It's a small world after all!
Get this: Evan Bogart, the man behind loads of hits from Rihanna's "S.O.S." and Beyonce's "Halo" to Enrique Iglesias' "Dirty Dancer," also did a song with Heidi Pratt ("Body Language"). And his sister-in-law happens to be The Hills' Whitney Port.
Now he has his own reality show, Bravo’s Platinum Hit (it premiered last night) where he tries to find the next great songwriter with Jewel and another reality star, ex-American Idol judge and songwriter Kara DioGuardi.
Confused? Then read on as Bogart explains to UsMagazine.com how it all came together.
UsMagazine.com: What made you sign on to produce Platinum Hit?
Evan Bogart: I actually created the show and brought the whole idea to Bravo. I will also be on the show mentoring and coaching.
Us: What do you hope to achieve by mentoring and coaching these contestants?
EB: I wish I was able to do it every episode because I love songwriting and being in the room, helping people find themselves and find their talent. The little I get to do it on the show as far as the mentoring part, it is just great because I am able to help them break through their walls and their demons of writing and try to achieve something better.
Us: They have to opportunity for a publishing deal with your writing camp. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
EB: I have a company called the writing camp, which is a songwriting collective and we've written for everyone from Beyonce to Rhianna, Enrique, Chris Brown, and just everybody you could ever think of. The idea of the writing camp is about collaborating together and working close like a family. It is not a lot of people writing by themselves, it's about people coming together and learning to write as a team and to listen and to contribute and to put themselves out there and try to find some sort of middle ground and write a great song together.
Us: On the show you are featuring Jewel and Kara DioGuardi. Why did you choose them as judges?
EB: I think we were looking for people that represent the different cross-section of real-life people that you would have to pitch songs to. We wanted people who were experts, and who were looking at songs from a different point of view. We wanted somebody who was an artist who was very heavy in the writing of their own songs but could also write for other people and understand what songs would work for an artist, and Jewel fit that perfectly. And then we were looking for somebody who was primarily a songwriter but also had their hand in publishing and mentoring other songwriters, and when Kara was not on Idol anymore she was just perfect for this. She is one of the best songwriters and is also an incredible publisher and mentor to her own writers.
Us: What should viewers expect from watching this show? How does it compare to other shows that might be compared to this, like American Idol?
EB: The biggest difference between this show and all the other music shows that are out there is that this show is about the song. It gives people a look behind the curtain of how songs are made. I don't think people understand that songwriting is the backbone of this music industry, and without songs you don't have songs for people on The Voice or American Idol to compete with. This show is really going to show people what goes into writing a song and how much of it is really about human emotion and experience and putting your own soul and your own life into it. It is inspirational, it's aspirational, and it's going to be incredibly fun to watch and there is going to be some drama. It's awesome.
Us: Drama? Really?
EB: Lot's of drama! I am a huge reality show competition fan -- I love Top Chef, I love Project Runway, I love all of those shows but when you are cooking there is not a human element that goes into cooking scallops. You didn't break up with somebody last night and that didn't go and inspire you to cook a risotto. A lot of people who are professional songwriters put their emotions, and human qualities into their writing, and it becomes their therapy. So inherently when you put two or three people in a room who all feel passionately about something and disagree with each other and their whole life and their whole career is on the line, you are going to get drama. It is like the musical Top Chef with a splash of Real Housewives.
Us: How do you feel about Beyonce's new cd?
EB: I haven't heard the album yet, but her single is fun, and the video is ridiculously incredible.
Us: You wrote "Halo," correct? Where do you get your inspiration? Every song of yours is so different.
EB: I did. Every song has a story, and I draw a lot from my own life as well as from other people's lives. I just kind of open the inspirational door and let it flow through. I actually wrote "Halo" with Ryan Tedder from One Republic. They were on the road touring and he actually ruptured his Achilles tendon in Michigan and had to go into surgery in Detroit and then was flown to Los Angeles for recovery and they postponed the tour. And the first day back I canceled my recording session to come hang out with him just to keep him company and he was supposed to be in bed and watch movies and hang out and he was like 'oh, lets go write a song.' He got up on his crutches and we hobbled into the studio in his house. Three hours later we had "Halo." One of the best three hours of my life.
Us: Among the long list of artists that you have worked with, is there anyone you haven't that you wish to?
EB: There are so many. I really like Adele, and I would love to write for her and Florence Welch. Florence and I are actually supposed to, so we will see. I am just really happy the path I am on. If something comes up and I am inspired by the artist I will write for them. I even have my own artist now that I am developing that I feel really will contribute to that new breed of artists that are coming out. I want to be a part of the new Beck or the new Adele.
Us: Do these people approach you or you approach them?
EB: I found them. I am a talent finder. I was actually very instrumental in finding Eminem early on when I was younger, with his first album and I helped discover Maroon 5, and I got One Republic their first deal. Before being a hit songwriter myself, I really starting cutting my teeth in this business as somebody who found talent very young.
Us: Your father was a legendary record producer. Are you following in his footsteps in any way?
EB: Of course. I didn't even really know him because he passed away from cancer when I was four-years-old. I grew up wanting to be in the music industry, and I feel I was born to carry on the legacy. My brother and I have a new film, TV, and music company called Boardwalk Entertainment, and we actually just moved into our dad's old office.
Us: Whitney Port is your sister in-law?
EB: Her sister Ashley is my wife. Of course, Whitney and her boyfriend Ben have been to family functions and whatnot, and they seem very happy. Whitney and the rest of the Port family are like my family. I spend a lot of time with them, and Whitney is like my real sister even though she is not my blood. She is great and I have a lot of fun with them. We just went to Coachella together, and we hang out. Ben is a good guy for her.