Everything needs purpose and less is more! I've led projects in small studios through to massive ensemble sessions in Abbey Road Studio1 & 2. Clients include, Paul Carrack, Polly Paulusma, ESPN, BBC, Disney and I led the Missing People Choir through to the live finals of BGT in 2017.
I offer production, recording, arranging, and mixing services. I'm very hands-on, creative and open minded whilst being a solid project manager and musical director.
Recently I've found a specialist skill in vocal arrangement and vocal ensemble production.
My background work experience is an eclectic mix of projects with major singer-songwriters, bands, TV and media, business branding and marketing campaigns, mass choirs and charity work.
I am an advanced pianist/keyboard player and am always performing in bands, as a soloist, and on sessions.
I'm always looking for the next musical challenge!
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
- The Rockabellas
- Florence Glen
- Christina Laroque
- The Games Maker's Choir
- rock choir
- Get Gospel
- nick patrick
- Simon Rhodes
- the Musician's union
- Kevin Konak
- Keith Ames
- The Lounge Kittens
- Andy gammon
- Peter Howarth
- Singing hands
- missing people charity
- Channel 5
- missing people choir
- britain's got talent 2017
- Choirs with purpose
- carol decker
- rick astley
- Michelle Mcmanus
- jodie prenger
- british army
- Paul Carrack
- Polly Paulusma
- Matt Dunkley
- John Rutter
- Evelyn Glennie
- Will Todd
- Debbie Wiseman
- the jive aces
- The Military Wives
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Interview with James Hawkins Music
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Mixing an album for the very talented songstress Polly Paulusma.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The Missing People Choir - it's doing something significant and purposeful with music.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Laptop, Lynx Aurora, Neve 1073, U87, ATC monitors
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: No career path other than saying YES to lots of jobs before I knew HOW to accomplish them!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less is more, focus on what's important.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Folk, modern choral, pop, singer-songwriter, funk/jazz
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Attention to detail, curiosity, quality time, care and commitment to maintaining the emotional and musical integrity of the song. I look for the identity of the artist in their songs and do my best to "up light" the vocalist with suitable musical arrangements and production.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: George Shilling of Bank Cottage Studio
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both - tone colour and practicality/efficiency of editing/recall and creativity.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To do my best.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The variety, the people and the achievement.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How long will we need to record our song(s)? Generally, this all depends on how well prepared/rehearsed and able you are to play accurately in as fewer takes as possible...
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I'm not sure...
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you want to achieve? How can I help you achieve your aims? Can you show me examples of what you have created and are most proud of? What 3 tracks would help me understand your musical intentions? How much are you willing to invest in your project? How do you have your tea/coffee?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Ask anything no matter how "silly" or small you think it might be. Be passionate about your music and what you want to achieve. Make sure your budget is going to be suitable for the task in hand - it costs to make great recordings plus we all need to pay the bills! Negotiate - don't be scared to negotiate!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Versatile, precise, quirky and creative, thoughtful, ambitious, sensitive, respectful.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I don't have an answer at this moment in time...good question though!
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Working with artists and helping them realise their musical intentions. I'm not a bad pianist and arranger either...
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Get to know the client as a person and learn what their musical intentions/influencers and general project ambitions/aims. Do some listening to tracks chosen by the client, discuss the production and get excited about all things musical. Jam and learn the clients songs from the piano, listen to their demos, start forming some ideas. Plan the dates, set the budget, hire the right folks, and begin the job! i tend to start with making guide tracks with vocal and one harmonic instrument, and then begin "dressing" the arrangement. After arranging and recording I'll move into the final mixing phase before the final detailing phase...send the music off for mastering and we are generally done!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: A production suite with separate live room, Protools Ultimate, Logic Pro x, Lynx Aurora, Neve 1073 pres, ATC SCM25a monitors.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Production - I manage projects from start to finish.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Simon Rhodes, George Shilling, Ralph Salmins, Geoff Gascoigne, George Martin, Bob Chilcott, Karl Jenkins, Jason Rebello, Sting, Mary J Blige, Dave Wekl, Steve Gadd, Frank Sinatra...Toto...etc