In the Booth

How a Pop Song Is Made According to Producer Ivan Corraliza, aka Ill Factor

Adam Foster is a South Florida-based DJ and producer, founder of, and entertainment director for the Restaurant People. He was named best DJ of 2014 by New Times Broward-Palm Beach.

In the Booth is his new column about electronic music, DJ culture, and South Florida nightlife. Visit his Facebook and Soundcloud.

Until recently, even as a lifelong music lover, I didn't really understand how a song actually make it from the studio to the radio. If I heard a song by someone like Rihanna, I sort of assumed it was written by her or her producer, that in some way it came from their imaginations. People helped, sure, but it was their ideas that spawned the tune. Right?

What I've learned since is that a pop song released in 2015 is typically made by something that looks more like a movie production team than a singer/songwriter duo. The producer is at the center of this process, but there are others involved: songwriters, A&R people, label heads, demo singers, and session musicians.

I spoke with Ivan Corraliza (aka Ill Factor) who has produced hit songs for artists like Justin Timberlake, Ginuwine, Matiyahu, Kevin Rudolf, Cobra Starship, Cody Simpson, Jason Derulo, Macy Gray, and Groove Armada. He's part owner in a Miami studio with legendary producer Jimmy Douglass and is the founder of Beat Academy music production school.

As someone who spends every day working inside the music industry as well as being an incredible songwriter and producer, Ivan is the perfect person to walk us through the process of how a song gets made and becomes a "hit."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Adam Foster