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Songwriter, sound engineer, and producer Ari Levine, part of the trio (with Bruno Mars and Philip Lawrence) of hitmakers known as the Smeezingtons, was born on this date in 1984. The Smeezingtons were active from 2009 to 2014 and produced hits for the Sugarbees, Snoop Dogg, Flo Rida, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Cee-Lo Green, among other hip-hop acts, as well as writing “One Day” for Matisyahu (selected by NBC as its 2010 Winter Olympics theme song) and producing several songs that turned Bruno Mars into a major recording artist. The Smeezingtons did most of their work in Levine’s Los Angeles recording studio, Levcon, where they reputedly worked for ten hours a day for over two years, fashioning “a firm grip on the full spectrum of black pop, and white pop as well,” according to the New York Times. To see them being interviewed at an ASCAP event, look below.
“Nine times out of ten, Bruno will be on the piano, singing something. I’ll have a beat going, and Philip will be figuring out lyrics and melody. Whatever sparks something, we just try not to mess it up.” --Ari Levine
Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.