Jonathan Perkins Named Assistant Chair of Berklee's Songwriting Department

By 
Allen Bush
September 27, 2019
Press release
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The multiplatinum songwriter and producer has written hits with Jay Sean, Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, and more.

Jonathan Perkins

Jonathan Perkins, multiplatinum songwriter and producer, Emmy Award–winning composer, and Berklee graduate, has joined the college's Songwriting Department as its assistant chair. 

Formerly signed to Orange Factory Music, Perkins cowrote Jay Sean’s smash hit “Down” (featuring Lil Wayne), which went six-times platinum internationally, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and his follow-up single, “Do You Remember" (featuring Sean Paul and Lil Jon), which went two-times platinum and reached the Billboard Top 10. Perkins attained his first No. 1 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs Chart with his work on Jason Nevins’s remix of Rihanna’s "S.O.S."

"Berklee also boasts a relationship with the contemporary music industry unlike any other school, truly preparing students for a real career.”

—Jonathan Perkins, new assistant chair of the Songwriting Department

Perkins’s most recent credits include the Chainsmokers and K-pop sensation BTS, and he has previously worked with Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, Big Time Rush, Frankie J, Cody Simpson, Jessica Mauboy, Taemin, and NCT 127. Overall, his projects have sold more than 10 million units. 

"Developing hit songs and understanding the industry standard is a delicate balance between individual expression and absorbing a language that millions of people hear and to which they are accustomed,” said Perkins. “My hope is that students will walk away with a better discernment of where this balance lies through careful song-crafting and developing critical listening skills."

Perkins also has extensive experience in scoring and orchestration. He won an Emmy in 2010 for composing the score for Doing Business in China, a documentary from the Atlantic and the New York Times. His music can also be heard on MTV's Room Raiders and Teen Cribs, and VH1, BET, and other TV programs. Perkins was mentored by film composers Richard Horowitz (Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday), Bernardo Bertolucci (The Sheltering Sky), and Sussan Deyhim (Peter Gabriel, Bill Laswell).

"Berklee trains musicians in disciplines beyond what many other music schools do, encapsulating a variety of genres ranging from Afro-Peruvian jazz to Persian maqam or Indian raga,” said Perkins. “This melting-pot approach creates an atmosphere of experimentation and true musical camaraderie not found in other places in the collegial world. Berklee also boasts a relationship with the contemporary music industry unlike any other school, truly preparing students for a real career.”

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