Profile of Mega Producer JR Rotem

Read the original in the Jerusalem Post, August 22, 2011 LOS ANGELES – Jonathan “JR” Rotem’s Israeli background was no secret as he burst onto the pop music scene in 2006 as a hip-hop producing icon, with Rihanna’s chart-topping “S.O.S.” and later building the careers of Jason Derulo, Sean Kingston, and IYAZ. One way of understanding Rotem’s achievements is to split him into two personalities. There’s “J.R.”, the acronym for “Jonathan Rotem,” the fast-tracking beat-maker who likes to make cameos in his protégés’ videos wearing designer sunglasses, gangsta-style chains and other bling that suggests he rose from the inner-city projects. He’s the one who wants to tell the world he’s made it, with “J…J…J…R!” broadcast in funky reverb at the start of the hits churned out by his record label, Beluga Heights – from Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” to Derulo’s “In My Head.” This is the tabloid personality rumored to have hung out with, dated, shoplifted, impregnated and God know what else with Britney Spears. Then there’s “Jonathan Reuven Rotem,” the Jewish kid from Northern California who studied jazz at the Berklee School of Music in Boston and who worked diligently at transitioning his classical training towards danceable hip-hop beats and catchy pop melodies. He’s the son of Israeli, Jerusalem-born parents – a computer science professor father and therapist mother. He’s the one who fondly remembers visiting Israel as a child but who hasn’t been there since the 1990s because […]

Profile of Mega Producer JR Rotem Read More »