Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald
Owner, Kemosabe Records
Owner, Prescription Songs
POWER MOVE: He and his team of writers had their best year in 2012, with Ke$ha’s Warrior the standout.
THE RUNDOWN: Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald spent a good chunk of 2012 working with some of the biggest names in the game: Taylor Swift and B.o.B on “Both of Us,” Nicki Minaj on “Va Va Voom,” One Direction on “Rock Me” and Ke$ha’s Warrior, which he executive-produced.
But ask him what gets him really excited and he’ll start rattling off the list of emerging artists he’s just signed to his label, Sony imprint Kemosabe Records. “I’m really honored to have been able to sign Juicy J with Columbia,” he says of the “Bandz a Make Her Dance” rapper. “And then there’s Becky G. She’s one of MTV’s Artists to Watch for 2013, one of the new CoverGirls. She really is just blowing up. I feel honored to work with these talented artists.”
The Dr. Luke realm of influence expanded even further in 2012, with more than 30 writers, singers, songwriters and producers signed to his Prescription Songs, from Benny Blanco (Maroon 5’s “Payphone,” featuring Wiz Khalifa) to Cirkut (Karmin’s “Brokenhearted”) to Ammo (Leona Lewis’ “Glassheart”) to “some industry heavyweights” he expects to announce shortly. Next up is taking the leap to TV and film, starting with MTV docu-series “Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life” in April. He’s exploring other opportunities with Sony consultants like Judy McGrath, former CEO of MTV Networks, as well.
Though Gottwald struggles with the word “power,” he likens his influence to that of Jimmy Iovine (No. 10), a personal hero. “He knows how to connect the dots and he can fast track and put you to the right person,” Dr. Luke says. “Being able to do that for people-for my writers and my artists-and being able to manifest their dreams feels really good.”