Producer RedOne says his goal in music was to "find the next Madonna or Britney (Spears)." Then he met an unsigned artist named Lady Gaga.
The Morroco-born RedOne said he had been producing for 20 years and wanted his big break in America. He wasn't interested in working with an unknown act, but went to the studio to meet the now-famous pop star.
Fast forward four years later, the two acts are multiple Grammy winners, and up for more awards at Sunday's show.
Lady Gaga's latest album, "Born This Way," is nominated for album of the year. It's the singer's third album, and third nomination for the top Grammy prize.
"She knows a lot about music," said RedOne, born Nadir Khayat. "And we connected musically."
RedOne was just one of the hit songwriters on the BMI panel called "How I Wrote That Song" on Saturday at the Key Club in Los Angeles. He produced four songs on Lady Gaga's latest album, including the Top 10 hit "Judas." But it was "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" _ both No. 1 hits _ that set the tone for RedOne, who has also lived in Sweden.
"I had this feeling that something was there," RedOne said backstage before the event. "I've learned that anything is possible when you trust each other." The panel also included Rev Run of Run DMC, Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, RZA of Wu-Tang Clan and hip-hop producer DJ Khaled, whose hit "I'm On One" with Lil Wayne, Drake and Rick Ross is nominated for best rap/sung collaboration at the Grammys.
RedOne, who also produced hits like Jennifer Lopez's "On the Floor" and Enrique Iglesias' "I Like It," is currently working on Nicki Minaj's sophomore album.
"It's a new sound for Nicki," he said. "It's her (on) the next level. You're going to love it."
Mesfin Fekadu covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/musicmesfin