Mike Smith (record producer)

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Mike Smith
Occupation(s)Entrepreneur, recording artist, author, television personality
Years active2013–present
Notable credit(s)Snoop Dogg Billy Ray Cyrus Sway Calloway DJ Khaled, Crooked I, Tech N9ne, Cyhi The Prynce, DJ Whoo Kid, Twista, RZA and Inspectah Deck of Wu Tang Clan, DMC (Run DMC), Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses)
SpouseErika Smith

Mike Smith is a Cuban American recording artist, record and television producer. He is a Number 1 Billboard charting artist and his music has had over two billion streams with over five million units sold. He is best known for being one of the stars and main judge on BET's original programming series One Shot and for co writing the hit song "A Hard Working Man" by Snoop Dogg, Billy Ray Cyrus, and The Avila Brothers. This song has been featured on NFL Thursday Night Primetime and CBS NFL Today.[1][2][3][4][5][6] He is also well known for numerous hit singles including the Top 5 Billboard hit "Beautiful Day" and Billboard Top 40 hits "Hardworking Man" and "You're My Kind Of Beautiful".

Smith has worked with many artists, including Snoop Dogg, Billy Ray Cyrus, DJ Khaled, T.I., Juicy J, Royce Da 5'9', Remy Ma, and Gilby Clarke of Guns N' Roses.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

Smith first made his fortune in the 1990s when he was only 23 years old with an IT business. He then built, bought, and sold three regional chains of medical practices.

Smith is married to Erika Smith, a choreographer and dancer, who is also one of the executive producers of One Shot. She also danced in one of Inspectah Deck of the Wu-Tang Clan's music videos. The couple has six children together.[9]


In 2013 Mike Smith, along with Jonathan Hay, co-founded SMH Records, a music label out of Charlotte, North Carolina with Caroline Distribution a division of Capitol Music Group.[10] Nigerian heiress Bim Fernandez signed with SMH in November 2013, becoming part of the Smith/Hay musical project Pink Grenade.[11] Pink Grenade released an album in July 2014, accompanied by four singles that gathered millions of views online.[12][13] Guest rappers Crooked I, Troy Ave, Dizzy Wright and Royce da 5'9" were featured on four songs.[14] In August 2014 the record label offered $15 million to Jay Z to produce his next album. Smith stated to HipHopDX "I will write Jay Z a check for $15 million today as an advance for us to produce an album for him."[15] In 2015 Mike Smith was a performer and producer for the studio album When Music Worlds Collide that was profiled on Fox News,[16] Business Insider[17] and Billboard. He was awarded TIDAL Rising Artist for his compilation album When Music Worlds Collide by Jay Z's music streaming service.[18] The version Deluxe: When Music Worlds Collide featuring new collaborations with notable hip-hop artists was released in 2016.[19]

Mike Smith and Erika Smith with Tech N9ne and Twista on set of BET One Shot

In 2016 Mike Smith and wife Erika Smith were executive producers of "BET's One Shot" the hip-hop lyrical competition series hosted by Sway Calloway and also starring Mike Smith. The show debuted on BET on August 16, 2016, and also starred DJ Khaled, TI, RZA, and Twista.[20][21] Smith's debut album Always You And Me was number 7 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, number 47 on the Billboard New Artist album chart, and number 67 on the Billboard 200. His book, Lovin' Each Day, became an Amazon bestseller.[22] Billboard premiered "Lost Souls" the single he co-produced for Orlando massacre survivor Patience Carter, Nitty Scott and Iliana Eve.[23][24]

Mike Smith with TI, Sway Calloway, King Tech, King Crooked, and DJ Drama on set of BET One Shot

In 2017 Smith relaunched Wu-Tang label Razor Sharp Records with RZA and King Tech.[25][26] Smith released the single "Alibi" with Chanel Sosa, RZA and Tech from the album Smith Hay & the Blue Notes. Smith worked with other Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck on the single "Daddy's Little Girl".[27]

Mike Smith with DJ Khaled, Sway Calloway, King Tech, and King Crooked on set of BET One Shot

In July 2017, Smith hit Number 28 on the Spotify Viral 50 Chart with his song Almost Paradise with Royce Da 5 9.[28]

On December 30, 2017, Smith's second solo album, Pieces of my Soul, reached number 5 on the Billboard Heatseekers,[29] Number 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers South Central,[30] Number 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers South Atlantic,[31] and Number 48 on the Independent Album Chart.[32]

Smith's duo Smith and Hay reached number 1 on the Billboard Jazz Album chart for the week of January 20, 2018.[33]

Smith's duo Smith and Hay released the album The Whoodlum Ball with DJ Whoo Kid on May 11, 2018. The week of May 26, 2018, this album hit number 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart,[34] Number 9 on the Billboard Rap Album Chart,[35] Number 11 on the Billboard Independent Album Chart,[36] Number 16 on the Billboard Digital Album Chart,[37] Number 54 on the Billboard Album Chart,[38] and Number 156 on the Billboard 200 Chart.[39]

On September 15, Mike Smith peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Charts with the single "Beautiful Day".[40][41]

On December 15, 2018, Billboard 's Year End Charts were released. Mike Smith's single "Beautiful Day" was the 33rd biggest song of the year on the Billboard Christian Streaming Year End Chart.[42]

In 2019, Smith was one of the producers of Juicy J's moderate hit "Don't You Wanna".[43] On July 15 Jazz Part Two was released and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts.[44] On July 26, Smith released Follow the Leader, a cover of Eric B. & Rakim's album in the style of jazz with Jonathan Hay and Benny Reid that hit No. 1 on the Billboard Jazz Charts and was up for Grammy consideration.[45][46][47]

On January 17, 2020, Smith released the album "Somewhere In The Middle".[48] On March 14, 2020, the first single "Hardworking Man" from the album "Somewhere In The Middle" hit number 25 on the Billboard Rock Chart.[49]

On January 26, 2021, Smith became a brand ambassador for AMS Neve helping to promote the brand new Neve 8424 console.[50]

On April 1, 2022, Smith's song "Hardworking Man" was recreated by Snoop Dogg, Billy Ray Cyrus, and the Avila Brothers and renamed "A Hard Working Man".[5] Mike is listed as a co writer on the song.[6]

On July 10, 2022, it was announced that Mike Smith and RZA would be Executive Producers of the feature film "Nyctophia" and Smith and RZA's production company Razor Sharp would be one of the Producers of the film as well. Smith would be Music Supervisor of the film as well.[51][52][53]

On October 6, 2022, Smith's song "A Hard Working Man" a song he co wrote with Snoop Dogg, Billy Ray Cyrus, and The Avila Brothers was featured on Thursday Night NFL Primetime.[2] On October 24, 2022 “A Hard Working Man” was featured in the CBS Sports Special Highlighting the League’s Tight Ends, on Sunday, as the lyrics celebrate the grind, toughness and grit that the Tight End offers their team.[54]

On December 15, 2022, it was announced that Mike Smith’s SMH Records has signed a production deal with Island of Misfits Media to create the new animated series “Death Travelers".[55][56]

“Death Travelers” is an animated series created by Smith, who also executive produces with Erika Smith and Snoop Dogg. The project follows Smith and his music partner Nio, as they travel into the afterlife “rescuing lost souls, righting supernatural wrongs, searching for lost love, and maybe earning enough to quit their day jobs.” The show concept includes each episode having a famous musical guest as a story character while debuting original music. Some of the first musical stars will include Snoop Dogg and RZA.[55][56]


  1. ^ "The Neve® 8424 Console Brings Added Flexibility to Mike Smith's Workflow". January 26, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Mike Smith on his Neve production setup and working with Snoop". headlinermagazine.net.
  3. ^ "One Shot Cast". Bet.com. December 29, 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  4. ^ Rosenfeld, Laura (August 23, 2016). "Who Is Mike Smith? The 'One Shot' Judge Is A Major Force In The Hip Hop Game". Bustle.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  5. ^ a b "LISTEN: LISTEN: Billy Ray Cyrus Teams up with Snoop Dogg, Avila Brothers for Collab, 'A Hard Working Man'".
  6. ^ a b "A Hard Working Man (Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus & Snoop Dogg)". Spotify. April 2022.
  7. ^ "DJ Khaled Talks Wade's Heat Exit, Beyonce Tour, Police Brutality « CBS Sports Radio". Radio.cbssports.com. July 22, 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  8. ^ Bjorke, Matt (August 30, 2016). "Album Review: Mike Smith – "Always You And Me"". RoughStock.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  9. ^ Rosenfeld, Laura. "Who Is Mike Smith? The 'One Shot' Judge Is A Major Force In The Hip Hop Game". Bustle. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  10. ^ "Would You Invest $30 Million in a Label Called 'SMH Records'?". Digital Music News. October 14, 2013. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  11. ^ Miller, Gregory E. (January 20, 2014). "Meet the Nigerian heiress who wants to be the next Rihanna | New York Post". Nypost.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  12. ^ Staff (July 2014). "Billionaire rockstar heiress Bim Fernandez in controversial new music video 'Let's Take it Naked'". The Herald. Nigeria.
  13. ^ SMH Records (July 25, 2014). "Pink Grenade feat. Bim Fernandez – Lipstick". World Star. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "Pink Grenade: Fear of a Pink Planet". AllMusic. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  15. ^ Tardio, Andres (August 19, 2014). "SMH Records Owners Offer Jay Z $15 Million To Produce His Next Album". Hiphopdx.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  16. ^ "Tidal vs. Spotify: Indie hip hop producers release album on both and declare a surprising winner". Fox News. May 14, 2015. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  17. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com/music-producers-release-album-on-spotify-and-tidal-to-see-which-streaming-service-is-best-2015[dead link]
  18. ^ Hitt, Caitlyn (May 17, 2015). "Tidal 'Opened Many Doors' For Famed Music Producer Jonathan Hay And Partner Mike Smith". Ibtimes.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  19. ^ Hernandez, Victoria (July 26, 2016). ""Deluxe: When Music Worlds Collide" LP Features Hip Hop Heavyweights". Hiphopdx.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  20. ^ "BET Networks Is in Search of America's Best Undiscovered Rapper". Business Wire. July 19, 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  21. ^ Maglio, Tony (April 20, 2016). "BET Orders John Singleton Drama 'Rebel,' Gary Owen Reality Show". Thewrap.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  22. ^ "Watch Out For Mike Smith". The Source. December 21, 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  23. ^ Platon, Adelle (December 8, 2016). "Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting Survivor Patience Carter Releases 'Lost Souls' Feat. Nitty Scott & Iliana Eve". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  24. ^ Powell, Amber. "Louisville teens link with Pulse Nightclub shooting survivor for – wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports". Wave3.com. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  25. ^ "Video: Mike Smith 'Alibi' Ft. RZA, Chanel Sosa and DJ King Tech (premiere)". Thehypemagazine.com. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Magazine, The Hype (July 6, 2017). "Video: Mike Smith 'Alibi' Ft. RZA, Chanel Sosa and DJ King Tech (premiere): Mike Smith…". Twitter. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  27. ^ "Daddy's Little Girl (feat. Inspectah Deck & Iliana Eve)". Open.spotify.com. May 12, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  28. ^ "Spotify Charts". Spotifycharts.com. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  29. ^ "Heatseekers Albums: Up and Coming Musicians Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  30. ^ "Heatseekers – South Central : Dec 30, 2017 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  31. ^ "Heatseekers – South Atlantic : Dec 30, 2017 | Billboard Chart Archive". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  32. ^ "Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  33. ^ "Jazz Music: Top Jazz Albums & Songs Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  34. ^ "Heatseekers Albums: Up and Coming Musicians Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  35. ^ rkavner (January 31, 2017). "Rap Album Sales". Billboard.com. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  36. ^ "Independent Albums". Billboard.com. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  37. ^ "Digital Albums Chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  38. ^ "Top Album Sales : Page 1". Billboard.com. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  39. ^ "Top 200 Albums – Billboard 200 chart". Billboard.com. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  40. ^ Billboard (September 15, 2018). "Mike Smith Beautiful Day Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  41. ^ "World Premiere: Mike Smith & Jonathan Hay (Featuring Bubba Sparxxx) – "Beautiful Day (Remix)"". RoughStock.com. September 27, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  42. ^ Billboard (December 15, 2018). "Year-End Charts Christian Streaming Songs". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  43. ^ "Juicy J teams up with Denny Strickland and Smith and Hay for an official remix". thisis50.com. February 28, 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  44. ^ "Jazz Chart Update: Week of July 15 – JAZZIZ Magazine". Jazziz.com. July 16, 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  45. ^ Kyles, Yohance. "Eric B. & Rakim's 'Follow The Leader' To Be Re-Imagined As A Jazz Project". AllHipHop.com. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  46. ^ "New Album: Jonathan Hay, Benny Reid, Mike Smith 'Follow The Leader'". Rap Radar. July 26, 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  47. ^ "King Tech Gets Grammy Nomination for Collab Jazz Album with Smith & Hay – Sway's Universe". Swaysuniverse.com. July 8, 2015. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  48. ^ https://www.yahoo.com/news/mike-smith-releases-first-single-133300898.html[dead link]
  49. ^ "Mike Smith". Billboard.
  50. ^ https://www.ams-neve.site/post/mike-smith-8424
  51. ^ McNeely, Kelli Marchman (July 10, 2022). "RZA Executive Producing New Supernatural Horror 'Nyctophobia'". HorrorFuel.com: Reviews, Ratings and Where to Watch the Best Horror Movies & TV Shows.
  52. ^ Squires, John (July 8, 2022). "'Nyctophobia' – RZA Executive Producing Horror Movie About a Supernatural Blackout".
  53. ^ Tuna, Thomas (July 10, 2022). "Fear The Darkness With New Horror Film 'Nyctophobia'". Horror News Network.
  54. ^ ""A Hard Working Man" was featured Sunday in the CBS Sports Special Highlighting the League's Tight Ends". June 29, 2023.
  55. ^ a b Panaligan, E. J. (December 16, 2022). "'The 1619 Project' Hulu Limited Docuseries Set for January Premiere (TV News Roundup)".
  56. ^ a b "'The 1619 Project' Hulu Limited Docuseries Set for January Premiere (TV News Roundup)". Yahoo Finance. December 16, 2022.

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