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Kenny Ortiz

Kenny Ortiz

American musician and executive
Kenny Ortiz
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American musician and executive
Is Songwriter Businessperson Record producer
From United States of America
Type Business Music
Gender male
Birth 10 November 1959
Age 61 years
Star sign Scorpio
Peoplepill ID kenny-ortiz
The details


Kenneth "Kenny O" Ortiz (born 10 November 1959) is an American record executive, songwriter, record producer, and is currently the CEO of World Trade Entertainment. 

Ortiz is widely known as the driving force behind the vocal trio SWV (CokoLeanne "Lelee" Lyons, and Tamara Johnson-George), because he signed the group, picked their hits, got heavily involved in their creative process for original songs, remixes, mixes, collaborations, and last but not least established their vibe and brand. 

Ortiz is also known for discovering Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo also known as The Neptunes, whom Ortiz signed to EMI to their first production and writing deal. Ortiz would A&R the unreleased compilation album which featured Charlie Wilson and Joe Stonestreet (the first member of Blackstreet) which subsequently led to Kelis's signing and recording. It was Ortiz's idea to make Pharrell and Chad change their production name to the Neptunes (the name they went by as a group, which was later changed to N.E.R.D after the addition of Shay Haley).

Ortiz's A&R and promotion skills have been instrumental in bringing numerous music figures across multiple genres to multi-platinum sales, including SWV, Anita BakerKeith Sweat, Neptunes, BeBe WinansCeCe WinansRyan Toby (of City High), Mantronix, Simply Red, The Cure, Ten Thousand Maniacs, Tracy ChapmanMartha Wash, and MC Hammer.

Ortiz is responsible for helping acts to get signed by major labels. 

Artists that benefited from Kenny's musical ear include: Jazmine Sullivan (whom Ortiz discovered on Showtime of The Apollo, brought her into the studio for the first time, and then introduced to her mentor Missy Elliott who would eventually produce her #1 singles nearly a decade later), Brian McKnight (whom Ortiz discovered utilizing his vocals for demos and eventually brought him in front of labels who signed him), "Joe" (also demo vocalist for Ortiz and was first to use him as a producer and writer as well as introduced him to the history of the r&b world and nurtured his craft. Ortiz introduced him to Pharrell Williams).

Ortiz also helped in the development of acts such as Shaffer Smith (whom Ortiz A&R'd as a Senior Vice President at Columbia Records before his career was reborn under his new name Ne-Yo), Amerie (A&R’d her platinum album All I Have), Ryan Toby(helped him land his position in the movie Sister Act 2), Johnta Austin (discovered him, signed him to RCA Records and put him together with Pharrell Williams and introduced him to Troy Taylor who took him under his wing and then molded him into a very successful songwriter, and last but not least, the Wu-Tang Clan received their first R&B record from Ortiz, who handpicked them to remix "Anything" by SWV which catapulted them from underground to a household name.

Ortiz has A&R'd for such famed executives and moguls as Quincy JonesLA ReidPharrell Williams (Star Trak Entertainment), Skip MillerBruce Lundvall (of Blue Note Records), and Tom Whalley.


To cite the article
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Article Title: Kenny Ortiz: American musician and executive - Biography and Life
Author(s): PeoplePill.com Editorial Staff
Website Title: PeoplePill
Publisher: PeoplePill
Article URL: https://peoplepill.com/people/kenny-ortiz/
Publish Date: 27 Nov 2016
Date Accessed: 23 Jan 2021
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