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“A lot of people don’t really know me because I played the back scene. People know the songs I put out but not the face behind it,” says Brooklyn born producer Sharif “Reefa” Slater, echoing the circumstances of many of his peers.  “Now with social media people want to know who is doing the music and stuff like that. I just wanted to perfect my craft first before I come up front. It takes time for me to get there.”

Well Reefa is definitely “there.”  After convincing his mother to purchase his first MPC in his early teens and landing his first record (Shells’ “Why I Love You”) in 2005, Reefa has built up an enviable catalog providing tracks for everyone from Troy Ave to Rick Ross and has also scored the music to T.I. and Tiny’s “Family Hustle” reality show.

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At the tail end of 2013 Reefa produced three joints on French Montana’s “Excuse My French” debut album, and also laced music for the well-received “New York” album by Troy Ave. He followed that up by making beats for Chinx Drugz and Maino. But everything culminated earlier this year, when he notched production credits on two albums that debuted on the top 10 on Billboard’s top 100, at the same time. The first was the new album from Miami’s, Rick Ross, whose “Mastermind” LP debuted at #1 on the charts. The second was the comeback album “Braveheart” from R&B princess Ashanti on which Reefa produced two tracks. Both albums were released on March 4th, 2014.

“I did two great records on Ashanti’s new album, ‘Runaway’ and ‘Nowhere’ written by my boys JFK,” he says. “It was a great experience. First day we kind of laughed and joked, then laid some ideas down. Next day we knocked the records out.”

With the help of his ATM production team Reefa is ready to step out of the shadows and let people meet the man behind so much magic.

Watch our interview with Reefa where explains how he got on Rick Ross’s radar and creating the track, “What A Shame.”

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PRODUCER WEEK: Sharif “Reefa” Slater On Lacing Rick Ross & Ashanti  was originally published on