GRAMMY-nominated songwriter Claude Kelly recently visited The Recording Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview. Kelly discussed his songwriting process, the songs that shaped his musical upbringing and collaborating as a producer on British singer/songwriter Jessie J's upcoming album, among other topics.
"Most recently I've done work with Jessie J and she's on her second album," said Kelly. "She's a force. Vocally, she's insane. I want people to fall in love with her and let the songs be the icing on top."
Known as the "Studio Beast," Kelly scored his career breakthrough when he co-wrote Frankie J's "Daddy's Little Girl" in 2006. The song helped him land a deal with Warner/Chappell Music and caught the attention of GRAMMY-nominated artist/producer Akon, who subsequently asked Kelly to pen songs for Leona Lewis and GRAMMY winners Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. Kelly has since written songs for artists such as Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, Adam Lambert, and Britney Spears, among others.
In 2010 Kelly co-wrote "Bittersweet," featured on GRAMMY winner Fatasia's Back To Me album. The song earned Kelly his first career GRAMMY nomination for Best R&B Song. The following year, Kelly received a GRAMMY nomination for Song Of The Year for co-writing Bruno Mar's No. 1 hit "Grenade," and a Best R&B Song nomination for co-writing Ledisi's "Pieces Of Me," which peaked at No. 8. At the 55th GRAMMY Awards Kelly earned a Best R&B Song nomination for co-writing Tamia's Top 25 hit "Beautiful Surprise." The song was featured on her 2012 album of the same name, which Kelly executive produced.
Recently, Kelly co-wrote five tracks on Olly Murs' 2012 album, Right Place Right Time, including "Troublemaker," which peaked at No. 25. Kelly collaborated as a producer on Jessie J's untitled sophomore album set for release this year. Kelly also co-wrote the album's first single, "Wild,"which features Big Sean and Dizzee Rascal.