Archives For R. City

The rumor is that new music from Lady Gaga is coming later this year, and producer RedOne did nothing to quell that speculation.

“Yes, let’s hope,” the GRAMMY Award winning producer responded when I brought up said rumor recently. “Yeah, let’s see what happens. We did eight songs so far and we’ll see what happens, yunno?”

Red, as his friends call him, has also been in the studio with Kaya Stewart and Enrique Iglesias. The latter artist is featured on the producer’s new single, “Don’t You Need Somebody.”

“I sent it to Enrique with two other songs,” he explained of how the track came to feature the singer. “He got the three songs but for some reason, he did not hear (‘Don’t You Need Somebody’).”

It wasn’t until the two linked up for a session in Miami that Iglesias heard the song. And that’s literally all it took for the artist to want to contribute to it. Iglesias immediately asked if he could jump on the song, and of course Red obliged.

Shaggy, who is also featured on the track, became involved in a similar fashion. During a music meeting Red simply played him the song.

“He was like, ‘Red put the mic on right now!’” recalled the producer of how Shaggy reacted after he heard the beat. “’Put the mic on!’”

Serayah and R. City, who of course scored a big hit last year with “Locked Away,” also added their vocals to the final product.

DNCE is one of the more unlikely pop music success stories of the past 12 months. The band is comprised of a Jonas Brother, the brothers’ former backing drummer, a member of Semi-Precious Weapons and a woman who moved to the US from her native South Korea speaking no English and traveling with only her guitar.

A few chance meetings led to a sold-out tour, a four song EP, a top 10 hit and now a gig opening for Selena Gomez.

The story of Joe Jonas, his friend Jack Lawless, Cole Whittle and JinJoo Lee is about as unpredictable as it might seem. So of course it comes as no surprise that while breakout singles usually push up LP releases, the band has actually delayed its debut album due to the prolonged success of “Cake By The Ocean.”

“It’s only a good problem,” Jonas remarked after noting the original release target was spring (now he is thinking fall). “Now ‘Toothbrush’ is starting to take off, our second single, and we’re getting a lot of love from that.”
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The adoration is for more than simply another catchy song; the second from the band’s EP “SWAAY.” DNCE release the music video for the track with plus-sized model Ashley Graham cast as the main love interest. Graham is having a fantastic 2016; she already graced the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover.

“Ashley Graham is the hottest thing in the universe,” Whittle said, while also noting that he hoped to have Jonas’ role in the video. “We all have giant crushes on her. When we were talking about the video, that’s what you dream of when you’re 16, when you finally get to make a music video one day (and) you pick the hottest person in the world that you just kind of want to roll around in bed with all day.”

“I think we had an idea that people were going to talk about it because she’s really killing it right now. But our real thinking process was, ‘She’s amazing and beautiful,’” replied the lead singer when I asked if the band was prepared for a conversation about breaking down stereotypes to center around its music video. “Look, yeah, if we somehow change a standard with her for music videos, yunno knock on wood I think that’d be great. She’s a gorgeous woman and that’s what matters.”

DNCE’s four-track EP also includes “Pay My Rent” and “Jinx.” Jonas and company are trying out new songs, such as “Body Moves” and “Naked,” while on tour with his former fellow Disney star Gomez. The band’s trek on the “Revival Tour” continues throughout North America and will extend in to her Australian dates, wrapping on August 11.

And if DNCE’s history is any indication of its future, then the only thing that can be predicted is unpredictability.

“Locked Away,” the Caribbean-infused pop song with a catchy chorus sung by Adam Levine, could have been the song of the summer. Matter-of-fact, the duo that comprises R. City intended for the track to be just that. However Timothy and Theron Thomas were not able to release to the track to the masses until July; despite the fact that it was ready in May.

“We got Adam Levine on the song, and then just clearing it with his label and the time that it takes to get that process done took a little longer than we had expected,” Theron revealed to me. “We were so ready to get it out.”

Levine recorded his vocals at the beginning of May, and the Atlanta-based group planned on a June release. However at least one lesson was learned: once you’re on a major record label, you will not always have full control over a project’s timeline.

“As songwriters and producers, we come in, we write the song and then we leave,” Theron explained. “We’ve always been independent, and we’re really famous in the Virgin Islands, so we used to put out independent albums put out music on our own.

“When you’re signed to a label, you can’t do ‘guerilla-style’ stuff. People have to sign waivers and stuff has to be cleared.”
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But on the flip-side it was the label, Dr. Luke’s RCA imprint Kemosabe Records, that enabled the Levine collaboration in the first place. Luke, nee Lukasz Gottwald, played the track for the Maroon 5 front man and he immediately agreed to sing its hook.

The whole project is quite improbable considering that when R. City first entered the studio with Luke, the goal was to write hit pop songs; “Katy Perry records.” Gottwald had already seen the duo’s talent first-hand as they collaborated on Becky G’s single, “Shower.” A mutual friend tipped Luke off to the Thomas brothers’ talents as singers. Any aspirations that they, or their manager had for a Perry placement quickly vanished.

You can only imagine the expression on the face of Ray Daniels, R. City’s manager, when Dr. Luke told him he had R. City records to play him instead of other collaborations; the artists weren’t even signed, although that too was about to change.

“He started to get a lot more cool about it once he heard the music,” Timothy said.

“Luke started playing him records and (Daniels) was like, ‘Okay, cool, I get it,’” recalled Theron.

And it all worked out the way it was supposed to: “Locked Away” hit number one on the pop radio airplay chart on the same week that the duo’s debut album, What Dreams Are Made Of, hit shelves.