Mann is a new artist signed to J.R. Rotem’s “Beluga Heights” record label, with a distribution deal through Mercury/IDJMG. His first single, “Text”, features Jason Derulo on the hook. Rotem checked in with “The RRS” to chat about the track.
J.R. Rotem breathed a sign of relief when he found out that Janet Jackson cleared the use of a sample from her 1993 number one hit, “Again” for the latest single from Iyaz, “Solo.”
“Unfortunately that song leaked before we ever solidified anything,” said Rotem. “In a way it was amazing; people really seemed to be loving the record, but yunno on another way, it’s not like we officially had mixed it or mastered it or gone for sample clearance or anything like that.”
Although it may be unclear as to who actually posted the track on YouTube, this much is known: Iyaz himself, as well as Sean Kingston, “tweeted” out the link to their followers, thus beginning the buzz on the song. Jackson did not speak with Rotem directly, but did offer a compliment on the final piece, in addition to clearing the sample.
Sample clearance is not a given – and like “Solo” – sometimes a track is produced but not commercially distributed before the okay is handed down. Case in point: a track off of Jason Derulo’s self-titled debut, due out March 2, called “Ridin’ Solo.” The version on YouTube contains portions of The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” Rotem did not receive sample clearance from the band to use the track. Although disappointed, the song will still appear on the LP, with a different beat. It is not the first time the producer ran in to such an issue, and probably will not be the last.
“When you get creative, and you sample stuff, you don’t first get clearance,” explained Rotem. “There are certain cases, where people just aren’t interested… I actually can respect when they don’t want people to sample it… I can’t go in to it expecting that they are going to give me something that’s theirs.”
Rotem named Prince and The Rolling Stones in a list of different artists who are known not to offer sample clearance.
Sean Kingston is in the studio now, working on his third LP. But in an exclusive interview on “The Ralphie Radio Show” – producer J.R. Rotem reveals that he doesn’t know if he’ll be in the studio with Kingston this time around.
“I honestly don’t have any information on Sean in particular,” responded Rotem when I inquired about Kingston’s new project. “He’s still signed to Beluga Heights/Epic, but I haven’t worked with him in a while.”
The “Fire Burnin” singer confirmed on “The RRS” in November that he is working on new stuff, and even said at the time that he was working with Rotem – who originally discovered Kingston on MySpace. But since Kingston’s 2007 self-titled debut, it seems the chemistry between the producer and artist has faded.
“Truthfully, I don’t know if I’m gonna be, from a producer standpoint, working on the next album that he’s going to be doing,” said Rotem. “Me and Sean had a chemistry, a very strong chemistry on the first album. I ended up producing the entire album. On the second album, it was kind of a different vibe. I probably did about half that album. And I would say that at this point, he’s kind of doing his own thing on his third album.”
Rotem reiterated during our conversation that Kingston is still signed to his label, a dual venture with Epic, and that will not be changing in the immediate future.
Universal Motown/SRP Recording Artist Vita Chambers swung through The RRS to talk about her Thanksgiving Day performance to celebrate 50 years of Motown, as well as her new track, “Young Money”, which is available now on iTunes.
Part 1: Barbados, Thanksgiving Performance
Part 2: “Young Money”
Despite Monday’s Lady GaGa/Jason Derulo show being postponed, the “Whatcha Say” singer still made time for The RRS, chatting for the first time about GaGa’s tour changes and appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Derulo also dropped some knowledge about hit self-titled LP, which hits stores this March.
Part 1: Lady GaGa, Haiti
Part 2: Self-titled LP, T-Shirt ripping
You know when Pete Wentz starts paraphrasing Jay-Z, he means business. Actually, I wasn’t sure what the Fall Out Boy bassist meant when he dropped this during our conversation – but I think we’re all about to find out soon.
“People are gonna be really sick about the next deal I make,” said Wentz, who is also the head of Decaydance Records. “If people felt weird about the last one, people are gonna feel real weird about the next one.”
I asked Wentz to elaborate on his “On To The Next One” reference, and well… he at least continued.
“It’s got nothing to do with Fall Out Boy or Island Def Jam,” Wentz admitted. “It’s gonna be different, and it’s gonna make people feel sick, or happy.”
The only timeline Wentz gave to the big announcement is that it will not happen on Thanksgiving or Christmas, but will happen before the end of the year. He said that everyone is a little lost on what’s happening, but that he’s going through with it – whatever it is – anyways.
“Ahh man… funny question, yunno?” Wentz responded when I asked why the band released a “best of” album at this particular moment in time. “Fourth quarter. Labels like to put out greatest hits in the fourth quarter, don’t they? And ‘why now?’ because it’s like, the band doesn’t have enough hits to have a greatest hits. And ‘why now?’ because maybe it’s like, you have a contract you want to get out of. We asked ourselves all those questions, and then decided to put it out as something for the fans.”
Part 1: Believers Never Die: Greatest Hits, “Alpha Dog”
Part 2: Hair Cut, Future Plans, Angels & Kings (Wentz’s NYC Bar)
The timing is also curious given that Fall Out Boy as a band is currently on a hiatus, or as Wentz told MTV News the night before – a “decompressing.” So, while supporters may not have new material in the immediate future, they will have two new songs from the release, including the first single, “Alpha Dog.”
“We felt like (“Alpha Dog”) didn’t fit in,” Wentz reasoned as to why the track didn’t appear on Folie A Deux. The song did pop up on a mixtape the label head released prior to Fall Out Boy’s last LP. “It felt too electronic. At the time it felt futuristic, now it feels it is the right time for it.”
And oh how the times have changed. Wentz is 30, with a child and a wife, and will be living in New York for at least the next 13 weeks. His spouse, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, makes her Broadway debut on November 30 in the musical, “Chicago.” For Wentz, this will translate to more time with his son. Bronx Mowgli Wentz turns 1 on Friday. This will probably also find the entrepreneur with more opportunities to manage and appear at his New York bar, Angels and Kings. The drinking establishment might be to blame for the slow, sometimes rambling responses I received from Wentz throughout our chat.
“I was there, in my head, last night,” Wentz said. “But I don’t think I was there, in reality.”
Don’t expect a new single from Sean Kingston’s sophomore LP tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after.
Checking in to The Ralphie Radio Show via telephone, Kingston told me that Tomorrow is yesterday, as he is already in production on his third album.
“We’re gonna go to a brand new album, with some crazy joints,” revealed Kingston. “I’ve been so inspired that I’ve been in the studio… and I’ve been coming up with a lot of smashes.”
Download the mp3
The “Fire Burnin’” singer did confirm that J.R. Rotem is contributing to the new effort. Rotem produced the number one hit, “Whatcha Say” – a song performed by Jason Derulo but originally intended for Kingston’s album. Perhaps it’s that song, along with “Replay” – which is by Kingston’s artist I-Yaz, that inspired the new material.
Kingston closes out the year with the “Tomorrow Tour” and radio promo dates, and then will continue production on his next LP.