Nadir Al-Khayat ( Arabic: نادر الخياط ‎‎), known professionally as RedOne , [2] (born 9 April 1972) is a Moroccan Swedish record producer, singer-songwriter, and record executive. [3] [4]

As a producer and songwriter, he has worked with many high profile recording artists, most notably Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, U2, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, CROSS GENE, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, Wyclef Jean, Mariah Carey, Paulina Rubio, Mylène Farmer, Inna, Alexandra Burke, Austin Mahone, One Direction, Marc Anthony, The Band Perry, Prince Royce, Rod Stewart, among many others. His production discography boasts many Billboard and international hits, which he produced and co-wrote. [5] RedOne has established his own record label named RedOne Records. [6] RedOne has been nominated for six Grammy awards, winning three. He was also awarded 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 [7] and BMI Songwriter of the Year. [8] Commonly, he produces pop, rock, dance, eurodance, house genres.

Career

Career in Sweden (1991–2006)

RedOne was born as Nadir Al-Khayat to Moroccan family in Tétouan, Morocco. [9] In 1991, he immigrated to Sweden at age nineteen, [10] to pursue a career as a musician. [7] [11] 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. [11]

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. [11] Instrumental in helping him make this transition was Rami Yacoub, another fellow ex-rock musician. [9] Yacoub, a Palestinian-Swedish songwriter/producer already enjoyed considerable success and was a well-established producer. Inviting RedOne to work with him in the studio, he taught RedOne about "programming and how the software works" and the pair co-wrote a number of songs together. [11] 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. Redouan introduced Rami to Max Martin, Yacoub was asked some time later to join Cheiron Studios [9] 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 ". [2] 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". [2] 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". [2] 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", [2] [2] but the track remained unreleased until 2012, when Bell leaked the track in full online. [2]

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. [18] In addition, The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) made him the main producer and songwriter for the 2006 World Cup Official Music Program. [4]

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. [4]

Although "Bamboo" helped establish him as a notable producer in the global marketplace, [4] 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." [11] 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". [11] Initially the move proved unsuccessful; he struggled to secure even a single production and lost all of his money in the process. [11] 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". [10]

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". [10] 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 . [10] [11] [19]

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. [11] Together, they wrote a song titled, "Boys, Boys, Boys", which was intended as a spin-off of Mötley Crüe's " Girls, Girls, Girls ". [2] Together, they produced hits that became hugely popular including " Just Dance ", Lady Gaga's official debut hit and the hugely successful " Poker Face ".

In 2015, RedOne announced that he is working on his debut album entitled RedOne Presents . He declared that he would like to collaborate with Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, Priyanka Chopra, Stevie Wonder, and Lionel Richie for the album. Also in 2015, he started working in country music by co-writing and co-producing The Band Perry's song " Live Forever ", the first single off their upcoming third studio album. [21] RedOne had also been confirmed to be reuniting with Lady Gaga as a producer in her fifth studio album. [22]

Production and songwriting

RedOne continued writing and producing with Gaga and a host of other artists. [23] His international production credits include Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Nicki Minaj, and through his own label 2101 Records Jennifer Lopez, Porcelain Black, Havana Brown, Mohombi, 7Lions. [24]

In addition, he has written for and produced to various artists, [25] in alphabetical order: Akon, Marc Anthony, 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, K'naan, Katia, Kika, Sean Kingston, KMC, Little Boots, Cher Lloyd, Austin Mahone, MIKA, Nicki Minaj, Mohombi, Nayer, Orianthi, Lionel Richie, Kelly Rowland, Paulina Rubio, Nicole Scherzinger, Space Cowboy, Usher, Lil Wayne and Love Generation.

Bands include: Backstreet Boys, Cheetah Girls, Dive Bella Dive, Far East Movement, Flipsyde, Jada, JLS, Love Generation, Midnight Red, New Kids on the Block, One Direction, Pixie Lott, Sugababes, Talkback, Ying Yang Twins, amongst others.

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. [26]

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. [27]

Record labels

2101 Records

In 2010, RedOne founded 2101 Records , a record label, as a joint venture with Universal Music Group. [6] [28] 2101 Songs on the other hand is a publishing company affiliated with 2101 Records and administered by Sony ATV Songs (BMI). [29]

Main acts signed to the label are Jennifer Lopez, [30] Mohombi, [31] Havana Brown, [31] Midnight Red, [32] Porcelain Black [32] and 7Lions. [32]

RedOne Records

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.

Philanthropy

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. [23] [33]

He is also involved with A Place Called Home, a safe haven in South Central Los Angeles were underserved youth are empowered to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives through programs in education, arts, and well-being and are inspired to make a meaningful difference in their community and the world.

Discography

Awards

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 Tanger in 2011.

Grammy Awards
Year Nominee/Work Award Result
2009 " Just Dance " Best Dance Recording Nominated
2010 The Fame Best Dance/Electronic Album Won
2010 " Poker Face " Best Dance Recording Won
2010 " Poker Face " Record of the Year Nominated
2010 " Poker Face " Song of the Year Nominated
2010 The Fame Album of the Year Nominated
2011 The Fame Monster Best Pop Vocal Album Won
2011 The Fame Monster Album of the Year Nominated
2011 RedOne Producer of the Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2012 Born This Way Album of the Year Nominated
Latin Grammy Awards
Year Nominee/Work Award Result
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"