Jeff Bhasker

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Jeff Bhasker (also known as Billy Kraven and U.G.L.Y.) is an American record producer, songwriter, keyboardist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. He collaborated with rapper/producer Kanye West on the albums 808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Watch the Throne, with Jay-Z. He has won Grammy Awards for the songs "Run This Town" by Jay-Z, "All of the Lights" by Kanye West, and "We Are Young" by Fun.[1]

Career[edit]

Bhasker was born in Kansas City, Kansas and raised in Socorro, New Mexico.[2][3] His mother played the piano and his Indian-born father was a medical doctor and the town's mayor for 24 years. Bhasker was introduced to jazz by his mother and his piano teacher.[4] He played in the jazz band at Socorro High School, where he graduated in 1993, and then studied jazz piano and arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.[5][6] He gigged around Boston as a keyboardist and played in a wedding band. After playing with the '70s era R&B band Tavares, Bhasker moved to New York on September 11, 2001. He toured with the jam band Lettuce and began focusing more on songwriting. One of his first productions was with neo soul singer Goapele, on her album Even Closer (2002). Bhasker produced a song on rapper The Game's first album, The Documentary (2005).[7]

Bhasker relocated to Los Angeles, California in 2005. He began writing with Bruno Mars, and songwriter and executive Steve Lindsey served as their mentor. He played cover songs in a band with Mars around Los Angeles.[3] Bhasker then began an association with rapper/producer Kanye West.[8] Initially serving as a substitute keyboardist for West's Glow in the Dark Tour, he went on to become West's music director, and co-producer and co-writer on a number of songs.[9] Bhasker collaborated on West's albums 808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the Jay-Z/Kanye West collaboration album, Watch the Throne, including the songs "Welcome to Heartbreak". "Lift Off", and "Runaway". Bhasker received the Grammy Award for Best Rap Song for West's "All of the Lights", and the Jay-Z/Rihanna/Kanye West song "Run This Town".[10]

Bhasker's collaborations span multiple genres, including writing and production credits on Alicia Keys's 2009 album, The Element of Freedom, including the charting singles "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart" and "Wait Til You See My Smile", and the album tracks, "Love Is Blind", and "Like the Sea". In 2009, Bhasker produced the songs "Free", "Zombie", and "Heaven" for Natalia Kills, and co-wrote and produced, "Nothing Lasts Forever", from her debut album, Perfectionist, under the alias 'Billy Kraven'. He worked on Beyoncé's "I Care", "Rather Die Young" and "Party" from her 2011 album 4 as a writer, musician and producer.

Bhasker worked again with Alicia Keys on her 2012 album, Girl on Fire, on the singles "Girl on Fire", and "Tears Always Win". He has also worked on the hit singles "Just Give Me a Reason" by Pink, Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness", and Emeli Sandé's "My Kind of Love". Bhasker served as lead producer and co-writer for the band Fun's 2012 album, Some Nights, for which he received the 2013 Grammy Award for Song of the Year for the song "We Are Young". He was additionally nominated for Album of the Year, Record of the Year for "We Are Young", and Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.[11]

Discography[edit]

YearArtistAlbumNotes
2002GoapeleEven CloserCo-producer ("Things Don't Exist", "Salvation", "Butterflykisses")
2005The GameThe DocumentaryCo-producer ("The Documentary")
2005GoapeleChange It AllCo-producer, co-writer ("First Love", "Battle Of The Heart")
2008Kanye West808s & HeartbreakCo-producer, co-writer ("Say You Will", "Welcome to Heartbreak", "Amazing" feat. Young Jeezy, "Love Lockdown", "Paranoid" feat. Mr Hudson, "RoboCop")
2008BrandyHumanCo-writer ("Long Distance")
2009Jay-ZThe Blueprint 3Co-producer, co-writer ("Run This Town" feat. Rihanna and Kanye West, "Already Home" feat. Kid Cudi)
2009Kid CudiMan on the Moon: The End of DayCo-producer, co-writer ("My World" feat. Billy Craven)
2009Leona LewisEchoProducer, co-writer ("Fly Here Now")
2009Adam LambertFor Your EntertainmentProducer, co-writer ("Fever")
2009Alicia KeysThe Element of FreedomCo-producer, co-writer ("Love Is Blind", "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart", "Wait Til You See My Smile", "Like the Sea")
2009Robin ThickeSex Therapy: The SessionCo-producer, co-writer ("Meiplé" feat Jay-Z, "Elevatas" feat Kid Cudi, "Rollacoasta" feat. Estelle)
2009Mary J. BligeStronger with Each TearCo-producer, co-writer ("City on Fire")
2010DrakeThank Me LaterCo-producer, co-writer ("Find Your Love", "Show Me A Good Time")
2010Jasbir JassiJassi – Back with a BangCo-producer ("Bang", "Kalaria", "Mela", "Baliye")
2010Bruno MarsDoo-Wops & HooligansCo-writer ("Talking to the Moon")
2010Kid CudiMan on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. RagerCo-producer ("Mr. Rager")
2010Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyCo-producer, co-writer ("Dark Fantasy", "Power", "All of the Lights", "Monster" feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver, "Runaway" feat. Pusha T, "Lost in the World" feat. Bon Iver, "Who Will Survive in America")
2011Natalia KillsPerfectionistProducer, co-writer ("Free", "Zombie", "Heaven", "Nothing Lasts Forever" feat. Billy Kraven, "If I Was God")
2011Snoop DoggDoggumentaryCo-producer ("Eyez Closed" feat. Kanye West and John Legend)
2011Beyoncé4Co-producer, co-writer ("I Care", "Rather Die Young", "Party" feat. André 3000)
2011Jay-Z and Kanye WestWatch the ThroneCo-producer, co-writer ("Lift Off" feat. Beyoncé, "The Joy" feat. Curtis Mayfield)
2012Lana Del ReyBorn to DieCo-producer ("Diet Mountain Dew", "National Anthen", "Carmen")
2012FunSome NightsProducer, co-writer ("Some Nights", "We Are Young", "Carry On", "It Gets Better", "Why Am I the One", "All Alone", "All Alright", "One Foot", "Stars")
2012PinkThe Truth About LoveProducer, co-writer ("Just Give Me a Reason" feat. Nate Ruess)
2012Taylor SwiftRedProducer ("Holy Ground", "The Lucky One")
2012The Rolling StonesGRRR!Co-producer ("Doom and Gloom")
2012Alicia KeysGirl on FireCo-producer, co-writer ("Girl on Fire", "Tears Always Win")
2012Bruno MarsUnorthodox JukeboxCo-producer, co-writer ("Young Girls", "Locked Out of Heaven", "Gorilla", "Moonshine")
2013DidoGirl Who Got AwayCo-writer ("Let Us Move On" feat. Kendrick Lamar)
2013OneRepublicNativeCo-producer, co-writer ("Can't Stop")
2013Natalia KillsTroubleCo-producer, co-writer ("Television", "Problem", "Stop Me", "Boys Don't Cry", "Daddy's Girl", "Saturday Night", "Devils Don't Fly", "Outta Time", "Controversy", "Rabbit Hole", "Watching You", "Marlboro Lights", "Trouble")
2013EminemThe Marshall Mathers LP 2Co-producer, co-writer ("Headlights" feat. Nate Ruess)

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

YearRecipientAwardResult
2009"Run This Town"Best Rap SongWon
2012"All of the Lights"Song of the YearNominated
Best Rap SongWon
2013"We Are Young"Record of the YearNominated
Song of the YearWon
Some NightsAlbum of the YearNominated
Producer Of The Year, Non-ClassicalNominated
2014"Locked Out of Heaven"Record of the YearPending
"Just Give Me A Reason"Song of the YearPending
REDAlbum of the YearPending

References[edit]

  1. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (2013-01-09). "Fun. Producer Jeff Bhasker Caps Big Year With Grammy Nods". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  2. ^ Bhasker, Jeff (January 23, 2010). "Twitter / JeffBhasker: 6) I was born in Kansas city ka". Twitter. 
  3. ^ a b Fekadu, Mesfin (January 31, 2013). "Producer Behind Fun. Takes Center Stage at Grammys". Yahoo News. Associated Press. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ Small, Mark. "Producer on Fire". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ Barteau, Suzanne (February 15, 2012). "Socorro star shoots higher". El Defensor-Chieftain. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ Tingen, Paul (October 2012). "Jeff Bhasker on mixing ‘We Are Young’". Sound on Sound. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  7. ^ LeDonne, Rob (July 10, 2013). "Jeff Bhasker: Music’s Go-To Guy". American Songwriter. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Alumni Grammy Award Winners". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  9. ^ Mirkin, Steven (2008-04-21). "Kanye West Glow in the Dark Tour". Variety. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  10. ^ Anderson, Kyle (2010-12-10). "Kanye West's 'Runaway' Is MTV News' #2 Song Of 2010". MTV. Retrieved 2010-12-14. 
  11. ^ http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.22121/title.grammy-nominees-revealed-frank-ocean-drake-2-chainz-among-those-nominated