I’ve had a few people ask me recently why I only produce singers and songwriters so I thought I’d talk about it here.

Let’s take Derby, where I’m based. Although a small city, it has a lot of recording options: Bands have a choice of two superb recording studios, both with professional set ups: Dubrek and Snug. If you want recording on location or at a gig, then someone like Chris Harding at Learn Create Record is your master. And there are countless dance music producers around, each accomplished in their own field.

My job is different; I focus on producing records for singers, songwriters and solo artists, creating their arrangements and recording them in an intimate environment. It’s a little niche I carved for myself and I love doing it for two reasons:

Firstly, I love the fact that solo artists have one undiluted vision. Bands, by their very nature, are a compromise and I’ve found it very rare for a band to all agree on something. Solo artists see a goal and run towards it.

I like to get inside an artist’s head. Talk about what sort of sounds they want, work with them, get the best out of them and give them my undivided attention to make the best recordings they can.

Secondly, I get to play on their records! Being a multi-instrumentalist, I get to sit in my studio creating sounds and arrangements surrounded by real instruments – guitars, drums, percussion etc.  It’s amazing to help albums develop over time, from a handful of rough demo ideas to fully produced records with songs sounding good enough to play on radio and potentially sell to the world.

Although a large proportion of the artists I’ve produced have been from the East Midlands (Derby, Nottingham, Leicester etc), I’ve started distance working with people from further afield, including Los Angeles, Manchester and even Lanzarote, showing that if people have access to recording facilities locally, they can send me the files and I’ll do the rest.

It’s not a bad job at all.

By Ben Haynes