Jeff Bhasker

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Jeff Bhasker (also known as Billy Kraven and U.G.L.Y.) is an American record producer, songwriter, keyboardist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. He collaborated with rapper/producer Kanye West on the albums 808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch the Throne, with Jay-Z. He has won Grammy Awards for the songs "Run This Town" by Jay-Z, "All of the Lights" by Kanye West, and "We Are Young" by Fun.[1]

Career[edit]

Bhasker was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and raised in Socorro, New Mexico.[2][3] His mother played the piano and his Indian-born father was a medical doctor and the town's mayor for 24 years. Bhasker was introduced to jazz by his mother and his piano teacher.[4] He played in the jazz band at Socorro High School, where he graduated in 1993, and then studied jazz piano and arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.[5][6] He gigged around Boston as a keyboardist and played in a wedding band. After playing with the '70s era R&B band Tavares, Bhasker moved to New York on September 11, 2001. He toured with the jam band Lettuce and began focusing more on songwriting. One of his first productions was with neo soul singer Goapele, on her album Even Closer (2002). Bhasker produced a song on rapper The Game's first album, The Documentary (2005).[7]

Bhasker relocated to Los Angeles, California, in 2005. He began writing with Bruno Mars, and songwriter and executive Steve Lindsey served as their mentor. He played cover songs in a band with Mars around Los Angeles.[3] Bhasker then began an association with rapper/producer Kanye West.[8] Initially serving as a substitute keyboardist for West's Glow in the Dark Tour, he went on to become West's music director, and co-producer and co-writer on a number of songs.[9] Bhasker collaborated on West's albums 808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the Jay-Z/Kanye West collaboration album, Watch the Throne, including the songs "Welcome to Heartbreak". "Lift Off", and "Runaway". Bhasker received the Grammy Award for Best Rap Song for West's "All of the Lights", and the Jay-Z/Rihanna/Kanye West song "Run This Town".[10]

Bhasker's collaborations span multiple genres, including writing and production credits on Alicia Keys's 2009 album, The Element of Freedom, including the charting singles "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart" and "Wait Til You See My Smile", and the album tracks, "Love Is Blind", and "Like the Sea". In 2009, Bhasker produced the songs "Free", "Zombie", and "Heaven" for Natalia Kills, and co-wrote and produced, "Nothing Lasts Forever", from her debut album, Perfectionist, under the alias 'Billy Kraven'. He worked on Beyoncé's "I Care", "Rather Die Young" and "Party" from her 2011 album 4 as a writer, musician and producer.

Bhasker worked again with Alicia Keys on her 2012 album, Girl on Fire, on the singles "Girl on Fire", and "Tears Always Win". He has also worked on the hit singles "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink, Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness", and Emeli Sandé's "My Kind of Love". Bhasker served as lead producer and co-writer for the band Fun's 2012 album, Some Nights, for which he received the 2013 Grammy Award for Song of the Year for the song "We Are Young". He was additionally nominated for Album of the Year, Record of the Year for "We Are Young", and Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.[11]

Discography[edit]

Year Artist Album Notes
2002 Goapele Even Closer Co-producer ("Things Don't Exist", "Salvation", "Butterflykisses")
2005 The Game The Documentary Co-producer ("The Documentary")
2005 Goapele Change It All Co-producer, co-writer ("First Love", "Battle Of The Heart")
2008 Kanye West 808s & Heartbreak Co-producer, co-writer ("Say You Will", "Welcome to Heartbreak", "Amazing" feat. Young Jeezy, "Love Lockdown", "Paranoid" feat. Mr Hudson, "RoboCop")
2008 Brandy Human Co-writer ("Long Distance")
2009 Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 Co-producer, co-writer ("Run This Town" feat. Rihanna and Kanye West, "Already Home" feat. Kid Cudi)
2009 Kid Cudi Man on the Moon: The End of Day Co-producer, co-writer ("My World" feat. Billy Craven)
2009 Leona Lewis Echo Producer, co-writer ("Fly Here Now")
2009 Adam Lambert For Your Entertainment Producer, co-writer ("Fever")
2009 Alicia Keys The Element of Freedom Co-producer, co-writer ("Love Is Blind", "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart", "Wait Til You See My Smile", "Like the Sea")
2009 Robin Thicke Sex Therapy: The Session Co-producer, co-writer ("Meiplé" feat Jay-Z, "Elevatas" feat Kid Cudi, "Rollacoasta" feat. Estelle)
2009 Mary J. Blige Stronger with Each Tear Co-producer, co-writer ("City on Fire")
2010 Drake Thank Me Later Co-producer, co-writer ("Find Your Love", "Show Me A Good Time")
2010 Jasbir Jassi Jassi – Back with a Bang Co-producer ("Bang", "Kalaria", "Mela", "Baliye")
2010 Bruno Mars Doo-Wops & Hooligans Co-producer, Co-writer ("Talking to the Moon")
2010 Kid Cudi Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager Co-producer ("Mr. Rager")
2010 Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Co-producer, co-writer ("Dark Fantasy", "Power", "All of the Lights", "Monster" feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver, "Runaway" feat. Pusha T, "Lost in the World" feat. Bon Iver, "Who Will Survive in America")
2011 Natalia Kills Perfectionist Producer, co-writer ("Free", "Zombie", "Heaven", "Nothing Lasts Forever" feat. Billy Kraven, "If I Was God")
2011 Snoop Dogg Doggumentary Co-producer ("Eyez Closed" feat. Kanye West and John Legend)
2011 Beyoncé 4 Co-producer, co-writer ("I Care", "Rather Die Young", "Party" feat. André 3000)
2011 Jay-Z and Kanye West Watch the Throne Co-producer, co-writer ("Lift Off" feat. Beyoncé, "The Joy" feat. Curtis Mayfield)
2012 Lana Del Rey Born to Die Co-producer ("Diet Mountain Dew", "National Anthen", "Carmen")
2012 Fun Some Nights Producer, co-writer ("Some Nights", "We Are Young", "Carry On", "It Gets Better", "Why Am I the One", "All Alone", "All Alright", "One Foot", "Stars")
2012 Pink The Truth About Love Producer, co-writer ("Just Give Me a Reason" feat. Nate Ruess)
2012 Taylor Swift Red Producer ("Holy Ground", "The Lucky One")
2012 The Rolling Stones GRRR! Co-producer ("Doom and Gloom")
2012 Alicia Keys Girl on Fire Co-producer, co-writer ("Girl on Fire", "Tears Always Win")
2012 Bruno Mars Unorthodox Jukebox Co-producer, co-writer ("Young Girls", "Locked Out of Heaven", "Gorilla", "Moonshine")
2013 Dido Girl Who Got Away Co-writer ("Let Us Move On" feat. Kendrick Lamar)
2013 OneRepublic Native Co-producer, co-writer ("Can't Stop")
2013 Natalia Kills Trouble Co-producer, co-writer ("Television", "Problem", "Stop Me", "Boys Don't Cry", "Daddy's Girl", "Saturday Night", "Devils Don't Fly", "Outta Time", "Controversy", "Rabbit Hole", "Watching You", "Marlboro Lights", "Trouble")
2013 Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2 Co-producer, co-writer ("Headlights" feat. Nate Ruess)

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2009 "Run This Town" Best Rap Song Won
2012 "All of the Lights" Song of the Year Nominated
Best Rap Song Won
2013 "We Are Young" Record of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year Won
Some Nights Album of the Year Nominated
Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2014 "Locked Out of Heaven" Record of the Year Nominated
"Just Give Me A Reason" Song of the Year Nominated
Red Album of the Year Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (2013-01-09). "Fun. Producer Jeff Bhasker Caps Big Year With Grammy Nods". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  2. ^ Bhasker, Jeff (January 23, 2010). "Twitter / JeffBhasker: 6) I was born in Kansas city ka". Twitter. 
  3. ^ a b Fekadu, Mesfin (January 31, 2013). "Producer Behind Fun. Takes Center Stage at Grammys". Yahoo News. Associated Press. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ Small, Mark. "Producer on Fire". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ Barteau, Suzanne (February 15, 2012). "Socorro star shoots higher". El Defensor-Chieftain. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ Tingen, Paul (October 2012). "Jeff Bhasker on mixing ‘We Are Young’". Sound on Sound. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ LeDonne, Rob (July 10, 2013). "Jeff Bhasker: Music’s Go-To Guy". American Songwriter. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Alumni Grammy Award Winners". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  9. ^ Mirkin, Steven (2008-04-21). "Kanye West Glow in the Dark Tour". Variety. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  10. ^ Anderson, Kyle (2010-12-10). "Kanye West's 'Runaway' Is MTV News' #2 Song Of 2010". MTV. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  11. ^ http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.22121/title.grammy-nominees-revealed-frank-ocean-drake-2-chainz-among-those-nominated