You may not know him yet, but Kevin Rudolf is on his way to regular rotation on your iPod. Signed to Cash Money/Universal Republic earlier this year, the 25-year-old singer/songwriter/producer released "Let It Rock." The single, which features Lil Wayne, recently peaked at No. 23 on the Pop 100 and No. 33 on the Hot 100.
After labelmate Lil Wayne's album "Da Carter III" sold over a million copies in it's first week of release this June, Rudolf hoping to follow his success as the November 25 release of his debut, "In The City," nears.
"I came up with the track at home back in June and played if for Wayne. He loved it and wanted to jump on it. We mixed it three days later and it was on the radio a few weeks after that," says Rudolf. "Then, when Wayne did a million in a week, that's when we knew we had to put my record out now to take advantage of his success."
Rudolf, who's been playing guitar since he was 12, got his start because of a chance meeting with producer Timbaland in 2004. "I was always a songwriter, but I got into production after my friend Jimmy Douglas introduced me to Timb," he says. "I brought my guitar to the meeting [to] contribute something if I could and ended up playing on a bunch of tracks," including Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right," Lil Kim's "The Jump Off" and Timbaland's "Scream," to list a few.
A year-and-a-half ago, Rudolf decided to release his own project after getting a "real vision of what I could contribute as a producer, musician and songwriter and tapping into my own voice," he explains. One day last January, while at New York's Hit Factory studio working on the set, Rudolf met Cash Money Records' Slim Williams. After playing some of his songs for the executive, Williams offered him a record deal.
Now, the New York native is ready to release "City," which he describes as a "conceptual album that follows the story of my experiences Ð it's like a coming of age story in NYC."
"In The City" was produced entirely by Rudolf except for one track handled by The Neptunes' Chad Hugo. "We were in the studio mixing one day and he walked in the room and said he wanted to do something with us," Rudolf recalls. "We banged some music out that same night!" The set features songs like the seven-minute ballad "Great Escape" and "N.Y.C.," which will be included in the soundtrack to "Fighting," a film starring Terrence Howard due later this year.
To help promote the album, Rudolf will start a promotional radio tour next month and plans on scheduling another tour before 2008 is over. "I've been hearing some crazy stuff, like 'Let It Rock' is Ryan Seacrest and Lindsey Lohan's favorite song right now. I have been very blessed and feel really lucky," says Rudolf. "There is no info or pictures of me anywhere, yet the track has taken a life of its own. The music is truly speaking for itself."