Recording - September 2015 - 55

SEPTEMBER 2015
TAXI Road Rally 2014

Making Hit Records With Rock Mafia
Michael Laskow, Moderator
Tim James and Antonina Armato (aka Rock Mafia)
are two of the most in-demand songwriters and
producers on the planet! Their songs and productions are on more than 100 Million records sold.
They've created Chart-Topping Hits for Vanessa
Hudgens, Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, Selena
Gomez and the Scene, Enrique Iglesias, Daughtry,
Hoku, Patrice Rushen, Adam Lambert, Green Day,
Mariah Carey, David Archuleta, Ellie Goulding, Flo
Rida, Justin Bieber, Sick Puppies, Aly & AJ, The
Cheetah Girls, Brenda K. Star, Demi Lovato, The
Jonas Brothers, Aloe Blacc, Miranda Cosgrove, Barbra Streisand, and many, many more.
Let's listen to some of their music. [music plays].
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm thrilled to welcome to
our stage, Tim James and Antonina Armato -
Rock Mafia! [applause].
Welcome guys, and thank you so much for taking
the time to join us this weekend!
Tim: Thanks for inviting us, Michael. We're
really happy to be here.
Antonina: Thank you! What a great event.
I want to mention for all you young songwriters
out there that Antonina wrote her first multi-platinum single-made famous, of course, by Mariah
Carey-when she was just 17 years old! [applause].
Writing a hit song at 17 doesn't happen very often.
So I've got to ask, are you gifted? Or did you spend
10,000 hours working on your song-craft prior to
getting that cut?
Antonina: I didn't even know what the music
business was, and I'm really thrilled that you
great people put together these amazing places
for songwriters, because I didn't have that. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know that
there was a music business; I just had songs in
my head that I would start singing and recording and thinking, wow, this could be on the
radio, or whatever. I was just super-lucky. It just
definitely came naturally to me, but ever since I

was five I was writing songs in my
head. So I guess that
was my 10,000
hours.
And did you understand song form at
the time? Or did you
just write what came
out of you?
A: I don't know if
everyone in this
room is like this, but
I listened to music
all the time since I
was a little girl, so I Rock Mafia (Antonina Armato and Tim James) during their panel at TAXI's Road Rally 2014.
guess I did learn song-form. I also feel like we all you that kid?
Tim: It's like some people say, "Oh, you're in the
have certain gifts that we are born with that we
business of music." But I feel like music is more
don't really understand fully until we actually
of a religion, like I was born just to make it, to
execute them. You know, it's like, why is a kid
be it, to live it, like a living meditation almost,
drawn to a basketball and just keeps playing
you know? So at two years old I think I was at
basketball? I think each person just has somemy grandma's house and I started playing the
thing innately in them, and sometimes you find
theme to Star Wars, and my dad goes, "Well,
out earlier than later those gifts, and then hopethat's weird." And then instruments have been
fully, you are lucky enough to meet people that
introduced throughout my life. So it was piano,
can sort of channel you in the right direction.
then drums, then guitar, and then sequencing,
which is an instrument in and of itself.
Were you that kid who was always performing for
your family members at holidays and stuff?
And you also at a pretty young age when you wrote
A: I had two older brothers and the last thing
the song "I'll Be Your Everything" that was used as
they wanted me to do was sing for them. I was
the theme for Disney's Inspector Gadget.
actually ridiculed and teased most of the time,
you know, telling me to shut up, but I still did it. T: A true classic, by the way. [Laughter]. I was
so happy to have that song out there. It went
And I was a dancer too, so I think music was
gold, and it was like my first top 40 hit. I felt like
always the thing that motivated me to do anyit was like I made it. I put the plaque on my wall.
thing. So I was always dancing to music,
It was such a big deal. I loved it.
listening to music, singing music. It was pretty
annoying.
So just last week you guys had the new single come
I think you got the last laugh on your brothers. And out with Selena Gomez's The Heart Wants What It
Wants, and it has taken off in social media and skyTim, is no slouch because he started out playing
rocketed to #1.
piano by ear at two years old on a little toy
T: From Billboard's 24-Hour Chart, #1, but top
piano-I've been told-and started singing by
10 in about 72 countries, which is amazing.
the time he was three. And by the time he was 11,
Continued on page 56
he was writing songs as well. How 'bout you, were
55



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - September 2015

Contents
Recording - September 2015 - Intro
Recording - September 2015 - Cover1
Recording - September 2015 - Cover2
Recording - September 2015 - 1
Recording - September 2015 - 2
Recording - September 2015 - 3
Recording - September 2015 - 4
Recording - September 2015 - 5
Recording - September 2015 - Contents
Recording - September 2015 - 7
Recording - September 2015 - 8
Recording - September 2015 - 9
Recording - September 2015 - 10
Recording - September 2015 - 11
Recording - September 2015 - 12
Recording - September 2015 - 13
Recording - September 2015 - 14
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Recording - September 2015 - Cover3
Recording - September 2015 - Cover4
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