Kurtis McKenzie

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Kurtis McKenzie
Birth nameKurtis McKenzie
Also known asThe Arcade
BornUnited Kingdom
GenresPop, hip hop
Occupation(s)Record producer, songwriter, musician
Years active2011-present

Kurtis McKenzie, also known as The Arcade,[1] is a British record producer, songwriter and musician based in Los Angeles. McKenzie began producing in the United Kingdom, working with a number of pop artists. His work first received acknowledgement in 2013 when he worked with Conor Maynard on his album and a number of singles. Many performed well in the UK charts, acting as a springboard for future work.

A year later, he produced and co-wrote many of the tracks on Iggy Azalea's debut album, The New Classic. Azalea's album received global recognition, with the album going platinum in three countries. From the album, he worked on the track Fancy, which went onto be one of the best selling records globally in 2014. McKenzie's production and song-writing credits led him to win his first American Music Awards and ARIA Music Awards while working with Iggy Azalea.

He teamed up with Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar and Maroon 5 in 2016 and was most recognised for the single, Don't Wanna Know, which went platinum in a number of countries. He produced and wrote on the 2017 Shakira album, El Dorado. The success of the album led to McKenzie receiving his first Grammy and Latin Grammy, when the album won awards at both award ceremonies.


McKenzie began his career producing in his native England, working alongside a number of British artists. In 2011, he worked on the Taio Cruz single, Best Girl. The song was from the UK-singer's first album, which peaked at 14th position in the UK Album Charts.[2] During the same year, McKenzie worked with Girls Aloud-member Nicola Roberts while she was working on her first solo album. Cinderella's Eyes was released in September 2011 and included the track, Take A Bite, which was produced and written by McKenzie. The album itself reached 17th position in the UK Album Charts.[3]

In 2013, McKenzie worked on a number of tracks for Conor Maynard's debut album and was listed as one of the main producers for the album. Maynard's success began in 2012 when McKenzie wrote and produced Maynard's first single, Can't Say No. The song was an instant success and reached number 2 in the UK singles chart.[4] It also received a silver certification.[5] Maynard and McKenzie then collaborated on a second single together, Vegas Girl. The single was again successful, reaching number 4 in the singles chart in the UK. It also had success in other countries, making the top 10 in Belgium and peaking at 11th on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. The first two singles were followed that up with the album Contrast, which McKenzie help produce. It went straight to number one in the UK Album Charts.[6] The album also went onto receive a silver certification in the UK for the album sales.[7] McKenzie wrote and produced another track on the album, Take Off. The third and final single for McKenzie produced and wrote from the album was Animal, which reached 6th position in the UK album chart.[8]

McKenzie worked with a number of artists throughout 2014, including Rita Ora, Katy B and Iggy Azalea. He produced and wrote the Katy B track, Next Thing. The song appeared on her album Little Red, which reached number one in the UK album charts.[9] McKenzie then teamed up with Australian recording artist, Iggy Azalea. Her debut album was released in 2014, after she had success with a number of singles. McKenzie produced and wrote six of the tracks from the album, while also receiving production and writing credits for the album itself, The New Classic. One of the six tracks written and produced by McKenzie was Fancy, which went onto become a huge global hit. It reached number 1 in four countries and throughout 2014 was one of the best selling songs of the year. It was number one on the US Hot Rap Songs end of year chart. The tracks success meant it received numerous accolades and awards, going platinum in eight countries. The New Classic also received a number of awards, winning both Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album at the American Music Awards and Breakthrough Artist Release at theARIA Music Awards.

Later in 2014, he worked on Rita Ora's track for the film, Beyond the Lights. Ora's track was titled Grateful and appeared on the official soundtrack. Due to the film's success, the track received praise in the music and film industry and was nominated for three separate awards. It was nominated for Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film at the 15th World Soundtrack Awards, nominated for Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards and nominated for Best Original or Adapted Song at the 15th Black Reel Awards.[10][11]

McKenzie teamed up with rappers Jidenna and Kendrick Lamar in 2015 to produce the track, "Classic Man". The song reached 2nd position on the US Rhythmic chart. During the same year, he also worked with Little Mix on their album, Get Weird and the track, OMG. The album had huge commercial success in the United Kingdom, going double-platinum.[12] McKenzie finished the year collaborating with G-Easy on his album track, Calm Down. When It's Dark Out reached number 1 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[13]

In 2016, McKenzie followed up his successes of the previous year by working on two notable tracks. The major release of the year was Maroon 5's Don't Wanna Know, which featured Kendrick Lamar. The track was from Maroon 5's Red Pill Blues album and reached the top ten in 15 countries, including number six in the United States. It's global success meant that it went platinum in eight different countries. McKenzie also produced and wrote on his first collaboration with Chris Brown on the track, What Would You Do. The track was unconnected to any of his albums as a standalone track, but was notably released 3 days after he was released following charges of gun possession.[14]

McKenzie teamed up with a number of upcoming artists in 2017, while also working with established artists such as Khaled and Shakira. He also continued his relationship with Maroon 5, working on the production for their 2017 album, Red Pill Blues. McKenzie worked on a handful of singles for UK-based Bipolar Sunshine, the upcoming Swedish singer Léon and Snoh Aalegra. McKenzie also worked on two tracks for Kiiara, one of which was the track, Whippin. The track failed to receive any major chart success in the US, but reached 6th on the New Zealand chart and entered the top 20 in The Netherlands.[15]

During 2017, he also teamed up with Shakira for her album, El Dorado. McKenzie worked on the songwriting and production for the album and also the track, When A Woman. The album was well received in the Billboard Top Latin Albums, reaching 1st position. It was also number one on a number of album charts including, Switzerland. It featured in the top 10 in thirteen countries in total. It's global success led the album to be nominated for a number of album awards. The album was nominated for seven different awards at various music award ceremonies. It was nominated in two categories at the Latin American Music Awards, in the Album of the Year and Favorite Album Pop/Rock categories.[16] At the Latin Grammy Awards it was nominated for Album of the Year and won its first award in the Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album category. It was McKenzie's first award at the Latin Grammys.[17]

In 2018, the awards and nominations continued for El Dorado. Shakira, McKenzie and the rest of the production team won Best Latin Pop Album at the Grammy Awards.[18] The album has also been nominated for Top Latin Album of the Year and Latin Pop Album of the Year at the Latin Billboard Music Awards.[19] McKenzie also worked on the Black Panther soundtrack, collaborating with Kendrick Lamar as a producer and writer on the track, Redemption. He also worked on the track for Migos, Gang Gang, which appeared on Culture II.



Year Artist Title Album / EP Songwriter Producer
2011 Nicola Roberts Take A Bite Cinderella's Eyes X X
Taio Cruz Best Girl Rokstarr X X
2013 Conor Maynard Animal (feat Wiley) Contrast X X
Can't Say No X X
Take Off X X
Better Than You (feat. Rita Ora) X X
2014 Rita Ora Grateful Beyond The Lights (Soundtrack) X
Iggy Azalea Beg for It (feat. ) Reclassified X X
Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) The New Classic X X
Impossible Is Nothing X X
Goddess X X
Walk The Line X X
Don't Need Y'all X X
Lady Patra X X
F Love X X
Rolex X X
Katy B Next Thing Little Red X X
2015 G-Eazy Calm Down When It's Dark Out X X
Little Mix OMG Get Weird X
Jidenna Classic Man

(feat. Kendrick Lamar)

Wondaland Presents: The Eephus X
2016 Chris Brown What Would You Do[20] Non-Album Single X X
Maroon 5 Don't Wanna Know

(feat. Kendrick Lamar)

Red Pill Blues X X
2017 Snoh Aalegra You Got Me Feels X X
Shakira When A Woman El Dorado X X
Léon Surround Me Surround Me EP X X
Bipolar Sunshine Major Love Non-Album Single X X
Are You Happy Non-Album Single X X
Kiiara Wishlist Non-Album Single X X
Whippin Non-Album Single X X
Khalid Cold Blooded American Teen X X
Maroon 5 Red Pill Blues Red Pill Blues X X
2018 Kendrick Lamar Redemption Black Panther (Soundtrack) X X
Migos Gang Gang Culture II X X
2019 Doja Cat Tia Tamera X X


Year Artist Title Album/Single Certification
2013 Conor Maynard Contrast Album Silver (United Kingdom)
Conor Maynard Can't Say No Single Silver (United Kingdom)
2015 Iggy Azalea The New Classic Album Platinum (Brazil, Colombia, United States), Gold (Australia, Canada), Silver (United Kingdom)
Iggy Azalea Fancy Single 7× Platinum (United States), 4× Platinum (Australia, Canada), Platinum x2 (Sweden), Platinum (Italy, New Zealand, United Kingdom), Gold (Spain)
Jidenna feat. Kendrick Lamar Classic Man Single Platinum (United States)
2016 Maroon 5 featuring Kendrick Lamar Don't Wanna Know Single 3x Platinum (Italy), 2x Platinum (United States, Brazil), Platinum (Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom), Gold (Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden)
2017 Maroon 5 Red Pill Blues Album Gold (Canada, United States, Sweden)
Shakira El Dorado Album Platinum (Colombia), Gold (France, Poland)


Year Album/Single Award Category Result
2014 Iggy Azalea - The New Classic (Album) American Music Awards Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album Won
ARIA Music Awards Breakthrough Artist Release Won
Best Urban Album Nominated
2015 Rita Ora - Grateful (Single) 87th Academy Awards Best Original Song Nominated
15th Black Reel Awards Best Original or Adapted Song Nominated
15th World Soundtrack Awards Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film Nominated
Iggy Azalea - The New Classic (Album) Grammy Awards Best Rap Album Nominated
Billboard Music Awards Top Rap Album Nominated
2017 Shakira - El Dorado (Album) Latin American Music Awards Album of the Year Nominated
Favorite Album Pop/Rock Nominated
Latin Grammys Album of the Year Nominated
Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album Won
2018 Grammy Awards Best Latin Pop Album Won
Latin Billboard Music Awards Top Latin Album of the Year Pending
Latin Pop Album of the Year Pending


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-01-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Official Albums Chart for Rokstarr". Official Charts Company.
  3. ^ "Official Albums Chart Cinderella's Eyes". Official Charts Company.
  4. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100 22 April 2012 - 28 April 2012". Official Charts Company.
  5. ^ "Conor Maynard Can't Say No - Warner Music". BPI.
  6. ^ Levine, Nick (2012). "Conor Maynard Contrast Review". BBC.
  7. ^ "Conor Maynard Contrast - EMI Music". BPI.
  8. ^ "Conor Maynard Singles". Official Charts Company.
  9. ^ "Katy B Chart History". Official Chart Company.
  10. ^ "Dear White People, Selma lead 15th annual Black Reel Awards nominations". HitFix. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Oscar Nominations for 2015 Revealed!". Us Weekly. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  12. ^ "BPI Awards - Get Weird (Little Mix)". BPI.
  13. ^ Anderson, Trevor. "G-Eazy's 'The Beautiful & Damned' Hits No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart". Billboard.
  14. ^ Stutz, Colin (August 31, 2016). "Chris Brown Drops New Song 'What Would You Do?'". Billboard.
  15. ^ "New Zealand Heatseeker Chart - 24 April, 2017". New Zealand Chart.
  16. ^ "Latin American Music Awards 2017: Complete List of Winners". E! Online. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  17. ^ "2017 Latin GRAMMY Awards: Full Winners Lists". Grammy.com. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  18. ^ "J Balvin, Shakira, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Ozuna & Maluma Lead 2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards Finalists". Billboard. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  19. ^ "J Balvin, Shakira, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Ozuna & Maluma Lead 2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards Finalists". Billboard. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Chris Brown Drops New Song 'What Would You Do?': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-02-02.

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