STUDIO SESSIONS: Planet VI Share Their Journey to the Making of Rihanna’s####, “Pour It Up”


Often times the stories behind the biggest songs and albums aren’t told. Planet VI, formally Rock City, are the song-making duo behind hit after hit. They decided to share some of their story of creating “Pour It Up” by Rihanna. They’re giving some valuable life lessons too. Check it out.

Theron: Let me start off by saying we have a lot of relationships with a lot of people in this business. The only people that we didn’t have close, close relationships with would be Young Money/Cash Money and Roc Nation. Then we get a call to come out to London to be on Rihanna’s songwriting camp for her new album, Unapologetic. We were like, great! This is the perfect opportunity to go out there, work with Roc Nation, work with Rihanna, and build that relationship that we didn’t have. So we go out to London.

Timothy: PLUS, it is London!

Theron: Yes, it’s London! We’d never been there! We go and write about 13- 14 songs for the album. We did a great job. Everyone felt the energy and liked what we were doing. We left London knowing we killed it. We knew we had an album placement, we just knew it.
When it came down to the last of the album, we’re trying to figure out what she’s using… She’s not using anything. We’re like WHAT?! We were thinking we worked so hard, but we still missed the album. We really felt like we nailed it.

Planet VI_press pic2Timothy: What’s crazy about that, too, is that when we were out there they set it up by telling us they’re trying to take a different approach with this album. They told us they felt like Rihanna went through that phase where she can talk about being sexual and all that. They said they just wanted stadium music, so think stadium music. We do a bunch of stadium records. Then we find out they aren’t using none of them.

Theron: We come back to Atlanta, and we got set up to fly out to L.A. to work on more Rihanna songs. At this point, we’re like, ‘Look, we’re getting on this album!’ We get to L.A., and we’re working with Mike Will this time. We are writing and writing songs, and then Bu walks in. He’s like, ‘Yo, what y’all are doing sounds great; it’s dope, but I don’t want y’all to waste time. She wants ghetto, ratchet music. She wants her version of “Bands A Make Her Dance”. We’re like, ‘Huh?’ He’s like, ‘Trust me.’ So we say, ‘Cool. That’s easy.’

So, Mike Will is like, ‘I have that beat right now.’ He pulls it up. Then it just comes to us. We finish the song, added the missing pieces, and left it. Mike Will comes back and is like, ‘Y’all finish the song already? We’re like, ‘Yeah!!’ So we go back and forth on some things and send it off. Two days later, we ask if she’s using the record, once we hear the album is closing. They finally contact us and ask about splits, which meant she was using the song! That was one the last songs she cut, if not the last. We felt externally blessed. We really wanted to be a part of it.

Timothy: We worked hard to get on there. We treat each project as if it’s the first one. It’s about working from the ground up each time.

Tawni Fears is a freelance writer and contributor to Follow her on Twitter (@brwnsugaT).