NEW YORK -- Salaam Remi has been producing music for more than 20 years, but he says he's not mad that he's just earning the top producer nomination at the Grammy Awards.

Remi, best known for producing for Amy Winehouse, Nas and the Fugees, is nominated for non-classical producer of the year at Sunday's ceremony.

"If I never produce another record again – this is, `OK, you've made it that far up the mountain, cool. Now you can really focus on other parts of your life,'" he said in a recent interview.

His musical resume heading to the Grammy voting period included Nas' critically acclaimed "Life is Good" album and Alicia Keys' R&B hit "Girl on Fire." He's also worked on latest albums from Miguel, Usher, Anthony Hamilton and Tamia.

Remi was named executive vice president of A&R and production at Sony Music Entertainment late last year. He says he's able to connect strongly with musicians because he challenges them when they are recording material.

"Part of my songwriting process is to push people to say, `What do you really mean?' ...What's the headline here?" he said. "Artists get sick of me sometimes."

Remi produced several tracks on Winehouse's favored debut, "Frank." He played a large role on her critically revered, Grammy-winning "Back to Black" album, which also featured producer Mark Ronson. Sunday's Grammys will mark the second year the British singer has been nominated for a Grammy since she died in 2011. She won best pop duo/group performance last year with Tony Bennett for "Body & Soul," and this year she's up for best rap/sung collaboration with Nas for the jam "Cherry Wine."

Remi produced the 2011 Winehouse compilation album "Lioness: Hidden Treasures," and he said fans shouldn't expect too much new music from the late singer.

"Not much," he said of her unreleased material.

He added that he released "Lioness" for his own personal sake.

"Honestly I think it was part of me maintaining my sanity, just from how I was feeling at that moment. I needed to get that out so that at the end of 2011 I was able to say, `Wow that was 2011.' Now in 2012, I'm in 2012. I can be here because that was 2011."

"I still miss her and look for her in my jokes," he added.

Remi's second nomination is for best R&B song for co-writing Tamia's "Beautiful Surprise." And albums by Miguel, Hamilton and Tamia – where Remi has produced several tracks – are competing in R&B album categories, though album's producers don't earn nominations there.

Remi says he's not willing to work with any musician, even if a lot of money is on the table.

"If I felt like it wasn't hitting me, you can offer me however much money you wanted to, it just wasn't going to happen," he said. "I've had the blessing of working with artists who make me step my game up."

Nas says Remi is "meticulous."

"He doesn't work with everybody, but the people who work with him, who really sit down with him, get great results. He really lives in the music," Nas said. "I think he's producing in his sleep. He's someone who really cares about the sound. He's really, really meticulous about everything that's in there, and it pays off because he really cares about what he's doing."

Remi's competition Sunday includes Markus Dravs (Mumford & Sons, Coldplay), Diplo (Usher, Santigold), Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and fun. producer Jeff Bhasker, who also co-produced "Girl on Fire" with Remi.

"I think they did really big records this year," he said. "I try not to show up at a birthday party like it's my birthday; I'm just going to party."

The Grammys will air live from the Staples Center on CBS.



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  • Carrie Underwood

    Country Solo Performance - "Blown Away" Best Country Song - "Blown Away"

  • Frank Ocean

    Record of the Year - "Thinkin Bout You" Best New Artist Album of the Year - "Channel Orange" Best Urban Contemporary Album - "Channel Orange" Best Rap/Sung Collaboration - "No Church In The Wild" by Jay-Z & Kanye West Featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream

  • fun.

    Best Pop Vocal Album - "Some Nights" Record of the Year - "We Are Young" Best New Artist Album of the Year - "Some Nights" Song of the Year - "We Are Young" Best Pop Duo/Group Performance - "We Are Young"

  • The Black Keys

    Record of the Year - "Lonely Boy" Album of the Year - "El Camino" Best Rock Performance - "Lonely Boy" Best Rock Song - "Lonely Boy" Best Rock Album - "El Camino" Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical - Dan Auerbach

  • Mumford & Sons

    Album of the Year - "Babel" Best Rock Performance - "I Will Wait" Best Rock Song - "I Will Wait" Best Americana Album - "Babel" Best Song Written For Visual Media - "Learn Me Right (From Brave)" Best Long Form Music Video - "Big Easy Express"

  • Jack White

    Album of the Year - "Blunderbuss" Best Rock Song - "Freedom At 21" Best Rock Album - "Blunderbuss"

  • Kelly Clarkson

    Best Pop Vocal Album - "Stronger" Record of the Year - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" Best Pop Solo Performance - "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"

  • Gotye

    Record of the Year - "Somebody That I Used To Know" Best Pop Duo/Group Performance - "Somebody That I Used To Know" Best Alternative Music Album - "Making Mirrors"

  • Taylor Swift

    Record of the Year - "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" Best Country Duo/Group Performance - "Safe & Sound" Best Song Written For Visual Media - "Safe & Sound (From The Hunger Games)"

  • Blake Shelton

    Country Solo Performance - "Over"

  • Ronnie Dunn

    Country Solo Performance - "Cost of Livin" Best Country Song - "Cost Of Livin'"

  • Eric Church

    Country Solo Performance - "Springsteen" Best Country Song - "Springsteen"

  • Dierks Bentley

    Country Solo Performance - "Home"

  • Hunter Hayes

    Best New Artist Country Solo Performance - "Wanted" Best Country Album - "Hunter Hayes"

  • The Lumineers

    Best New Artist Best Americana Album - "The Lumineers"

  • Alabama Shakes

    Best New Artist Best Rock Performance - "Hold On"

  • Florence + The Machine

    Best Pop Vocal Album - "Ceremonials" Best Pop Duo/Group Performance - "Shake It Out"

  • Maroon 5

    Best Pop Vocal Album - "Overexposed" Best Pop Duo/Group Performance - "Payphone"

  • P!nk

    Best Pop Vocal Album - "The Truth About Love"

  • Adele

    Best Pop Solo Performance - "Set Fire To The Rain [Live]"

  • Carly Rae Jepsen

    Song Of The Year - "Call Me Maybe" Best Pop Solo Performance - "Call Me Maybe"

  • Miguel

    Song Of The Year - "Adorn" Best R&B Performance - "Adorn" Best R&B Song - "Adorn" Best Urban Contemporary Album - "Kaleidoscope Dream"

  • Ed Sheeran

    Song Of The Year - "The A Team"

  • Katy Perry

    Best Pop Solo Performance - "Wide Awake"

  • Rihanna

    Best Pop Solo Performance - "Where Have You Been" Best Rap/Sung Collaboration - "Talk That Talk" Best Short Form Music Video - "We Found Love"


    Best Pop Duo/Group Performance - "Sexy And I Know It"

  • Avicii

    Best Dance Recording - "Levels"

  • Calvin Harris

    Best Dance Recording - "Let's Go"

  • Skrillex

    Best Dance Recording - "Bangarang" Best Dance/Electronica Album - "Bangarang" Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical - "Promises (Skrillex & Nero Remix)"

  • Swedish House Mafia

    Best Dance Recording - "Don't You Worry Child"

  • Al Walser

    Best Dance Recording - "I Can't Live Without You"

  • Steve Aoki

    Best Dance/Electronica Album - "Wonderland"

  • The Chemical Brothers

    Best Dance/Electronica Album - "Don't Think"

  • Deadmau5

    Best Dance/Electronica Album - "> Album Title Goes Here <"

  • Kaskade

    Best Dance/Electronica Album - "Fire & Ice"

  • Michael Bublé

    Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - "Christmas"

  • Carole King

    Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - "A Holiday Carole"

  • Paul McCartney

    Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - "Kisses On The Bottom" Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package - "Ram - Paul McCartney Archive Collection (Deluxe Edition)" Best Historical Album - "Ram - Paul McCartney Archive Collection (Deluxe Edition)"

  • Coldplay

    Best Rock Performance - "Charlie Brown" Best Rock Album - "Mylo Xyloto"

  • Bruce Springsteen

    Best Rock Performance - "We Take Care Of Our Own" Best Rock Song - "We Take Care Of Our Own" Best Rock Album - "Wrecking Ball"

  • Anthrax

    Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance - "I'm Alive"

  • Halestorm

    Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance - "Love Bites (So Do I)"

  • Iron Maiden

    Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance - "Blood Brothers"

  • Lamb of God

    Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance - "Ghost Walking"

  • Marilyn Manson

    Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance - "No Reflection"

  • Megadeth

    Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance - "Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)"

  • Muse

    Best Rock Song - "Madness" Best Rock Album - "The 2nd Law"

  • Fiona Apple

    Best Alternative Music Album - "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do"

  • Björk

    Best Alternative Music Album - "Biophilia"

  • M83

    Best Alternative Music Album - "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming."

  • Tom Waits

    Best Alternative Music Album - "Bad As Me"