Jonathan J.R.Rotem Tops Charts – New Work with Britney, Lil Scrappy, LeToya

Jonathan “J.R.”
Rotem Tops Charts With Rihanna’s “SOS”
Week’s #1 on Billboard’s Pop 100, Three Weeks at #1 on Hot 100

Upcoming Work with Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Obie Trice, Mya, R. Kelly,
Lil Scrappy, LeToya Luckett, Dogg Pound and more
Beverly Hills, CA
— While Jonathan Rotem’s work sizzled on the charts this Spring with Lil Kim’s
“Whoa” and 50 Cent’s “Best Friend” remix with Olivia, it was the slow burn of
Rihanna’s “SOS (Rescue Me)” that is now the fire-hot Summer anthem.

After 12 weeks on the Hot 100 chart, “SOS” jumped to the #1 spot in May,
making it the second biggest leap to #1 in Billboard history. After enjoying a
three-week stint at the top of the Hot 100, the song hit #1 on the Pop 100
chart. “SOS” is currently #5 on both charts.
Needless to
say, J.R.’s magic touch is in demand more than ever, and his list of Summer
releases is mind boggling. His track “In Love With The Moula” on Mobb Deep’s new
Blood Money LP dropped in May, and his song with Lil Eazy on the
Waist Deep Soundtrack hits stores in June.
In July,
Rotem’s production can be found on albums from Obie Trice, Mya, Penelope and
LeToya Luckett. More tracks follow on projects from Tha Dogg Pound, Paris Hilton
and pop sensation JoJo in August.
For more
information on Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem, go to  and
J.R. Rotem Bio
In 2005, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Game,
Snoop Dogg, Rihanna and most of the other top names in the music industry found
a new collaborator in producer songwriter Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem. His ability to
work simultaneously with an A list group of hip hop, pop and r&b artists is
testament to the fresh and innovative perspective J.R. brings to the
Unlike many of his hip hop
counterparts, J.R. is the son of Israeli immigrants who moved to South Africa
where he was born. At the age of twelve, J.R.’s family relocated to the SF Bay
area by way of Toronto
where he lived from the age of
two. His world was unlike the street kids who spenta lifetime dreaming and
angling about how to get into the rap game, but his passion for music was no
less intense.
As a youngster, J.R.’s parents
insisted that his musical interest be honed in a strict, disciplined way. This
meant hours of private piano sessions daily where he developed a passion for
classical music. On the contemporary front, he found artists like The Beatles,
Sting and Queen inspiring, but at a very young age, when he first heard Run
DMC’s “Raising Hell” album, he became mesmerized by hip hop. But while he loved
what he heard musically, he never thought hip hop would become a way of life for
After high school, J.R. entered
the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston where he majored in piano
performance with aspirations of scoring films professionally. While enrolled at
Berklee, J.R. also immersed himself in the world of Jazz. However, it was only
the release of two seminal CD’s – Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Snoop
Dogg’s Doggystyle – that unleashed J.R.’s inspiration to undertake
music production.
Now an accomplished and
well-versed jazz pianist, J.R. recognized the jazz influences of the samples
used in these two hip hop masterpieces, but did not instantly recognize the
samples themselves because he was never exposed to the music of Funkadelic,
Parliament, James Brown and other 70’s Rock/Soul pioneers whose music was now
weaving the evolving soundtrack of hip hop.
However, he did recognize how
the music made people feel and react. In fact, J.R. analogizes the cross over of
hip hop to the mainstream in the same way jazz must have felt to the earlier
generation of mainstream youths: “I started using the hot hip hop beats of the
day in my jazz sets and bought some studio equipment to make beats with.” With
his passion for hip hop and a new home studio, J.R. combined the discipline
honed from years of formal study into making beats. Local rappers took note and
quickly snatched up these tracks for $100-$500 a pop – including the likes of
Suga-T and D-Shot from the E-40 camp.
J.R.’s first big break came when
a CD of his beats landed in the hands of veteran Bay Area producers who planned
on using J.R.’s talents for an upcoming En Vogue album. Eventually though, this
CD ended up with producer Dwayne Wiggins of Tony, Toni, Tone’ fame who thought
the beats better suited Beyonce and Destiny’s Child. When the song “Fancy” made
it on to the Survivor CD and a second song “My Song” ended up on a
special issue Destiny’s Child CD entitled Love Destiny,  J.R.
still acknowledges that there will never be a professional highlight quite like
placing these first two songs. “The personal high I received from placing these
two records on the biggest group in music was all the validation I needed to
take the risk of moving to L.A. and really jump starting my
In Los Angeles , J.R. found
acceptance in the music industry much harder than he had expected. He made ends
meet by teaching piano lessons with the hope of meeting Dr. Dre and giving him a
CD of his keyboard-heavy beats. J.R. began to understand that talent alone would
not guarantee his success – but that getting to know the right people would.
What J.R. thought would be a big break came when a couple of friends he met
ended up recording in a studio next door to Dre. He rushed over and was able to
hand Dre a copy of his producer demo. For months, every time his phone rang he
hoped it was Dr. Dre on the other line calling to hire him, but this dream
eluded him for a while longer.
However, J.R.’s second break
came when a white Detroit rapper named Vishiss invited him to produce his debut
CD on Dreamworks. While recording the CD, Dr. Dre heard one of the songs J.R.
had produced for Vishiss through J.R.’s manager Zach Katz, and demanded the
song. Vishiss understood the significance of such an offering and let J.R. sell
the song.
As is often the case in the
industry, the Vishiss project was shelved after Vishiss’ record company was
absorbed into Interscope. It was during this time that Katz transformed J.R.’s
career into what it is today. “Zach was the person who really helped me shape my
sound. He made a lot of musical suggestions to me and even put me with more
experienced producers like Denaun Porter who helped me with more of the
technical aspects of producing.” Once J.R. hooked up with Katz and began to
refine his sound, his career took off like never before.
In the year that followed, J.R.
produced over 60 records for A-listers like Snoop Dogg, Fabolous, Lil’ Kim,
Game, Dr. Dre, Rihanna, Mya, Young Buck, Obie Trice, Foxxy Brown, Busta Rhymes,
Trick Daddy, Tre Songz, Talib Kweli, and Lil’ Flip, to name a few.

J.R. says he wants to become a
musical innovator and earn hit after hit. “I’m not afraid of being commercially
viable because having hits is society’s way of telling you that you resonate.”
Judging by his remarkable accomplishments in the span of only a couple of years,
J.R. will be resonating for a long time to come.

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