Photo: Rick Rubin | By Anderson Cooper, CBS News – 60 Minutes | Rick Rubin is one of the most talented music producers of his generation and certainly one of the most interesting. At 59, he’s worked with just about every top recording artist across all genres. In an industry geared toward churning out hits, Rubin’s focus is on feelings and helping artists get in touch with their musical selves. If that sounds somewhat mystical, that’s just fine with Rick Rubin. After all, his storied studio in California is named Shangri-La and he’s been called the Guru by more than a few of the artists he’s worked with. In fact, before our interview even began, Rubin crossed his legs, closed his eyes, and then suggested we do the same.
Rick Rubin: Should we spend two minutes eyes closed meditating before we start?
Anderson Cooper: Sure.
Rick Rubin: Just to, like, really get here?
Anderson Cooper: Sure. Okay.
Rick Rubin: Let’s do that.
Anderson Cooper: That’s a first.
Rick Rubin: Nice.
Anderson Cooper: Yea. Does meditation help you creatively?
Rick Rubin: It clears the distractions. Say the distractions can get in the way with a direct connection to the creative force.
Rick Rubin is definitely in tune with his creative force. Over the last four decades he’s produced albums and songs with more than 120 artists.
He’s helped launch careers – LL Cool J and Public Enemy among them. And he’s often the go-to guy for artists at the top of their game, like Adele.
But exactly what he does, and how, is difficult to describe.
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Anderson Cooper: And you don’t want somebody who, who’s listening to music to think, “Oh. That’s a Rick Rubin record?”
Rick Rubin: No. No. I want them to say, “This is the best thing I’ve ever heard,” and not know why.
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Go here to read the story or, better yet, watch the video interview with Anderson and Rick:
Produced by Nichole Marks. Associate producer, John Gallen. Broadcast associates, Annabelle Hanflig and Eliza Costas. Edited by Sean Kelly.
Photo: Rick Rubin