Carlos McKinney

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Carlos McKinney
Also known asLos Da Mystro, Pryceless
Born (1978-01-10) January 10, 1978 (age 42)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
GenresR&B, pop, jazz
Occupation(s)Record producer, songwriter, pianist
Years active1995–present
LabelsRadio Killa
Associated actsThe-Dream, Kelly Rowland, Babyface, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, J. Holiday, Lyric

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


McKinney was born into a prominent 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.

McKinney began studying piano at age four with his 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 album as a bandleader was Up-Front (Sirocco Jazz, 2000)

McKinney has worked as an arranger and record 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. 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.

In 2013, he won a Grammy Award for his credits and production on the album Unapologetic by Rihanna.

In 2018, Los started working with The-Dream for upcoming Radio Killa Records artist Bria Jhane on her debut album titled "What is Love?".

In early 2019, Carlos contributed with Hitmaka for Chris Brown's "Indigo" album on the song "Sorry Enough". The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over 500,000 units in the United States.[3]


As leader[edit]

  • 2000: Up-Front

As sideman[edit]

Credits as composer[edit]

With The-Dream

  • 2007: Love/Hate
  • 2009: Love vs Money
  • 2009: Walkin' on the Moon
  • 2009: My Love
  • 2010: Love King
  • 2013: IV Play
  • 2018: Ménage à Trois: Sextape Vol. 1, 2, 3[4]

With others


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
2017 "Summer Body" (featuring Fabolous) The-Dream Love Affair
2018 "Text Back" Bria Jhane TBD
"Fragile" Bria Jhane TBD
"Bedroom Calling" (featuring The-Dream) Chromeo Head over Heels


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b c d "Carlos McKinney | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 16, 2017.