It is surprising that a story such as Claude Kelly’s has not gathered a greater recognition within the music industry in recent years. Graduating from Berklee College of Music, Kelly went from graduate to chart-topping songwriter in seven years.
Claude Kelly has worked with a number of artists including Akon, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera and Olly Murs. Yet his short career so far reveals one very distinctive aspect to his song writing skills, the ability to adapt. From soul to pop, Kelly has had success with releases that offer something different every time they hit the charts.
From the age of three, Kelly began playing the piano and his musical ambience increased until Kelly became one of the greatest young song writing talents around. On his official website, claudekellyonline.com, he explains why his work expands over different genres of music: “I was hearing reggae and super-soulful stuff like Marvin Gaye, and pop, and rock. I think people are surprised I can do it but I really did grow up listening to it all.”
His wide appreciation of music stood him in good stead as his career really began to take off in 2006. Kelly first began writing for Frankie J, although the songs did not chart well, but it caught the attention of Akon who recognised the talent that Kelly had at his disposal. In 2008, alongside Akon, he worked with X Factor winner Leona Lewis and wrote the song ‘Forgive Me’ which appeared in the charts and allowed Kelly’s profile to increase furthermore.
In recent years Kelly’s songs have begun to find their way into the top ten at a very consistent rate: In 2009, Kelly wrote the songs ‘We Don’t Care’ and ‘Over the Edge’ that featured on Akon’s ‘Freedom’ album. It got better for Kelly as he wrote Kelly Clarkson’s number one hit, ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’. From this success, he then wrote Jason Derulo’s ‘In My Head’ and Miley Cyrus’ viral hit ‘Party in the USA’.
Although some may argue that these songs do not include mind-encapsulating lyrics, what is important is that in three years, Kelly’s career exploded into success. This success attracted the interest of his idols Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Kelly went on to write songs for both artists as they appeared on both Jackson’s and Houston’s last albums before their deaths in 2009 and 2012 respectively.
In recent years, Kelly has again produced an alarming amount of hits in a short space of time. His recent success stems from his work with Olly Murs, Bruno Mars, Jessie J, The Wanted and Ke$ha. In two years, he has contributed his song writing skills to the singles ‘Grenade’, ‘Price Tag’, ‘Domino’, ‘Dance With Me Tonight’, ‘Gold Forever’ and his most recent number one hit, ‘Troublemaker’.
He has been dubbed the ‘Studio Beast’, which needs no real explanation. Kelly is now one of the greatest young songwriters on the planet, from graduation in 2002 to producing number ones in quick succession in 2012, it seems like Kelly’s career has really evolved within a decade.