Marquee Lineup Includes Rodney Jerkins, Chris Daughtry, Mos Def, Ben Moody, Polow Da Don, Anthony Hamilton and Brian Howes
BMI will pair with the Los Angeles Times to present the second annual “How I Wrote the Song” panel Saturday, February 9, from 1p.m. until 3p.m., at the Key Club in L.A. Mirroring the format of 2007’s sold-out forum, another elite cross-section of established hitmakers, including Rodney Jerkins, Chris Daughtry, Mos Def, Ben Moody of Evanescence, Polow Da Don, Anthony Hamilton and Brian Howes will discuss their work, the raw ideas and the occasionally idiosyncratic processes pooled into composing songs that resonate with a broad spectrum of listeners. Moderated by BMI’s Vice President, Writer Publisher Relations Catherine Brewton and Los Angeles Times Music Critic Ann Powers, the event is open to the public. Advance tickets are available now for $10 through Ticketmaster at www.keyclub.com or the Key Club box office; day-of admission at the door will be $20.
Grammy Award-winner Rodney Jerkins’s creative dexterity materializes in distinct but diverse musical triumphs. The pen behind take-charge smashes including Destiny Child’s “Say My Name,” Brandy & Monica’s duet “The Boy is Mine” and Beyoncé’s “Déjà Vu,” Jerkins has also produced work by contemporary superstars including Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Destiny’s Child. His unerring ear led to a vice president of a&r position with Island Def Jam, while Janet Jackson’s forthcoming project Discipline features his signature production.
American Idol alum Chris Daughtry has brazenly staked a record-breaking place in contemporary music, confidently fronting the aptly titled rock band Daughtry. The Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter signed with RCA and management powerhouse 19 Entertainment after his fan-propelled success on American Idol, and his band’s eponymous debut sold more than 1 million copies in only five weeks. The projectile success of the album, featuring songs “It’s Not Over,” “Home” and “Over You,” resulted in the fastest-selling debut in the history of SoundScan.
Rapper, actor, musician and activist, Mos Def’s sheer versatility places him amongst contemporary pop culture’s premier creators. Musically, his work includes blithe collaborations with legendary group De La Soul and artist Talib Kweli. Def’s partnership with Kweli, the duet album Black Star, resulted in underground frenzy and glowing critical praise. His subsequent solo album, Black on Both Sides, produced more of the same. Nominated for two Grammys, Def also boasts Golden Globe, Emmy and Source award nods.
Serial hitmaker Ben Moody first gained recognition as guitarist and co-founder of the Grammy Award-winning group Evanescence. His output during and after the band has further exposed an adroit singer/songwriter capable of powerful hooks and lush layers; songs including Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” and “My Immortal,” along with Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You,” sprang from Moody’s id. Collaborations as a producer with Clarkson, Celine Dion, Bo Bice and Lindsey Lohan further emphasize his seemingly limitless versatility.
Super producer and innovative songwriter Polow Da Don’s quintessential hip factor springs from authentic skill. His innate musical savvy has finessed infectious hits including Fergie’s “Glamorous,” the Pussy Cat Dolls’ “Buttons,” Ciara’s “Promise” and Jamie Foxx’s “DJ Play a Love Song.” Fergie’s enthusiastic shout out, “Polow!” on her smash “London Bridge,” made Da Don’s fluid alias a pop culture catch phrase, adding household recognition to the power player’s growing reputation.
Singer/songwriter Anthony Hamilton’s blend of old-school soul and cool contemporary grit is artist’s art in the best sense of the phrase: Members of the neo-soul and poetic hip hop elite including D’Angelo, Tupac Shakur and Eve have looked to Hamilton for backup harmonies, while the North Carolina native’s critically-acclaimed solo work has landed on arguably avant-garde projects including the American Gangster film soundtrack. His 2007 effort, Southern Comfort, features eleven new songs all written by Hamilton.
Brian Howes’ life in music did not come as a surprise with a great-great grandfather who was a baritone opera singer, a grandmother who was a songwriter, and a grandfather who played alto sax for swing band greats Benny Goodman and Louis Prima, his career choice was practically predetermined. As part of punk-ska-rap band DDT early on in his career, Brian toured with bands such as Public Enemy, Kid Rock, Alice Cooper, The Scorpion and DOA. Post DDT, he penned hits and earned placements in several movies all while maintaining number 1 and top 10 international hits. Brian then added production to is arsenal and has had success by writing and producing with Grammy-nominated Atlantic band Skillet amongst others. Brian’s recent success has included collaborations with Kara Dioguardi, Shelly Piken, Chad Kroeger, Hinder and Chris Daughtry of American Idol fame for his RCA Records Album.