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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.

It’s a cool sound effect – and J.R. Rotem created it, and places it on some of the songs he produces, simply as a way to promote himself.

“These days, as you know, people are buying physical CDs less,” said Rotem in the first of an exclusive four-part interview on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” They buy iTunes stuff; they listen to things on YouTube. The days of people looking at liner notes on albums is kind of a thing of the past.”

So the stuttering “J.R.” sound effect was born. Although it graces some of his work, Rotem doesn’t use it on everything – citing Leona Lewis’s “Better In Time” as one track he felt it didn’t fit with. Radio stations also feel this way about some of his songs, creating custom edits for use on-air without the signature. But Rotem is just fine with that.




“I don’t look at it as like a prerequisite, like you have to put that in there,” explained Rotem. “In the cases where they edit it out, that’s definitely something I understand and am cool with.”

Program directors of stations across the country have had many tracks gracing their desks and desktops with the “J.R.” audio signature – from Sean Kingston to Jason Derulo to Iyaz. As of late, Rotem and his Beluga Heights label have seen a great amount of success with the later two artists – as each have spawned a number one hit with “Whatcha Say” and “Replay” respecitively.

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.

J.R. Rotem believed “Whatcha Say” needed to be someone’s first single. Sean Kingston already had that lead hit in “Fire Burning.” I-Yaz wrote and sang on the beat – but even the artist himself knew it just didn’t work. Then Jason Derulo sang on it, with the sped-up sample of Imogen Heap’s “Lost and Found.” While others within Rotem’s camp may have known of the forthcoming success, Derulo did not.

“We all liked the song, but I mean, we never knew that it’d be my first single or that people would have received it so well,” revealed Derulo, who stopped by The Ralphie Radio Show before performing at The Woodlands for 97 BHT listeners.

“We’ll make six songs in a day. I mean, “Whatcha Say” is definitely special, and we definitely got spine chills from it, but it’s amazing that people are being so receptive to it, and I couldn’t be more pleased.”


Part 1:
“Whatcha Say”, Forthcoming LP

Part 2: Performance at The Woodlands, A.J. In The Afternoon

Check out Jason’s performance here.

However, for Derulo, there is one drawback to the song’s success – some radio stations play an edit sans the trademark “J-R” stutter and “Jason Derulo” shout out over the beginning. The Miami-born singer feels that he can work around such an edit on the next single.

“Next time, I’m gonna actually put it inside the song, where it’s like, ‘Mhhmm Whatcha Sa-Jason Derulo!’” he joked. “Try taking that out.”

We’ll see if Derulo follows through on the follow-up single. While Derulo hasn’t named a second track for radio release – he has played “Ridin’ Solo” at radio performances. The song samples The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” – and describes a bitter sweet breakup in an uplifting tone.

Derulo will open up for Lady GaGa on The Monster Ball tour this winter, and release his self-titled, debut LP in early 2010.

The up-and-coming singer chats about living with Sean Kingston, working with J.R. Rotem, and attending the VMAs in NYC, after the jump.

Part 1: The VMA’s, “Replay”

Part 2: New LP, Tour

His song, “Whatcha Say” is blowing up across the country. 19 year-old Jason Derulo calls The Ralphie Radio Show to chat about the track, sampling Imogen Heap, writing for Lil Wayne, and how he knows our buddy A.J. In The Afternoon.
Part 1: “Whatcha Say”, Imogen Heap’s Reaction

Part 2: Writing for Lil Wayne; A.J. In The Afternoon

Download the mp3

Sean chats about his sophomore CD, new song, Twitter, working with Joel & Benji Madden, and mutual friend DJ Woogie – on The Ralphie Radio Show.


Kingston’s new CD, Tomorrow, drops August 25th.