Renowned songwriter, producer and talent coach Savan Kotecha has worked with the biggest names in music, penning such hits as Britney Spears’ “If U Seek Amy” and “I Wanna Go,” Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” and Leona Lewis’ “I Got You.” The recipient of 6 BMI Awards and 2 Billboard Music Awards, Kotecha’s songs have achieved #1 status the world over, having sold more than 70 millions copies. Kotecha can be seen on the U.S. version of Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor,” where as Vocal Producer, a role reprised from the original UK show, Savan aids and develops the show’s budding talent.
Given his own history, it’s hard not to see a little of Kotecha in each of the contestants. After writing his own songs on his sister’s keyboard, Kotecha found a book with the addresses of music executives and would send 10-15 demo tapes a day, hoping for one response. At 17, Kotecha did get that response when the A&R man for then-unknown Backstreet Boys, wanted to use one of Kotecha’s songs, but Kotecha’s mother forced him to decline the offer because of his young age. However, Savan continued persevering. As an Austin, TX native, he would take to the streets every Spring during the city’s popular South By Southwest Music Festival and one year upon hearing that Babyface was in town, Savan left demos and a letter on every car windshield in the hotel complex where he was staying.
It eventually all paid off, when at the age of 21, Kotecha signed with BMG Music and a year later, took his first of countless flights to Sweden to work with Grammy-nominated songwriter RedOne (Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez). Kotecha would eventually learn song structure from vaunted songwriters Kristian Lundin and mentor Max Martin; adopting the Swedish songwriting style of quality over quantity that he still adheres to today. At the same time, he would form a working relationship with Simon Cowell, who brought Kotecha on as a consultant for his label Syco Records.