Producer/songwriter/keyboardist/remixer Dallas Austin's credits include Monica, Boyz II Men, Madonna, After 7, Michael Jackson, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Aretha Franklin, and Brand New Heavies, among others. He also recorded as a member of Highland Place Mobsters, appearing on the movie soundtracks of Boomerang and White Men Can't Jump. Austin was born on December 29, 1972, in Columbus, GA, and began playing guitar as a child before switching to keyboards. In 1986, he moved to Atlanta, GA, and started playing in bands.
His first production assignment was former Klymaxx ("I Miss You") member Joyce "Fenderella" Irby's Motown single "Mr. DJ," which had a rap by Doug E. Fresh. It went to number two R&B on Billboard's charts in spring 1989. Other hits followed: Troop's "I Will Always Love You," Boyz II Men's nine-million-selling Motown LP Cooleyhighharmony (number three pop,summer 1991), TLC's four-million-selling OOOOOOOOh...On the TLC Tip (number 14 pop, summer 1992) and their double platinum album CrazySexy Cool (number eight pop, late 1994), Another Badd Creation's gold Motown singles "Iesha" (number six R&B, number nine pop, fall 1990) and "Playground" (number four R&B, number ten pop, spring 1991), both from their platinum LP Coolin' at the Playground Ya Know, to just name a few.
With his thriving independent production career, Austin opened his own recording studio, DARP (Dallas Austin Recording Projects), in Atlanta. He also opened his own label, Rowdy Records (QT's "My Baby Mama" and For Real), which was distributed by Arista/BMG. Later, he began the Volcano Records-associated label, Freeworld.
Dallas Austin-related releases are Brandy's Never Say Never, Monica's The Boy Is Mine and Miss Thang, Michael Jackson's HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1, For Real's Free, TLC's Fanmail and the import single "Unpretty (Remixes)," Madonna's Bedtime Stories, A Few Good Men's Take a Dip, Indigo Girls'Shaming of the Sun, Aretha Franklin's A Rose Is Still a Rose, Carnival: Rainforest Foundation Concert, Deborah Cox's Deborah Cox, Lenny Kravitz's "I Belong to You," N'Dea Davenport's N'Dea Davenport, Troop's Attitude, After 7's Takin' My Time, Hi-Five's Faithful, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince's Code Red, Fishbone's Chim Chim's Bad Ass Revenge, Paula Abdul's Head over Heels, and the movie soundtracks to Boomerang, Small Soldiers, Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy), Poetic Justice, and White Men Can't Jump. ~ Ed Hogan