Jamaican producer Melio Sounds recently shared how one of his beats caught Nicki Minaj‘s attention on Instagram, leading to a collaboration on the rapper’s latest album, Pink Friday 2. The beat, he said, incorporated a sample from an older Dave Kelly riddim, a move that seemingly resonated with Minaj.
This isn’t Melio Sounds’ first collaboration with the Superbass rapper. He previously worked on her Likkle Miss remix with Dancehall artist Skeng, which appeared on her anthology album, Queen Radio Volume 1.
“So I started posting beats online because I know she was following me on Instagram after the success of working on Queen Radio Volume 1,” Melio told The Star.
“The other producer on the track, Sebastian [“Basbeats” Loers] from Germany, sent me a MP3 in which I did some additional production, where I sampled one of Dave Kelly’s works and posted it online on Instagram.”
According to Melio, the rapper responded with fire emojis about an hour later, and requested that he “send this piece of work” to her. Later that day, Minaj told him she wanted the beat for her fifth studio album.
The result was Forward From Trini, a collaboration with Dancehall artists Skeng and Skillibeng that has picked up over 4 million plays on Spotify.
Dave Kelly is credited on the new track, presumably for elements first heard on his Stink (1996) and Showtime (1997) riddims.
Pink Friday 2 debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 228,000 equivalent album units, according to Billboard.
Melio expressed pride in his contribution to the album, noting it’s unprecedented for a Jamaican producer of his age.
“This is an achievement that no Jamaican has ever done at my age of 29 years. There are no producers here who can say, ‘I have worked with the rap queen on her studio album which debuted number one on the Billboard 200 charts, number two on the Canadian Billboard albums chart and also number one on the R&B and Hip Hop Billboard charts’,” he said.
Before his success in music, Melio, whose real name is Emelio Lynch, aimed to be a pilot but switched to music production due to financial constraints.
“So my second option was to [attend Caribbean Maritime University (CMU)], where I did one year there, and after that I started a nine to five while trying to perfect my craft in production, and that’s when I got my first hit as a dancehall beatmaker on a Vybz Kartel song [ Then You and Me in 2014],” he explained.
He also produced beats for Teejay’s Owna Lane and Dexta Daps’ Call Me If.