| Jonathan Reuven Rotem|
Berklee College of Music
| Moraga, California|
Beluga Heights Records
| September 1, 1975 (age 40)
Johannesburg, South Africa (1975-09-01) |
Record producer, songwriter, music publisher
Piano, Keyboards, Pro Tools, synthesizer
Pop music, Hip hop music, Contemporary R&B, Reggae fusion
BET Hip Hop Award for Best Producer of the Year
Iyaz, Britney Spears, Sean Kingston, Rihanna
Sean Kingston, Iyaz, E Kidd Bogart, Scott Storch, Jason Derulo
Jonathan Reuven "J.R." Rotem (born September 1, 1975) is an American record producer, music publisher, and songwriter.
J.R. Rotem Wikipedia
Rotem, who is Jewish, was born in South Africa to Israeli immigrant parents in 1975. He moved to Toronto at the age of two and finally to Moraga, California at the age of twelve.
Rotem's entry point into music was in receiving classical piano instruction at a young age. When he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston it was initially with the intention of studying film scoring, but he ended up majoring in jazz composition.
As his first major label placement, the Destiny's Child song "Fancy", from their 2001 album Survivor, is cited by Rotem as being his first 'big break', and the song that convinced the young producer that it was worth pursuing this career path. Nevertheless, further success was not forthcoming and for years Rotem struggled to make further headway in the industry.
A significant breakthrough came when, through mutual friend Evan Bogart, he attracted the attention of former manager Zach Katz, a former music attorney who had previously represented rapper Rakim as well as various producers and songwriters in the Aftermath/Shady/G-Unit camp. Rotem says, "One of my biggest goals for years was meeting a manager with a good reputation and with connections to get my music to people." When asked in an interview with HitQuarters what made Katz decide to take the producer on, he said,
"This was a time where most of the people were beat makers, they didn't really play instruments. JR on the other hand, had a vast musical background ... So musically there were no limitations as far as what he could bring. Number two J.R he was very, very focused. He really wanted to win. And number three he was humble. If I gave him any suggestions about his tracks he would literally sit there and take notes. Then he would come back the next day with the changes I had suggested."
Rotem's next major cut was 50 Cent's "Position of Power" in 2005. In 2006, together with Katz and his brother Tommy, Rotem started his own record label, Beluga Heights, inking a joint venture partnership with Epic. Sean Kingston, a young Miami-based artist, was the labels first signing. Kingston's self-titled debut album went on to sell over 2 million albums and 10 million singles worldwide. Rotem also started a publishing company under the Beluga Heights umbrella, signing "SOS" co-writer Evan "Kidd" Bogart. Under a newly formed joint venture with Warner Bros. Records, the label signed pop sensation Jason Derulo, whose debut album went on to sell 14 million singles and over 1 million albums worldwide.
In 2009, Rotem was honored as BMI Producer of the Year. In 2011 he was again honored by BMI as Songwriter of the Year alongside Lady Gaga and Derulo. His trademark is a horn that follows with a stylised "J-J-J-J-J-R" and/or "Beluga Heights" at the start or end of records with which he has been affiliated.
J.R. Rotem is managed by Pulse Management, a division of Pulse Recording. In 2015, Rotem worked alongside Neyo and Timbaland on the music for Season 2 of Fox's Empire (2015 TV series). On October 17, 2015, Gwen Stefani premiered Used to Love You - co-written and produced by J.R. Rotem - at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City which is reportedly Gwen's next single.