Lee Brotherton, better known by his stage name Bentley Jones, is an English recording artist who signed his debut album - TRANS//LATION to EMI Music Japan in 2008. Previously he has achieved two UK Club Chart #1s and has produced for many artists including Britney Spears, Madonna and Beyonce. His first notable release was his song “Dreams of an Absolution” which was featured in the video-game “Sonic the Hedgehog” and released on CD in Japan. In 2009 he released his debut single and Japanese-language album, the prior reaching number 5 on the Recochoku international chart. Jones has been known to perform in English, French and Japanese.
Often some of Jones’ compositions and writing work is credited to his birth name (Lee Brotherton)or his production house (the Remix Factory). As Lee Brotherton he co-wrote and performed “Dreams of an Absolution” from the video-game “Sonic the Hedgehog” which featured music from fellow J-pop artists Dreams Come True. The track featured on the original soundtrack as well as a compilation “Several Wills” – consisting of the game’s featured tracks from other artists including Zebrahead and long-time collaborators Crush 40.
Under the Remix Factory he has achieved two UK Club Chart #1s and has produced for many artists including Britney Spears, Madonna and Beyonce. He has also composed music for the “Sonic the Hedgehog” franchise.
The Birth of Bentley Jones
In November 2007 Brotherton began segregating himself from the Remix Factory to concentrate on his own work as an artist under the pseudonym Bentley Jones. His music as ‘BJ’ quickly became popular amongst fans of his earlier work, leading to Jones’ version of the song “Open Your Heart” from the video-game “Sonic Adventure” which was featured on the compilation album “True Blue – 15 years of Sonic the Hedgehog” early in 2008.
In August Jones was a special guest at the first Summer of Sonic event in London UK to celebrate his work composing for the ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ franchise. Jones arranged and performed the main theme of the event called “His World ~Blue World Prelude~” – an adaptation of the song “His World” which he also worked on for the video-game “Sonic the Hedgehog”. A studio version of this was subsequently made available for free download from the ‘Summer of Sonic’ website, with the remix being a free gift for the fans. He also performed a new version of “Dreams of an Absolution” called the “~Ballad Version~” with fellow composer Richard Jacques. To end the show, Jones and Jacques joined TJ Davis for the song “Dreams Dreams” from the game “NiGHTS – Journey of Dreams”.
In August 2008 Jones collaborated with French duo Cassandre for a remix of the track "Liberté" broadening his linguistic spectrum to French as well as English and Japanese.
Digression into J-pop
Early in 2008 Jones was touring the UK testing tracks for a tentative English album under the advisement of his UK management. However, by the summer Jones parted ways with his management due to frustration over a slow pace of progression and his English album was put on hold. Using his knowledge of managing the Remix Factory, he took care of his own artist management and soon landed himself his first major-label deal.
Jones had stated in several interviews that he was a fan of Japanese musicians and artists – a curiosity that had come to fruition by working with Japanese video-game composers and artists. One of the artists he claims to be deeply inspired by is Utada Hikaru, an aspiration that was brought to reality when he was offered a deal by the same record label – EMI Music Japan – in November 2008.
Jones is also known for being a fan of Japanese star Ayumi Hamasaki.Not only did he cover her song "Depend on You" entirely in Japanese, but he rewrote it into English as a new track called "Depend on Me". These two covers resulted in lots of attention from J-pop and Ayumi Hamasaki fans, the large majority of which was very positive.Further on, the English version would be retitled "Depend on you ~Depend on Me" and feature on Jones' debut Japanese album. In May 2008 Jones guest vocaled and remixed Hamasaki's previously #1-single "Step You" as a special promotion for Avex Trax in Japan.
In January 2009, Jones announced the forthcoming release of the Japanese digital single "Sunao ni Naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~" - an English reworking of the Japanese original "Sunao ni Naretara" originally recorded by Juju featuring Spontania. Jeff Miyahara - the original producer and one of the writers of "Sunao ni Naretara" - liked Jones' version so much that not only did he give permission for the English rewrite, but offered to collaborate with Jones for his second album.
On March 4 2009 the song "Sunao ni Naretara FINAL NIGHT" was released as a mobile digital single - the first from the album "TRANS//LATION". It debuted on the Recochoku international daily chart at #7 before rising to #5 despite very little promotion. Following its success, a remix of the track was announced to appear on the forthcoming "Love House" compilation album. The single would later be re-released as a remix single containing a remix by Phunkstar which would also be promoted in the UK, marking the first cross-over promotion of "TRANS//LATION".
"TRANS//LATION"' was released on March 25 2009. The album is a collection of Japanese songs reworked into Jones' signature electro-pop style and, in places, rewritten into English. All of the English lyrics, and the production and arrangement of album was done by Jones. As well as endorsement from Jeff Miyahara, J-pop megastar Ayumi Hamasaki reviewed one of Jones' tracks from the album and offered her personal approval for an English rewrite of one of her songs.
Jones is unique as he is the first ever British artist to have a major label Japanese album release.
On March 27 2009 the song "DEPARTURES" was released as a mobile ringtone.
Following "TRANS//LATION"'s release, in February 2009 it was announced that Jones was to feature on the international soundtrack for the video-game Sonic and the Black Knight. It was later revealed the Jones had recorded the track "Seven Rings in Hand ~Fairytales in Trance~" and was released on the soundtrack CD "Face to Faith" in Japan on April 8.
So Much More... And Finally Free (2010)
On May 12 2009 Jones announced that he was producing a brand new remix for Whitney Houston to help promote her forthcoming single "I Didn't Know My Own Strength". He also revealed that he was behind the Phunkstar moniker and that, as Phunkstar, has previously remixed Beyoncé and Britney Spears. The Phunkstar 2009 remix of "I'm Every Woman" will be promoted throughout Europe by UK label DMC.
On May 16 2009 Jones announced that he was attending the online event "Promageddon" hosted by the Gaia Online social network. Three half-completed demos were selected by Gaia from an album sampler that Jones was in the process of putting together, along with tracks from fellow collaborator and J-pop producer Jeff Miyahara, to be the soundtrack to the event. Despite the tracks' premature condition the songs proved incredibly popular and were streamed 1,152,835 times in less than a week making Bentley's music the most popular of the entire event. Due to demand, Bentley made the demos available to listen to through his YouTube channel and said that, thanks to fans reactions, was more confident in his new style of music. He also stated that he was looking for a new label to release this particular project implying that he had parted ways with EMI Japan.
Jones also revealed that, as well as currently working with writer and producer Jeff Miyahara, he is collaborating with BAFTA award-winning composer Jeremy Soule and J-pop writer and producer Army Slick who has worked with the likes of BoA and ZEEBRA.
Jones is also reappeared at the 2009 Summer of Sonic as the headlining musical guest, performing a selection of tracks from his album, songs from "Promageddon" as well as those featured in the 'Sonic the Hedgehog' franchise. Included in the first set was a parody of the song They Call Me Sonic, the original of which has become notorious amongst the fanbase. A studio version of Jones' parody was later made available for free download from several Sonic community websites. He also performed a surprise acoustic set with Nick Jennison from UK band Under the Gun which included rearranged renditions of his single "Sunao ni naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~", "Dreams of an Absolution" and an exclusive cover of "Escape from the City" from Sonic Adventure 2. TRANS//LATION was available for sale and later in the day Jones did a signing session for fans.
His song "So Much More..." will be the theme for the video-game, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. The album insert for the CD edition of So Much More... reveals that Bentley's newest album's working title is "Finally Free".
In February, following the original song's reintroduction to the British charts due to its appearance in the US TV show Glee and performance by Joe McElderry on The X-Factor, Bentley was put in charge of producing an official new remix of Journey's Don't Stop Believin' which is due for promotional release on March 1st 2010.
|"Finally Free"||Studio Album||Remix Factory Music||2010|
|"Don't Stop Believin' 2010" (Phunkstar Remixes)Journey||remix by Bentley Jones||Sony Music||2010|
|"So Much More..."||Studio EP
from the video game Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
|Remix Factory Music||2010|
|"No Other One" (Phunkstar RemixesTaio Cruz||remix by Bentley Jones||Universal Music||2009|
|"Fight for this Love" (Phunkstar Vocal Mix)Cheryl Cole||remix by Bentley Jones||Universal Music||2009|
|"Sunao ni naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~" Remixes||CD Single||EMI Music Japan||2009|
|"Promageddon" Soundtrack||Game Soundtrack||Gaia Online||2009|
|"I'm Every Woman (Phunkstar 2009 Vocal Mix)"Whitney Houston||remix by Bentley Jones||Sony Music Entertainment||2009|
|"TRANS//LATION"||Studio album||EMI Music Japan||2009|
|"Sunao ni naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~"||Digital single||EMI Music Japan||2009|
|"Seven Rings in Hand ~Fairytales in Trance~"||from the album Face to Faith: Sonic and the Black Knight Vocal Trax||Wave Master||2009|
|"Liberté"(Cassandre & Bentley Jones)||Digital single||Believer (France)||2008|
|"Open Your Heart (Crush 40 vs. Bentley Jones Remix)"
(Crush 40 & Bentley Jones)
|from the album True Blue: The Best of Sonic the Hedgehog||Wave Master||2008|
|"Dreams of an Absolution (LB vs. JS Remix)"
(as Lee Brotherton)
|from the video-game Sonic the Hedgehog (although not featured in the game) from the album Sonic the Hedgehog Vocal Traxx: Several Wills||Wave Master||2007|
|"Dreams of an Absolution"
(as Lee Brotherton)
|from the video-game Sonic the Hedgehogfrom the albums Sonic the Hedgehog: Original Sound Track and Sonic the Hedgehog Vocal Traxx: Several Wills||Wave Master||2007|
Jones is an accomplished dancer and is known to train both professionally and in his free time. In March 2008 on the eve of his birthday Jones fell ill and developed a tumour on his back. Details of the illness were kept private but in September he announced that although his medical treatment was yet to finish, he was feeling fully recovered and his work activities had returned to normal.[ However, as of July 2009 he is still receiving physiotherapy for his injuries.