'American Idol' music producer, Rodney Jerkins on who will succeed beyond season 10
Music producer, Rodney Jerkins, who's currently working with the top ten contestants on "American Idol" and produces their songs each week, said contestant Scotty McCreery is destined for success and former contestant, Pia Toscano has a golden voice, despite being voted off the show.
"To be 17-years-old and to just have his head on straight and know exactly what he wants, just the way he is, his mannerisms in the studio, he's a true artist," Jerkins told OnTheRedCarpet.com of McCreery. "He won't come to the studio without his boots on, his cowboy boots. I just think he's destined for success. Beyond whether he wins or loses, I just think he's going to be a true winner."
McCreery is currently in the top 5 of the season 10 contestants, alongside Lauren Alaina, James Durbin, Haley Reinhart and Jacob Lusk. His musical influences include several country artists like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Conway Twitty and rock-and-roll icon Elvis Presley.
Jerkins is best known for producing R & B and Hip-Hop music, but when asked why he enjoys working with country-loving McCreery, Jerkins said that being on "American Idol" has allowed him to grow as a producer and venture into new genres.
"See, this is the beauty about working on 'American Idol.' It's allowing me to get out of my comfort zone and work with different genres, which I want to do. That's why I took this on," Jerkins said. "And working with Scotty, who did a country song, straight country... he, to me, is so poised."
Despite being voted off "American Idol" on April 7, Jerkins believes Toscano is talented and will likely get a record deal in the near future.
"I'm sure Pia will get a record deal. I have a gift to work with female voices, you know, Brandy, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, these big voices and Pia has that big voice," Jerkins said. "So when we got into the studio, this was right down my alley. This is the easiest thing I can do ever, it's like riding a bike, you know."
Jerkins later added, "I just encouraged Pia to really open up and sing and project, and we had a great time. And the song came out great and that was when she did the Whitney Houston song and it came out great. My hand is up like, 'When she gets that deal and when they're ready, I'm right here.' And I'm sure I'll get the opportunity to work with her."
When Jerkins was working with Pia, and her "golden voice" as Jerkins described it, he said he gave her one piece of advice - to listen to what the judges have to say.
"I told her, Pia, you know, you have to listen to what everybody says. There's no one that has an opinion that doesn't count on this show. Everyone has been there or done that to some degree. So you just have to pay attention. I think once she learns how to connect with the audience, she's gonna have it down, because her voice is golden."
Most recently, Jerkins produced Lady Gaga's "Telephone" and two Jennifer Lopez singles, "Papi" and "Don't Keep Me Waiting."
Jerkins married singer Joy Enriquez in April 2004. The couple has two children, Rodney David, Jr., who was born in May, 2008 and Heavenly Joy Jerkins, who was born in November, 2009.
Reporting by Rachel Smith, co-host of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).