You hardly ever get to hear from the man behind the curtain. But J.R. Rotem, the producer behind hits like Rihanna‘s “SOS,” and owner of the Beluga Heights record label, which launched the careers of Sean Kingston, Jason Derulo and Iyaz, spoke with Crushable about finding and making stars. He’s had big radio hits and hit the jackpot with the artists he’s discovered. Other artists love them, too — Jason recently toured with Lady Gaga and Sean and Iyaz are currently on the road with Justin Bieber.
Although he hasn’t worked with either of those stars yet, J.R. said their support of his artists has been “a blessing.” “Whenever you have a new artist…obviously they need a big song on the radio, they need to continue having big songs at radio, but radio doesn’t tell the whole story,” J.R. explained. “So to have my young artists, who are new, be on the road with the Lady Gagas and the Justin Biebers, it can only help give them that much more exposure. So now fans are hearing these people’s songs on the radio, but they’re also seeing them live, they’re seeing them in association with other successful acts…Any association with the people who are successful and doing great is helpful.”
J.R., who started his music career as a jazz pianist before deciding to get into pop music production, also let us in on the secret to his successful song hits: “I have no tolerance for chaos,” he told us. “When I listen to music…I like to hear a directness in what it’s doing from the beat, to the lyrics, to the way it sounds…I always want the melodies and the beats to have a very strong emotional impact but to hit you in a direct way.” He’s putting that to work with new Beluga Heights artists Auburn and Chloe and the songs he’s working on for hot female rapper Nikki Minaj.
Read on for more of our Q&A with J.R., including some advice for those who want to break into the pop music industry.
(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)