|Birth name||Peter Edward Kirtley|
|Born||14 April 1972|
|Origin||Cuckfield, Sussex, England|
Pete Kirtley (born 14 April 1972) is an English, Ivor Novello Award-winning and Brit Awards-nominated songwriter, and record producer. He has produced over 150 records worldwide with sales exceeding 12 million, including seven number-one hit singles worldwide, tracks on seven number-one albums, eight UK top-ten hits and thirty-five top-forty hits in Europe. His records have generated a total of more than 20 million hits on YouTube. He has written and/or produced for artists such as the Sugababes, Hear'Say, Armin Van Buuren, Kim Wilde, Mutya Buena and Stephen Gately. His production collaborations include Ryan Tedder, Guy Chambers and Stargate. He is also currently engaged in TV format writing, production and development.
Early life and career
Peter Edward Kirtley was born in Cuckfield, Sussex, England, but moved to Surrey at a young age. The younger of two children, his father was a semi-professional musician who had at one time been a member of Trendsetters Limited and under contract to Parlophone Records. At the age of 11 he joined a band with Matt Goss, Luke Goss and Craig Logan who later formed the British band Bros. Kirtley was a keen amateur actor while at school, but at the age of 16 chose music as a career and became a professional drummer. For four years he was a member of The Blue, a band managed by Bob Herbert and his son Chris, the original managers of the Spice Girls. The Blue's only single, "Don't Leave Me Standing in the Pouring Rain", was released in 1992, but failed to enter the chart.
Songwriting and record production
Although Kirtley had written songs from an early age his successful writing and production career effectively began with music for television commercials, including commissions by Saatchi and Saatchi. These were followed by tracks on a number of international albums, including the 1998 album, "Privacy", by Ophelie Winter. In 1999 he teamed up with Tim Hawes to form the writing and production team Jiant and, in the following year, they secured a track on Aaron Carter's three million selling double multi-platinum album Aaron's Party, two tracks on Boyzone member Stephen Gately's solo project, as well as song placements with acts in Japan, France, Denmark and South Africa.
In early 2001 Jiant reached the final of A Song for Europe, but this was almost immediately overshadowed by the release of "Pure and Simple", co-written with Alison Clarkson and recorded by Hear'Say, the winners of the ITV talent show, Popstars. "Pure and Simple" was at the time the fastest selling debut single of all time in the UK, selling just under 550,000 copies in the first week. In total more than 1.2 million copies were sold, and it was one of the few singles to achieve double platinum status in that decade. In 2002, Kirtley and his co-writers received an Ivor Novello Award for the best selling UK single of 2001. On 7 May 2012, BBC Radio 1 featured the official top 150 biggest selling singles of the 21st century and placed "Pure and Simple" at number 17.
Kirtley continued to enjoy chart success, achieving his second number one single in the UK with the Jiant/Stargate co-production of Hear'Say's, "The Way to Your Love". His third number one single was "No Angel (It's All in Your Mind)", recorded by the German band No Angels. Kirtley's fourth number one, "Shame", the debut single of Monrose, became the fastest-selling German CD single of 2006, and the biggest-downloaded song since the introduction of the legal digital download charts in Germany in 2004. Subsequent success included songs on Sugababes number one album Taller in More Ways, Mutya Buena's debut solo album Real Girl, which reached the UK top ten chart, America's Got Talent winner Bianca Ryan's self-titled debut album, plus the Armin van Buuren single "This World is Watching Me". For a number of years Kirtley worked closely with the German TV series of Popstars and produced more than 50 records for the winning acts from the show, including 35 tracks with girlband Monrose and other Popstars winners such as Queensberry, Room 2012 and Some & Any. Kirtley also worked with the German acts Linda Teodosiu, Zascha Moktan and Joana Zimmer. In 2005 Kirtley established Stunt with Molly Smitten-Downes, Simon Wills and Dave Valler and was associated with the project until 2010.
In 2010, Kirtley joined with BMG UK, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, to form TaPe Music Publishing. Kim Wilde's album, Come Out and Play, also featured Kirtley's work and reached the top 10 in Germany. In 2012, one of Kirtley's songs was featured on Koda Kumi's tenth studio album, Japonesque, which reached number one in Japan.
In 2011,Kirtley joined with Craig Logan, former manager of Pink and ex-managing director of the RCA Label Group to work on his first TV format. They entered into a commercial agreement with FremantleMedia in July 2012. Kirtley was the producer of "The School that Rocks", a documentary broadcast on BBC Three television in March 2014. Kirtley is a member of the Executive Committee of the charity Rugby for Heroes, and co-wrote and produced "With Pride", their official anthem for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Honours and awards
- Ivor Novello Award 2002 "best selling UK single"
- Guinness Book of British Hit Singles 2001 "fastest selling debut single in chart history"
- 7 x worldwide No. 1 Singles
- 7 x worldwide No. 1 Albums
- 2 x Multi-platinum Album Sales in USA
- 10 x Platinum Album/Single Sales in UK
- 6 x Platinum Album Sales in Germany
- 2 x Gold Album Sales in Germany
- 2 x Platinum Single Sales in Germany
- 35 Top 40 Hits in Europe (UK, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland)
- "MUSIC | Brit Awards 2002: The nominations". BBC News. 14 January 2002. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Little, Jonathan; Katie Chatburn (2008). Musicians' & Songwriters' Yearbook 2008. A & C Black. p. 5. ISBN 0-7136-8472-0. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- "Al Kirtley – and another thing…". Alkirtley.co.uk. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "2000/01". Songs4europe.com. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Guinness World Records British Hit Singles 15th Edition
- "Hear'Say hit number one". BBC News. 18 March 2001.
- "Hear'Say split up". BBC News. 1 October 2002.
- "Music Week". Music Week. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- [dead link]
- "Pete Kirtley | BMG Music Rights Management". Bmg.com. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "Music Week". Music Week. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- [dead link]
- "Rugby for Heroes". Rugby for Heroes. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "BMI's UK stars Honored at Annual Ivors Awards".
- Guinness World Records British Hit Singles 15th Edition p. 52 ISBN 0-85112-187-X
- "International Federation of the Phonographic Industry".