We have heard his tag at the start of many groundbreaking records under the R&B umbrella, having worked with Mary J Blige, Mariah Carey and Brandy for example, his production is always guaranteed to touch the Billboard Charts. Having worked predominantly with the worlds most admired females, Rodney Jerkins can only be described as the ladies choice when it comes to beats.Having readjusted his life by severe weight loss, this Dark child feels the world has still yet to see his best work. Taking time out of his schedule he cleared up some misconceptions people may have about how he went about losing his weight, he explains the matrimonial harmony an artist must seek, why his approach has world renowned songstresses falling at his feet and just what keeps him from changing course and jumping on Hip-Hop tracks.
Everyone seems to think you had gastric bypass surgery, an internet rumor perhaps, but that wasnt the case was itNo.
So how did you go about losing the weightJust pretty much changing my lifestyle. I would be in the studio until 5 in the morning and eating a lot of fast food, as they are the only places open at 2 in the morning. So I started to control my eating and also I think the exercise was a very important fact as I was always in the studio, just slouching around and now I find myself getting up early in the morning and getting on my tread mill or riding my bike and doing what I have to do. I really made that part of the deal too.
Do you find that your confidence has improved since you lost weightOh yeah I am a whole different person. I honestly think that the world hasnt heard the best of me yet.
So it affected your music tooYeah I mean musically I feel I have shorted everybody. I really believe that your health plays a big part on your mental so for years, me not being healthy may not have had me there 100% mentally, even though I thought it was. Now that my health is in such a good place, I feel that my music is getting better. I feel now artists are going to get 100% of my mental game and if that is at 100% then my creative game is going to be on too.
Any advice then for people trying to do what you didI just tell people, if anything eat less. Eating five small meals a day is better than eating three huge ones. Just cut back on sugar. You know my whole family is diabetic and I had to do this because of genetics anyway. Because we are diabetic prone and at risk with heart disease in my family I had to be the one that took that step. So now I am just encouraging other people to do the same thing and it isnt a physical battle, it is a mental battle and once you discipline yourself enough to know you can do it by changing your life style, you will be straight. That is all it is.
Did you go the route like Timbaland did as I know he had a personal trainer and chef when he lost his weightI started with a personal trainer; I dont feel that I need to tell me what to do every day as it has to be left to me to do things by myself. Some people need a trainer to tell them what to do every day, you know jog three miles but I am like if you cant do it yourself what is the reason of doing it. You know whats the point of doing this if you cant do it without a personal trainer? I started with one and then I was like if this was what I had to do every day then I could do it myself.
You had it in your head then that you were just going to do this regardlessYeah I mean I keep notes in my blackberry and I am a very goal orientated type of person, and you know I would say I would want to reach this point in thirty days, you know I would record what I would eat every day. You know so I could see the days I messed up and then the days where I got back on track. It was all about keeping a log, hey one day I might be able to write a book.
What was the hardest thing for you to give upWell I dont feel that I gave up anything. You know if anything it was just about eating less. You know if I want to eat ice-cream I will eat ice-cream. I just wont eat all the ice-cream. If I want to snack here and there I am just a little calmer in that area as opposed to exploding and taking everything I want. Its just about being smart.
You have predominantly worked with the females as opposed to the men in R&B, why is thatI mean I think I work better with females. You know maybe I am a female magnet (laughs.) But I think what it is that my music connects emotionally. Men are logical, we think logically and I think a song that I work on or that I write they come across to peoples emotions better and females are more emotional, they are able to bring it across better. But I always find myself when I am working on songs that we are writing them for females and we dont really write stuff for men. You know its very rare that we turn around and say lets right this for a male, but there is a shortage of male artists too, we only have a handful of male artists out there, which makes it a little difficult.
I know you are working with your own female artist. Are you just concentrating on her at Dark Child nowWell I have an artist that is signed to Jive and her name is Natasha. I did like a deal with them as she wanted to be at Jive Records, that was her choice of label and I always encourage the artist to pick their home because it is really their marriage at the end of the day. If Rodney Jerkins isnt hot anymore, then the label wont hire me but they will keep her going and find another producer for her to work with; so really that is the artistss marriage and she wanted to be at Jive so we did the deal with Jive. It is a real focus of mine right now, I feel that I have found something special and she is the one that is really going to break through for me. We have a big smash on our hands with her first single. She is in the studio now working with Bryan Cox, cutting a couple of joints with him.
You have never really veered off into Hip-Hop, you have stayed predominantly with R&B. Is this something you see yourself doing in the futureI would like to do Hip-Hop, but I just dont like some of the things they say. I am not a derogatory person; I am a person who speaks life into people, so my whole thing is it has to be something I am going to put life into. The youth right now act on what they see on TV and what they hear in music and try to become it and if we are trying to influence them in a negative manner, they become negative. SO if I am going to do something it has to be positive, because if it is negative, I just wont do it.
Melanie J Cornish Rodney Jerkins