You probably heard Rogét Chahayed’s hooks before you heard his name: DRAM’S Broccoli, Miguel’s Skywalker, and Halsey’s Bad at Love all feature his production and songwriting handiwork. And with ten years in the business under his belt, the Grammy-nominated artist’s resume counts some of the biggest names in hip hop and pop.
The easygoing LA producer grew up classically trained, but today he keeps his creative process strictly informal. “I try to stay curious and excited and have no expectations. Just show up to the studio and see what happens,” he says. And it was this philosophy that ultimately led to SICKO MODE. Chahayed pulled up an unusual organ sound on KONTAKT – a haunting, otherworldly tone that immediately inspired the track’s dissonant hook.
We visit Chahayed’s cozy studio in Los Angeles to get the story behind his sound, pick up some songwriting tips, and get the secret formula behind the hook for SICKO MODE – the first hip hop song in history to spend more than 30 weeks on Billboard’s top ten.
So how do you know when you’ve written a killer hook? For Chahayed, “When you make something that’s unbelievable and rare and unique, and you can’t stop listening to it…you keep running it over and over and if you don’t hear anything wrong with it, it’s probably the one.”
GET THE SOUND
Want to test your hook-making skills with the same sound Rogét used for Sicko Mode? According to this Reddit thread and a scattering of videos around the web, you might find it buried in your KONTAKT Factory Library. Check out the Rapman Waw preset under Factory Library > Vintage > Vintage Toys, and tell us that doesn’t sound very close.