Last year saw Norwegian production team StarGate, which is made up of Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel S. Eriksen, relocating to New York after a lengthy and very successful career as producers and studio owners based in Trondheim, Norway. StarGate has produced, written or remixed hits by such artists as Blue, Mario, Mis-Teeq, Christina Milian, Atomic Kitten, Beenie Man, Sisqo, Cher, Hear’Say, Lil’Kim and Nelly. The production team has been particularly successful on the British market with several Top 10 hits in the UK.
Since relocating to New York, the StarGate team has quickly established themselves as associates of several of the currently hottest hip hop/Rn’B/urban acts on the US market. StarGate produced Def Jam debutant Ne-Yo’s So Sick which has shot to the top ten on Billboard – currently occupying the no. 7 spot. So Sick is this weeks most frequently played on US radio with 17 000 airings this week – more than 1000 hours of airplay.
StarGate’s success with Ne-Yo has triggered a wave of response from the US music industry. Says StarGate’s Tor Erik Hermansen to Norwegian daily VG: “Right now there are loads of record companies that are asking for a track like So sick. That would be impossible to make. Fortunately, we’ve written lots of tracks in the meantime without having So Sick on mind. What’s most important for us is the response the tune gets from the audience. In the US, it’s the listeners that determine the radio playlists through weekly surveys and it seems as if we’ve made a track that people really like.”
StarGate are also set to contribute to Rhianna’s upcoming album on Def Jam.
“We’ve previously done a lot of pop, but now we’re a lot closer to r&b and hip-hop. This has been our own preferred music for years, so the chance to work with the best in this genre is a dream come true,” explains Mikkel S. Eriksen from StarGate.
“Expectations and requirements are very high over here, entailing that we have to be fully focused at all times. It is up to us to perform and live up to the standards required. Ultimately it is up to the audiences. Our plan is to stay in the US as long as we are busy” says Eriksen.
“We’ve been into hip-hop ever since we saw “Beat Street” at the movies, so needless to say working with one of the majors of rap would be an ultimate experience. Right now we’re more involved with r&b, but things might change. Just to get feedback from Jay-Z is ample reward in itself” concludes a satisfied Eriksen. sd
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