Today we’d like to introduce you to Corey “Mr. Hanky” Dennard.
He has constructed club-cracking anthems for Tory Lanez, Jacquess, Nicki Minaj, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti, Rick Ross, and Young Dolph. His music became radio mainstays last year with two breezy, laidback singles – “California” performed by Colonel Loud featuring Young Dolph, Rico Barrino, and T.I. and
“On the Way” featuring DJ Luke Nasty and most recently the Platinum #1 Billboard smash hit “Smile Bitch/Living My Best Life” by Lil Duval, Snoop Dogg, and Ball Greezy.
While working with Collipark Music his production prowess helped jumpstart the careers of Soulja Boy and V.I.C., as well as provided savage soundtracks for Ying Yang Twins. From laying down unpredictable production for Atlanta’s newest superstars-in-the-making Dae Dae and YFN Lucci to Wale, Travis Porter, and K Camp, to veteran rappers Fabolous and Plies, multi-faceted hip hop/R&B/ EDM beat technician Mr. Hanky is the most accomplished music producer that you may have never heard of.
With a musical flair that bounces between riveting dance tracks, mid-tempo melodic grooves, and throbbing R&B and Top 40 ballads, Mr. Hanky cannot be contained to one particular genre or style. And over the last few years, he has been quietly overhauling the soundscape of urban music.
“I work hard to give an artist a better platform to succeed by creating music that crosses genres and reaches different demographics,” Mr. Hanky explains. “In the last three or four years, I just started creating a whole new wave. I started creating a different sound because everything was starting to sound the same.”
Born Corey Dennard and raised in East Atlanta, Hanky’s musical roots date back to childhood. Both his mother and sister are trained musicians, and young Corey got his feet wet in music playing trumpet in the school band and learning the piano. He cultivated those talents into landing a scholarship to Southern University, where he played in the Human Jukebox Marching Band.
“I’m a musician before I’m a producer,” he points out.
It was in college that he started making beats in his dorm room and hustling burned CDs for extra cash. By the time he finished college and moved back home to the A, word had already made it back home that the kid had some heat. Building his resume, he worked with several independent artists and eventually landed a position as in-house producer at Collipark Music.
While at the label, he helped catapult the careers of Soulja Boy and V.I.C., producing the club smash “Smart Girl Dumb Booty” by Tex James featuring Stuey Rock and Dallas duo Treal Lee and Prince Rick’s street anthem “Thrown Off (Fuck Everybody).
In 2006, he launched his own imprint Mr. Hanky Productions and since then, his client list has swelled to include some of the most well-known artists in the music industry. Last year, Hanky’s runaway hit single the relaxed, laidback “California” performed by Colonel Loud featuring Young Dolph, Rico Barrino, and T.I. made a huge impact at radio. The infectious single has since appeared in the motion picture Keanu and is slated for two major movie releases next year.
He followed up with “On the Way” performed by DJ Luke Nasty, which hit radio and caught on like wildfire. The single reached more than 3,000 spins per week on urban and rhythmic radio stations across the country.
“When collaborating with artist, I encourage them to go beyond their comfort zone and speak to a wider range of listeners beyond their neighborhood,” Mr. Hanky explains. “Every day I continue to look for ways to be more creative and to come up with records that the people want.”
That is exactly what he has done and what he will continue to do. Mr. Hanky is developing new artists under his production company and has a brand new album in the works with star-studded singles already on deck.
I’m just cocking back, loaded and ready to go,” he says.
Quiet as it’s kept, Mr. Hanky has been making hit records for over a decade. With a flair for cooking up hip hop anthems and radio buzz records, Mr. Hanky has built up an impressive list of production credits. The BMI producer has been able to stay in demand over the years because he refrains from focusing on trends and strives to create timeless music.
“I can make a song for your local trap artist and then, I can do something for a gospel or R&B artist or a pop record,” says Mr. Hanky. “I do what feels best.”
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I wish it was a smooth road, lol. But honestly, I don’t have too many horror stories, just mostly an issue with the disrespect of producers as a whole. You can have the #1 record in the world industry execs people will congratulate you, praise your work and still try to devalue your work at the same time by trying to pay as if you just started yesterday. Lol.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Simple I just make hits, I’m not into being on everyone’s mixtapes, social media clout, being verified, followers, etc.
What was you like growing up?
Growing up, I wasn’t really quiet but I wasn’t really that rambunctious either. I was just very observant and at one point I thought was going to be the next Micheal Jordan. Honestly, I was always involved in music/band because my mother is a trained classically trained musician who went to Talladega College and got her masters from Georgia State. But honestly being a producer just kinda happened. I’d be lying if I said I wanted be one growing up, I was just making beats for my homeboys in the band at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA and people wanted to pay me for them so I ran with it.
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