Carlos McKinney

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Carlos McKinney
Birth name Carlos McKinney
Also known as Pryceless, Los da Mystro
Born (1978-01-10) January 10, 1978 (age 39)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Genres R&B, Pop, jazz
Occupation(s) Producer, songwriter, musician
Instruments Piano
Years active 1995–present
Associated acts The-Dream, Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Rihanna, Trey Songz, Usher, Babyface, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, J. Holiday, Lyric, Exit 21, Helly Luv

Carlos McKinney (born January 10, 1978) is a Grammy Award[1] winning American record producer and jazz pianist.


McKinney was born into an eminent Detroit jazz family; he is a nephew to pianist Harold McKinney, bassist Ray McKinney, trombonist Bernard McKinney (Kiane Zawadi), and drummers Earl McKinney and Walter Harris. He is a cousin to drummer Ali Jackson and trumpeter Khalil Jackson. His mother, Carolyn McKinney, is a singer, and sister Shani McKinney is a pianist. His younger sister Thema "Tayma Loren" McKinney is an aspiring solo vocalist. Carlos began studying piano at age four with uncle Harold; his first professional appearances were with the R&B group Identity Band when he was 12. He studied classical music at the Center for Creative Studies from 1983 to 1991. He also studied harp under Patricia Terry-Ross, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. After studying with Harold and Ray McKinney and Marcus Belgrave, he played with the Legacy Quintet (1989–93) and then attended The New School in New York City (1991–95). He played with Winard Harper (1992–93), Antonio Hart (1992–95), Buster Williams (1993), Wallace Roney (1994–96), Sonny Rollins, Elvin Jones, Steve Turre, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Garrett and Charnett Moffett. He has played jazz festivals in Europe (from 1992), Senegal (1994), Iceland (1995), and Turkey (1997). His first disc as a bandleader was 2000's Up-Front, on Sirocco Jazz.

McKinney has also worked as an arranger and producer. He was assistant composer to James Mtume for the TV show New York Undercover from 1995.[2] He then received a contract from Def Jam, where he worked with musicians such as NIKKO, Case, Keithian, Ciara, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Montell Jordan, Kandace Love, Babyface, and Redman. He has also produced for artists such as The-Dream, J. Holiday, Bobby Valentino, and Jamie Foxx, among others. He produced the hits Shawty Is Da Shit by The-Dream, Bed by J. Holiday and I Invented Sex by Trey Songz featuring Drake in 2009. He won a Grammy Award for his credits and production on the Rihanna Unapologetic album in 2013.


As sideman[edit]

with Elvin Jones

with Buster Williams


Year Single Peak chart positions Artist Album
2002 "Relax Your Mind" (featuring Faith Evans) 52 Boyz II Men Full Circle
"Episode" (featuring Shells) Lyric Lyric
2003 "Hot & Tipsy"
2007 "Bed" 5 1 26 32 92 11 J. Holiday Back of My Lac'
"Shawty Is a 10" (featuring Fabolous) 17 6 45 36 The-Dream Love Hate
2008 "Can't Find the Words" 88 Karina Pasian First Love
"Trading Places" 45 4 Usher Here I Stand
2009 "Hands on Me" 88 56 Bobby Valentino The Rebirth
"Rockin' That Shit" 22 2 50 The-Dream Love vs. Money
"Walkin' on the Moon" (featuring Kanye West) 87 38 74
"My Love" (featuring Mariah Carey) 82 36
"I Invented Sex" (featuring Drake) 42 1 Trey Songz Ready
2010 "Love King" 92 26 The-Dream Love King



J. HolidayBack of My Lac'

Chris BrownExclusive

  • 07. "You"

The-DreamLove Hate

  • 01. "Shawty Is a 10"
  • 03. "Fast Car"
  • 07. "Playin' in her Hair"
  • 08. "Purple Kisses"
  • 10. "Luv Songs"


Rantz – "Different Positions"

Unknown – "Red Light"

JC – "Breath"

O'Keith Stewart – "Ooow Girl"

Karina PasianFirst Love

Sean GarrettTurbo 919

  • 10. "6 in the Morning" (Featuring Rick Ross)

Midwest City – "Show Me Something"

Mayrina Chebel – "Tant D'amour A Donner"

UsherHere I Stand "Trading Places"


Ne-Yo – Unreleased

  • 00. "Start A Fire"

Bobby ValentinoThe Rebirth

  • 03. "Butterfly Tattoo"
  • 05. "Hands on Me"

Electrik RedHow to Be a Lady: Volume 1

  • 06. "9 to 5"
  • 09. "Friend Lover"

Jamie FoxxIntuition

  • 07. "Intuition Interlude"


  • 00. "Red Jeans"

The-DreamLove vs. Money

Mariah CareyMemoirs of an Imperfect Angel

  • 04. "Candy Bling"

Trey SongzReady


  • 04. "Soundtrack to mMy Broken Heart"

R. KellyUntitled

  • 07. "Like I Do"

R. Kelly – Unreleased from Untitled

  • 00. "Number #1 Fan"


Jazmine Sullivan – "Don't Make Me Wait"

Kelly Rowland – "Geronimo"

R. Kelly – "Speakin' My Language"

MonicaStill Standing

  • 02. "One in a Lifetime"

The-DreamLove King

  • 01. "Love King"
  • 06. "Yamaha"
  • 07. "Nikki Part 2"
  • 08. "Abyss"
  • 10. "Turnt Out"
  • 13. "Veteran"
  • 14. "Priceless"
  • 18. "Love King (Remix)" (Featuring Ludacris)

The-Dream – Unreleased from Love King

  • 00. "Veteran (Remix)" (Featuring R. Kelly)

Fantasia BarrinoBack To Me

  • 04. "Who's Been Lovin' You"


Beyoncé – "Schoolin' Life"


Melanie FionaThe MF Life

  • 07. "Change the Record" (Featuring B.o.B)


  • 10. "Nobody's Business" (Feat. Chris Brown)
  • 11. Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary"


The-DreamIV Play

  • 03. "Equestrian"
  • 11. "Self-Conscious"
  • 12. "Holy Love"

Kelly RowlandTalk a Good Game


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-12.