Producer Spotlight: Dr. Luke

By Tyler Clark

“Since U Been Gone” and “Party In The USA,” is the head of two songwriting companies, and hows his own record label. Gottwald was an average kid from Rhode Island who wanted to be a drummer. Because his parents didn’t want a drum kit in the house, he taught himself to play guitar at the age of 13. Dr. Luke’s first gig was as a guitarist for the Saturday Night Live Band, which he was in for 10 years.

On SNL, Dr. Luke co-wrote and produced his first hit, Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone.” The single peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 48th Grammy Awards. He also produced the second single on her Breakaway album, “Behind These Hazel Eyes.”

His first hit post-SNL was Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend.” The song changed her public image and the track sold over 7.3 million copies. Rolling Stone ranked the single 37 on their “Top 100 Songs of 2007” list. In 2008, Dr. Luke co wrote and produced  Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot n Cold” and three tracks on Britney Spears’s Circus, including the title track.

  In 2009, he produced and co-wrote Miley Cyrus’s “Party In The USA” with singer Jessie J, which was Miley’s best selling track for four years. In 2010, Dr. Luke won 10 awards  at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards, including Songwriter of the Year.

He is essentially responsible for the careers of Katy Perry, Kesha, and up and comer singer/rapper Becky G. He co-produced and wrote the majority every Katy Perry album.  Dr. Luke wrote and produced her singles, most of which charted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and were nominated for grammys. He is also credited with discovering Kesha as an artist.

He signed her to his label, Kemosabe Entertainment, and his songwriting company, Prescription Songs, when she was 18. She started by singing backup vocals on Paris Hilton’s “Nothing In This World,” then was put on the back burner while he was busy with more successful artists. They teamed up again for Flo Rida’s 2009 hit “Right Round,” though she was uncredited. The next year he produced and co-wrote Kesha’s debut album Animal, which debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200, making her one of very few female artists to have their debut album peak at number 1.

Dr. Luke continues to crank out chart-topping singles and albums. Recently, he’s had success with Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” and Pitbull and Kesha’s “Timber.” Dr. Luke will work with Hilary Duff and Usher on their upcoming albums and continue with his hit-making process.