Producer on the Rise
Producer and songwriter Nolan Lambroza ’11 (aka Sir Nolan) is currently on a hot streak, working with such high-profile pop artists as Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo, Pitbull, and Fifth Harmony. The key to such success only five years after leaving Berklee may well be the four undergraduate internships he completed before finishing his studies.
Growing up in Surrey, England, Lambroza’s early love for music was driven more by 1980s-era rock than traditional piano lessons. He enjoyed the social aspects of music in high school, but also sought something at a higher level. He decided to attend the Berklee Summer Programs. “Experiencing music 24/7, being collaborative with other like-minded musicians, and playing in ensembles was great,” Lambroza says. “I loved that atmosphere and I knew this was where I wanted to go to college.”
When he applied to Berklee, his dream was to become a great rock guitarist. That dream was tempered by a dose of reality after he was rejected in his first two auditions. But Berklee was the only school he’d applied to and his persistence eventually paid off. Once at Berklee, he realized that performance was not his path and he became drawn to music business. “I was fascinated by publishing and record labels and I wanted to become a manager,” he says.
Lambroza planned to move to Los Angeles after his studies and decided that Berklee’s L.A. internship program offered a way to learn about the city. He did two concurrent internships: one at Atlantic Records and another at RCA. “I became fascinated with the A&R world and soon realized that A&R guys have contacts to all the songwriters and producers,” he says. “After those internships, it was clear that [Los Angeles] was where I needed to be.”
Before graduating, Lambroza returned to Los Angeles for two more concurrent internships, one at SONY ATV and one at Harmony Studios. “I learned so much in these internships and met so many people,” he relates. Some of those early contacts have proven to be significant and have developed into lasting relationships with people that are often involved in his current projects.
After relocating to Los Angeles, Lambroza found early support from BMI and he recommends that all songwriters look to their PROs to help develop their career. His first break came with the Grammy Award-winning production team known as The Messengers. Working with Adam Messenger, Nasri and Nael Atweh, Lambroza honed his craft by writing and producing every day.
During the past five years, Lambroza has blossomed professionally. He has four songs on the pop charts, including Demi Lovato’s single “Body Say” and Nick Jonas’s single “Bacon,” both of which he produced and cowrote. He has a writing credit on the English version of the Enrique Iglesias song “Duele El Corazon” and on the Fifth Harmony song “All In My Head.” At the time of this writing, the latter was about to break into Billboard’s Pop Top Ten chart.
When young songwriters ask him about getting started, Sir Nolan tells them, “You don’t start writing with the top guys. You need to go through boot camp to fully understand the process of songwriting and production. And you have to really want it.”