JK Music Group scans the globe in its efforts to discover, develop and market artists and produce great music.
JK Music Group’s primary purpose is to identify talent to collaborate with the best producers, composers, video directors, choreographers, publicists and marketing companies in the business, in order to produce and develop enduring artists and recordings.
Working with some of the largest US and European recording studios, JK Music has collaborated with world renowned producers.
JK Music Group is a full-service record label, JK identifies and cultivates young talent, pairing up-and-coming artists with the finest producers, composers, video directors, choreographers, photographers and stylists in the industry as it develops enduring artists and recordings.
JK’s penchant for collaboration is perhaps its most valuable asset. Teamwork and partnerships permeate every aspect of production, from the studio all the way to the airwaves. First and foremost, JK partners with Grammy Award-winning music producer, sole returning American Idol judge and producer of MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew" Randy Jackson and his Dream Merchant 21 label. The group also works with specialists in every part of the field. For songwriting, that means everyone from Sarah West to DEEKAY, the multi-platinum songwriting team who have worked with J.Lo, Missy Elliott, Paula Abdul, Michael Jackson, and more. In the studio, JK has worked with producers Walter Afanasieff, Teddy Riley, HIT Factory (Timbaland), Jim Beanz, Joe Simpson, Jerome JROC Harmon and King Logan.
But recording sounds is only the most visible of JK’s many undertakings. Julia Kurbatova and Oleg Shmelev also take a personal interest in their artists in order to cultivate not just music, but well-rounded performers and human beings. Vocal coach Marlon Saunders (Nine Inch Nails, Billy Joel, Shania Twain, Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill) helps JK’s artists develop range and timbre. Choreographers RJ Durell and Nick Florez (Madonna, Céline Dion, Britney Spears, Katy Perry) implant the on-stage swagger. Other professionals help with everything from accent reduction to physical training to career planning.
With music production and personal development underway, the JK gets its artists ready to show it all off. Every music performer first needs a signature style, then music videos and promotional photos in which to flaunt it. Enter celebrity stylist and costume designer Marina Toybina, who works with the industry’s hottest stars, including Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj, to help the artists channel their inner superstars. Photographers Robert Sebree (J.Lom Christina Aguilera, Jay-Z, Beyoncé), Brian Bowen Smith (Marc Jacobs, Jessica Alba, Mila Kunis, Hugh Laurie) and many more provide the glamour shots and cover art and top directors like Chan Andre and Brian Friedman (who has choreographed and directed the likes of Britney Spears’ ‘”Toxic,” and “I’m a Slave 4 U,” “The One” by Prince and *NSYNC’s “Pop”) make stylized videos to show it all off. It’s a long progress from finding new artists to putting out their videos, but with its fiery passion, international influence and unbeatable team of professionals, JK Music Group knows how to make it happen, always bringing the hottest new artists to the airwaves.
Most people may take a lifetime to find their true passion, but for Julia Kurbatova discovering a love for music came at an early age. Born in Moscow, Russia, Julia began her career in entertainment as a world-renowned model gracing the cover of countless fashion magazines in Europe.
In 2007, she began a career in music production, co-founding HitMasters, one of the first independent music producing collectives in Russia. The company's goal was to become a one-stop-shop for aspiring artists by compiling some of the top producers, composers and video directors in the business, to help cultivate their talents, which in turn translates into making hit records.
Working alongside her business partner Oleg Shmelev, Julia Kurbatova and the HitMasters team soon grabbed the attention of Joe Simpson, music producer and father of singers Jessica and Ashlee Simpson. In collaboration with his Papa Joe Records label imprint, they began working with Russian pop singer An-Ya, a project of which Kurbatova co-executive produced. This project brought Julia to Los Angeles, where she kicked off her most recent business venture, founding the full-service record label, JK Music Group. With the help of Oleg Shmelev, and songwriter /producer Walter Afanasieff, known for his work with music heavyweights Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, Julia Kurbatova co-founded ASK Music Group (an acronym of their three last names: Afanasieff, Shmelev, Kurbatova). She is also behind the show 'Big Mixx,' a re-birth of the 80s show 'Solid Gold,' teaming her with Oleg
Shmelev and Al Masini, creator and executive producer of groundbreaking programs like 'Entertainment Tonight' and 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,' and the 1998 Miss Universe pageant.
Proving that hard work and dedication are the precursors to success, Kurbatova's unique understanding of the entertainment business, forged another noteworthy joint project, this time with American Idol judge, and Grammy-winning producer, Randy Jackson. With Jackson and his Dream Merchant 21 record label on board, Kurbatova and JK Music Group continue to promote remarkable talent, the most recent of which includes Ukrainian singing sensation Mika Newton and Russian rockstar Troy Harley.
Over the years Julia Kurbatova has worked with the likes of well known songwriters and producers like Teddy Riley and Timbaland, but it is her love for Russia and music continues to be the the driving force behind her achievements. Through JK Music Group, Julia and her partner, Oleg Shmelev, work to bridge the gap between Russian musical talent and the bright lights of Hollywood, by merging the best from both worlds to represent the JK Music Group brand.
Alongside her team, and the use of her extensive entertainment industry contacts, Julia Kurbatova takes a hands-on approach to assisting in the development of artists in every aspect of their career, thus positioning JK Music Group to become one of the country's most sought after labels in it's genre.
Music is more than just a hobby for Oleg Shmelev, it's a way of life. Grandson to one of the most recognized saxophonist of the USSR, the esteemed entertainment professional began his decent into the industry under the guidance of his grandfather who encouraged him to pursue music education.
In 1999, Oleg was named music producer of the Miss Russia National Pageant, a position which he held until 2006. Although he enjoyed his tenure with the organization, Oleg Shmelev moved on to pursue his passion for music production, co-founding the HitMasters, the first independent music production-collective in Russia. HitMaster's main focus was fusing an producing hit records by teaming artists with some of the industry's top producers, composer and directors. In conjunction with HitMasters, Shmelev has spearheaded several successful projects including DEEMA, the girl group Miss Russia, and German pop boy band US5, whose music has peaked at No. 5 on the US Billboard Charts and landed in the top spot on charts in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
By 2007, Shmelev began a new business venture with partner Julia Kurbatova, creating JK Music Group, a company whose uniqueness is centered around its pairing of artists with producers. One year later, Shmelev and Kurbatova's hard work caught the attention of Joe Simpson, father to singers, Ashlee and Jessica Simpson, and owner of Papa Joe Records. In collaboration with Papa Joe Records, Shmelev and Kurbatova co-executive produced a project for Russian pop star An-Ya, which forged their relocation to the United States. In collaboration with Papa Joe Records, Shmelev and Kurbatova co-executive produced a project for Russian pop star An-Ya, which forged their relocation to the United States. Continuing to work in different facets of the industry, coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit allows Oleg to delve into new ventures. He has since founded ASK Music Group with the help of Julia Kurbatova and songwriter /producer Walter Afanasieff, whose credits include extensive work with Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion, most notably penning her 1999 hit 'My Heart Will Go On' which won a Grammy in the Record of the Year category. Additionally, Shmelev and Kurbatova have also started working on the show 'Big Mixx' a re-birth of the 80s show 'Solid Gold,' with Al Masini,
creator and executive producer of show's like 'Entertainment Tonight', 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,' and the 1998 Miss Universe pageant.
Since being stateside, JK Music has also landed a reputable collaboration with American Idol judge and Grammy-winning producer Randy Jackson and his Dream Merchant 21 label.
As one of the primary executives of the company, Oleg Shmelev continues to stay at the forefront of creative operations at JK Music Group, discovering and cultivating new talent and pairing them with some of music's best producers in order to generate monumental and timeless hit records.
Oleg's undying dedication to music is poised to make JK Music Group one of the top record labels in bridging the gap between Russian talent and Hollywood's entertainment professionals. His extensive knowledge of the industry, and eye for finding new talent continues to help JK Music Group grow into the recognizable brand that it is today. With a roster full of extraordinarily talented artists, and under the guidance of Oleg Shmelev, JK Music Group will continue to be a prosperous force in the industry.