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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Exclusive: Superproducer RedOne spills the beans on Lady Gaga’s new album and his first solo project

Nadir Khayat, aka music producer RedOne, who has worked with Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey and Pitbull, relaxes in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
Nadir Khayat, aka music producer RedOne, who has worked with Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey and Pitbull, relaxes in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

Work is well underway on Lady Gaga’s next album, according to the man behind most of her biggest hits.

Superproducer RedOne, real name Nadir Khayat, was the brains behind game-changing singles Just Dance, Poker Face, Bad Romance and Alejandro. And, speaking exclusively to The National, he confirmed many songs had already been written for a follow-up to 2013’s Artpop, which he promises could be “the album of the decade”.

RedOne also revealed he is working on his first solo album – also likely to feature Lady Gaga, along with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra.

“Right now I’m again working with Lady Gaga – it’s been a big thing for both of us,” he said.

“We took a little break from each other and now it feels like we are in a good place, both of us. She did her thing, I did my thing, and it feels like we’re back on track together.”

The news comes after Gaga posted a picture on Instagram of the pair in a studio last month, prompting hopes from fans the dream team had been reunited.

The 42-year-old producer revealed that songwriting sessions were taking place in Los Angeles, with the project likely to take up the rest of 2015. He also confirmed reports that disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder was involved in the project.

“With Gaga, I’m fully committed until we’re done – we’re just going to work on writing songs – 20, 30, 40 songs – until we get hopefully the best album of the decade,” he said.

“The new material feels great. And that’s what it is like with me and her – when we both feel great, it’s incredible. A lot of it is to do with trust, no ego, just love for the music. And when it’s fun and respectful, putting the egos aside, it’s magic.”

Gaga looks likely to return the favour with a guest slot on RedOne’s first album. The producer exclusively revealed plans for his solo debut, tentatively titled RedOne Presents, which he hopes to release before the year is out.

Among the “big, big names” he linked to the project were soul legends Wonder and Richie, as well as frequent collaborators Lady Gaga and Enrique Iglesias, and Bollywood star Chopra.

One buddy he has yet to call on is Pitbull, despite having collaborated on more than a dozen tunes together.

“Honestly I haven’t spoken to Pitbull yet,” he says. “I’ve spoken to Gaga, a few other people, Enrique Iglesias. I can’t tell you [if they said yes], I can’t speak for them. They think it’s exciting, because they’re my buddies, but it’s not just about the artists – it’s about their labels, their rights, so there’s no ‘yes’ until it’s cleared from all angles. But of course I have a lot of friends, and they’re all willing to help. It’s going to be a fun album for sure.

“It’s not confirmed but I’m thinking I want to invite Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie to the album, the people I love.

“I love Priyanka, she’s my girl – I want her on my album, I spoke to her. She’s family.”

After being nominated for Producer of the Year at the 2011 Grammys, Khayat, who is originally from Morocco, received a national award for Intellectual Excellence from his home country’s monarch, King Mohamed VI.

RedOne spoke exclusively to The National during a trip to Dubai last week, which he described as “part business, part pleasure”, dropping hints that he may have some projects in the region to announce soon.

Check out Rob Garratt’s full feature profile and interview with RedOne in Arts&Life on February 25.

rgarratt@thenational.ae