted the video I sent her once we left the studio. She was looking for a certain sound; I guess she just didn’t know the sound,” Dcember Moon told REVOLT.
In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” the accomplished producer describes the making of an unreleased Nelly, RMR, and Kid Ink collaboration, working with Dreamville on the Creed III soundtrack, and Jidenna’s generosity. Read the exclusive conversation below.
Who was the first major artist you worked with in the studio?
I don’t know the first one, but the most memorable one was Jidenna on his 85 to Africa project. I didn’t even know I was on the album. I went to New York for one of his video shoots for the song “Sou Sou.” I met him at the video shoot for his producer Nana Kwabena, the executive producer of the album. He’s the 40 to Jidenna’s Drake. He invited everybody back to the studio to hear how the album was going. The next day, I reached out to his manager at the time, who plugged me with Jidenna to be able to work on an album. It just so happened Jidenna canceled his flight back to Atlanta to do the finishing touches on the album. He asked me about the record I did and my thoughts on the mixes. I was there for the whole process of retouching the album.
What is Jidenna’s personality like?
I can tell you a funny story. It was cold as hell in the studio. So, I said, “I’ll be back.” I went across the street and got an “I Love New York” hoodie, the generic tourist joint (laughs). When I walked back in, everybody, including Jidenna, laughed me out because I walked in with the “I Love New York” hoodie. He’s a real dude. During his promo run before the album dropped, he went to different cities and did live performance listening sessions. He came to D.C. to perform and closed out the show with the “The Other Half” song I produced with Nana. And then he pulled me onstage. He was like, “Shout out to Dcember for producing this track.”
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You also worked with Nelly. How’d that opportunity come about?
So, in the Nelly session was one of my good friends — an artist named RMR. I came out to LA in September 2020 and he told me, “Yo, pull up to the studio.” When I got to the studio, Nelly and Kid Ink were there. They were in there working, and we were going through records, and everybody was saying they needed something Nelly, RMR and Kid Ink [could] hop on. So, the first song they came up with had a goofy name, but it wasn’t it. So, I was going through beats, and a beat came on by mistake and they said, “Run it back.” It became this strip club anthem. This was my first time seeing Nelly do his signature three-stack vocals with how he harmonizes when he raps.
RMR came in with the melodic flow on the third verse and the hook. Kid Ink did the second verse, and Nelly had the first. After the song was recorded, we were jamming in the studio and everybody said, “This is the one.” Then, Ty Dolla $ign came in the studio because he’s in the studio across the hall and right next door with Keyshia Cole and Ray J. So, they also end up coming in the room. Everybody said the record was crazy, but the record never saw the light of day.
You might have produced some of the best unreleased records in the last few years. Didn’t you also have Coi Leray in the studio?
Yep, and that song never came out. It was crazy. Funny story about this session — this was 2018, and I think she had a song called “Huddy.” Back then, she was still in the development stages. She was still trying to figure her sound out. We had a session with her in LA in December 2018. Shout out to her A&R, Saint. Saint had me and one of my homies pull up to the studio. We pulled up and it was me, her, and her producer she was working with at the time. So, she said, “Play beats.” I played beats. The other producer played beats. Her producer played beats. She was not picking anything. She says, “I want y’all to collab on stuff.” Later that night, I thought she was tired of hearing the same thing, so I sent her an R&B/melodic trap beat, but it wasn’t super trapped out. It had softer tones and 808s. I mixed a raindrop with a snare to give it a certain effect, and it had these crazy chords. I woke up the next morning, and she posted the video I sent her once we left the studio. She was looking for a certain sound; I guess she just didn’t know the sound.
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Who is the artist you have the best chemistry with?
As far as signed artists, I’d say Lute from Dreamville. We did a record when I was in the Dreamville writing camp for the Creed III soundtrack. This was during BET Weekend. I came on the very last day and came straight to the studio. I was trying to [feel] the room out at the time and they said, “Yo, play some beats.” The second beat I played, Lute jumped up and started mumbling and rapping to it. He cut the record, and then Cozz came in the room and jumped on the second verse. And ever since then, me and Lute have been locked in. That song was supposed to be on the Creed III soundtrack.
What’s your biggest talent as a producer?
My biggest talent is being a dot connector and a vibe curator. I’m the guy in the studio who, if you need me to have the bad joints pull up, will have the bad joints pull up. If you need somebody to bring the tree, I’m going to have somebody bring the tree. If I know you’re a hookah smoker, I’m going to make sure the hookah’s there. I’m going to curate the vibe and energy that’s needed for the room. I feel that’s what got me in a lot of situations because I’m providing something outside of music as well.
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What do you have coming for the rest of 2023?
I recently signed my contract to work on an African-based animated series called “Iyanu.” Think of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” taking place in Africa with their own African powers and stories.
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