Producer J.R. Rotem Helping 50 Get Soul, Tossing Beats For Dr. Dre
A few years ago, Rotem was your average Joe, sitting at home in his boxer shorts wondering if anybody would actually pay for his tracks one day. Now Rotem has everyone from the Game to Rick Ross to JoJo shelling out top dollar for his beats. He's working with two artists a day, with Britney Spears and 50 Cent being the biggest names on his roster.
"Within a 24-hour time period I was in with 50, then Britney," Rotem said. "Whoever I'm in the studio with, I try to bring the best out of them and let them bring the best out of me. I just try to make the best possible song."
Although he's very secretive when it comes to Spears (see "Britney's New Music Is 'The Next Level,' Producer Says") — including those recently leaked tabloid photos that allegedly captured the two locking lips — he opens up just a little bit about 50's music. Just as 50 told MTV News a few weeks ago, he says the leader of the G-Unit is indeed looking to soul music for inspiration.
"I just sat down with him and we went through tracks," Rotem said. "He's definitely into soulful stuff. He's at a level where he doesn't have to put an album out for money or anything — he's in it for the love of hip-hop. For the next album, he's trying to bring a very powerful new sound. He's an innovator. He puts out a sound and people will copy it. He wants to set a trend. At this point I can't give any more details, but it's definitely going to be a remarkable project."
This year alone, Rotem has worked with Rihanna ("S.O.S."), Rick Ross ("Push It") and the Game ("The Doctor's Advocate," "California Vacation"). His latest projects include new tracks by Jennifer Lopez, JoJo, Mya, Natasha Bedingfield, Ashley Tisdale and Jesse McCartney.
Oh yeah, he's also worked with Dr. Dre on the Detox album (see "Meet Super-Producer J.R. Rotem: The Man Game Calls 'The White Dr. Dre' ").
"He's gotten a few tracks from me for it, and I've heard vocals on some of my tracks," Rotem said. "But with Dr. Dre, he might record 100 tracks and choose his favorite 15 or something. I don't want to jump the gun and say I'm going to be on the album."
Rotem also just inked a deal with Epic Records for his new imprint, Beluga Heights.
"We sat down with everybody," the producer said of the courting process for his label. "I learned that when you get into business with somebody on an exclusive level, you need to really connect with the point people. In this situation, there was no contest as to who we connected to the most. It just felt right to go with them."
First on his roster is 16-year-old Miami rapper Sean Kingston.
"He's incredible," J.R. boasted of his protégé. "I'm giving him his own sound, his own identity. When I work with established people, there's already precedents to their sound, so I have to step it up some and give the J.R. twist to it. With Sean, I'm the one who's actually establishing his sound."