FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There's no science to making a hit record, but Nathaniel Levingston is a living example of how hard work and persistence can pay off.
After spending the last two-plus decades in the music game, the Fresno-native recently hit it big when a song he wrote and produced was featured on DJ Khaled's latest album, "Father of Asahd."
"Life has just changed, like instantly, with one song," says Levingston. "People always say one song can change your life, you hear that, but you don't know how true it is until you get that one song."
Levingston wrote the track "Won't Take My Soul" featuring hip hop icons Nas and CeeLo Green.
He also received a producer credit on the album.
"Father of Asahd" debuted last May and quickly rose to become the number one album on the Billboard charts and is on it's way to reaching platinum.+
"I met Khaled 14 years ago when I interned for him," says Levingston. "I went out to Miami for the Source Awards. Ended up interning for him for the day. I never knew 14 years later I would be on his project. But what it taught me was you just got to put the time in and be prepared."
The 40-year-old now lives in Atlanta but hasn't forgotten his 559 roots.
That female voice you hear on the track is a gospel singer and longtime friend, Leah Marie of Fresno.
"I've always known, working with him, that he was a mastermind with the pen," says Marie. "We just went into the studio and he said 'sing this line,' and I started singing this line, and I started freestyling, and then he came in there with me, and here we are, but we knew when we heard it, it was a hit."
Following the album's success, Levingston says doors have flung open for him like never before.
Some of the biggest names in music are now reaching out to him to help produce a hit record.
"Cardi B, I've been pinning a couple of songs for her new project. Cardi's only been out two years, and she's one of my favorites. When I got the call, 'Yo, Cardi is looking for some stuff, and they want you to submit it,' blew my mind."
The climb to reach the status of a number one album was a long and difficult one, but Levingston says he's enjoying the view while he awaits what's in store for 2020.
Music producer Nathaniel Levingston remembers his Fresno roots after writing hit song
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