Rob Grimaldi '11 Co-Wrote and Produced the #1 Hit "Butter"

Rob Grimaldi '11 TVR/Audio Production co-wrote 2021's song of the summer, "Butter" performed by South Korean pop superstars BTS. "Butter" debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 2021 and stayed there for 9 weeks. It also broke the single day streaming record for YouTube and Spotify and hit 1 billion overall streams in less than 3 months.

Rob took some time to meet with Park Promotions for an interview:

Tell us about your latest success and how you ended up writing/producing "Butter" for BTS.

“Butter” has been an incredible journey. I’m so grateful. We originally wrote the song over a year ago, and reworked/edited for 3 months prior to release day. I produced the record with Stephen Kirk and Ron Perry (president of Columbia records), and co-wrote with Jenna Andrews, Alex Bilowitz, Sebastian Garcia, and RM (one of BTS’s members). Our goal was to create a catchy uptempo summer anthem, full of hooks and energy, showcasing all seven members of BTS. It's a song I've always believed in, and it was so much fun working with such a talented group of global superstars. 

Where did you think/hope your career path would take you after leaving Park? How did that lead you to where you are today?

The Park School played an instrumental role in preparing me for the music business. I was one of the lucky students able to take classes in both Park and the music school, so I had an incredibly well rounded and diverse experience. Park’s audio production focus gave me a strong foundation on how to technically make records, and other classes throughout the Park school helped me become a better and more efficient communicator/businessman. Those skills have served majorly important in life after school.

Which classes in Park were your favorites? Which ones prepared you for life after college?

They were all valuable in their own way! The Park production classes were my favorite because they allowed me to be the most creative, and I knew by sophomore year I wanted to write and produce professionally. I always had friends coming to Park's studios listening to projects and records, it was exciting. I enjoyed learning about different types of media (a major tool in marketing songs and artists today) and media writing too which is a big portion of my daily schedule and involves cultivating and maintaining relationships, so communication is everything.

What other groups/activities/co-curriculars were you involved with while on campus? How did they affect your college experience as well as prepare you for your professional career?

I was super involved at Ithaca and really enjoyed my college experience. I had my own radio show on VIC and WICB, DJ’ed bars off campus on The Ithaca Commons, performed in the jazz band, played intramural sports, and worked with campus leadership programs. Ithaca allowed me to surround myself with music while staying balanced and building a life/incredible friendships, something I really value today.

What piece of advice would you give our current Park students?

Enjoy the college experience. Get involved in as much as possible-it will help you discover your passion. Get really good at your craft, undeniably good. When things don’t come easily, do not quit and always remain confident + persistent. Be willing to put in your 10,000 hours, they all matter. Build lasting relationships with your peers-a lot of you will work together down the road. Find balance and take care of you and your health. And most importantly, be a good person. Kindness goes the longest way.