Like many in the business, producer-songwriter Jeremy Skaller got his start as a musician. A keyboardist and descendant of 19th-century Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, Skaller evolved effortlessly into a songwriter. He’s a co-founder of Orange Factory Music (OFM), the production team that brought Cash Money Records’ artist Jay Sean to the forefront. OFM has also produced, remixed and/or written for pop artists including Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. Most recently, Skaller produced Sean’s forthcoming Neon and three songs on Big Time Rush’s 24/Seven.
Despite Sean’s popularity and exposure in 2007—10 million YouTube views and more than 150 thousand independent record sales—Skaller had trouble generating label interest in the English artist from the Asian Underground scene. “I shopped Jay to all of the majors,” he recalls. “Every top A&R guy passed. I felt there was a belief that it was impossible for an Indian kid to be successful in America. I knew Slim [Williams] of Cash Money, which wasn’t then what it is now. This was pre-Drake, pre-Nicki Minaj. Within 20 seconds of sending him Jay’s video, he called and said ‘I want you to fly to Miami.’” In 2009, Sean’s single “Down” featuring Lil Wayne reached No. 1.
As a producer who is comfortable jumping genres, Skaller finds that artists and A&R reps can sometimes hold preconceived ideas about what he’ll bring to a project. “People perceive you one way and you deliver music that sounds another,” he observes. “I’ve run into my fair share of writing tracks for rappers and people raising their eyes when they hear it. They can’t believe that I produced it. And there was a time that I’d just completed a dance record but wanted to play a ballad for an A&R guy. All he wanted was another banger. All producers face that challenge.”
This excerpt taken from Producer Crosstalk, an interview with Music Connection by Robert Putnam. Read the full article here: http://www.musicconnection.com/producer-crosstalk-jeremy-skaller/