Their credits read like a who’s-who of Music Industry artists. Hit-making production duo, by the name of Pop and Oak has experienced as much success as anyone in recent times, with notable beat placements on Nicki Minaj’s grammy-nominated Pink Friday album, including the hit “Your Love” as well work with Brittney Spears, Trey Songz and Drake (“Unusual”), Ashley Tisdale, and R & B sensation Chris Brown (“Superhuman”). Together they form one of the most lethal production teams around; a commendable effort as prior to joining forces, both Andrew “Pop” Wansel and Warren Okay “Oak” Felder were individually known for hit making as well.Music has always been a part of Pop’s life; the son of legendary
Artist/Producer Dexter Wansel, he watched his father craft a jazz-funk fusion sound in the late 1970s that resulted in his impactful collaborations with icons such as Patti Labelle, The Jacksons, Teddy Pendergrass and Phyllis Hyman.
Pop credits the inspiration to pursue music to his fathers success and the ability to watch his father build a stellar career. The other half of the duo, Oak learned the tricks of the trade studying under the wings of well known singer/songwriter Sean Garrett. The two joined sides as a form of a protege-mentor type of vibe that turned into a full -fledge partnership as it stands today.
While their upbringing in the game was completely opposite, their cultural backgrounds couldn’t be more different either, as Pop is from Philadelphia and Oak is from Istanbul.Arguably on two different ends of the spectrum artistically, their chemistry is undoubted, and their output cannot be refuted. With a great showing the past two years, the duo are looking forward to continued success; they continue to have fun doing what they do. Most importantly they take pride in whom they do it for–the people. The artists they work with fully believe in their talents, and so should the dans. More so than the money, the acknowledgement is intriguing, but their love for the art is what keeps them going as they grind daily to take their brand to the next level.
More recent projects for the duo include the track “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay” by Big Sean with Kanye West and Roscoe Dash. They have three tracks on the most recent Nicki Minaj album. They also confimed that they are working on the new project for Alicia Keys. And recently they wrapped up the Elle Varner album, a project they did all the production for.
There is no halt in sight for these super producers. I sat down with them recently to discuss a little about what inspired their love for music, and how they go about staying true to their brand and core fans. I can honestly say that the aura that these two give off makes it easy to see why success hovers around them continuously. They say good things happen to good people, and when you’re playing with as much skill as they possess, its not luck.
Images by Jay Bastien for Parlé Magazine
(Oak is on left, Pop is right)
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