Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers are New York-based songwriters and music producers who are business partners and friends. They have produced hits for Ruben Studdard, Wild Orchid, Christina Aguilera, and Rihanna. They helped build the career of Rihanna, and are the principals of her production company, SRP.
As songwriters and producers, Rogers and Sturken have achieved more than 20 Top 40 hits, twelve Top 5 hits and 6 BMI awards. Their songs have sold more than 60 million albums, both in the U.S. and around the world.
Sturken & Rogers started their careers in the New York R&B scene of the mid-1980s. During that time, Rogers himself released two full-length albums (1985's Love Games for RCA Records and Faces of Love for Capitol-also Donny Osmond's future label-four years later). They worked on the legendary Beat Street soundtrack and began to gain a reputation by producing such artists as Cheryl Lynn, Stephanie Mills and Jennifer Holiday. They then crossed over to the pop world by engineering the comeback of Donny Osmond, writing and producing the #2 smash "Soldier of Love" and the Top 10 hit "Sacred Emotion". In 1991 they became artists, and as Rythm Syndicate scored a #2 hit, P.A.S.S.I.O.N., as well as a Top 15 follow-up with Hey Donna.
Following their success with Donny Osmond, they formed an R&B group called Rythm Syndicate with John Nevin, Rob Mingrino and Kevin Cloud, who all came from Connecticut. As well as providing vocals for the group, Rogers and Sturken also wrote their debut hit, "P.A.S.S.I.O.N.", which reached number 2 in the US Billboard charts in 1991. Following two unsuccessful albums and a few less successful singles Sturken and Rogers left the group to concentrate on writing and producing.
After two years of touring and promotion, Sturken & Rogers disbanded the group to resume writing and producing full-time. They wrote and/or produced 6 songs for Debbie Gibson's 1993 album Body Mind Soul including US single "Losin' Myself" and the UK single "Shock Your Mama". Success came next in the UK with the Top 5 single "Power of a Woman" for Eternal. More work overseas followed, including contributions to the Brand New Heavies' platinum album Shelter. For Irish boy band stars Boyzone, they wrote and produced four songs for the group's Where We Belong album, which entered at #1 on the UK charts. The six-time platinum album includes the Sturken & Rogers penned "All That I Need", which was a UK #1 single. The song also appears on Boyzone's Greatest Hits package, By Request, which spent over two months at #1 and also had sales of over six million units.
In 1997 they shifted their attention stateside. The hit "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You", written and produced for teen sensations 'N Sync, was a Billboard Top 10 single, before climbing into the Billboard Country Top 5 after being covered by country recording legend Alabama. The song also received a Grammy nomination in 2000 for Best Country Collaboration by a group or duo. 'N Sync's debut album sold over 10 million copies in the US alone. In addition to the pop and country versions of "(God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You", the song was also recorded by jazz artist Kirk Whalum (Warner Bros.) for his album Unconditional, which was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the 2002 Grammy Awards.
Sturken & Rogers also wrote and produced several songs for Christina Aguilera's debut album. The album entered the Billboard charts at #1 and went double platinum after only three weeks, eventually totaling sales in excess of 11 million worldwide. They also branched out into the jazz world working with Dave Koz on his album The Dance. The album contains two Sturken & Rogers penned songs, including "Can't Let You Go", co-written with Koz and featuring Luther Vandross on vocals, which went on to become a #1 hit on the Smooth Jazz chart.
The duo also had songs on 98 Degrees' double platinum album Revelation and the multi-platinum debut albums of Jessica Simpson, Alsou, Mandy Moore and Anastacia, as well as many other collaborations with such artists as Christina Milian and Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice).
As the 1990s came to a close and teen pop died down, Sturken & Rogers changed gears once again, discovering and developing Javier, whom they signed to Capitol Records. They wrote and produced the majority of his debut album, including the hit single "Crazy".
Next to come calling was Clive Davis, who hired the team to work on Kelly Clarkson's debut album, for which they wrote the hit single "The Trouble with Love Is", also featured in the movie Love Actually. The Davis connection continued with the American Idol project in 2004, as well as Rod Stewart's As Time Goes By: the Great American Songbook 2 and two tracks for Ruben Studdard's double platinum debut album, Soulful.
The duo then decided to begin developing artists in earnest, forming Syndicated Rhythm Productions in 2005. Their first signing was 16-year-old Rihanna, whom Rogers discovered while visiting family in Barbados. They brought her to Jay-Z and L.A. Reid at Def Jam Records and she was signed within hours of her audition.
Rihanna's first single "Pon De Replay", co-written and produced by Sturken & Rogers, went on to be a worldwide smash. Rihanna's second album, A Girl Like Me, contained the hit singles "SOS" and "Unfaithful", and established her as an international star. In 2007 Rihanna scored one of the biggest singles of the year with "Umbrella" ; the follow up single "Shut Up and Drive" was written and produced by Sturken & Rogers, and became a top 10 hit worldwide, as well as being featured in the movies 21, I Love You Man, and Cars. Good Girl Gone Bad went on to be one of the best selling albums of that year, selling over 15 million copies worldwide to date. As of November 2013, Rihanna sold over 50 million albums and 180 million singles worldwide.
The SRP artist roster continued to grow during this time; next up was Shontelle, who they brought to Steve Rifkind's SRC/Universal Motown label. Shontelle has joined fellow Barbadian Rihanna at the top of the charts with her first hit, "T-Shirt", which was a top 15 hit in the US, and was top 5 for a month in the U.K., where she has followed it with her second hit "Stuck with Each Other", a duet with Akon from the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic. Shontelle's follow up album included the world wide platinum smash "Impossible".
2008 also saw the signing of their first rock act, The Urgency, to Mercury/IDJ records. The group toured extensively in the U.S. and U.K., and released an EP in 2009. Shortly thereafter they brought singer/multi-instrumentalist Hal Linton to Sylvia Rhone at Universal/Motown and sealed yet another deal.
Sturken and Rogers continued writing and producing for artists outside of their own stable with their song "Issues", they scored yet another top smash with British girl group The Saturdays. They also co-wrote the song "Gypsy" for Shakira, which was an international hit and won a Latin BMI award. The time had come for the next chapter of Sturken and Rogers career, and thus the SRP Records label was formed in early 2009, in partnership with Universal/Motown. Almost immediately they signed their next discovery, pop/dance artist Vita Chambers. Born in Canada and raised in Barbados, Vita started her music career at 15 years old. After being signed to Universal Motown through SRP's joint venture, Vita opened Justin Bieber's "My World Tour". She performed at the Thanksgiving Day NFL Motown Tribute half time show, Lilith Fair, Bamboozle Road Show, PopCon and the Soul Train Awards. In 2011, Vita found a new home with SRP/Universal Republic where she released her electropop single "Fix You". Her single was nominated for the best Dance Record for the 2013 Juno Awards and entered the Top 40 charts in Canada within 3 months. Vita was also the #11 emerging artists on the Canada Billboard chart. "Fix You" was certified gold in Canada in May of 2013.
In 2010, Sturken and Rogers signed singer/songrwriter Taylor Berrett. Now at 21 years old and based out of Northern Virginia after 2 years of development, Taylor recently signed a record deal with Warner Brothers Records through a co venture with SRP Records. In the same month, he also signed a publishing deal with Kara DioGuardi's Arthouse via Warner Chappell Music. Taylor is taking the rest of the year to write and record his album with top writers in London, Nashville, New York City and Los Angeles, including Eg White, Jake Gosling and Kid Harpoon, among others. Next up for SRP was signing Kandace Springs, a soulful singer/songwriter/pianist from Nashville, TN. Kandace is a musical powerhouse with a vocal delivery reminiscent of Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones and Erykah Badu. She recently inked a deal with Blue Note/Capitol Records via SRP. Kandace has also inked a publishing deal with SRP/Universal.
Sturken and Rogers have also begun to build their own stable of writer/producers, forming a joint venture with Universal Music Publishing Group. Their first signing, Brandon Alexander a.k.a. B.A.M. had his breakout with the Grammy nominated Tyrese smash "Stay" which spent 11 weeks at #1 on the Adult Urban chart. B.A.M. has since recorded songs for the upcoming Chris Brown album including the single "Autumn Leaves" featuring Kendrick Lamar as well as the first single for Marsha Ambrosius featuring Ne-Yo "Without You". He currently has a top 10 urban single with TGT "I Need" and has multiple cuts on the upcoming Mario album.
Evan Rogers Discography:
Love Games (RCA, 1985),
Faces of Love (Capitol, 1989)