TEAMJOHNHILL: A Silent Force in the Music Business
By: Marcie Camero
John Hill, Grammy nominated singer, songwriter, producer, actor and entrepreneur is not new to the entertainment industry. By the age of 7, Hill was already singing and performing for presidents and other political officers as well as competing in opera competitions. Born and raised in Chicago, he built empire there as cofounder of J&M Company, CEO of Team John Hill and cofounder of Star Born Records. “Life inspired me to do music,” says Hill. “In high school I received an abundance of offers from colleges for music and all of the opportunities I have had up to this point in my life have been amazing.”
After attending the Music Institute of Winnetka for one year, Hill was lead background vocals at the BET 25th Anniversary Show. After building a strong foundation in the entertainment industry at such a young age, Hill continues to flex his expertise by signing and promoting musical talent both within and outside of the U.S.
Sparked by mutual respect during an elevator ride, Hill became writer, producer, and performer on R. Kelly’s R. Kelly Live: The Light It Up Tour in 2007. His Grammy nominated work with R. Kelly catapulted him into opportunities writing and producing for artists such as Juelz Santana, Jason Derulo, Young Berg, Ray J, 50 Cent and Omarion. Attending the Billboard Music Awards, led to collaborations with other artists such as Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams as well. Hill’s international success by way of his own song and music video, “Cinema,” also made him a cornerstone in the production team of Romania’s Inna, a Billboard and Gold/Platinum record singer/songwriter.
Hill’s accolades also include the “Icon Award” for Bucharest Fashion Week, “Producer of the Year” by The Media Awards, “Entertainment’s Man of the Year” on the front cover of M&M Modeling Magazine International Fashion Magazine, “Platinum Award Winner” for 50 cent’s “Before I Self-Destruct”, the “Gold Award” for Jason Derulo’s self-titled album and he is credited for Ray J’s hit song, “Sexy Can I”. For all he has achieved, his eyes are on expanding his empire and another trip to Grammy gold.
In order to reach his repeat Grammy goal, Hill recognizes the importance of networking and self-sacrifice in addition to talent. When asked about his philosophy and take on the entertainment business, he had interesting and deep insight while maintaining a sense of humor about it.
“Despite what you think, the entertainment business is not riches, fame, and all fun. It’s interesting, there’s many approaches to the business as told by different people. Some people that had massive success, and some people that has had regional, local, and small successes. Frankly, I could write a book. From the point you decide to join an organization…this is a sacrifice. You will have no time for friends or family. You’ll wake up hating yourself for choosing this life but at the same time grateful for being so much further ahead of your peers regardless if they seem more ahead of you as it pertains to “stuff” that they possess. But you’ll get up anyway. Killing yourself to strive further. And then you’ll try to find a solution to make yourself feel better whether it be through career choices or addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex that fantasizes the idea of going to sleep forever. That’s the life you’re choosing. Brutal, mean, depressing, ruthless, but that’s what it costs to make history – and history only goes to the winner and the person who wrote it.”
Using the concept of “it takes a village,” Hill created a network of support and staff who work daily towards their goal of victory and for whom he has deep admiration, love, and appreciation. TeamJohnHill includes, but is not limited to:
King Twilla Frederick, Washington Devo Lucciano, Vince P., Trevor Socrates, Maubra Foster, Jeremy Brooks, Tony Jordan, Nadine Crespo, Gio Shamoun, Andy Platon, Barb Bailey, Toran Stokes, Sidney Friedman, Gary Khan, Cool T, Brian ‘da Wildcat’ Smith, Jesper Brugman, Mark Kassa, Shaun Jones, Lana J, Suavette Jones, Keri Adriana, Ryna G, Jason Ivy, Edi Mehana, Roc Nation, Tim McWagon, Jacob Leone, Konrad Waller, Victory Boyd, Reallydoe, Bobby Hustle, Mark Hubbard, Music Noises LLC/Mi5 Recordings/Universal Music Group, Shaquita Love, Sunset Martinez, Pennjamin Banneker, DJ/producer Smitty P, Cecy Santana, DJ Joe Smooth, Tremell Williams, Ovidiu Baciu, Eddie ‘Pops’ Alvarado, Lillian Martin, Hill’s children – John, Tyson, and Nevaeh, John and Belinda Hill, producer Malcolm Flex, DJ Alon Cain, executive producer Mark Taylor, Benjamin Scott, Reggie Ayers, Melanie Hogan, Arielle K, Amanda Alonso, and Trevor Hill.
As a writer and fan of TeamJohnHill, I was excited and surprised to see all that Hill and his team have been working on. With everything he has on the table, I asked how he does it. “You must really pinpoint and be meticulous as to where your time goes”.
They are working on recording history told by female perspective with the female group, Herstory. The first signed member of the group, R&B singer Dhinera Blue, is an industry veteran with a few singles out that did well on the charts. A few up-and-coming artists making some noise – Gee Get Money and independent label No Gravity Records, who just released his single with Rapper Young Joc while helping ICEE with their marketing campaign. Out of Wisconsin, an artist by the name of Skills who has a feature with another industry veteran Rapper, Bubba Sparxxx. Hill has also been co-producing a television show executively produced and created by the legendary Diedre Wayans (of the Wayans family), called “The Switch”, that you are sure to love.
Personally, Hill is working with his business partner, Denis Leonard, in writing his first book – a guide to survival in entertainment that they don’t teach in school called “The Business You Don’t Know.” Along with his book, he has been acting as MC and entertainer for corporate events such as The Who’s Who Academy created by Autumn Pippenberg, highlighting the philanthropic efforts of high society members at the international level.
His international reach includes ongoing production in several different countries as it pertains to music for Universal Music Group. Celebrity Russian singer, Inessa, is working on a new single with Hill and Slaw Mac Music Production. Hill is also working with international music producer, Slamak on the remake of an extremely popular hit song with project player and consultant, Ricky Rainbow, which is quite exciting. Hill continues to rub elbows and work alongside the Grammy Academy while laying out the format for projects with executive producer Eddie August of BMW Entertainment that is to span over the next few years.
The TeamJohnHill production team is extremely busy, full of gumption and honor to create and shift the narrative of music now and for years to come. With so much going on, John Hill’s empire is flourishing, cutting edge, and always exciting.
• ● Grammy Nominated for untitled, R. Kelly –composer
• ● “Icon Award” Bucharest Fashion Week
• ● “Producer of the Year” –The Media Awards
• ● “Platinum Award Winner” –50 Cent, “Before I Self-Destruct” Album
• ● “Gold Award” –Jason Derulo, Self-Titled Album
• ● “Platinum Award” –Ray J, “Sexy can I” single
• ● “Platinum Award” -” R. Kelly: The Light it Up Tour”