Last year, Sony lost the music rights to the hit show “American Idol,” as show creator Simon Fuller negotiated a new deal with Universal Music Group. The change will place “Idol” in the hands of Interscope, Geffen and A&M Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine. During a recent interview with Billboard magazine, Iovine revealed “American Idol” will now me more A&R driven and contestants may be logging time with a few UMG producers seasoned in the ways of mixing Hip Hop and Pop music.
“Instead of waiting until season’s end to head to the recording studio, they’ll now work on tracks throughout the season—overseen by Interscope friendly producers like Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Ron Fair and Alex Da Kid,” reported Billboard’s Cortney Harding.
Each of the aforementioned producers is familiar with crossover success. Jerkins has been behind the boards for both Jadakiss (“J-A-D-A”) and Beyonce (“Déjà vu”). Timbaland gained critical acclaim for his work with Jay-Z (“Big Pimpin,” “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”), yet he has also made a concerted effort to venture into Pop by working with Justin Timberlake (“My Love,” “SexyBack”) and Katy Perry.
So while the average Hip Hop fan could probably care less about “American Idol,” in its current state, the people behind the scenes at the show seem to be trying to tap into the current trend of Pop-infused Hip Hop singles such as “Airplanes,” “Love the Way You Lie,” and “Massive Attack,” all of which were either produced or co-produced by Alex Da Kid. No “American Idol” winner has had a platinum-selling album since season seven alum David Cook’s self-titled debut sold 1.3 million copies.
“We’re going to be bringing them along,” Iovine added. “Just like we’d bring along any artist that was signed to Interscope. It’s going to be an entire new construct.”