I always start with the music first, and then I generally have a wish list of what singers I can imagine on a particular song. I also want to try new stuff, too. For example, the song I wrote with Snoop is a Reggae-Dubstep record, which I never write. It’s totally not what you would expect, but I wanted to try it out. So, I wrote a general concept and sent it to Snoop. He sent me his vocals, I re-wrote to his vocals, and then I fleshed it out. That’s essentially the process with every singer I work with.
Sometimes, we’re more hands-on. With Empire of the Sun, I wrote a version I could play in the club, then I got Luke Steele in the studio with me. We came up with the song writing structure for the vocals and how it would fit for our worlds combined. He wrote instrumentation and analog synths, then I came back and changed it up even more, and now it’s in a place I’ve never seen or heard before. I call it our “Electronic Dance Music Rhapsody.” It’s a “Bohemian Rhapsody” for dance music. I find this process exciting because I would have never gotten the song to the point it is at without him. It’s a true collaboration. I love working with singers who have musical sense and knowledge but can also play instruments.
Though I usually write the music first, I sometimes use a different process where I’ll give a singer a raw beat and have him or her sing different lines over and over again in the booth. Then, I’ll find one loop, and I’ll focus on that eight-bar section and build a song out from just the vocals. I find that when you can work with someone from scratch, which is what I did with Control Freak, you come up with something entirely different. I wrote a beat I thought he would like, but it didn’t really work, so we started from scratch. I wrote a bare beat and a few different rhythms to it. He was getting inspired off those rhythms and started writing a song, just top lines, then I wrote the melodic structure under his vocal and started sound designing all the synths and the base and deciding which drums to use. It was awesome.
More questions on Music Industry:
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
- NSA Is Letting its Chief Technical Officer Work 20 Hours a Week for a Private Company
- After 13 Years of U.S. Occupation, Afghanistan Opium Production Is at an All-Time High
- The Pennsylvania Fugitive Sniper Is Still at Large After 39 Days
- Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years, May Only Serve Ten Months
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?