Thursday, 1 December 2011

Verse Simmonds Teams With Akon, Lands 'WTT' Song + More

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Derek Blanks

When singer-songwriter Verse Simmonds wrote the lyrics to Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'Who Gon Stop Me,' he had every intention of making those words ring true. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Virgin Island, as a youngster, Simmonds always wanted to pursue a career in music. In high school, he moved to Florida where he met future producing partner Sham "Sak Pase" Joseph. The two moved to Los Angeles in 2003, formed the songwriting-production team the Jugganauts and began their official descent into the music industry. Simmonds later landed an ill-fated record deal with Interscope Records, thanks to help from super producer Rodney Jerkins, but continued to get his foot in the door behind the scenes.

Since then, the Jugganauts have worked with the likes of Jay-Z, Akon and Rihann. But, as Simmonds continues to transform into one of the most sought after writers and producers in the game, he's putting his energy towards solo stardom. His most recent releases, the 'Sextape Chronicles 2' mixtape and the love song 'Boo Thang' featuring Kelly Rowland, have turned the spotlight on his singing talents. The video for the latter has been viewed more than 1.7 million times on VEVO, and with the momentum still going strong, Simmonds is crafting his debut solo album to be released under Akon's KonLive label.

It's not easy working on projects for music's heavy-hitters and finding the time to focus on personal efforts, but Simmonds has figured out a way to achieve balance. The BoomBox caught up with him in the middle of shooting four music videos -- over the course of two weeks -- where he broke down why he maintains his hustle, how he's created his lane in the R&B spectrum and the story behind the song he landed on 'Watch the Throne.'


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