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J.R. Rotem Talks Nicki Minaj’s ‘Fly,’ IYAZ’s ‘Pretty Girls’ + BMI Songwriter Award

Nicki Minaj, J.R. Rotem, IYAZ
Ethan Miller / Frederick M. Brown / Michael Tullberg, Getty Images

Don’t know J.R. Rotem’s name? Well, you definitely know his songs. Rotem, an acclaimed record producer, got his big break with Destiny’s Child’s hit, ‘Fancy,’ back in 2001. As of late, he’s spun his web with the likes of Nicki Minaj on ‘Fly,’ feat. Rihanna, and IYAZ with ‘Pretty Girls,’ feat. Travie McCoy, to name a few. PopCrush was able to get Rotem to sit down and answer some questions, which we wrapped up in an exclusive video.

Sure, Rotem loves hip-hop now, but he eased his way into it slowly. Little known fact: He’s actually a classically trained jazz pianist! “I wanted to stop doing jazz for a living and I wanted to produce,” he tells us. With sheer desire and the conquest of following his dreams “blindly and with faith,” Rotem jumped on board the Top 40 train — though he adds that it didn’t happen over night, and that took a lot of trial and error. The result has been positive, though. Now, Rotem has his own boutique label, Beluga Heights, and publishing company, which lent him to churn hits for folks like Sean Kingston and Rihanna with ‘SOS’ back at the start.

Need more name dropping to prove he’s legit? How about Britney Spears, Chamillionaire, Paris Hilton and Flo Rida? Oh, and Rotem was named Songwriter of the Year at the 2011 BMI Pop Awards, along with Lady Gaga and Jason Derulo. Check out the video below to hear what this star-quality producer has to say about his recent accolade, as well as working directly with Nicki Minaj and IYAZ.

Watch PopCrush’s Interview with Producer J.R. Rotem

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