Looking Back on Pleasantville’s Darkchild Recording Studio
Atlantic City-born and raised Rodney Jerkins built a career in music as a super-producer. We're looking back on Jerkins' one-time Darkchild Studios recording facility in Pleasantville.
I happened to be on Route 9 a few days ago, passing through Pleasantville when I stopped at the traffic light at the intersection of where Darkchild Studios used to be.
The recording studio has been closed for several years, I'm not sure who owns it these days, but I remember in the 2000's being mesmerized by the building and its multi-car garage, wondering if Rodney Jerkins (also an artist and songwriter) was busy at that very moment producing his next hit song.
There were often very swanky cars, SUV's and limos parked outside, just behind the iron fencing, and I always thought it was very cool that Jerkins kept a studio where he grew up. I mean, if you grew up watching MTV's Total Request Live, and listened to ANY hit radio station, you were familiar with Rodney Jerkins. Sought after from the time he was 13 (he once turned down Sean 'Puffy' Combs to produce for Bad Boy Records, according Wikipedia.org), Rodney produced massive hit tracks for artists like Brandy, Destiny's Child, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and N*SYNC.
Now 43-years old, the Grammy-winning Jerkins' work can still be heard being sung by the likes of Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, H.E.R., Khalid, and Justin Bieber.
I wish I'd have been cool enough or somebody enough to have seen the inside of Darkchild Studios in its heyday. Can you imagine the celebrities that might have walked those halls? As someone who's had a lifelong obsession with music producers, Rodney Jerkins and his golden ears have overseen some of my favorite songs ever made, including Jennifer Lopez's musical debut, 'If You Had My Love'. See below!
Just some of the hit songs produced by South Jersey's own Rodney Jerkins:
- 'The Boy Is Mine', Brandy and Monica (1998)
- 'It's Not Right (But It's Okay) by Whitney Houston (1998)
- 'Say My Name' by Destiny's Child (1999)
- 'If You Had My Love' by Jennifer Lopez (1999)
- 'You Rock My World' by Michael Jackson (2001)
- 'Celebrity' by N*SYNC (2001)
- 'Overprotected (Darkchild Remix)' by Britney Spears (2002)
- 'Telephone' by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé (2009)
- 'As Long As You Love Me' by Justin Bieber (2012)
- 'My Heart Is Open' by Maroon 5 and Gwen Stefani (2013)
- 'Stay With Me' by Sam Smith