L.A. Reid wishes there was a pop star mold, as then he'd "churn them out like f**king Big Macs".
The record executive has had a hand in the careers of some of the biggest names in music, including Usher, Pink, Rihanna and Justin Bieber. Many think his job is easy, but he insists there is more to it than finding someone pretty who can hold a tune.
"Today, artists look like artists. As record company people, we all claim that we can make stars, but we can't put a coat of paint on anybody; it doesn't work," he told Billboard magazine. "I've had people say to me, 'Yeah, that's just about cookie-cutter pop star.' I'm like, 'Really?' Where is that mold? Because if there is a mold, then I'm going to churn them out like f**king Big Macs."
That's not to say that things always go well for L.A. He had a period in 2013 when the acts he signed didn't gel properly with his company, and he's frank about why that happened.
"I won't kid you - I was a spoiled brat because I had so many years of successes, and I never, honestly, hit a cold patch quite like that, and I didn't like it," he explained. "[But] this is a cyclical business, and right after hot is cold, and hopefully after cold, there's hot. And I've had to live with that and adjust my expectations based on it."
One of his latest big-name acts is Meghan Trainor, who L.A. signed on the spot. He's thrilled with how well she is doing, and he knows he was right not to tamper with her track All About That Bass before releasing it.
"I said, 'Yes,' then, 'Don't mix it. Don't touch it. Let's put it out as it is.' A song like that is lightning in a bottle," he enthused. "And as arrogant as it sounds, I knew Meghan was going to explode at that moment when I met her."