When it comes on to influential music cities, Los Angeles is certainly one of the places that come to mind. The California hub is famous for being an origination point for some of the world’s most celebrated artists. What is also undeniable is the groundbreaking work of some of its well-known music producers. To connect with a famous music producer, Los Angeles has to be among the first places that come to mind. Home to legendary musicians such as David Crosby and Eazy-E, there are modern-day producers who have continued to carry the torch of excellence. Below are 10 notable music producers (in no particular order) who currently call Los Angeles home.
Skrillex, whose real name is Sonny John Moore, has made quite a name for himself in several music disciplines, including DJ, singer, songwriter and, of course, music producer. Having been part of a band at an early age, Skrillex was able to learn the ropes when he was still a teenager, before exploding on the scene as a solo act in his early 20s. To date, he has launched a number of successful albums and EPs, toured with popular EDM bands, and produced hits for the likes of Korn, Incubus, and Justin Bieber (in collaboration with Diplo as part of the duo Jack Ü). The Los Angeles Music producer seems to be constantly working on a new project. His work ethic and immense talent as a producer has seen him rack up an impressive eight Grammy Awards, the most for any EDM artist.
Kate Ellwanger, who goes by the name Dot, seems well on her way to becoming a household name in the music business. As a music producer of note in Los Angeles, she has worked on some attention-grabbing joints for her own projects, including several EPs and an album titled Retrofuture. However, she has had a hand in standout tracks by popular artists such as SZA and TeriGenderbender. Dot, who got her start in classical music, is also making a mark as a songwriter and visionary, having launched her own label Unspeakable Records. The latter was started as a project focused on uplifting and advancing the careers of female musicians.
Known as an EDM/ DJ aficionado and one of the original founders of the group Major Lazer, Diplo has morphed into somewhat of a super-producer over the last decade and a half. His credits include some of his group’s biggest hits, including “Lean On” (featuring MØ) and “Light It Up” (featuring Nyla). But Diplo, whose real name is Thomas Wesley Pentz, has also contributed to monster hits by other artists such as “Where Are You Now” (featuring Justin Bieber), which was co-produced by Skrillex (the two operate as a duo under the moniker Jack Ü); “Climax” by Usher; and “Hold Up” by Beyoncé. With a distinct sound crafted from mixing various genres, including reggae, dubstep, pop, and house music, Diplo has managed to stay one of the most relevant music producers in Los Angeles in recent times.
Born Jennifer Lee, TokiMONSTA is one of the most promising music production talents in LA for the modern era. Already, she has racked up an impressive resume, collaborating with artists such as Anderson Paak, Selah Sue, and Isaiah Rashad, among many others. She has also put out critically-acclaimed projects of her own, including Lune Rouge, for which she received a Grammy nomination in 2019 for Best Dance/Electronic Album. Having survived two brain surgeries due to a rare disease, her work is particularly impressive. In addition to her work as a music producer and DJ, TokiMONSTA has also done music lectures at the Red Bull Music Academy.
5. Dr. Dre
Mention West Coast rap and the name Dr. Dre is bound to come up with repeated frequency. In fact, the producer, entrepreneur, and music executive’s influence on the industry goes back to his association with the group N.W.A, which popularized the hip-hop subgenre West Coast G-Funk. Born Andre Young, Dr. Dre made a name for himself as a rapper of note in the 1990s before producing record-breaking hits for artists such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem. These days, he is often regarded for his entrepreneurial exploits, having founded Beats Electronics and Aftermath Records, but his contribution as a music producer from Compton in Los Angeles is one that has left an indelible mark on the music business.
Like many on this list, Ryan Greene got his start in the music business at a tender age. The producer and sound engineer began by playing the drums before transitioning to the technical aspects of sound engineering. Throughout a career that has lasted more than a quarter-century, Greene has pulled off hits with an astonishing number of artists, including Alice Cooper, Jay-Z, Megadeth, Usher, and Patti Labelle. He is also the owner of the recording facility Area 52 Entertainment, having sold Crush Recording Studios, which he had set up in Arizona.
7. DJ Quik
Rated as one of the best rap music producers Los Angeles has ever produced, DJ Quik is often mentioned in conversations about Dr. Dre. While not as established as the Doc, DJ Quik, whose real name is David Blake, has solidified his status as a notable rapper, having launched a platinum-selling album by the time he turned 21. While he has not been able to replicate those numbers as a solo artist, he has produced a number of gems for other major acts, including Tupac, Truth Hurts, Will Smith, Chingy, Jay-Z, and many other artists. Among the reasons why he is highly regarded for his production work is his quick turnaround time, hence the name.
8. Lynne Earls
The last of the three women on this list, Lynne Earls is a true boss on the Los Angeles music production scene. She was actually born in Ireland and attended Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, before receiving sponsorship through a production company to move to Los Angeles. Since then, she has produced hits for Canadian recording artists K.D. Lang and Bobby Bazini, as well as worked on a ton of projects for famous musicians such as Booker T. Jones, Jack Ashford, and Wayne Shorter, among others. In addition, her work ethic and reputation have seen her collaborate on projects at major record labels such as Warner Bros., Atlantic, and Universal. Earls also runs her own music studio in Los Angeles called EMP Studios.
9. Andrew Dawson
Kanye West is considered a musical genius and tends to only work with the best in the business. That says a lot about Andrew Dawson, who had a hand in several of West’s early hits, providing mixing services on Late Registration, Graduation, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Although excelling in rap music, Dawson has also worked on more pop-influenced projects, producing songs for The Rolling Stones, Fun, Sleigh Bells, and others. His work as a mixer and engineer has seen him cop a number of awards, including three Grammys.
10. DJ Mustard
Another contributor to rap music, DJ Mustard (real name Dijon McFarlane) has helped to put a new spin on West Coast hip-hop, adding more of a party flavor (also described as ratchet) on songs by YG and other hip-hop artists. In addition to putting out his own music, which has been gaining attention from L.A. natives and fans across the country, he has also produced tracks for heavyweights such as 2Chainz, Young Jeezy, and Tyga.