Career Jam 2021 Career Jam 2021

Songwriting and Production Open Session: Unpacking the Process

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Rice N' Peas
Bazzi feat. Camila Cabello, Lennon Stella, Hailee Steinfeld, Producers

A fusion of unmatched melodies, energetic rhythms, and all-consuming lyrics, every song Grammy-nominated production and songwriter duo Rice N’ Peas touches is a certifiable hit. From bedroom pop to R&B to rap––boxing them into one specific genre of expertise is undoable.

The tireless passion and painstaking perfection behind every vocal, drum kit, mix, and ad-lib has brought them multiple Grammy nominations, over six billion streams on Spotify alone, and numerous spots on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, including rap phenom G-Eazy’s 2016 top 40 radio hit and platinum single “Some Kind of Drug”; pop-sensation Bazzi’s 2018 and 2019 mega hits “Mine” and “Beautiful”; soulful R&B star Kiana Lede’s album KIKI; and most recently for multiplatinum recording artist Queen Naija’s album Misunderstood. And this is just the short list. Other artists they’ve worked with include Fletcher, Lennon Stella, Jay Sean, Hailee Steinfeld, and more.

They’ve also coproduced Bazzi’s debut album, Cosmic, in 2018, and his sophomore album, Soul Searching, in 2019. Their work with the mega star now surpasses over two billion streams and includes a platinum album, two multiplatinum singles, and two top 10 American radio hits. And this is just the beginning. Their most recent single with Brazzi, “Crazy,” has millions of streams, and they are gearing up for Brazzi's third project dropping 2021.

Rice N’ Peas comprises two multi-dimensional individuals, Kevin White and Mike Woods, who found their spots in the music industry fairly differently. Mike’s road to stardom began at a young age, almost knowing immediately that producing was his destined path. This intuition didn’t come to fruition until a college roommate introduced him to a production company in New Jersey. As the company grew, so did Mike’s talent and perseverance to own a production company one day.

Similarly, Kevin White’s future as a producer/songwriter was fated to happen. His mentor as the time happened to be a creative director for Def Jam who noticed Kevin’s talent right away. Almost immediately, Kevin was offered an internship at a production company, and, as fate would have it, Mike and Kevin’s world intertwined.

Thus came the name Rice’ N Peas, but to say "the rest is history" is an understatement because they’re just getting started. Their talent individually, miraculous. Their talent together, magical. Each working their way to the top, kicking down doors, and developing artists from their first unknown single to their inevitable fame. The anticipation for their music for 2021 has increasingly grown, with fans constantly asking when the next hit will drop. Rice N’ Peas have many exciting projects for their current roster of global stars, as well as some new ones under wraps for the New Year.

Will Wells B.M. ’11
Songwriter, Producer, Performer

Will Wells is a producer, songwriter, professional musician, and recording engineer. In 2019, he served as executive producer and cowriter of the debut album from Anthony Ramos, whom he met while working as electronic music producer on the Tony-, Grammy-, and Pulitzer Prize-winning hit Broadway musical Hamilton. The critically acclaimed album The Good & The Bad was released on Republic Records. Will continues to thrive in the film and television world. He was commissioned by ESPN to write the first-ever theme song for the 2019 Heisman Trophy Ceremony and served as musical director for the national live-television broadcast in 2019 and 2020. Will coproduced "Stand Up," the end-title song for the Harriet Tubman biopic, Harriet, performed by the film's lead character, Cynthia Erivo. The song received nominations for Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, Best Original Song at the 92nd Academy Awards and the 2020 Golden Globes, Best Song at the 25th Critics' Choice Awards, and Outstanding Song at the NAACP Image Awards.

Will studied film scoring and music production and engineering at Berklee College of Music. While there, he honed his skills as a songwriter, arranger, conductor, and musician. Since then, he has crafted an impressive résumé working with renowned artists such as Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Imagine Dragons, Logic, Wyclef Jean, DJ Premier, LMFAO, Pentatonix, and many more, in the studio and on stage. 

Jonathan Perkins B.M. ’00
Berklee College of Music, Assistant Chair of Songwriting

Jonathan Perkins is a multiplatinum songwriter/producer and an Emmy Award–winning composer with over 10 million units sold. Some recent credits include the Chainsmokers’ album Memories…Do Not Open and multiple releases with K-pop sensations BTS, Taemin, and NCT 127. Formerly signed to Orange Factory Music, the production team behind worldwide phenomenon Jay Sean, he was a writer on Sean's smash sensation "Down," featuring Lil Wayne, which went six-times platinum internationally, reaching no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 2009, as well as on Sean’s single “Do You Remember,” featuring Sean Paul and Lil Jon, which went two-times platinum and reached the Billboard Top 10. His other credits include Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, Big Time Rush, Frankie J, and Cody Simpson, among others. He attained his first no. 1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play charts with his work on Jason Nevins’s remix of Rihanna’s "S.O.S."

Perkins also has extensive experience in scoring and orchestration. He won an Emmy in 2010 in the Outstanding Program/Special in the Business/Consumer category for composing the score for Doing Business in China, a documentary by The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times. His music can also be heard on MTV's Room Raiders and Teen Cribs, and on channels such as VH1 and BET. He was mentored by film composer Richard Horowitz (Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky) and composer Sussan Deyhim (Peter Gabriel, Bill Laswell).

These Grammy-nominated songwriters, producers, and engineers behind Bazzi and Camila Cabello, Logic, Jason Derulo, and Hamilton will open their sessions to provide students with insight into the elements that make the magic happen.  

Moderated by: Jonathan Perkins '00, Assistant Chair of Songwriting