The Sounds of The Culture Series is a new series from Culture Touch Studio - the goal is to highlight the music producer who changes the sounds of American culture.
Edward Theodore Riley (born October 8, 1967) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist credited with the creation of the new jack swing genre.
The acknowledged "King of New Jack Swing," producer/songwriter Teddy Riley's enviable list of platinum-laced credits include Guy, the Winans, Joe (the Riley-produced "Stutter" topped both the R&B/pop charts in early 2001), Johnny Kemp, Blackstreet, Keith Sweat, Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Hi-Five, and Al B. Sure among many others.
Born in Harlem, Riley grew up in the St. Nicholas projects. He began playing drums at three years old. At five, Riley picked up the guitar and the trumpet. When he turned eight, he began playing piano for the Little Flower Baptist Church. Later, he began playing in bands around New York. After meeting Kool and the Gang member Royal Bayyan, Riley was introduced to the arts of record production and songwriting. Hooking up with Gene Griffin in the mid '80s, Riley's many talents resulted in platinum hits for Guy -- the singing trio that included Riley and brothers Aaron Hall and Damion Hall. One of Riley's early production was Deja's 1988 Virgin LP, We Belong Together.
In the early 90s, Guy disbanded and Riley formed Blackstreet with Chauncey Hannibal, Dave Hollister, and Levi Little. The self-titled debut album went platinum. Their second album, Another Level, followed suite and spawned the million-seller "No Diggity." Tiring of the rigors of big city life, Riley moved to Virginia, opening his state-of-the art Future Recording Studios in the mid-'90s.
In 1987, Riley, Aaron Hall, and Timmy Gatling formed the R&B group Guy. Managed by Gene Griffin, Riley's work with Guy pioneered the "new jack swing" style of R&B. Riley infused his own blend of hip-hop beats, R&B progressions and the gospel vocal stylings of Hall to create the archetypal new jack swing sound on Guy's eponymous debut. In 1989, Riley produced Big Daddy Kane's "I Get The Job Done", as well as other work for The Jacksons, The Winans and James Ingram. He also created the highly successful remix of Jane Child, "Don't Wanna Fall in Love", which became a crossover pop smash.
After the release and tour of Guy's second album, The Future, Riley co-produced half of Michael Jackson's Dangerous album on the recommendation of Jackson's long-time producer Quincy Jones. After the disbandment of Guy in 1992, Riley moved to production, performance on and promotion of Wreckx-N-Effect's second album Hard or Smooth.
In late 1991, Riley formed a second group, Blackstreet. The group would go on to release several major hits, including "Don't Leave Me" (1997), the number one single "No Diggity" (1996, featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen), and "Girlfriend/Boyfriend" (1999, with Janet Jackson, Eve, and Ja Rule). By 2011, the group had disbanded and reformed several times.
In 2000, Riley worked with Spice GirlMelanie B on three tracks – "ABC 123," "I Believe" and "Pack Your S**t"—for her solo debut album, Hot. He also worked on an album with Outsiderz 4 Life, producing "Wil' Out" and other songs. At the start of 2006, he was part of the New Jack Reunion Tour, featuring Blackstreet and Guy, in addition to After 7, SWV, and Tony Toni Toné. In May 2006 Riley announced that he would be working on two key projects: a new Blackstreet album and a new Guy album.
In June 2008, a fire destroyed Riley's Virginia Beach recording studio. Fire investigators said that an electrical problem caused the blaze that burned the abandoned recording studio. The Virginia Beach Fire Department said lightning in the area also could have been a factor, although there was no direct strike. The empty studio was for sale and was insured for $336,000. In 2009, Riley performed with Guy at the BET Awards. In the same year, Riley worked with Amerie and Robin Thicke on their respective albums. Leading on from his work on Snoop Dogg's album Ego Trippin', Riley became part of the production supergroup QDT, which features DJ Quik as well as Snoop Dogg.
Riley produced and co-wrote the song "Teeth" with Lady Gaga for her EP The Fame Monster. Speaking in March 2010 to Blues & Soul's Pete Lewis – Riley said that he was no longer affiliated with Guy (Riley had last performed with the group in October 2010). Riley also said that the current line-up of Blackstreet consisted of himself, Chauncey Hannibal, Dave Hollister and Sherman 'J-Stylz' Tisdale. He confirmed that he was working on a new Blackstreet album, though intended to release his own album – entitled 'TRX' – first. Artists he could possibly be working with for the project included Stevie Wonder and Elton John, plus his own new, upcoming acts. However, Hannibal stopped performing with the group and the lineup became Riley, Hollister, Mark Middleton and Eric Williams. In 2012, Hannibal returned to Blackstreet. Middleton and Williams left the group. As of 2019, the group's lineup now consists of Riley, Dave Hollister, J-Stylz, and Rodney Poe under the name "Blackstreet 2.
Recently, Riley has stepped into the Korean music market. Riley worked with singer/rapper Jay Park on an English track titled "Demon", which was originally meant for Michael Jackson. Riley produced a mini album for the Korean girl group Rania.
Riley is one of the producers part of the production team QDT, with DJ Quik and Snoop Dogg. He produced the tracks "Believe" and "Flow" for the Twenty album of the R&B group Boyz II Men. He has also produced Korean girl group Girls' Generation's single "The Boys" for the group's first international release. He has also produced songs for Girls' Generation's labelmates SHINee and EXO. He worked with Shinee on "Beautiful", "Shine" and "Dangerous" from their two part third Korean studio album. Riley also produced the songs "MILK" and "All Night" for f(x)'s third studio album Red Light and "What Is Love" for Exo's prologue single.
with Kids At Work
- Kids at Work (1984)
- Guy (1988)
- The Future (1990)
- Guy III (2000)
- Blackstreet (1994)
- Another Level (1996)
- Finally (1999)
- Level II (2003)
Main page: Category:song recordings produced by Teddy Riley
Main page: Category:albums produced by Teddy Riley