A lot of people are surprised by the fact that I work with a lot of overseas artists, so I thought I’d do a short blog about how this one came about.

Italian singer, songwriter and guitarist Irene Conti got in touch with me in November last year to producer her single, Say Hey!, which is out this week.  It’s an upbeat dose of positive energy, which I think is something that the world needs at the moment.

After a few emails back and forth, we set up a Skype chat.  If working remotely, I always think it’s useful to have a Skype chat with someone so we can get to know each other, ask any questions, and I can find out more about the project.

We chatted about her inspirations and what she wanted out of the song, and she sent me the track Say Hey which, even as a rough demo, sounded wonderful.

From there, I went away and make a little “tempo test demo”.  This is basically a very rough sketching of the song with looped drums and piano chords, just so we can establish things like tempo, key and structure before I go ahead and arrange the song properly.  After all, it’s no fun to be asked to change the key of a song after everything is recorded!

Irene is a superb guitarist so she went me an acoustic guitar tracks and guide vocal to work to and I set about creating the track with a multitude of drums and percussion, bass, piano, electric guitars and shouty vocals.  We emailed ideas back and forth, Skyped when we needed to.

When the instrumentation was finished, Irene recorded the vocals at home and send a few vocal takes for me to choose from, although they were all pretty much perfect.  I then mixed the track (a few mixes got it just right) and it was mastered by John McBain in the USA.

Irene is one of the nicest and most genuine people I’ve ever met.  We’re now working on a second song which is very nearly complete and is one of the most emotionally affecting songs I’ve worked on.  Watch this space!

You can listen to Say Hey! on Spotify or download from iTunes.