Hip-hop producer Christopher 'tricky' Stewart has quit his top job at Epic Records to return to the studio.

The man behind hits such as Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), Justin Bieber's Baby and Rihanna's Umbrella joined the label as President of A&R (artists and repertoire) in October, 2011, but he has since stepped down from the role.

He tells Billboard.biz, "It's real simple. I really want to get back into the studio; I miss making records too much. At the end of the day, that's my number one passion. I want to always give 100 per cent to everything I do. To do both these jobs, I would need to give 200 per cent. To be the best record person I can be is for me to be working in the studio."

Stewart will continue to work with Epic chairman Antonio 'L.A.' Reid via his imprint RedZone Entertainment, which boasts artists The-Dream and Frank Ocean.

He adds, "Nothing has changed beyond the fact that I will be in the studio making records hands-on. I'll still be working significantly with the Epic family."

Stewart's replacement has yet to be announced.