In my opinion, Asia Bryant is one of the best vocalists I’ve ever heard. And I’m not just saying that because she’s from my hometown Charleston, SC.
This woman is an incredible talent that already has writing credits working with the likes of Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lopez, Ludacris and others.
Asia is a top songwriter in music, but landing a feature on Dr. Dre’s highly anticipated Compton album is finally her chance to show the world her talents as an artist.
On the eve of Compton‘s release, read below as Asia explains how she landed the biggest placement of her budding career.
“I used to work with a guy named Focus, he’s a producer, and he’s one of [Dr.] Dre’s producers. Ironically, we both were panelists for a music conference in the Bahamas. So, we reconnected there, after I met him in L.A. He actually wasn’t [in L.A.] yet, but he was working out here for a while. He was like, “Yo, Asia, I want you to come through. I’m back over here with Dre. He’s working on some big things. It’s something you can definitely be a part of, if he likes you.”
I was like, “Alright! Cool.” So, one random day, he was like, “Yo, Asia, come through. Dre will be here in a few.” This is maybe mid afternoon, so the session started possibly around 5pm, and we didn’t get out until the sun was out the next morning. Full L.A. traffic, everybody was going to work, 8am the next day.
So, I go in, and ironically, it’s the first time Game is coming in to meet with Dre since their fallout or whatever. So, we’re all in the same room and Dre is playing beats. Dre is really cool, he’s really humble, he wants your feedback. He wants to know what you think about things. So, he’s playing us music, and he’s like, “So, what do you think about this one? What do you think about that one?” Everybody that’s in the room, that’s in the building, is talented as hell. Every person. There’s not one wack person, that doesn’t do anything, in that whole studio.
He has producers in all the different rooms. Like top tier producers, from like way back in the days. You got Cardiak, Bink! is in there, Rockwilder is in there, Focus is there. There’s dopeness in all the different rooms, making stuff for him.
Marsha [Ambrosuis] is in there making stuff. So, me, Marsha, Candice Pillay, his two dope rappers—JT and [King] Mez—they’re amazing. And I don’t say that about people, but they’re really dope. So, back to us in that one room, [Dre] is like, “Game’s about to come in.” So, I was nervous cause of all the stories I heard. So, I was like, “Should we leave? Do y’all want to talk about this alone?” [Laughs]. Dre’s like, “Nah, y’all chill. Y’all are straight.”
So, Game comes in and he’s talking to Dre, like, “Yo, I want to do Documentary 2 and it wouldn’t be right if I did it without you. I want you to be down, however you’ll be down with me.”
So, they squashed the beef, right then and there. And [Dre] is like, “Matter of fact, I have this track I want you to get on.” So, he plays this track, and Game is bobbing his head, he’s like, “This is dope, I can kill this shit right now.” Dre is like, “Kill that shit right now!” Then he says, “There are too many talented individuals in the room for this not to be a hit tonight.” And he points to everyone in the room, including me.
So, of course, everyone takes the hint and they start working. So, Game starts writing his verse. I had no idea what he was saying, but because previous to Game coming in there, Dre was showing us pieces of the Straight Outta Compton movie. Now, the way Dre is, he’ll describe the scene to you, what it felt like in real life, and what really happened, and then show us the scene. So, he’s going through [the movie], and we did that for like an hour. So, I’ve seen the movie, probably like five times by now, collectively since I’ve been working with him. But this all happened our first session.
So, I just started writing a hook. I write the hook, I go in the other room cause Game is still writing. We don’t know what is going to be on what, I don’t know what he’s talking about. So, I’m singing in the other room and apparently they can hear me in the booth, cause I’m in the live room, with the piano and all that stuff. And I was just singing it, trying to see how it flowed and make sure I liked it before I present it to Dre. Cause I’m not presenting anything to him that I think is just ok. That’s how you get kicked out the room. [Laughs].
So, they hear me and Game is like, “Put that down.” And Dre is like, “What you waiting for?” Keep in mind, it’s like 4 o’clock in the morning, so my voice is dead. I’m so sleepy, cause I just did an all-night session the night before. I didn’t think we were going to be in there all night, but either way, “He’s like, so what’s up? What y’all waiting for? Y’all wasting time.” I’m like, aw shit, let me just go ahead and do this. So, I did it. The next day, Focus called me, and he’s like, “Dre loved it. He’s been playing it for everybody.”
It just so happened what I was talking about and what Game was talking about, they matched. It was supposed to be me, Game and Kendrick. But Kendrick ended up getting on another record that Dre liked more with him on that record.
So, that’s how I started working with him. And from there, we’ve done a few more records. It’s just a really dope environment to be in to create. It’s so easy to get sucked up out here in L.A. with all the fake people, doing things that you think are going to be beneficial for you, but they’re not. All of a sudden, you’re refreshingly in a room with people who make moves.
The crazy thing is, I told my publisher, but I didn’t tell many people. I didn’t tell people at all really. It’s like one of those things where you tell people something is going to happen and then it doesn’t; that’s not something you want to happen with this. But I knew the album was coming out. I didn’t know if they were going to do a soundtrack to the movie, but I knew he was going to make a final album.
Then they were like, Dre said they’re putting [the song] in the movie. It’s already in the scene. I’m like, “Oh, that’s crazy!” I didn’t know what to say. Then, he was like, it’s going to be on the album, too. Oh, a double whammy, what do you say? [Laughs].
I was doing the session with him, and the way Dre likes to record, you’re recording in the room with him. You’re not in the booth, away from him. A lot of people like to be away in the booth, with auto-tune on, so they can mess up and nobody hears them. I didn’t have that. I had to do it right in front of him.
So, he was like, “Yo, you’re dope. You’re amazing.” He told that to me. So, I don’t care what nobody says about me. You cannot believe in my music or me as an artist all day, but Dre said that I’m a dope artist. He said that I’m amazing. He said it, and he believed in it, and he put me on the record. And I’m dumb grateful for the opportunity, for Focus and his brother Ty for bringing me in. And Dre is always there, he’s really hands on, you get to learn a lot from him.
It’s so easy to get stuck in songwriter world and what a lot of people have told me, including [Dre] is, you have to show them. People don’t want to follow or believe in something until they see someone else believing in it. So, you can kinda say [Dre] is the first to believe in it to leave me as a feature. He could have replaced me and put somebody else on. That’s what anybody else would have done. But he was like, “No, no, no, no. [That’s a] feature.”
It doesn’t matter how long it takes you, just don’t give up. If you know you’re talented and you know you have something to offer the world with your talent, don’t ever let anybody or how much you haven’t accomplished yet deter you from your ultimate goal.”
As Told To Randy Roper
Pick up Dr. Dre’s Compton album on iTunes here. Asia Bryant is featured on “Just Another Day” with The Game.