THR Names Music's 35 Top Hitmakers
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
If music truly is a universal language, then Morocco-born, French-speaking RedOne (ne Nadir Khayat) might very well be the human embodiment of the pop lexicon. The 40-year-old Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and founder of 2101 Records has become a force on the Billboard pop charts, where he was the top producer of 2009 for his work with Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Akon, Sean Kingston, Enrique Iglesias and more. “I’m influenced by the world because I’m always traveling,” he says. “I’ve just been in Hong Kong, Dubai, Thailand, Morocco, France, Holland, Sweden, so I’m listening to everything everywhere.” And each one those far-off locales can inspire a song. Take one of Lady Gaga’s biggest hits. “We were in Ibiza, Spain and suddenly the vibe felt like we should write something that had ‘Alejandro,’” says RedOne. Or maybe that was the wine talking.
First Hit: “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga (2008)
Last Hit: “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez (2012)Click here to read THR's complete Pop's Top 35 Hitmakers list.