DJ ALEXANDER “NEZZO” PALMER Discusses Writing Two Of The Biggest Songs Today- Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere On A Beach” and Iggy Azalea’s “Team”!
Posted On 12 Jul 2016
Grammy-award nominated songwriter, producer and DJ Alexander “Nezzo” Palmer scored a huge career milestone recently. Two of Palmer’s songs made their national awards show debuts. ACM Awards co-host Dierks Bentley performed his fastest rising single to date “Somewhere On A Beach,” co-written by Palmer with Nashville’s hottest up and coming writers Jaron Boyer, Michael Tyler and Josh Mirenda, on the Awards on CBS and Iggy Azalea performed the smash hit “Team,” co-produced by Palmer as part of the LA producer collective D.R.U.G.S, on the iHeartRadio Awards on FOX.
“I am excited about both projects,” says Palmer. “It’s so cool to have both a country single and a hip-hop single out simultaneously. Iggy and Dierks are both fantastic artists and their fans don’t care about genres or labels as much anymore. Good music is just good music and I’m thankful to be a part of it.”
Both projects are already successful in their own rights. “Somewhere On A Beach” currently sits at #6 on the Billboard Hot Country Chart, Rolling Stone called it an “off-the-rails summer jam” and according to Billboard it’s a “plain ol’ hit.” “Team” landed at the top of the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart on the day it was released and ranked as pop radio’s most added.
Originally from Germany, Palmer’s first recording in the US was “Whatcha Say,” the debut single by superstar Jason Derulo. He also co-wrote and produced Chris Brown’s 2012 dance hit “Turn Up The Music” from the Grammy-nominated album “Fortune.”
Learn more about Alexander in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! How’s 2016 treating you so far? How’s your summer been going? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you and your music?
2016 has been fantastic, lots of cool projects happening, and it’s been amazing to see the response for “Somewhere On A Beach”. I check radio weekly and it’s already at 800 million impressions, which is huge. People know every word. Girls are getting our lyrics tattooed. I mean it’s just insane.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
That has always been the plan. Both of my parents composed music and had some major successes. I started learning classical and jazz piano when I was 5. Taught myself many other instruments later on. Luckily I was able to start making a living off of music before I even finished high school. I still went to college for Business Management, which wasn’t really necessary but in the end it only helped.
Earlier this spring, two of your songs were featured on national award shows. What was it like having “Somewhere On A Beach” and “Team” performed?
It was a great feeling, I wish I was able to clone myself to see them both live. I was in Vegas so I went to see Dierks, and watched Iggy on TV later.
Do you approach a song differently based on its genre? Can you talk about the formation of those two specific songs?
Obviously country is a little softer and less abrasive than hip-hop, although the way I make country is very heavily influenced by hip-hop and R&B, because that’s the music I grew up on.
I did the beat for “Beach” in LA, and I approached it as a track that could’ve worked for people like Ty Dolla $ign and Chris Brown, but I also had plans to play it for my main country guys Jaron Boyer, Josh Mirenda and Michael Tyler on my next Nashville trip, I already knew they would love it. When they told me the idea to “Somewhere on a Beach” I fell in love with it right away and we were able to knock out the lyrics in less than an hour.
I did the “Team” beat with Iggy in mind and sent it to my boy Chordz, who’s the executive producer of her album. We had produced her first single together back in 2011, we just have great chemistry everytime we collaborate. He ended up doing a lot of production on it and had Bebe Rexha and a bunch of other writers come in to write the topline, and then finished the song with Iggy.
Who are some of your favorite artists? What artists continue to inspire you? Who would you love to work with in the future?
Sam Hunt, Jason Aldean, FGL to name a few. In the pop world I love Ariana Grande and Rihanna, those are definitely still on the list. I already had a song with Rihanna a while ago, but it ended up not coming out. A major inspiration for me right now is Partynextdoor, but he does all his own production.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
Every time I nail a big song, it’s always pretty much the same response – people love it, they relate to it, it makes them feel good, reminds them of a certain time in their life or a certain person, things like that. I draw inspiration for most of my music from real life situations that happened to me, breakups to makeups, so it really isn’t surprising when people say they relate to it because at the end of the day we all go through the same things.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the business?
Don’t quit your day job, don’t expect music to pay your bills right away. More importantly, stay humble and study the greats. Pay your dues. Respect your elders. I know it’s all generic advice but people seem to forget.