Laney Stewart

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Laney Stewart
Birth name Philip Lane Stewart II
Born (1966-01-10) January 10, 1966 (age 48)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres R&B, pop, hip hop, house, electronic
Occupation(s) Record producer, songwriter, publisher, manager
Years active 1978-present
Associated acts Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Babyface, Louil Silas, Jr., The-Dream, Esther Dean, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Kuk Harrell, B2K, Charlie Wilson, Aaron Hall, Karyn White, Go West, Chante Moore, Tony, Toni, Tone, K-Ci & JoJo, Tony! Toni! Toné!, The Sharpshootaz, Jesse McCartney, Alex Jacke

Laney Stewart (born January 10, 1966) is an American songwriter, music producer, musician, music publisher, music executive, manager and youth mentor.

He was born Philip Lane Stewart II, in the South Side suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Laney has penned, produced and published hits for some of the biggest names in R&B, hip hop and pop music over the past three decades.[1] In addition to his individual achievements, he also has a proven ear and consistent track record of recognizing and developing unknown talent on their way to success. The long list of hits he has created, published and or managed is a testament to both his creative and business acumen.[1]

Early life[edit]

Laney had a mother, Mary Ann Stewart, who was a successful singer in her own right, having sung backgrounds for the Ohio Players, Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin. His uncle, Morris "Butch" Stewart was a successful musician and producer. By age nine, Laney had taught himself how to play piano and drums. With the advertising business booming in Chicago, Laney started singing on jingles at the age of 12. As a teenager, he made the transition to writing and composing with a career doing his own jingles. By 15, he had his first commercially released songs on CBS Records with Ramsey Lewis' "This Ain't No Fantasy." At the age of 16, he became a regular in the burgeoning Chicago underground house music scene, and became one of the early house producers, producing songs for Arrogance such as, "Crazy,"[2] [1] which was released on DJ International Records in 1986. Eventually, Laney began working as a session musician with his uncle, Wayne Stewart, Tony Brown and Patrick Leonard. Laney's most significant keyboard influence was Leonard, who was known for his work with Madonna, "Like a Prayer" etc. By 18, Stewart and partner Kenneth Hale formed their own jingle company, Minute Men, composing popular spots for Bud Light, McDonalds and Coca-Cola.[1] They became the "go to" guys for urban based spots for advertising juggernauts like the Burrell ad agency and DDB Needham. They even won an award for their work on the California Lottery ad campaign. He was doing House clubs at night, jingle sessions and meetings with ad executives by day.

1988 to 1998[edit]

In 1988, with the help of ad executive and acclaimed author, Michelle Mckinney, Laney signed his first publishing deal with Famous Music (now Sony/ATV Music Publishing). Within the first couple years of his deal, Laney had linked up with songwriting partner, Tony Haynes, for a string of placements and would wisely upgrade his deal to a joint venture with Famous Music. With a publishing deal and a machine behind him, he decided to focus his career on working with recording artists instead of jingles. In 1990, he & Tony Haynes formed The Groove Asylum,[1] which soon put him in the studio working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis,[1] who had a tremendous influence on Laney's songwriting and production style. With his dual roles at Groove Asylum and Famous, he was co-producing songs with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, in addition to working with well-known recording artists. At the same time he was fine-tuning his business savvy by signing a group of young writers to his production company, including his younger brother, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart Tricky Stewart, Kuk Harrell and Sean Hall. He brought his other younger brother Mark E. Stewart and future sister in-law Judi into the company as well, on the business side.

Laney's next big influence would be legendary MCA Records executive, Louil Silas, Jr., who was won over by Laney's abilities. Before he knew it, he would be working with execs like Sylvia Rhone, Benny Medina and Quincy Jones, putting together a run of successful songs, including "Never Let Them See You Sweat"[2] by Go West, which was featured in White Men Can't Jump, and "Candlelight and You"[3] by Keith Washington featuring Chante Moore, which was featured in House Party 2.

In 1992 Stewart relocated his company from Chicago to Los Angeles, CA and would eventually become a founding partner, along with his brothers Tricky and Mark, in RedZone Entertainment in 1994.

In 1996 Laney entered into a publishing deal and writing/production relationship with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and his Edmonds Music Publishing company.[1] Babyface's songwriting guidance had a major influence on Laney's. This high-powered relationship led him to work with Madonna, Shanice, and Tony! Toni! Toné! in addition to writing and producing songs for the feature film Soul Food. During this time he also wrote and produced the top 10 hit "Last Nights Letter" for K-Ci & JoJo’s Quadruple platinum album Love Always Love Always .[4]

Redzone and Atlanta[edit]

In 1999 Laney relocated to Atlanta GA to join his brothers as a partner in RedZone Entertainment and Triangle Sound Studios.[1] RedZone RedZone Entertainment helped put Atlanta on the map as a music city over the next few years with hits like Blu Cantrell's "Hit ‘Em Up Style,"[3] Sole's "4,5,6", TLC's "No Scrubs", Toni Braxton's "Love Me Some Him," and Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills." Laney eventually took over the position of president of RedZone, which included overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company and keeping it active. Under his watch super hit songwriter, Ester Dean, was also added to Redzone on the Publishing side. With his duel role as music executive and producer, Laney continued his work penning and producing hit songs including, # 1 A.C. smash "Without You" [5] by Charlie Wilson, and "Everything" which appears on multi-platinum selling B2K’s Pandemonium and Greatest Hits albums.

Publisher[edit]

In his role as a publisher, Laney flourished amassing a huge publishing catalog that rivals anyone's. Unlike a lot of Publishers, he actually worked hands on with the writers, developing their skills and growing the catalog. Laney mentored Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Kuk Harrell, and Sean Hall, imparting on them the secrets to consistent hitmaking that had been passed down to him from Jam & Lewis and Babyface amongst others. In addition to some of Tricky's songs, Laney's publishing includes songs performed by Britney Spears, Usher, Pink, Sisqo, Toni Braxton, Tyrese, and the 1999 the ASCAP Rap song of the year, "Who Dat" by JT Money, which reached #5 on the Billboard pop charts. One of the biggest R&B tracks in the catalog is "I Love Me Some Him" off of Toni Braxton's "Secrets" album, which went 8 x Platinum. "Me Against The Music" stands out in the catalog as a duet with Britney Spears and Madonna that peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart and was recently featured on an episode of Fox's "Glee." Pink's "Can't Take Me Home" added a double platinum plaque to Laney's publishing collection along with platinum and double platinum sales worldwide as well. Other pop hits included "Case of the Ex" by Mýa, which peaked at number two in its 16th week on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart. It spent 3 weeks at number two and 29 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was also an international success. In 1999 there was 3LW’s "No More" and in 2001 there was B2K’s premier smash "Uh-Huh," which was the number one selling Single in the U.S that year.

The-Dream and Morningside Trail Music[edit]

Laney's next step as an entrepreneur would be entering into another publishing joint venture with Peer Music,[4] forming Morningside Trail Music in 2003. He discovered, developed and then signed writer/producer Terius "The-Dream" Nash.[5][6] A year after an unsuccessful initial meeting, The-Dream was able to impress Laney enough to get back in the studio with him. Their first night of working together resulted in the song, "Everything," which ended up on B2K's album. Laney worked hard to develop The-Dream's songwriting abilities and consistency. Under Laney’s tutelage The-Dream has developed into an award winning super writer/producer and recording artist with hits like "Shawty is the S*^!" and "Falsetto." Laney first introduced The-Dream to his brother Tricky and that partnership lead to a list of hits, from Rihanna's "Umbrella," J. Holiday's "Bed" and "Suffocate," to Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body," Usher's "Moving Mountains," Mary J. Blige's "Just Fine," & Justin Bieber's "Baby," and Beyoncé's "Single Ladies."

2005 to present[edit]

In 2005, Laney had to take a break after learning he was suffering from kidney cancer and failure. Laney took time to evaluate the evolving music business climate and in 2009 he, along with his wife, formed Stewart Music Group, combining publishing, production and management. In 2010 was blessed to receive a transplant kidney from his wife and while still in the hospital recuperating from transplant surgery he finalized the deal for a new joint venture with Universal Music Publishing Group [6], the largest music publishing company in the world. Laney is now developing a new publishing catalog under Music Gallery and a new writing/production team called The SharpShootaz, was his first signing. Each writer in The Sharpshootaz was hand picked by Laney himself, including Alex Jacke,[7] Romika Faniel, Derek Yopp, Andrew Kim and Sidney Miller. In late 2011, The Sharpshootaz got in the studio with Jesse McCartney and recorded several songs, including "Out Of Words," which was leaked to the internet in July 2012.[8] On July 9, 2012, Laney and The Sharpshootaz released an Alex Jacke EP called, "D.F.M." The SharpShootaz [7] continue to work on music for more of today's hottest artists. Stewart Music Group currently consists of Music Gallery/UMPG Publishing, "The System" Management and Consulting, and LS Productions. Laney continues to be an important figure in the industry.

Personal life[edit]

Laney lives in Los Angeles, California and is married to Khaila Stewart with three children, Jordan, Clarke and Christopher. Laney and Khaila are involved in research at UCLA for kidney disease and living donor transplants.

Discography as songwriter and producer[edit]

B2K Pandemonium Epic

  • Everything

B2K B2K Greatest Hits Epic

  • Everything

Alex Jacke D.F.M.

  • One Thing
  • Callin For You
  • Nobody's Perfect
  • Enjoy The Ride
  • All She Wrote
  • Days Of Our Lives

Alex Jacke D.F.M. Deluxe

  • One Thing
  • Callin For You
  • Nobody's Perfect
  • Enjoy The Ride
  • All She Wrote
  • Days Of Our Lives
  • No Hands
  • Love To Love Ya
  • We Should Have Sex
  • Pure Perfection

Chante Moore Millennium Collection Geffen

  • Candlelight & You
  • Old School Lovin’
  • Train of Thought

Shawn Desman Back For More UOMO/Sony BMG

  • Ooh

Blu Cantrell So Blu RedZone/Arista

  • 10,000 Times
  • It’s Alright

Snow Two Hands Clapping Virgin/Canada

  • Legal
  • Stay Ballin’

Chante Moore Exposed MCA

  • Bitter
  • Train of Thought
  • Why Am I Lonely

Charlie Wilson Bridging the Gap Interscope

  • Without You
  • Come Back My Way
  • Charlie’s Angel
  • Can I Take You Home

K-Ci & JoJo Love Always MCA

  • Last Night’s Letter

Honey (Single Only) (International)

  • More Than Love

Kandi Hey Kandi… Columbia

  • Just So You Know

Ideal Ideal Virgin

  • I Don’t Mind

Shanice Shanice Laface

  • Fly Away

Her Sanity Xclusive Universal

  • Can I Be Sure

Billy Crawford Billy Crawford V2

  • I Wish
  • Someone Like You
  • If It’s Alright

Billy Crawford Big City V2

  • Bright Lights

Winans We Got Next Myrrh

  • Everyday Away

Coko Hot Coko RCA

  • This Ain’t Love

Shanice Shanice LaFace/Arista

  • Fly Away

Tony, Toni, Tone Soul Food Sdtk. LaFace/Arista

  • Boys & Girls

Tony, Toni, Tone Greatest Hits Mercury

  • Boys & Girls

Sam Salter It’s On Tonight LaFaceArista

  • After 12 Before 6
  • There You Are
  • Every Time A Car Drives By
  • One My Heart
  • I Love You Both
  • It Took A Song

Jesse Powell All I Need Silas/MCA

  • All I Need

IV Example IV Example MCA

  • From The Fool

Chante Moore Love Supreme MCA

  • Old School Lovin’
  • Who Do I Turn To

Chante Moore Straight Up MCA

  • Train Of Thought

Chante Moore Precious MCA

  • Candlelight & You
  • Without Your Love

Keith Washington Make Time For Love Qwest/Warner

  • When You Love Somebody
  • Ready, Willing, & Able

E.V.E. E.V.E. MCA

  • Grove of Love
  • Thinkin’
  • Good Love

Regina Belle Regina Belle Columbia

  • The Deeper I Love

Darnell Owens Single MCA

  • Since You Went Away

Aaron Hall The Truth Silas/MCA

  • Let’s Make Love
  • Until I Found You
  • Freaky
  • Pick Up The Phone

Jason Weaver The Jacksons: An American Dream Motown

  • I Wanna Be Where You Are

Go West The Best of Go West Chrysalis

  • Aces and Kings

Go West White Men Can't Jump EMI USA

  • Never Let Them See You Sweat

Karyn White Rituals of Love Warner Bros.

  • How I Want You
  • Walking The Dog
  • Beside You

The Whispers The Whispers Capital

  • Come On Home

Nicki Richards Naked (To The World) Atlantic

  • Fire’s Burning
  • What’s Going On
  • Dirty Job

Louis Price Louis Price Motown

  • Flesh & Blood

Altitude Single Bahia Entertainment

  • Work It Like A 9 to 5

Sue Ann Carwell Pain Killer MCA

  • Sex or Love
  • 7 Days & Nights

Patrick O'hearn Mix Up Private Music

  • Journey to Yoroba (Remix)

Arrogant 12" DJ International Records

  • Crazy

Kitty Haywood Single Lance Records

  • Givin It Up
  • Could I Be Dreamin

[9][10]

Publishing highlights[edit]

Sole Skin Deep Dreamworkds

  • 4,5,6

Pink Can't Take Me Home LaFace Certified 2X Platinum in US, 5X Platinum Worldwide

JT Money Pimpin On Wax Priority

  • Who Dat

Certified Gold

Mya Fear of Flying Interscope

  • Case Of The Ex

Sisqo Unleash The Dragon Def Soul Certified Platinum

3LW 3LW Epic Records

  • No More
  • Baby I'ma Do Right
  • Playas Gon Play

Certified Platinum

Tyrese Tyrese RCA Certified Gold, Peaked at #6 on R&B Charts, #17 on Billboard 200

B2K B2K Epic Records

  • Everything

Peaked at #2 on Billboard 200

Color Me Badd Now And Forever Giant Certified Gold

Mista Mista Elektra/EastWest

Usher My Way LaFace/Arista Certified 6X Platinum

TLC Fan Mail LaFace/Arista/BMG Certified 6X Platinum

Britney Spears In The Zone Jive

  • Me Against The Music

Certified 2X Platinum

Britney Spears Greatest Hits: My Prerogative Jive

  • Me Against The Music

Certified Platinum

J. Holiday Bac Of My Lac Music Line/Capitol

  • Suffocate

Certified Gold in the U.S. and Gold Worldwide

Billy Crawford Big City Universal

  • Bright Lights

Certified Gold

References[edit]

External links[edit]