British Producer and musical “phenom”, Harmony Samuels has the task of taking an artist within themself to find the music that expresses them best each time he steps in a studio. From Chris Brown or Brandy, Ne-Yo or Fantasia, Chipmunk or Lil Wayne to countless others; he is more than a music producer he is a confidante, ministerial counsel and friend to artists of any genre from any experience.
“I wasn’t brought in the industry to just make great records…I was brought into the industry to impact the artist and bring the greatness out of them”, says Harmony. He draws inspiration from one of the greatest music producers alive, Quincy Jones, whose resume serves as inspiration to anyone in entertainment. Like Jones, Harmony understands that he has to get to know and love the artists with which he works to bring the best out of them.
Harmony is a self-taught musician who has mastered piano, bass guitar, guitar and drums. It is no coincidence that these instruments form the rhythm section, the heartbeat of all music. As a producer, Harmony finds the heartbeat of the music while excavating the emotional and often times spiritual heaviness of artists.
Harmony is the product of Nigerian parents, living in England, growing up in Church and listening to music from around the world; his Father, a drummer who played with many Nigerian bands in England and his mother a singer who never pursued a formal career as a vocalist.
As an infant Harmony would sit in church and study the band always fascinated by what he saw. One day in the drummer’s absence, a 4 year old Harmony seized the opportunity and took to the stage like a seasoned musician despite being so small he had to stand and play in order to reach the pedals. Later in the pianist’s absence, Harmony filled that void as well. By the age of 12 he was choir’s musical director.
During his school and developmental years a teacher reflected to Harmony that he was a composer. Harmony did not believe that moniker comprehensive of what he did or was potentially capable of doing. It was reading the liner notes and album credits of Quincy Jones and others that he realized not only what he want to do…produce music; but what he was already capable of doing…producing. He was already becoming a producer.
After years of rising to the top of the music scene in London, life and career were still “FEAST or famine” in Harmony’s hometown of Tottenham, North London. He was ready to give it all up and pursue a career teaching the next generations of musical superstars. Despite emerging from London’s “Producer Battles” the undisputed champion with a high local profile and becoming a go-to “remix guy” for hits by Kelly Rowland, Craig David, Jamelia, Alesha Dixon and others, there had been personal costs along the way and he was still an outsider in a narrow and often segregated industry.
A call to do some routine mix work for a close friend took him to New York and from there to LA. During a brief 24-hour break Harmony seized his opportunity and met with a large number of top-level executives from the music industry in the US. Across the Atlantic, there now appeared reason to hope; however no substance materialized and Harmony’s disillusionment grew.
Waiting in the wings to meet Harmony was a super producer and inspiration to Harmony, “RJ” who had heard his tracks – coincidentally maybe, but providentially for sure and was anxious to meet Harmony. He’d made his interest no secret by perpetually texting, Harmony’s stateside associate upon their arrival to LA. Harmony’s associate suggested they call “RJ” who was anxious to meet Harmony. A frustrated Harmony asked “Who is ‘RJ’“? “Rodney Jerkins?”, the associate responded cluelessly. Harmony’s life was about to change.
By day’s end, Harmony was in the studio with Jerkins aka “RJ”, himself. Next came a producer deal and a publishing contract. He would have to uproot from London and relocate to Los Angeles in order to take advantage of the opportunity. He was now starting over as a talented, but unknown producer in the entertainment capital of the World.
After almost a year Harmony landed his first major US placement with Maroon 5, who typically don’t take outside songs. “No Curtain Call” was featured on their platinum album Hands All Over.
Always creative and innovative, Harmony worked with two precociously talented but unknown young artists that led to his breakthrough. Jawan Harris’ first single “Nobody”, a throwback to the classic Motown sound, led to Harmony’s fateful meeting with Chris Brown at the video shoot for the song. Chris was still recovering from the career and personal slowdown that resulted from his relationship debacle with girlfriend Rihanna.
Hitting it off straight away it wasn’t long before Harmony took one of the gambles of his career and recruited Chris Brown to feature on the UK rapper Chipmunk’s single “Champion”. While many doubted a collaboration between a UK rapper unknown in the US and US superstar banned from performing in the UK stemming from the assault conviction could work, the result was spectacular.
From there Harmony worked with both Chris and Chipmunk on their respective and critically acclaimed albums (Executive Producing the album “Transition” by Chipmunk and landing two fan favorites on F.A.M.E. – “Say It With Me” and “Oh My Love”). The word was now out, Harmony was the new kid on the block. Chris Brown made it his personal mission to tell everyone who would listen or not, “you gotta work with Harmony!”
Harmony opens creative channels that lead back to the artist’s center, whether its finding a sound for Jennifer Hudson on the “Think Like A Man” lead single that sees her fit comfortably on radio, or breaking through the layers of distress, distraction and pain with Fantasia Barrino. In the case of Fantasia such was the catharsis and subsequent chemistry that recording one track quickly became a complete album – “we finished her record in 3 weeks producing hit after hit. I have never worked with anyone who performed at that level on every song so quickly”, Harmony confessed.
Since finding what Harmony describes as “his wife” he has never looked back, “Music realizes my fullest potential as a human being”. The term “Harmony” is defined as the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear. The phenomenon known to his friends as “H”, Harmony not only blends chords pleasing to the ear, but cleansing to the soul.
Worked with Artists:
Chris Brown, Maroon 5, Trey Songz, Diddy Dirty Money, Ashanti, Mario, Estelle, Neyo, Kelly Rowland, J-Cole, Rick Ross, Jennifer Hudson, Marcus Canty, JLS, Jacob Lattimore, Jordin Sparks, Letoya Luckett, Bridget Kelly, Keyshia Cole, Seven, Michelle Williams, Wale, Lil Wayne, Neyo, Jawan Harris, Chipmunk, Janelle Monae, Fantasia, Mayer Hawthorne, Guy Sebastian, Wretch 32, Wiz Khalifa, Brandy and Mary J Blige