Writer, Producer, Player
Hello I'm Benjamin Thomas aka Beatzy. Depending on which day of the week it is, I can be found traversing the magical landscapes of music production, songwriting, performance, photography, mycology and twerking. I'm a classically trained multi-instrumentalist who's also equally at home working with singer songwriters and electronic artists.
I suppose I'm kind of that off beat, swamp funking, deep pocket dropping, disconcertingly attractive guy with a laugh more memorable than my name. Titles and self promotion have always made me uncomfortable, which is clearly why I take pleasure in being the guy behind THE guy. At the root of it all, I've always been in love with all aspects of creation, and working with a variety of talented artists.
Over the last eighteen years I've been very privileged to have been in the studio and on stage around the globe with (warning: imminent name dropping approaching) number one selling artists James Taylor, Alannah Myles, Newton Faulkner, Carly Simon, Mica Paris, Jonathan Edwards, John Forte and Nervo. Including the incredible talents of Ben Taylor, David Saw, Taka Boom, Cajun Dance Party, Sonna Rele, Kerry Leatham, Kate Taylor, Martina Topley Bird.
Working from a beautiful studio in the heart of Oxford UK, I offer a 360 degree service, from writing, instrumentation, arrangement, production and mixing.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
Interview with Beatzy
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm especially proud of the last Carly Simon and Ben Taylor albums I produced and played on.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently working on an English Language Music education project, a singer songwriter project and my own first electronic EP.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: A mix of both, depending on what the project is or the goal of the situation. Neither is better or worse in that respect.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I never quit until your happy.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The variety of talented people I get to work with and chasing after those fleeting moments of inspiration.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How do I get to do what you do lol. No it's usually how quickly can you do this and can you make it sound really expensive for very little money lol.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That we're all only ever after the hit record.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Well it's almost always time frame and budget. Then it get's down to the more intangible aspects and questions of how best to allow the magic to happen!
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: It's important to have a clear idea of exactly what your end goal is. Or to simply know that you don't have one and are looking for vision.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A piano, digital recorder, a pair of gorgeous stereo mic's and headphones.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I left school at 15 and started playing professionally in London with Chaka Kahn's sister Taka Boom. Since then I've toured and produced around the globe for 20 odd years now.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I always bring a strong sense of musicality and understanding of the pocket to the table, but with a futuristic edge. I'm always looking for that next sound or to find that space in the air where a live instruments sweet spot resides.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: To be honest I've not really thought about it, I'm happy working with most people.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Never get lost in the details. The quality of the idea always supersedes everything else.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Really across the board from singer songwriter based styles to hardcore EDM and left field craziness.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I would like to think it is bringing out the best in everyone I work with. My proudest work has been when a team creates something bigger and better than one person alone could ever do. Bringing inspiration and dedication to every part of the process is my strongest quality.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring 24 years of experience to the table. I've worked with legendary singer songwriters, the latest electronic artists, orchestras, teenage bands and a variety of songwriters. Having had such a broad experience enables me to get the best out of other writers and keeps my quality level consistently high.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I work all times of the day and night depending on when inspiration strikes! Saying that my average day is usually from 10am - 6pm. My work process is quite disciplined and I like to have a clear plan of a project and well defined time frame of the process. I also work online a lot and deliver various aspects of a project over skype.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: It's a great 1,500 sqft studio in the heart of Oxford UK (with loads of parking!) The studio is professionally soundproofed and features 2 great sounding live rooms and a vocal booth. It has a great selection of high end microphones and vintage instruments. It's a digital (logic X based) set up with some nice preamps and there's a music store 2 minutes around the corner for anything else that may be required on a session.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: David Sylvian, Prince, Barry White, Eric Satie, James Brown, Nile Rodgers, Daft Punk, Justice, James Blake.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: As a writer - producer - multi-instrumentalist I work on three levels. I love co-writing with artists or simply advising, editing and proofing other writers work. As a producer I'm always writing music from the ground up and producing finished records. As a musician I mostly play on everything I produced and do a lot of session work.