THR Names Music's 35 Top Hitmakers
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The team behind Bruno Mars' golden touch is a true tale of working Los Angeles musicians coming together. As a producer looking to work with new songwriters, Ari Levine opened his cramped Hollywood recording studio to anyone in need of a space. Phillip Lawrence was the first guest at LevCon Studios and returned later with partner Bruno Mars.
The three clicked, and, says Levine, "Everything started getting better and better the more we worked together." Today the trio, who took on the name The Smeezingtons, is responsible for Mars' many chart-toppers including "Just the Way You Are," "Grenade" and, most recently, "Locked Out of Heaven," along with his featured roles on B.o.B.'s "Nothin' on You," Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" and Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa's "Young, Wild & Free," as well as Cee-Lo Green's game-changing "F— You." Most their songs start as cathartic freestyle jams, Lawrence says, "and we always find that we still do our best work in our little shack of a studio… That’s where we find our magic."
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