Jonathan Perkins

Assistant Chair
Affiliated Departments

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Jonathan Perkins is a multiplatinum songwriter and producer, and an Emmy Award–winning composer with over 10 million units sold. Some recent credits include the Chainsmokers’ album Memories…Do Not Open, and multiple releases with K-pop sensations BTS, Taemin, and NCT 127. Formerly signed to Orange Factory Music, the production team behind worldwide phenomenon Jay Sean, he was a writer on Sean's smash sensation "Down," featuring Lil Wayne, which went six-times platinum internationally, reaching no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 2009, as well as on Sean’s single “Do You Remember," featuring Sean Paul and Lil Jon, which went two-times platinum and reached the Billboard Top 10. His other credits include Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, Big Time Rush, Frankie J, and Cody Simpson, among others. He attained his first no. 1 on the Billboard Dance Club/Play charts with his work on Jason Nevins’s remix of Rihanna’s "S.O.S."

Perkins also has extensive experience in scoring and orchestration. He won an Emmy in 2010 for composing the score for Doing Business in China, a documentary from The Atlantic and The New York Times. His music can also be heard on MTV's Room Raiders and Teen Cribs, and VH1, BET, and other TV programs. Perkins was mentored by film composers Richard Horowitz (Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday), Bernardo Bertolucci (The Sheltering Sky), and Sussan Deyhim (Peter Gabriel, Bill Laswell).

Career Highlights
  • No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 with "Down" by Jay Sean, featuring Lil Wayne (six-times platinum)
  • Recent credits include work with the Chainsmokers and BTS
  • Top 10 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 with "Do You Remember" by Jay Sean, featuring Sean Paul and Lil Jon (two-times platinum)
  • Worked with Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, Big Time Rush, Cody Simpson, Jessica Mauboy, and others
  • Emmy Award winner in 2010 for Best Program/Special in Business/Consumer category, Original Music
In Their Own Words

"For students, developing hit songs and understanding the industry standard is a delicate balance between individual expression and absorbing a language that millions of people hear and to which they are accustomed. It is my hope that students will walk away with a better discernment of where exactly this balance lies through careful song-crafting and the development of critical listening skills."

"Collaboration is a major component of the professional music industry experience, be it in songwriting, producing, scoring, or arranging, and so on. In addition, the career of a songwriter and producer is a hard but exciting road, and requires hard work just as much as it does talent and practice. I teach a method that encourages a great deal of both, coming from my background: the ability to listen and collaborate well, and to understand the rigor of working harder (and later) than everyone around you."

"The Songwriting Department is not only one of the first of its kind, but has continued to stay ahead of the curve while other music schools are just beginning to catch on to the art and craft of songwriting. Some of the biggest names in recent music industry history have all been songwriters: Claude Kelly, Makeba Riddick-Woods, Justin Tranter, Charlie Puth, John Mayer, etc. You'd be hard pressed to find another school with this kind of pedigree."

"Berklee trains musicians in disciplines beyond what many other conservatories and music schools are used to, encapsulating a variety of genres ranging from Afro-Peruvian jazz to Persian maqam or Indian raga. This melting pot approach creates an atmosphere of experimentation and true musical camaraderie not found in too many other places in the collegial world. Berklee also boasts a relationship to and understanding of the contemporary music industry unlike any other school, truly preparing students for a real career if they should so choose and work for it."