Check The Credits: Songwriter James Fauntleroy II On Writing Hits For Rihanna, Jordin Sparks, Justin Timberlake & More



“Get It Over With” – Rihanna

“To be honest, it has multiple inspirations, but the most obvious inspiration is weed, because I love weed and it’s great. But when I wrote it a lot of people I knew were just going through things, so I was just thinking about life and what it’s like and what it means to deal with your problems. When you’re working with somebody like Rihanna – who’s my nigga too by the way – you have an opportunity to reach so many people. I always feel like whenever I get that chance I try to communicate the best message I can and whatever else I’m thinking about, so I just wanted to tell people to get over shit and keep it pushing and get high as you can be. You know?”

Working on Rihanna’s Rated R album

“That shit was awesome. It was probably the first time I spent such a long time on the road. I wrote all of that shit in London, which in itself was an experience. It was fun working with her and all the Roc Nation people. It was a crew of people out there just having a good ass time and basically I was just doing everything creatively that I wanted to do. People still hit me up to this day about shit from that album and I love it, because we really spent time trying to push the envelope. A major part of my message is to do your best. I felt like I did my best and people were touched by that shit. I feel like “Fire Bomb” is one of the best songs I ever wrote in my life. It was also important, because I realized how important it is to have a comprehensive sound and a solid team working on the whole album. On that album I did half of it and that half – not that it’s better or worse than the other songs – just goes together. I noticed with projects in time the more focused the team working on the album is – whether it’s successful or a failure – it’s always powerful. The shit might sell two records, but motherfuckers will remember it forever. Them two will endlessly have their lives changed by that one group of likeminded people who worked on it versus a bunch of different people shopping songs – not that you can’t have a great album like that – but that was the first album that I worked on where that started being relevant in my life. I was getting the most success and having the most fun from working on albums as just opposed to doing songs. It was just incredible man. A really good experience.”

Continue to next page →