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“I’ve always wanted to be an SNL cast member.”

WHEELS 2.0 SPECIAL: 10 QUESTIONS FOR HIT PRODUCER J.R. ROTEM

The Hitmaker Behind Chart-toppers “SOS,” “Beautiful Girls” and “Whatcha Say” Opens Up…Succinctly
Wheels is doing something a little different today. Our own Erica Ramon managed to track down the amazingly talented J.R. Rotem (Rhianna, Britney Spears, Sean Kingston, Jason Derulo and more), so we decided to devote a special edition of the column to sharing the interview with our readers. New music features will resume later this week. In the meantime, keep feedin’ the inbox [email protected].

What have you given up for music?
In a way everything and in a way nothing, as it's the only thing I want to do.

First instrument you picked up, why and how old were you?
Piano at age five. My parents saw that I was musical and decided to give me piano lessons.

Can you describe the creative process? How do you begin?
The creative process can start many different ways. It can start with me doing a track in a particular vibe or genre; it can start with me hearing a sample and deciding to flip it; or it can start with a writer/artist humming a melody and playing piano against that. etc.

What was the first song you wrote and/or produced that you heard on the radio and what was that feeling like?
“S.O.S.” by-Rihanna. It was an incredible, almost unreal and fulfilling feeling of having my music finally being heard by the world.

What is your vice?
I don't have vices, I have flaws.

Who haven’t you worked with yet that you would like to?
Eminem
.

What keeps it fresh for you?
The pursuit of making music that has never been made before.

What haven’t you done yet that is on your list?
It’s hard to give a specific answer. I can't say I even have a list. I feel in general, though, there's still a lot more I want to accomplish in terms of making better music, having more hits, breaking more artists, etc.

If you weren’t in the music business what else would you be doing?
I’ve always wanted to be an SNL cast member.

What instrument would you be and why?
A piano. That’s what I use to create music.

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