Friday, 07 Jul 2017

Joel Little's Impressive US chart success

Producer, co-writer and all-round good guy Joel Little is having an impressive week, with three album's in which he has a hand, appearing in the top 15 albums in the US Billboard 200.

As reported by Poppy Reid in The Industry Observer, the Auckland-born, LA-based songwriter, producer and musician is behind six tracks tied to three records in the Billboard Top 15.

Joel co-wrote and co-produced ‘Whatever It Takes’, which features on Imagine Dragons’ #2 Billboard chart entrance, Evolve.

Elsewhere on this week’s Billboard 200, Joel co-wrote ‘Green Light’ and produced ‘Supercut’, both from Lorde’s #13-charting LP Melodrama.

Melodrama debuted at #1 last week, marking Lorde’s first US #1 album and the first time a Kiwi had topped the Albums chart since Keith Urban took the top spot with Fuse in 2013 (Urban was born in Whangarei).

Rounding out the Top 15 this week is Khalid’s American Dream, which moved up from #18 last week. The LP features three tracks co-written, produced and engineered by Joel; they are ‘Young Dumb & Broke’, ‘8teen’ and ‘Therapy’.

Speaking to The Industry Observer, Joel’s manager Ashley Page said Joel’s decision to remain selective with his collaborations is a contributing factor to his success.

Joel has been very particular about who he will work with,” he said. “There have been plenty of times we’ve turned down big artists because it hasn’t been right for Joel. I think being very certain of the areas that he has wanted to work in and the direction he’s headed has been very important and pivotal to his continued success.”

Ashley – who also manages Broods, Jarryd James and Alex Hope through his own Page One Management firm – said Joel has built his career on his tireless work ethic.

“He has managed to keep his feet on the ground through all successes, and he works very hard,” Page told TIO. “People really love working with Joel as he listens to their ideas first and foremost, and tries to work out how he can complement the artist’s vision.”

Joel’s US success may have reached a new pinnacle this week. Not only has he dominated the Billboard Top 15, but Bebe Rexha’s ‘The Way I Are’ – which he co-wrote and produced – has just hit the Top 40 on the US pop radio chart.

When asked whether Joel’s move to LA was integral to his work, Ashley Page said: “For Joel in particular, being in Los Angeles has allowed him to be available at short notice for major artist sessions and put himself in a position to capitalise on opportunities.”

Georgraphical advantages aside, discounting Joel’s unique sound and multi award-winning status would be remiss.

“I think Joel’s built a strong brand,” said Page. “People know a Joel Little production, and he is one of the best in his field. People reached out originally as they loved Lorde’s sound, now it’s just as much because they love Khalid’s, Imagine Dragons’, or Bebe Rexha’s songs.

“Importantly Joel has a great team around him, and a strong publisher in Sony/ATV who bring consistent value to the table,” he added. “Both Jenn Knoepfle (SVP and Head of West Coast A&R) in LA and Maree Hamblion (Joint Head of A&R) in Australia have been instrumental through the years, and hopefully a good management team helps too I hope,” he laughed.

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