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Yukon producer earns Grammy nominations

British artist Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia album, produced by Stephen Kozmeniuk, is up for several awards.

Stephen Kozmeniuk's work with Dua Lipa produces three nominations

Stephen Kozmeniuk at the 2016 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, where he won a Grammy as part of the team that produced Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly record. (Instagram)

Stephen Kozmeniuk knew there was something special when he met Dua Lipa several years ago, even though the British artist was virtually unknown at the time.

"A lot of it is connection, and whether or not you believe in them," Kozmeniuk said from his studio in Toronto.

"With Dua, it was just so apparent really early on that her voice is just so distinctive ... she just had something different from everybody else."

Lipa has been nominated for six Grammys this year, including record of the year for Future Nostalgia.

Kozmeniuk said he has been working on that record for months, starting with a songwriting session in Jamaica. Even though that session didn't produce any tracks that made it on to the final record, Kozmeniuk said everyone could tell they were on to something at that early stage. 

"It was this spirit that came out of that trip to Jamaica," he said. "It had to be a fun record. It was the antithesis to everything else that was going on, that was so dark and down. She just captured the zeitgeist of where everything was going."

Kozmeniuk grew up in Whitehorse and launched his music career as a solo artist but soon found he had a knack for producing. That has led him to work with some big names in the music industry.

This is the second time Kozmeniuk has been part of the Grammys. He won an award four years ago when he was part of the team that produced Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly record.

This time around, it's a bit sweeter, he said, because he's been involved in the record since the beginning. He likened the experience of being part of Dua Lipa's team to being in a band.

"When you have worked with somebody so long and you value what they do, you're just extra proud," he said. "And I just know how much work it was for everybody, and it's a good group of people. When you can have a little win with these really talented people, and its always a good time with and you're in the trenches with, it's just extra special."

The Grammys will be handed out on January 31.

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