Evan “Kidd” Bogart knows exactly how to write a platinum hit. The popular songwriter is responsible for penning Beyonce’s Grammy Award-winning ballad “Halo” and Rihanna’s chart topping dance record “S.O.S.” With the power to create songs that catapult into stratospheres of their own class, it’s no surprise the fun-loving, music junkie co-created and executive produced Going Platinum, the first competitive reality show that delves into the songwriting process. “Hopefully this will let people into the game enough that they will appreciate songwriting or want to write songs,” says the son of renowned record executive Neil Bogart.
The idea was birthed soon after Bogart developed The Writing Camp with friends and fellow songwriters Erika Nuri and David “DQ” Quiñones. “In 2007, I started this songwriting collective called The Writing Camp which, at the time, was just a community of writers who kinda looked out for each other, treated each other like family,” he details of how Going Platinum came about. “Then, in mid-2008, I came to my brother with an idea of doing a songwriting reality show telling him about everything I’ve been doing with The Writing Camp, and he was like, ‘That’s what the show should be about. That’s the angle.’”
Although the idea of the show was solidified, Kidd and his team wrestled with getting a network to pick up the pitch after various networks had shut down the idea multiple times given to them by other big names. However, the key to capturing Bravo’s attention (the only network on which Bogart wanted the show housed) was definitely all in the presentation. Gathering up nine of his songwriting friends, the accomplished hit-maker shot a 12-minute pilot presentation showcasing the collaborative nature of songwriting and the interest audiences will have in the process.
If you’re skeptical about the authenticity of this reality show, don’t fret. Bogart points toward the overwhelming emotions of the 12 contestants to prove the show is an accurate depiction of true songwriting and, like his songs, in a class of its own. “On the show, the way it really played out was there were some times where there was some real drama and there were some times where there was some amazing magic collaborations. You were like, ‘Wow, these people should write together forever,’ and sometimes you’re like, ‘Wow, if we don’t get in there soon, they’re going to kill each other [laughs].’“
Not only are the contestants dynamic, Bogart assures that the chemistry between singer-songwriter Jewel and famous songwriter, and ex-American Idol host, Kara DioGuardi is amazingly portrayed onscreen. The two willingly jumped onboard the project completing the well-rounded personalities and skills needed for a learning environment for the contestants and the rigid authority necessary for growth in each individual.
This one-of-a-kind television competition is slated to premiere in 2011 and will draw audiences outside of Bravo’s usual demographic. “I think that music speaks to a greater mass and a wider range of people than, maybe say, art does,” Bogart states. “So, I’m hoping that not only does Bravo’s audience love this show because it’s made in a way that they will love and it sticks in the tradition of great Bravo reality style competition shows, but at the same time, I think because of our star power that we’re bringing to the show and because of the multi-genre stuff that will be in the show, we’ll bring a lot of people into it.” –Niki McGloster