Nadir Khayat at Tetouan in 2012
|Birth name||Nadir Khayat|
|Also known as||Nadir K, RedOne, TheOne|
April 9, 1972 |
|Genres||Pop, eurodance, house|
|Occupation(s)||Producer, Songwriter, Music executive|
|Labels||2101 Records, Cash Money Records, Interscope, Universal Republic, Island|
|Associated acts||Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Paulina Rubio, Enrique Iglesias, Inna, Alexandra Burke (For comprehensive listing, refer to discography page)|
As a producer and songwriter, he has worked with many high profile recording artists, most notably Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Mariah Carey, RBD, Paulina Rubio, Mylène Farmer, Inna, Alexandra Burke, Ayumi Hamasaki , Austin Mahone and Swedish singer Maher Zain. His production discography boasts many Billboard and international hits, which he produced and co-wrote. RedOne has established his own record label named 2101 Records as a joint venture with Universal Music Group. RedOne has been nominated for six Grammy awards, winning three (the third one is The Grammis Award for Producer of the Year, which is the Swedish equivalent to Grammy Awards). In 2009, he was the number one producer on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, ranking number three as songwriter. Commonly, he produces pop, dance, eurodance, house genres.
Career in Sweden (1991–2006)
RedOne was born Nadir Khayat in Tétouan, Morocco. In 1991, he immigrated to Sweden at age nineteen, to pursue a career as a musician. In an interview with HitQuarters website, he said his moving to Sweden was because, "there was so much good music coming from there" mentioning ABBA, Europe and Roxette as among the most influential to him.
Originally, he pursued his musical ambitions in Sweden by singing and playing guitar in various local rock bands for about four years from 1991 to 1995. He also acquired Swedish citizenship by naturalization.
In 1995, he changed directions by opting to produce and write songs for other artists. Instrumental in helping him make this transition was Rami Yacoub, another fellow ex-rock musician. Yacoub, a Palestinian-Swedish songwriter/producer already enjoyed considerable success and was a well-established producer. Inviting RedOne to work with him in studio, he taught RedOne about "programming and how the software works" and the pair co-wrote a number of songs together. During this period of cooperation, RedOne worked with the successful Swedish girl band Popsie writing their songs "Funky" and "Joyful Life" co-written and co-produced by Yacoub and RedOne (and where RedOne was credited on Popsie's 1998 self-titled album as songwriter and producer Nadir K). He chose the alias 'RedOne', a pseudonym of the name of a friend of his, Redouan. Yacoub was asked some time later to join Cheiron Studios and the two parted company with Yacoub working extensively with huge names like Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Westlife and Céline Dion, amongst others.
RedOne then moved on to produce various Swedish and European pop acts. In 2001-2002, he co-produced, A*Teens, originally an ABBA teen tribute band that already had a huge hit with The ABBA Generation. RedOne co-produced two of their follow-up albums, Teen Spirit in 2001 and Pop 'Til You Drop in 2002 with some original songs like "...to the Music", "Slam" co-written with Flame, Hortlund and J. Boogie and "Singled Out" co-written with AJ Junior, Dhani, Sara, Savan Kotecha and ShawnDark in a bid to launch them as "more than just a cover band".
After years of struggling, RedOne finally began to achieve recognition for his work in 2005. He wrote two songs for Daniel Lindström's self-titled chart-topping album, "Break Free" and "My Love Won't Let You Down". RedOne then had his first number one on Sverigetopplistan with Darin Zanyar's "Step Up". The song, co-written by RedOne, Darin, and RedOne's frequent collaborator Bilal Hajji, won them a Swedish Grammy and "Scandinavian Song of the Year" award for "Step Up". He went on to co-produce Darin's two albums The Anthem and self-titled album Darin alongside well-known producers like Ghost, Jörgen Elofsson, Arnthor Birgisson and George Samuelson.
RedOne had crossover success with the Canadian singer and Juno Award Carl Henry with hits "I Wish" and "Little Mama". In the ensuing period, he went on to produce a number of Swedish and European pop acts. These included the Dutch pop band Ch!pz (2005), Mexican teen group RBD, American Christina Milian in a remix of her track "L.O.V.E." as "L.O.V.E. (RedOne remix)" from her album Best Of, the Dutch singer EliZe in "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and Swedish Idol contestant and popular singer Ola Svensson in "Cops Come Knocking" and "Go Go Sweden", the latter in support of the Swedish national football team, all in 2006. In 2005, he also worked with pop singer Britney Spears and songwriter Michelle Bell on a track titled "Money Love and Happiness", but the track remained unreleased until 2012, when Bell leaked the track in full online.
- International breakthrough with "Bamboo"
In 2006, RedOne-produced the single "Bamboo" that was named an "Official Melody" for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. "Bamboo" was featured for the branding and promotion of the event during television broadcasts and advertising campaigns, branded cross-promotions, and as a part of the World Cup Official Music Program, gaining him much audio exposure. In addition, The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) made him the main producer and songwriter for the 2006 World Cup Official Music Program.
RedOne also produced a "mash-up" remix of Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" featuring Wyclef Jean and RedOne's "Bamboo." The remix was performed by Shakira and Wyclef Jean at the World Cup's Final in Berlin to an estimated worldwide television audience of more than 1.2 billion.
Although "Bamboo" helped establish him as a notable producer in the global marketplace, RedOne himself claimed that the song didn't have the impact he thought it would, saying: "It was a good thing for me as a personal achievement but in terms of business or attracting labels to get more work, it didn't have a big impact, especially not in the US. It opened a few doors that closed quickly after." It was then that he decided to move to the United States with the aim of breaking his career there.
Move to the United States (2007–present)
In 2007, RedOne decided to move to Jersey City, New Jersey with his wife for better career opportunities, believing this to be his "now or never opportunity". Initially the move proved unsuccessful; he struggled to secure even a single production and lost all of his money in the process. Penniless and sleeping on an air mattress with his wife, he was ready to move back to Sweden. He says in an interview with Global Post: "I was really depressed, I told my wife, ‘We gotta go back'. She said we should borrow money and try for a few more months and then really give up if nothing good happens".
His American breakthrough came when he met with Epic Records to present a song for Kat DeLuna, on an upcoming debut album of hers. RedOne started playing songs in front of the marketing team and label president Charlie Walk. After playing the song "Whine Up", RedOne says, "Walk interrupted me and said, "Stop, you're a genius!" I couldn't believe it. We spent the rest of the time playing music and dancing, it was surreal". A subsequent meeting led to RedOne being given a Jennifer Lopez song to remix followed by a couple of demos for Menudo. RedOne was also entrusted the production role on Kat DeLuna's debut album 9 Lives.
As 2007 came to a close, Laurent Besencon, the owner of the former management company of Lady Gaga introduced her to RedOne, whom he also managed. Together, they wrote a song titled, "Boys, Boys, Boys", which was intended as a spin-off of Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls". Together, they produced hits that became hugely popular including "Just Dance", Lady Gaga's official debut hit and the hugely successful "Poker Face".
Production and songwriting
RedOne continued writing and producing with Gaga and a host of other artists. His international production credits include Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Pitbull, and through his own label 2101 Records Jennifer Lopez, Porcelain Black, Havana Brown, Mohombi, 7Lions.
In addition, he has written for and produced to various artists, in alphabetical order: Akon, Marc Anthony, Amelle Berrabah, Justin Bieber, Birdman, Zander Bleck, Mary J Blige, Brandy, Alexandra Burke, Cassie, Cheb Khaled, Cher, Taio Cruz, Kat DeLuna, Jason Derulo, Jade Ewen, Mylène Farmer, Livvi Franc, Selena Gomez, Ayumi Hamasaki, Enrique Iglesias, Inna, Jean-Roch, Alexis Jordan, K'naan, Katia, Kevin Kayirangwa, Kid Cudi, Kika, Sean Kingston, KMC, Little Boots, Cher Lloyd, Lindsay Lohan, Austin Mahone, MIKA, Nicki Minaj, Mohombi, Nayer, Melissa Nkonda, Colby O'Donis, Orianthi, Lionel Richie, Kelly Rowland, Paulina Rubio, Nicole Scherzinger, Space Cowboy, Usher, Greg Walters, Lil Wayne.
Bands include: Backstreet Boys, Cheetah Girls, Cinema Bizarre, Dive Bella Dive, Far East Movement, Flipsyde, Jada, JLS, Lexington Bridge, Love Generation, Midnight Red, New Kids on the Block, One Direction, Pixie Lott, Sugababes, Talkback, The Baseballs, Vanilla Sky, Ying Yang Twins, amongst others.
RedOne has co-written "Bumpy Ride", the debut hit for Mohombi, the song "Save You Tonight", for the debut album of UK boyband, One Direction and in conjunction with Cash Money Records, RedOne produced and co-wrote four songs for Nicki Minaj's second album, Pink Friday:Roman Reloaded, including the Billboard hit, Starships and Pound The Alarm.
RedOne penned many of the songs sung by Alexey Vorobyov (also known as Alex Sparrow), who represented Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest of 2011 and eventually recruited the singer to his record label.
In 2010, RedOne founded 2101 Records, a record label, as a joint venture with Universal Music Group. 2101 Songs on the other hand is a publishing company affiliated with 2101 Records and administered by Sony ATV Songs (BMI).
In the beginning of 2014 decided to change his record label into RedOne Records. Main acts signed to the label are Midnight Red, Porcelain Black, Ahmed Chawki, Sophia Del Carmen, Kika and Wayne Beckford. RedOne Records also promotes SuperMartXé events productions.
In 2011, RedOne created 2101 Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to helping disadvantaged youth and to inspire and motivate young people to pursue their passion in life through music, arts and education. The program aims to assist African American youths win college scholarships.
He is also involved with A Place Called Home, a safe house for youth in Southern Los Angeles. The program provides children with food, a safe living environment, and educates them on sports and music-making.
- Moroccan Royal Award
After the Grammy Awards, RedOne was awarded the Moroccan Royal Award for "Intellectual Excellence" and was decorated officially by King Mohamed VI of Morocco in an official ceremony held in Rabat in 2011.
- Grammy Awards
|2011||RedOne||Producer of the Year, Non-Classical||Nominated|
- Latin Grammy Awards
|2011||Euphoria||Album of the Year||Nominated|
- Swedish Music Publishers Association
The Swedish Music Publishers Association awarded RedOne with multiple distinguished awards including:
- Composer of the Year
- Song of the Year for "Bad Romance"
- Most Played Song of the Year for "Bad Romance"
- Gundersen, Edna (25 January 2011). "Music producer RedOne achieves monster fame". USA Today. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "Nominees And Winners". Grammy.com. 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "RedOne's BMI Artist Roster". Broadcast Music, Inc. 2006–2011. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- Warner, Kara. "Hit Maker RedOne Introduces New Artists, 'DWTS' Tracks". MTV Newsroom. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Universal Music Announces Label Deal with Super Producer RedOne". Universal Music Group. August 2010. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- Levine, Mike (9 April 2010). "RedOne | International Hitman". Electronic Musician. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- Bouwman, Kimbel (10 August 2009). "Interview with Rami Yacoub quote:". HitQuarters. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
- Aida Alami (August 15, 2013). "Hollyworld: Meet Morocco's starmaker". Global Post.
- Bouwman, Kimbel (23 March 2009). "Interview With RedOne". HitQuarters. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "Darin- Step Up (Song)". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "WMC 2011 Schedule Panelist: RedOne". Winter Music Conference. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- Montgomery-Spencer, Jeunesse (18 September 2008). "Carl Henry [Interview]". HipHopCanada.com. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Money Love and Happiness (Legal Title)". BMI. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "ASCAP ACE – Money Love and Happiness". ASCAP. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- Stern, Bradley (5 April 2012). "Daily B: Songwriter Michelle Bell Leaks "Money Love & Happiness," Talks Lost ‘Original Doll’ Album". Muumuse.com. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "World Cup Gets A Kick Out of RedOne’s ‘Bamboo’". Broadcast Music, Inc. 13 June 2006. Retrieved 15 October 2008.
- Bouwman, Kimbel (20 January 2009). "Interview with Brandon Creed". HitQuarters. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
- Reporter, Staff. "Lady GaGa Profile". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
- Ali, Lorraine (June 2011). "RedOne: Gaga, J.Lo, and Enrique may throw him props, but this musicmaker likes being the force behind the fame". LA Times blog. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "ARTIST DIRECT "7Lions Turn Heads Over "L.A. Kings/Born 2 Run" Stanley Cup Theme"". Retrieved 20 June 2012.
- "Red One:Biography". Red One Official Website. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "2012 official website".
- Mitchell, John. "Nicki Minaj Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: Reviews Are In!". MTV Rapfix. Viacom. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Siim, Jarmo (28 March 2011). "Sparrow, Pokerface writer have a go for Russia". Eurovision. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Gaga producer signs deal with Universal records". BBC News. 9 August 2010.
- "2101Songs.com". Retrieved 7 April 2011.
- Los Angeles Times: Jennifer Lopez joins RedOne's label, issues 'Live It Up' single
- Christopher Morris (May 1, 2013). "2101 Records Pacts With Capitol Records Group". Variety. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- "RedOne’s 2101 Records, Capitol Sign Worldwide Partnership Deal". Billboard. May 1, 2013. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- "2101 Foundation".
- RedOne biography
- RedOne on Myspace
- RedOne on Twitter
- RedOne Official Website
- RedOne discography at MusicBrainz
- 2101 Records Official Website
- 2101 Foundation Official Website