The-Dream Remembers Humble Beginnings Before Landing Britney Spears Hit in 2003
With decades of hits under his belt, The-Dream has been reflecting on the moments that went into crafting some of our favorite hits. In his recent interview on Deep Hidden Meaning Radio with Nile Rodgers, Dream has been sharing behind-the-scenes moments that led up to him shaping the successful career he has today, including landing a big break writing for Britney spears back in the early 2000s. Dream talked about his humble beginnings working with other writers and producers, and he recalled when he learned that he would be a co-writer on Britney Spears's "Me Against the Music."
The 2003 single was included on Spears's fourth studio album In The Zone and would go on to peak in the No. 1 spot on charts across the globe. "['Me Against the Music'] was one of my first major songs where it's like, this unbelievable moment that happened in my life," said Dream.
"It's so funny, me and Tricky Stewart, who's the producer on that particular track at the time, we weren't consistently working together, and it just so happens that him and a team that he had, and writers that predated me, were working on that particular project with Britney," he continued. "It was a relationship he had with Jive at the time. So, the story is, literally Trick never asked me to write anything on this track. I literally went into his studio. At the time I was signed to Laney Stewart, which is his brother, and I went into his studio, I downloaded the track, took it over to the other studio, recorded my parts on it, and then put it back into the session."
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"He has this record and it has a couple things on it. I literally went from top to bottom and just stuck it there, put it in the Britney Spears folder, and just kept it moving and didn't say anything about it." However, someone did notice The-Dream's additions to the song.
"I get this call, he's in New York, he calls me. I remember being in the 1992 Cadillac Sedan Deville, had no AC in it, and it was hot. This is Atlanta. It gets hot. And he calls me and I pick up my phone, and back then the minutes, you have to pay for cell phone minutes. It's not like now where the minutes you there forever. Man, he called me and I'm like, 'What do you want, man?' It's like two minutes on the phone. I'm like, 'What are you saying? What's going on?' He's like, 'Man, I think Britney's going to cut this record.' And I was like, 'I'm sorry, what?' I think I hung up on him the first time, because I'm like, 'Man, I ain't got time for no jokes right now. You're wasting my minutes. My Nokia phone, the battery is low. I can't do it with you man. AC out.'"Stewart wasn't kidding and immediately called Dream back.
"I'm like, elated and I'm just driving down 285. I remember exactly where I was over by this mall called Cumberland Mall here in Atlanta," said Dream. "And I was like, 'What? Wow.' And even if she didn't, it was just a point that somebody's listening to my words at that level, and it has a chance. So that was the beginning of a thing. That was like, 2003, I want to say, and that was a good time. Now, it was a real good time. I could still smell the beat-up leather in my '92 Cadillac at that time."
Check out more from The-Dream and Nile Rodgers below.