Every record that soundtracks your Friday night out is more than likely written by songwriting hitmen Rock City.
Real-life brothers Timothy and Theron Thomas dipped their pens into chartmaking history when they first scribed for Akon in 2005, making a cool $5,000 for the song “The Ring.” Soon, the Virgin Islands-bred tagteam were getting calls from the likes of Rihanna, Ashlee Simpson and Jennifer Hudson, extending their cheese well into today’s turnt up preferences, and they’ve had no problems adapting with the times.
When it comes to the strip club-glorifying “Pour It Up” from Rih, Timothy doesn’t brag that the record only took 10 minutes to write but explains it from a genuine sense of habitual talent. “We don’t write anything down. It’s really all just natural for us,” says Theron. “When we did “Pour It Up” (producer) Mike WiLL [Made It] pulls the beat and me and Timothy are going back and forth on ideas. He says, ‘Yo guys, I’m going to run to the corner shop. I want to get some drinks and some snacks and I’m going to come right back.” He went for five or 10 minutes and he came back and the song was done.”
Making it rain may be second nature for the Bajan beauty, whose Instagram photo map is decked out with pole-dancing adoration, but for the Thomases, it was a chance to switch up the game’s club banger formula. “We knew it was going to be big because it was very original. For Rihanna to do a record that sounds so ratchet, being a huge pop star, it was going to change the game,” Timothy says. “Superstars are the ones that set the tone of what the music is then what happens is the game shifts and now everybody makes records like that. Everybody wants a record like that.”
Another female who flipped the script on her catalog was Miley Cyrus, who recently broke her musical fast to release “We Can’t Stop,” the lead single off her forthcoming album and first project since 2010’s Can’t Be Tamed. While Maxim’s hottest girl of the year admitted to wanting to lip lock with Rih if the opportunity ever arose, it comes as no surprise that the Mike WiLL-produced cut was originally intended for Cyrus’ girl crush.
“We originally wrote [“We Can’t Stop”] for Rihanna and we wounded up giving it to Miley,” Timothy reveals. “We felt like this could be somebody’s first single. We knew it wasn’t going to be Rihanna’s because at the time she already had “Diamonds.” We didn’t know who to give it to and Mike WILL was like ‘I’m in with Miley. I want to play it for her because I think this will be dope for her.’ We said okay let’s do.”
Less than a year later, the former Disney starlet is now singing about “dancing with Molly” (though the songwriting brothers say it’s really “dancing with Miley”) and “doing lines in the bathroom,” an explicit growth spurt on wax. But it’s all a part of a calculated plan for the Timothy and Theron who plan to stay ahead of the curve lyrically.
“In the music business, you got to be five years ahead because think on this: If I record today, they’re not going to put it out until three months later,” Theron explains. “Because of technology things get played out really fast. You have to be like ‘What’s the next thing?’ That’s why when me and my brother do songs, especially in the chorus, we try to make it something you don’t mind saying for a long time.” — (@adelleplaton)