Origin of Stargate in Norway:
The production and songwriting team known as Stargate came together in Trondheim, Norway in the late 1990's. Originally, Stargate was a trio of Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel S. Eriksen (aka Mikkel SE), and Hallgeir Rustan. Many producers consider the Norwegian pop music market to be too small to earn a living simply promoting their records in Norway. Consequently, Stargate sought projects in other European countries, particularly the UK, to make ends meet for their studio.
Success in Europe and UK:
In the early 2000's Stargate became one of the most successful production teams in the UK pop market. They scored top 5 pop hit singles with a wide range of artists including Atomic Kitten, Blue, and Mis-teeq. However, by 2005, Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel S. Eriksen decided to take Stargate to an even larger music market.
Top Stargate Productions:
- 2001 - Blue - All Rise
- 2002 - Atomic Kitten - It's OK!
- 2002 - Blue - One Love
- 2003 - Mis-teeq - Scandalous
- 2006 - Ne-Yo - So Sick
- 2006 - Rihanna - Unfaithful
- 2006 - Lionel Richie - I Call It Love
- 2006 - Jessica Simpson - I Belong to Me
- 2006 - Beyonce - Irreplaceable
Move to New York:
In 2005, Stargate, now consisting of the pair Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel S. Eriksen, moved from Trondheim, Norway to New York City in the US. Although most of Stargate's success in Europe came with mainstream pop records, after they arrived in the US they followed a long-time dream of creating r&b and hip hop records.
Stargate Successful in US Pop and R&B Markets:
Early in 2006 Stargate celebrated their first top 10 pop hit single in the US as Ne-Yo's r&b ballad "So Sick" roared up the charts. Before long Stargate established their partnership as one of the top production and songwriting units in American r&b. The hits rolling out of Stargate studios included Rihanna's dramatic ballad "Unfaithful,", Beyonce's statement of independence "Irreplaceable," and Lionel Richie's comeback hit "I Call It Love."