EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW!!- Evan Rogers (Songwriter, Producer, Talent Scout)

Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers are reaching the peak of their 20 – plus year career. The Grammy-nominated team, whose mastery of many styles of music has resulted in more than 20 Top 40 hits, twelve Top 5 hits and 6 BMI awards, in addition to more than 70 million albums sold worldwide, is writing the next chapter in their success story with the recent creation of their SRP Records label.

The duo also had songs on 98 Degrees’ double platinum album, Revelation and the multi-platinum debut albums of Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore and Anastacia, as well as many other collaborations with such artists as Christina Milian and Emma Bunton (“Baby Spice” of the Spice Girls). Next to come calling was Clive Davis, who hired the team to work on Kelly Clarkson’s debut album, for which they wrote the hit single “The Trouble With Love Is”, also featured in the movie “Love Actually”. The Davis connection continued with the American Idol project in 2004, as well as Rod Stewart’s Great American Song Book Vol. II and two tracks for Ruben Studdard’s double platinum debut album Soulful.

The duo then decided to begin developing artists in earnest, forming Syndicated Rhythm Productions in 2005. Their first signing was 16-year-old Rihanna, whom Rogers discovered while visiting family in Barbados. They brought her to Jay-Z and L.A. Reid at Def Jam Records and she was signed within hours of her audition. Rihanna’s first single “Pon De Replay”, co-written and produced by Sturken & Rogers, went on to be a worldwide smash, while her debut album Music Of The Sun sold over a million copies. Rihanna’s follow up A Girl Like Me sold 3 million copies worldwide and established her as an international star. Rihanna scored one of the biggest singles of 2007 with “Umbrella”.

And now, yours truly has had the honor and privilege of interviewing Rogers himself!

Hope you enjoy! :)

 

How did you get into the music industry?

Music was always in my family-my dad is an amazing jazz trumpet player. I started in bands as a drummer and singer. That’s where I met Carl Sturken, the other half of SRP Records.(this was the band that went to Barbados many moons ago and me and Carl both met and eventually married Bajan women, hence, the Barbados connection) ) We became a writing team and when the band broke up, we moved to New York from Connecticut. And began hustling around as session musicians. That was how we began playing people our demos which lead to a solo record deal for me and also our first placed song/production, “heartbreaker” by Evelyn Champagne King.

 How and when did your interest in production begin?  What gives you inspiration to produce? Does it just come to you or is there a process?

I’m a songwriter first and foremost, so my inspiration starts with a song. The vision for the production follows. We also produce outside songs in which case I listen to the song and if it’s a hit, or just an amazing song, it all plays in my head-then the process of bringing it to life begins. Being a singer, I usually start on the melody/lyric side with our songs. Carl is a guitar /keyboard player and he does most of the tracks, although we both have input on everything.

Heads of SRP Records- Carl Sturken and EVAN Rogers (right)

 

 

  What are your long-term career goals?

My long term goals are to build SRP into a powerhouse label. We recently partnered with Sylvia Rhone/Universal Motown and now have 5 acts already signed, including Vita Chambers and Hal Linton. We also have Rihanna and “The urgency” signed through our previous SRP joint venture with Island/Def Jam. We have recently done a joint venture with universal publishing and have begun signing writers.

 

 How would you define the word “success”?

“Success” to me is mostly about loving what u do and being at peace with your life and yourself. Of course it’s great to make lots of money and be recognized for your work, but my greatest joy is that I LOVE what I do, whether its writing, producing, finding a star and developing them, putting a marketing plan together etc-and most of all watching their dreams come true. I remember being an artist and what it’s like to feel that rush-there is nothing like getting a record deal, hearing your record on the radio, touring etc. Its magical..and a lot of work! LOL

 

 Let’s talk about some of the artistes you respresent or produce for. Let’s start with the most famous one, Rihanna. Did you foresee such success?

I thought Rihanna was a star from the moment she sang for me. She had a presence when she walked in to the room. Her voice was raw but distinctive-and she wanted this career more than anything. I signed her without any hesitation. A true star is obvious to me from the moment they walk into a room. I could never have predicted how huge she would become, but I always believed she was a star from day one.

 

 What are your thoughts about her growth as an artiste?

I am proud of her growth as an artist. On this album (rated R) she stepped out on her own creatively. I may not agree or love everything she has done on this album but she is 21 and has to have her own “voice”. I support her and want her to follow her vision.

 Her being the most famous and successful of SRP, do you compare the other artistes (like the up-coming ones) to her success or her beginnings as an artiste?

When you find an artist like Vita Chambers, who is 16 (the same age Rihanna was when I found her) you can’t help but compare, though I try not to. They are totally different artists-but what they have in common is star power. Both capture the room when they enter. Both are stunning, have an unstoppable drive to do this-and both have the talent, charisma and universal appeal.

Vita Chambers- SRP recording artiste

How about the newly signed artistes? For example; Vita. Why did you sign her, or ANY artiste for that matter? What special quality/ies do you look for?

All of our artists are different. Hal Linton will compete with John Legend and Robin Thicke. Shontelle is an international pop/urban appealing artist who writes and has amazing star quality. Cara Salimando is a 17 year old singer songwriter/pianist in the vein of Fiona Apple/Colbie Caliat. We have our rock group “the urgency” and a newly signed duo from Virginia, Berret and Harrison(17 and 16) in the vein of John Mayer/Jason Mraz.

Hal Linton -SRP recording artiste

Shontelle- SRP recording artiste

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Cara Salimando- SRP recording artiste

As the public knows so well already, you have taken quite a few Barbadian artistes under your wing, starting with Rihanna and most recently Vita. Was your interest in Barbados deliberate?

As I mentioned earlier, the Barbados connection for us (me and Carl) started more than 25 years ago when our band came here. Coming to the island to visit family every year lead to me meeting Rihanna. From there, people always come to me when there is a talented artist on the island. Shontelle was brought to my attention by Ron Johnson who had a magazine (circuit) at the time. Hal Linton was brought to my attention by multiple people but first by Shontelle. He was on the radio when I was vacationing and I heard “cardiac arrest”. I thought he was incredible, but it took a few years to sign him, LOL. Vita was brought to my attention by multiple people, first by Ron Johnson when she was 12. I thought she needed to grow up a bit obviously but saw/heard the potential. A few years later her MySpace was brought to my attention by both Tenielle Doyle and Kirk Arthur -I was on a plane to Barbados a few days later to meet with Vita and her parents. I was blown away with her powerful voice, charisma, personality and beauty.

 Will you continue to try and reap talent from Barbados?

I’m open to talent/stars wherever they come from-Barbados included!

 Would you team-up with any individuals/organizations to help find talent?

I’m definitely open to working with people. I’m always looking for that next star!

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33 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW!!- Evan Rogers (Songwriter, Producer, Talent Scout)

  1. I enjoyed reading the article very much in regards to this dynamic duo. I’m involved in the industry and i would like to know if possible is there a way that i could send my material of any kind to these gentlemen. Please email me with any type of contact information that could possible get to them. Thank you.

  2. HI I enjoy reading any thing that has to do with music I am a 19yr old singer/song writer I love doing music and I would love to collaborate with rihanna I would really love to show my talent and sprout like a blooming flower I would love the chance to work with you if possible I have what it take’s.

  3. hi im stella and im a singer who live in london . i come from belgium so i speak french . i wanna be a huge international superstar . im 17years old and i know what i want ! if im talking to you now it’s because i need your help to make a song . i relly need a producer . i can make a audition for you i can do everything to make my dreams come true . please from the bottom of my heart give me a chance to prove myself . bye bye i hope i’ll receive an answer

  4. Hello! siham my name I’m French I’m learning right in the American language from tiny love singing and dancing to music for me is a well-being!
    I have not had the chance to get help, now at the age of 23 I would really break into this field.
    I like dancehall, reggae / ragga, rap us, roots, reggaetton, oriental music / Latin

  5. i name kia and i is Barbadian and i have the talent i kknow i do an i am will to do anything you want and you are looking for so
    please

  6. Good Evening!

    I’m from Maryland, however my parents are Egyptian,Turkish, and French-Guyanese, Indian. I would love to submit my material, if you could forward it or send me their contact information.

    Thank you!

  7. I don’t realy have word to tell you in what you is Great!!! I need to realize my dream please give me a chance to work wit me. Trust me if you are trying wit me and I cannot pleased you I’ll leave you alone,just try wit me don’t refused me! (People who have the contact or who have to learn this email msg plz make me on contact with them God will bless you day after day!) Thanks.

  8. I’m kadiedra and i want to work with producer Mr.roger i want to start a new life and i want to sing and rap again.
    i am an RnB, hiphop artiste myself.

  9. hi im senika thomas………and i would love if u work with me an sign me because singing is my biggest dream…….please ummmm my email adress is sexy.redz2009@hotmail.com…….contact me im willin to work very hard for this…….

  10. i am 16 years old my name is danielle i have been singing for a year now and would like to give Mr rogers and carl struken a sample of my music, i have a voice coach and would really like to follow my dream in having a career in the music world i have been told i have a different tone to my voice which is an advantage please reply my email is (danielleduffy01@yahoo.co.uk)
    thank you

  11. hi im pardis and im 14 ive always had a dream of singing would you please help me become a singer, because singing is the only hobbie and thing i like i would be so grateful if you can help me become a singer you wont be dissapointed please can you help me your my only hope. and if you can not help i don’t know what to do anymore please your my last chance.

  12. I am a young singer trying to make it out there to make my dreams come true I am a sibling of five I have a mother and a father. I am fourteen yrs old and I am looking forward to working with you. Please take me away and help me reach my way to stardom because I do not want to waste this tanlet I have been given from god.

  13. Hi my name is Tatyana Fortune and i am a singer and i love to sing and let me just say i love what u do . And um i know that i have all ready wrote you but i just wanted to give you my new web site on where you can find me . My my new web site is MySpace and everything just letting you know that and um my email adress is Mstcfortune@aol.com . And like i said befour i would love if u would work with you and make me the next young artist out there please um if you don’t get this right now you know if you do not get to read it um you know where to find meh on myspace again sir um i would love to work with you um if u have read this and everything hola at meh right back homie you know where to find meh :) .

  14. We want our dreams, we have performed on stage in many place, Solihull Theatre, The London Palladium, Tudor Grange Park Faire, and we have received rewards for out acting, dancing, and singing talents. We are not exactly the bragging type, but we are so ambitious! Please contact us and let us know weather your interested, please contact us even if you not interested just so we know you have received this message. Please help us accomplish our dreams. Thank you!

  15. Hello Mr. Rogers my name is rolnicka I come from a family of 6 and I need u to help me become a singer I am great I think am better than great I’ve been singing since 6 from the top of my mother step in her home I have a lot to sing about I don’t no if this mr Rogers or who I’m talking to but I want to be a singer and that’s all my mom ever wanted for me god no I want this so bad please if someone can call or email me please no 1 n my family never had a chance please email me please

  16. Hello Mr. Rogers my name is rolnicka I come from a family of 6 and I need u to help me become a singer I am great I think am better than great I’ve been singing since 6 from the top of my mother step in her home I have a lot to sing about I don’t no if this mr Rogers or who I’m talking to but I want to be a singer and that’s all my mom ever wanted for me thats all i want for myself god no I want this so bad please if someone can call or email me please no 1 in my family never had a chance please email me please

  17. Hi my name is lissa.mont.i write sons i speak spanish i will like to meet some body who cant help me to do real music wiht my letters or what i write.i love your job.and that is the reason wy i ask you please to stop by my comment and please contact me i know.there is alot people doing lovely things.and maybe is hord to answer to everyone.bet please contactme .thanks.

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