How did you meet Jake?
Jake got in touch with me over email to work on some music for him in a new Country/Rap direction – we had a Skype chat and started from there. I met him in person a few weeks later when he came over to my studio to record vocals.These days, a lot of collaboration can be done over the internet but at the end of the day there really is nothing like having someone next to you in the studio.
How long have you been a Music Producer?
Full time for about seven years, and before that about ten years. Even before that, when I was in bands, I was the one trying to tell the others what to play, how to sing, telling engineers how to mix the songs. I always wanted to be involved in all aspects of the music, and prefer the studio to live work, so production was an ideal job for me. It’s clearly my niche.
What’s your favourite Genre to work in?
I come from a band background and tend to work in guitar/piano based genres – pop, rock, indie, country, acoustic. Singer/songwriter stuff, although I usually add my unique brand of ambience to most things I do. So when Jake told me he was an R&B artist I had to hold my hands up and say that I’d not had that much experience of R&B. Luckily, he wanted Country with just an R&B tinge, which works better than it should!
Who are your influences?
Production-wise, I have so many influences it would take up most of this website’s space. Let’s just say George Martin for his ideas, can-do attitude and pioneering, and Brian Eno for his atmospherics and refusal to follow the rules.
Artist-wise, again, I have so many. Early U2, REM, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, New Radicals, Doves, Blue Nile, Clannad, Richard Hawley, Madonna, Simon and Garfunkel, Chic, Neil Young, Coldplay, George Michael, The Police, Deacon Blue, Taylor Swift (up til Red), John Mayer, New Order, Faith No More, Mansun, Fleet Foxes, Smashing Pumpkins, Prince, Radiohead, Norah Jones, War On Drugs.That’s just off the top of my head!
What’s it like working with Jake ?
Terrible. He kept flicking rubber bands at me.
I’m joking – it was great. It’s always good to work with someone that has clear ideas of what they want, which Jake certainly has. He knows exactly what he wants from a track, which makes my job easier. His lyric writing was so natural that when he sent his first draft of lyrics over I actually forgot to say whether they were any good or not, because they fit in so effortlessly! The first song we did together, Gullible, is quite a funny song and I keep finding new highlights of the lyrics as I work on the song. Aside from that, his vocal timbre is very easy to record.
Any success stories you can share with us?
I have had little snatches here and there. Plays on Radio 1 and 2. A song that was very nearly the UK’s entry in Eurovision. A song that’s had 1.5 million Spotify plays. What I’d dearly love is for one of the artists I work with to break through and get a hit. Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift both worked with producers early in their career and kept using them for their few first albums. I’d like that. (Easier said than done!)
What do you like to do when you’re not working on Music?
Honestly, music is my only interest, so I’m usually at a loss for what to do when I’m not producing, composing, recording or reading about music! I am married with two young children and I do enjoy going for walks with them on the weekend. I’ve also started brewing my own beer which tastes………interesting.
Where can we find out more about you?
www.haynesmusic.com tells you everything, freshly redesigned for 2018.
What do you have planned for 2018?
I’m looking forward to hearing the songs that artists I work with will come up with in 2018. It never ceases to amaze me, the talent that is out there. Also, I’m now at the stage where I have the luxury of picking and choosing the artists I want to work with, so it’s quality rather than quantity.