Producer Alex Da Kid's songs for Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Dr. Dre have lit up nightclubs around the world.
But to create the thumping chart-toppers, the British hit maker turns to the tranquillity of his Hollywood Hills living room. The 1,000-square-foot space has "a good energy," said the 34-year-old, whose real name is Alexander Grant.
"A lot of time, the work begins with silence," he said. "Just me and my guitar and my laptop in my living room."
Alex Da Kid's work has sold more than 110 million units and attracted more than 11 billion views on YouTube. Two of his singles — Eminem and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie" and Imagine Dragon's "Radioactive" — were diamond-certified. The Grammy-nominated hit maker is also the founder of KIDinaKORNER, a multimedia creative agency.
What makes your living room special?
As an artist, I have to feel inspired. So that really is important to me. I have a studio in the house, but I make music in the living room. I also enjoy the functional aspect of the room. It's a cohesive space with an open floor plan and a kitchen right off the room and sliding glass doors that lead to an outdoor area with a flat-screen TV and a swimming pool.
Besides making music, how do you use the space?
I'm moving office spaces, so I have business meetings sometimes. I do a lot of entertaining, but I don't like big parties. I'm into conversations and getting to know people. So I host these living room [jam] sessions, where artists and friends come by, and we have a good time. It gets a bit crazy when people jump in the pool. And sometimes I use the space to get romantic with the ladies.
What item stops people in their tracks?
I have a Matisse that hangs over the fireplace. It was very expensive and spoke to me. I have pictures of John Lennon and Biggie Smalls. And I have a giant spotlight. So I like to mix different genres of art.
How much did the Matisse cost?
My mom would kill me if I started talking about money.
What is your design aesthetic?
Modern and warm. I'm always trying to combine the two.
What item most represents you?
Probably the guitars. One is electric, and one is acoustic.
You are building a house in the hills above Sunset Boulevard, right?
I've been building the house for nine years. It should be ready in 2020.
Why is it taking so long?
Because it's a work of art. The house will stand the test of time and still look great in 20 years. I'm trying to create something that has character and warmth but still has a modern feel and clean lines.
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