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James Fauntleroy is one of the most prolific pop songwriters of the past 15-plus years. Some of his most prized placements include writing songs for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. He’s also contributed background vocals to songs by Travis Scott, Jay-Z and his longtime friend, the late Nipsey Hustle.

Similar to his music industry idol and mentor Babyface, James Fauntleroy is also an artist in his own right. While his songs have lived on streaming platforms over the past decade, in December James released his official debut album, The Warmest Winter Ever—a Christmas album put through the Fauntleroy filter.

On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to James Fauntleroy about why he decided to drop his debut album well over a decade into his career. He also explains how hundreds of his songs were stolen and posted online by international hackers. And why he considers both Weird Al Yankovic and John Mayer among some of his biggest musical influences.

You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite James Fauntleroy songs HERE.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is co-founder of Pushkin Industries and host of the hit podcast Revisionist History. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…