To take a seat down with Grammy and ASCAP award-winning manufacturer, songwriter, DJ and recording artist Damon Sharpe is to take a seat down with Hollywood Royalty.
The artist has contributed many chart-topping hits and has helped produce a few of fashionable track’s hottest albums, which cumulatively have offered over 40 million copies. In this week’s episode of the L.A. Weekly Weekly podcast, host Brian Calle has an intimate dialog with Damon to provide listeners a good Hollywood rags-to-riches story. Excluding on this tale, there’s no fairy godmothers or nepotism to carry up the ladder, simply uncooked ability and an unwavering paintings ethic.
“You’ve were given to have ability, however price ethic trumps ability all day,” this week’s visitor tells us.
“It’s been a adventure for me… I’ve worn numerous hats,” says Damon. Born and raised in Cleveland, OH, he moved to Phoenix, spending his formative teenager years within the bustling desolate tract.
“In that 13 to fifteen age vary, I simply discovered a love for dance (I had at all times had a love for track),” he explains. “I used to be a boulevard dancer, a smash dancer… that led me to doing aggressive dance. That aggressive dance is what were given me from side to side in my first foray to L.A.” Damon would consult with Los Angeles for competitions, and each time he went again house, he left a little bit piece of himself at the back of.
“Using in at the 101 Highway, seeing the Hollywood signal, I used to be like ‘wow, that is the place I in reality need to be,’” stocks the artist.
We all know the sensation. It’s exhausting to forget about the joy and chance that Los Angeles provides.
“Thankfully my oldsters have been so wonderful and at all times supported me,” says Damon. After going from side to side at the 10, bouncing between the desolate tract town the place he lived and the Town of Angels he wanted to live, Damon’s oldsters agreed to close up the circle of relatives for a summer season and notice the younger boy’s goals.
“I advised them I sought after to transport to L.A. and I sought after to pursue my profession,” he continues. Naturally, they requested what profession their then 15-year-old had in thoughts. “I’m in all places,” he responded then. “I need to sing, I need to act, I need to dance, I need to write songs.”
As a youngster, the chances that Hollywood promised had him excited with alternative. Answering that siren tune of popularity with wholehearted eagerness, younger Damon was once in a position to do all of it. “I wasn’t in reality certain what I used to be going to do, I simply knew it was once going to be within the leisure business,” a now-adult Damon confirms.
“[My parents] have been so gracious,” recollects the artist fondly. As educators, either one of Damon’s oldsters had the summer season off, so that they have been amiable to his proposal of transferring out west for a spell to peer how issues panned out.
“So I got here out to L.A. for the summer season and I simply began reserving jobs,” remembers our visitor. “I booked a Disneyland industrial, then I booked a Nintendo industrial, then I booked a McDonald’s industrial.” Seeing their son’s choice and good fortune, his oldsters made up our minds to make the relocation everlasting.
Inside of only some months of being within the town, Damon booked a lead function on NBC’s “Guys Subsequent Door.” This function rocketed him in opposition to boy band-level stardom. It was once a lovely first brush with popularity – the display opened doorways for him in a large method, resulting in a file deal, mag covers, merch and extra.
However Hollywood stays the fickle good friend all of us understand it to be, and it smacked the emerging megastar down simply as rapid because it had lifted him up. His display was once canceled after a yr; the alternatives tied to it have been misplaced.
“As rapid because it got here, it was once long gone,” Damon cautions. “After a yr and a part – BOOM – the display will get canceled. BOOM – the file deal will get repealed. I went from making six figures a yr to each penny being spent and I’m on unemployment.”
“It was once an improbable ego lesson for me,” he continues.
Tales like those are ones we’re all too aware of. Transplants transfer in with giant goals, get a style of what popularity and fortune seems like, after which all of it comes crashing down within the blink of a watch. Identical pitfalls have led to many Hollywood hopefuls to go back to their hometowns, tail tucked between their legs.
However no longer Damon.
Whilst he went thru some self-described darkish instances post-cancellation. He describes the failure as being some of the absolute best issues that will have took place to him.
“I had a pity birthday party,” he says. “A couple of years went by means of and I more or less simply stated, ‘what am I doing?’ So I ended being a sufferer, I were given myself some treatment.”
Accepting lend a hand was once transformative for him, and it empowered Damon to push thru his setback and price ahead in opposition to his function another time. He did the entirety he may – ready tables, appearing categories, writing workshops – to switch his circumstance.
The tougher he labored, the extra doorways started to open for him.
He was once interning at a studio, finishing menial duties with gusto, only for the danger to be within the leisure surroundings as soon as once more. That is how he met his mentor, Ric Wake, a multi-Grammy and Oscar-winning file manufacturer whose collaboration roster names the entire business greats.
Damon spent about 3 years operating with Ric in any other iteration of a boy band, however for Damon, that wasn’t the spotlight of this serendipitous meet. What Damon valued maximum concerning the alternative his mentor gave him was once the get right of entry to to the entire artists and manufacturers that have been signed with Ric. Via those connections, Damon was once ready to be told the craft of manufacturing and songwriting from the most efficient within the trade.
“Actually over that three-year duration we went thru 3 main file offers. Each unmarried certainly one of them didn’t pan out,” explains our fair visitor. “So the general one involves fruition, and it’s going to be with Warner Data – and presently I’m nonetheless suffering simply to pay my expenses. The deal from Warner Brothers is at the desk, we’re on a convention name, and one thing in my center at this level was once announcing ‘I don’t assume this boy band factor is for me anymore.’ And I stated it out loud, at the convention name.” He advised the professionals he was once going to cross at the deal.
This landed him again on unemployment. And whilst he was once again to suffering, it was once other this time. He had a fireplace he didn’t have earlier than, and took this time without work to hustle exhausting.
“I’m simply grinding. Simply writing information and simply hoping one thing goes to stay,” he explains. “However I wasn’t in reality hooked up at that time.”
As destiny would have it, a couple of months later Damon were given a shocking name from Ric. The A-list manufacturer had discovered a CD on his table that indexed Damon because the songwriter. The album was once implausible and Ric was once inspired, as he hadn’t thought to be Damon a songwriter.
“I advised him: ‘For years I’ve been looking to let you know that I’m no longer only a boy band child. I like manufacturing and songwriting, that’s my pastime,’” remembers Damon. Ric introduced him a role at the spot, asking Damon to come back on board as a songwriter.
However Damon wasn’t so certain, he was once cautious of the 3 years he had already spent with the manufacturer, no longer in need of to fall again into previous behavior and lose the momentum he had constructed up. Ric understood and the 2 got here to a compromise: Ric would store across the songs Damon had written and let him know in the event that they were given any traction.
A couple of month later he were given a choice again from Ric with the excellent news that the manufacturer had controlled to position a couple of of Damon’s songs. Damon admits that on the time, he didn’t in truth perceive the gravity of the location and what a large deal Ric’s information was once. Taking a look again now, we will be able to all see that Damon was once status on the precipice of a life-changing profession second.
“Have you learnt who Jennifer Lopez is?” requested Ric. “Yeah, in fact,” responded Damon. And he was once telling the reality, he more or less knew who Jennifer Lopez was once. On the time, J.Lo hadn’t but been created, as Lopez was once a burgeoning sensation.
Ric additionally requested if Damon was once aware of the global pop-singer Anastacia, which he was once no longer.
Irrespective of whether or not Damon knew them or no longer, they each sought after to make use of Damon’s songs – “Love Don’t Price A Factor” for Anastacia and “Why’d You Lie To Me” for Jennifer. He was once excited for the chances and thankful that his songwriting ability was once being identified.
The remainder, as we now know, is historical past. J.Lo, née Jennifer, ended up the usage of Damon’s tune “Love Don’t Price A Factor” and completely blew up. Impulsively Damon’s identify as a songwriter was once in every single place.
With the wild good fortune of J.Lo’s unmarried nonetheless exploding round them, Ric once more introduced Damon a place as songwriter. This time, Damon took it (regardless that he’ll admit that he nonetheless had no thought what a large deal it was once on the time).
Damon’s existence had modified ceaselessly. “All the folks that didn’t need to paintings with me up to now [were] popping out of the woodwork,” laughs Damon. However he was once unswerving to Ric, and stayed signed-on with the manufacturer for round seven years, operating on large initiatives in combination just like the “Chicago” soundtrack and writing for big artists. Damon then signed with any other label, partnering with artists like Giant Time Rush and Kylie Minogue.
As he grew his profession, Damon started on the lookout for new targets to problem himself with. He went out on his personal and targeted his power on an artist venture.
“I felt like I had already been doing such a lot manufacturing and songwriting, empowering different artists – which I like doing – that I sought after to do one thing for myself,” says Damon. “Now I’m 72 million streams in simply as an artist and I’ve had information in every single place from Armada, to Spin In, to Hysteria…the entire main dance labels.”
“I’ve performed EDC, I’m taking part in SXSW subsequent month, so it’s been a loopy reinvention bankruptcy for me,” he continues. Needless to say all of his solo paintings is along with nonetheless growing artists that he loves operating with, together with main label artists, Ok-Pop artists, and extra.
Studying again thru Damon’s tale, from his previous to his provide, it’s glaring that this guy has the preternatural talent to triumph over hindrances and grind till he will get what he desires. Giving up is very easy to do, and he had many alternatives to take action. But he stayed with it, wore each hat introduced to him (every now and then more than one immediately), and has completed a profession that even his teenage self didn’t dare to dream of.
As one of the crucial sought-after track manufacturers and songwriters of our time, Damon has labored with the most important artists in their time equivalent to Monica, Kelly Rowland, New Boyz, Charlie Wilson, A1, Ginuwine, Amerie, 98 Levels, American Idol’s Kimberley Locke and Justin Guarini, Natalie Cole and Corbin Bleu in addition to global sensations like Got7, 2PM, BoA, SHINee, Kangta, Laboum, AI, W-inds, Kumi Koda, B1A4, Fairies and lots of others – to not point out undying A-listers like Ariana Grande, Pitbull, Alesso, Jennifer Lopez and extra.
You could know his 2005 unlock “Come In combination Now,” a Storm Katrina aid file written with actress Sharon Stone and that includes contributions from Celine Dion, Nick Carter, Joss Stone, Jesse McCartney, Patti LaBelle, Wyclef Jean, Gavin DeGraw, Anthony Hamilton, The Sport, JoJo, John Legend, Kimberley Locke, Natalie Cole, Brian McKnight, AJ McLean, Mýa, Aaron Carter, Stacie Orrico, Kelly Worth and Ruben Studdard.
In 2019, Damon had 4 songs launched as an artist by way of Armada Data: extremely acclaimed “Fireplace & Gold” with Morgan Web page & VIVID, which peaked at #7 on US Dance Radio, “When In Rome” with GATTÜSO, which peaked at #6 on US Dance Radio and received over 45M Spotify streams, “Ghost Send” that includes Orjan Nilsen, and “Lifetime” with Zonderling and Josh Cumbee, now with over 14M Spotify streams. The tracks made a dent within the Sirius BPM, Sirius Sit back, iHeart Evolution, Song Selection rotations and won strengthen from Don Diablo, Lucas & Steve, Hardwell, Afrojack, Sam Feldt, Promise Land, Morgan Web page, Alexander Popov, Martin Garrix and extra.
Damon’s upcoming releases come with paintings with Boyz II Males, 98 Levels, JLS, Leona Lewis and Giant Time Rush to call a couple of. He additionally gave the impression on Season 2 of The X Issue as some of the on-camera vocal coaches.
As of late, Damon is that specialize in his personal track, as he continues the transition from “at the back of the scenes” to in entrance of them. Should you’re fortunate, you may additionally see him at an digital track pageant, gracing the degree as a DJ. To this present day other people nonetheless discuss his epic efficiency at EDC Vegas 2021.
Taking note of his tale, Damon proves our idea that the folk which can be essentially the most dedicated and protracted within the leisure business are those that in most cases notice their goals. It’s a question of sticking round in spite of the setbacks and realizing your price.
To listen to extra about Damon’s initiatives, in addition to a good tackle what it in reality method to transport to L.A. to pursue your Hollywood goals, music in to this week’s episode of the L.A. Weekly Weekly Podcast on Spotify, Cumulus Los Angeles or anyplace you get your podcasts.