Julia Michaels is now a household name...
but it wasn't always that way. Before her wildly successful Nervous System album with "Issues" (nominated for Best Song) and "Uh Huh" (another crowd favorite), Julia Michaels was on the song-writing hustle. Most notably, Michael co-wrote Justin Bieber's "Sorry." This is the case for a lot of artists while they work toward label representation and gain contacts in the industry. Every Grammy season, I like to take the time to learn more about the songwriters behind the Best Song nominees. Not only might they be the nominated artists of tomorrow, but I also find hearing the differences and similarities in their solo projects intriguing. So, let's hear it for the Grammy nominated songwriters! Here are the nominees.
Ramón Ayala | "Despacito"
While Ramón may not be well known in the mainstream scene, he's legendary in the norteño and conjunto genre of Mexican music, earning the nickname "King of The Accordion." His songs have won him a slew of Grammys and have also been featured in many movies.
Poo Bear | "Despacito"
Poo Bear is a legendary songwriter of sorts. This isn't his first collab with Bieber either. Having worked with the artist on other successful songs like, "What Do You Mean?" and "Where are U Now?," Poo Bear aka Jason Boyd was an obvious collaborative partner on this super record. Poo Bear also co-wrote "Caught Up" from Usher's crazy successful Confessions album and has written with everyone from Kelly Rowland to Chris Brown. Even on his own projects, he's worked with stellar artists like this recent collaboration with Skrillex.
Erika Ender | "Despacito"
Erika Ender is another underrated treasure in the mainstream world. Having a prolific career as a singer, she is also one of the most successful and respected composers in the Latin music community. She's been celebrated by the Latin Billboard Awards, Latin Grammy Awards, and is in the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. She has her very own version of "Despacito".
Marty James Gordon | "Despacito"
Gordon is the fourth and final additional songwriter of "Despacito" in addition to the artists attached to the projects. Now do you see how much it takes to create a hit? Marty James Gordon is a well known composer for film. His work can be heard in 40 Days and Fourty Nights, The Prince & Me, and Jack and Jill. Gordon has worked with several other Latin artists such as Enrique Igelsias.
No I.D. | "4:44"
Dion Wilson (aka No I.D.) co-wrote "4:44" with JAY-Z (aka Shawn Carter). Nicknamed "The Godfather of Chicago hip hop," in addition to his own solo projects he has also acted as a mentor to artists such as Kanye West. Currently in Chicago, Wilson is a disc jockey, rapper, and writer there. He released a solo album in 1998 entitled Accept Your Own and Be Yourself (The Black Album).
Benny Blanco | "Issues"
Benny Blano is no stranger to making hits. He's worked with some of the best artists of our time including Ed Sheeran, Kesha, Maroon 5, Justin Bieber, and more. Predominately a producer, Blanco was signed to Dr. Luke's label Prescription Songs and under that label produced tons of hits. Here's one of them since he doesn't have a solo project out.
Stargate | "Issues"
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen together create Stargate, the production duo behind some of the greatest stars over the past several decades from Michael Jackson to Brittany Spears to Beyoncé. On a recent single, they called upon some of their favorite past collaborators P!nk and Sia to create quite the tune.
Justin Tanter | "Issues"
Justin is also songwriting royalty having sprinkled his magic onto top hits across genres. Some artists he's worked with include: Kelly Clarkson, Hailee Steinfeld, Selena Gomez, Fall Out Boy... the list goes on. Tanter studied musical theatre in college but then returned to school at Berklee to study music. After Berklee, him and fellow graduates created Semi Precious Weapons, a group that would go on to open for Lady Gaga's Monster Ball Tour. Julia Michaels is a long-time songwriting partner of his, so it only makes sense that he worked on "Issues" with her.
6ix | "1-800-273-8255"
6ix has worked with a handful of artists but his work with Logic has gotten the most clout. He is Logic's in house producer and produced five songs on his newest album including 1-800-273-8255.
The Stereotypes | "That's What I Like"
The Stereotypes are a collaborative producing and songwriting force made up of Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip. They've been behind a number of hits included Danity Kane's "Damaged" and most recently worked with Pitbull as artists and producers on "Jungle".
1500 or Nothin | "That's What I Like"
Brody Brown is a known producer and song-writer who has worked with mainly Cee Lo Green , Bruno Mars, and Adele's song "All I Ask" which he also played piano on. James Faunterloy is known for his work with Rihanna and Justin Timberlake. Both are part of 1500 or Nothin' a songwriting and producing collective based in LA.
Phillip Lawrence | "That's What I Like"
Phillip Lawrence is a consistent collaborator with Bruno Mars. In fact, he and Mars even have named their duo "The Smeezingtons." They broke into the record industry by co-writing and co-producing "Fuck You" with Cee Lo Green.
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