“Gotta Be There” – Jennifer Lopez
That record was everything for me, because I played the demo that I recorded everywhere I went whenever people asked me to play songs. When people would ask what I do, how I write or what’s my style, I play that record. When I first found out that Jennifer Lopez liked the song I couldn’t believe it. I was like “Not Jenny from the block.” I was thinking she liked it, but there was no way she was going to record a song I wrote. At the time, I was a complete no-name songwriter. I had nothing out. That was my first major placement. I had nothing on my resume to show what I was capable of, so that song was huge for me. The Platinum Brothers, who produced it, played me her version and I couldn’t believe that was J. Lo on that song. I was really, really shocked. I was like “Wow. Jennifer Lopez is singing my song.” I didn’t get to meet her when she did the song. They recorded it in LA, while I was still in Atlanta, because at that time I wasn’t traveling or anything. I was still a no-name. Fast forward a few years and I get called to work on the album she recorded during her time on American Idol. I didn’t make the album, but I remember going on the set and she asked if I was the girl who wrote “Only Girl in the World.” She said she loved my writing. I told her that I was also the one that wrote “Gotta Be There. She was like “Really?” I thanked her for basically giving me a shot when nobody else did. It was a beautiful exchange between she and I.