Entertainment

JonFX has arms on Billboard chart

By Kevin Jackson
Observer writer

Friday, November 09, 2018

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Music producer John “JonFX” Crawford is celebrating the success of Arms Around You, a song that entered Billboard charts this week. It is a collaboration between Xxxtentacion, Lil Pump, Maluma and Swae Lee.

Arms Around You made the Billboard Hot 100 at number 28; Streaming Songs Chart at number 18; R&B Streaming Songs Chart at number one; and Digital Sales Chart at number 18.

In an interview with Splash, JonFX gave the story behind the song.

“Arms Around You was part of a set of records that I wrote and demo'd and would shop around or have other artistes sing to be pitched to major record labels. Xxxtentacion heard the demo and he put a verse on it. That version was later pitched to Maluma, who later recorded his part and after that Lil Pump, who was friends with Xxxtentacion, added a verse via producer Mally Mall, who also added Swae Lee,” he said.

Executives at Warner Bros suggested EDM maestro Skrillex be added as a co-producer to take the “record home”. The song's production credits are shared among Skrillex, JonFX and Mally Mall.

JonFX is not surprised at the response to the song which was released in October, four months after Xxxtentacion's death at the hands of gunmen in South Florida.

“I'm just grateful because all the artistes featured are already huge. But I am mostly grateful than surprised,” he said.

This is not his first success on Billboard.

In 2010, he produced Gyptian's Hold Yuh and album of the same name. Last year, he produced Sizzla's I'm Yours, which gave the artiste his highest position on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart, at number two. He also mixed Xxxtentacion' s hit Jocelyn Flores which peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Crawford is also credited as writer and engineer on three tracks — Alone Part 3, Smash and I Don't Even Speak English LOL, from Xxxtentacion' s platinum-selling album ?.

He first met Xxxtentacion, who was born in South Florida to Jamaican parents, six years ago.

Veteran music industry executive Murray Elias' Mill Rock Music Publishing is publisher for Arms Around You. It is his first success on the Billboard Hot 100 as a publisher, having worked as an A&R with Sean Paul.

“This is a breakthrough for us. Its success puts us on the map as a publishing company. Hopefully, people will now recognise us,” said Elias, who has worked with JonFX for the past eight years.

Other Jamaican producers signed to Mill Rock Music are Justus Arison and Dre Day.

Christoffer Schlarb, a former executive at VP Records and Warner Bros, is co-owner of the company.

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