Austin-raised songwriter nets Grammy and Golden Globes nominations

Savan Kotecha. Photo courtesy of Kanani Songs
Savan Kotecha. Photo courtesy of Kanani Songs

Austinites who are fans of the soundtrack to the film “Fifty Shades of Grey” may be interested to know that one of its smash songs has a local connection. English singer Ellie Goulding’s hit “Love Me Like You Do,” nominated this week for both a Grammy (Best Song Written for Visual Media) and a Golden Globe (Best Original Song), was co-written by Savan Kotecha, who grew up in Austin.

The Kotecha family moved here from Virginia in 1992 when Savan’s father, Harish, took a job with the Austin office of IBM. Savan attended Westwood High School. “When we came here, he really wanted to do songwriting,” Harish said Thursday. Savan took music classes at Westwood and later briefly attended Berklee College of Music in Boston before spending several years in Sweden.

He eventually hooked up with major-league producer Max Martin (Britney Spears, ‘N Sync, Kelly Clarkson), with whom he shares a co-writing credit on “Love Me Like You Do,” along with Tove Nilsson, Ali Payami and Ilya Salmanzadeh. On Monday, it received a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Social Media, and on Thursday it became a Golden Globe nominee for Best Original Song.

Though it’s Kotecha’s first Grammy nomination, it’s hardly his first major success. He’s listed as co-writer on songs by Ariana Grande, One Direction, Maroon 5 and others. Kotecha now lives in West Hollywood, Calif.

Author: Peter Blackstock

Music writer for the Austin American-Statesman and Twitter: @Blackstock360

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