A little more than a year ago, Culver City-based music management firm Atom Factory was synonymous with two people: Troy Carter and Lady Gaga. But after the company's signature artist split in November 2013, it was incumbent upon all the principals, including co-presidents J. Erving and Ty Stiklorius, to deliver their next hit act. In 2014, Atom Factory had four: Meghan Trainor, 20 ("All About That Bass") and John Legend, 35 ("All of Me") spent multiple weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100; Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz, both 22 ("Am I Wrong") topped the Radio Songs chart; and the DIY approach Lindsey Stirling, 28, took to her EDM-inflected classical netted her a simultaneous No. 1 debut on Independent Albums, Classical Crossover Albums and Dance/Electronic Albums with Shatter Me.
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Troy Carter, Atom Factory founder: Last year, when people came to Atom Factory, a lot of it was on me to be able to deliver. I had to show up to every meeting; the focus was on me. And this year, I think the focus has been on us. We all understand that we're only as good as the talent we represent.
Meghan Trainor: I came to my session with producer Kevin Kadish with a list of titles, and immediately I was like, "Let's do booty! And thickness! Like, it's about the bass, not the treble," and he was into it. When you have a session, it's like a blind date -- you meet a stranger and make nice with them. He was telling me how he loved '50s stuff, and I told him how I listened to Frank Sinatra before every session. He started making this beat to make it modern, and I started the first verse freestyle because I was like, "I rap." When a little white girl walks in and says, "I'm a rapper," they don't actually want you to rap. But he was all about it.
Billboard 2014 Year in Music: See All of Our Coverage Here!
Vincent "Vinz" Dery, Nico & Vinz: We come from a place that's far away, so the U.S. No. 1 is a big thing to dream about.
Nicolay "Nico" Sereba, Nico & Vinz: Like we sing in the song, it's about having the guts to follow your dreams and what you want to achieve.
2014's No. 1's: J Balvin & Farruko | Idina Menzel & the 'Frozen' Soundtrack | Tove Lo, Kiesza, & Nick Jonas | Taylor Swift | Barbra Streisand | Weird Al Yankovic | Ed Sheeran & Charli XCX | Nicki Minaj | 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Soundtrack | Enrique Iglesias | Kacey Musgraves | Santana | Sam Smith | Iggy Azalea | Jason Derulo | Meghan Trainor, Nico & Vinz
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