Oftentimes, the hottest sounds blare from the background.
Behind countless hits for some of music’s biggest superstars, you’ll find Stereotypes. The highly coveted multiplatinum GRAMMY® Award-nominated Los Angeles production and songwriting team—Jonathan Yip, Ray Romulus, Jeremy Reeves, and Charm—quietly cast a palpable influence over pop, hip-hop, and R&B, architecting the backbone of one successive smash after another.
Recently, Stereotypes scored three GRAMMY® nominations for 2018 including Producer of the Year, Non-Classical as well as Song of the Year and Best R&B Song for their work on Bruno Mars' six-times platinum, #1 Billboard Hot 100 song "That's What I Like." Stereotypes took over the charts in 2017 with a string of anthems from Bruno Mars’ ubiquitous 24K Magic, which also included production and songwriting credits on “Finesse” with additional production on the quadruple-platinum “24K Magic.” Meanwhile, Kyle’s “Sunshine” feat. Miguel, produced by Stereotypes, is being featured as ESPN’s official song for their 2017-18 college basketball season. Billboard has touted them among its “Top 10 Songwriters and Producers To Watch,” and Variety included them in their 2017 “Hitmakers” feature.
Stereotypes are behind the likes of Justin Bieber’s platinum-selling “Somebody to Love” [feat. Usher], Ne-Yo’s Year of the Gentleman, Mary J. Blige’s “Good Love,” Chris Brown’s “Beg For It,” “Fifth Harmony’s “Deliver,” Lil Yachty’s “Better,” Iggy Azalea “Mo Bounce” and many more.
Through numerous twists of fate (and serendipitous industry encounters), Stereotypes formally came to life in 2007 and landed their first hit with Danity Kane’s platinum-certified “Damaged” shortly thereafter. Along the way, they extended their brand as businessmen, signing Far East Movement to their production company Stereotypes Music via Interscope Records (among other artists and producers.) As a collective, 2017 saw them consciously evolve yet again. This time, it would be as artists.
“We’ve had an artist release on our minds for quite a while,” admits Jonathan. “We were just waiting for the right moment and momentum to capitalize on. It’s a step forward to building our brand on a different level. Instead of wondering why we don’t hear the music we love on the radio, we wanted to make it and release it ourselves. Now is the moment.”
This gives us freedom,” Ray agrees. “We don’t have to wait for anybody to put music out. We’ve got a really great platform.
Stereotypes step into the spotlight on the collaborative single with Pitbull, “Jungle” feat. E-40 & Abraham Mateo. On the track, funky guitars and a simmering beat snap into a seventies-style strut amplified by red hot lyrical fire from Pitbull and Bay Area boss bravado courtesy of E-40.
“That song could define exactly what we are as a group,” exclaims Jonathan. “We may be different, but we all rally around this sound. It’s something all four of us are proud to put into this universe. People from everywhere unite on one song. That’s super dope, to me.”
“We were in the mood to make some funk,” smiles Ray. “In the studio, we were talking about being like animals. Guys are always hunting to get girls, and females can act like animals too. It’s a jungle out there. That was the core idea.”
It’s appropriately evocative of the Stereotypes’ all-inclusive spirit. Given the group’s veritable melting pot of both cultural backgrounds and musical histories, you could easily liken them to the producer equivalent of The Avengers…
“Between us, there’s Asian, Haitian, African-American, Samoan, and Caucasian heritage, but the common language is music,” states Jonathan. “We can make a song with almost anyone, because of that language. That’s been our M.O. from day one onward. We’re not your stereotypical group. At first glance, you might not even think that we would work so well together, but we’ve become brothers in the process. Each member really brings something different to the table. I’d say that’s our biggest strength.”
“As far as each guy goes, Jeremy plays every instrument, and he’s amazing at pop chords and progressions,” adds Ray. “Charm is the sound manipulator. He can mimic anything you hum. I bring different ideas, an ear for talent, and percussion. Jon is the great motivator and hustler. He’s like our Coach Belichick. If you don’t believe in something, he’ll push you through any doubts you have right to the top.”
This synergy remains the group’s signature. As Stereotypes boldly step into the foreground, they stick to the same philosophy that bound them together as friends in the first place.
“When people hear our music, we don’t want them to walk away,” Ray concludes. “We want them to dance and be a part of what we created. We hope they feel what we were feeling. Most importantly, we want them to have a great time.”
“The whole goal is to feel something,” Jonathan concurs. “Whether we’re acting as producers, writers, artists, or a label, that’s what this music should always make you do.”