Two time Top 10 Billboard charting recording artist and songwriter. Home studio with a Neve 1073 pre-amp into a Neumann u87 makes for clean, professional recordings.
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Interview with Jaki Nelson
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm very proud of my song "Dancing With Strangers". I wrote it with Grammy winner Dave Aude and Lauren Dyson (writer for BTS). It went Top 10 on Billboard as the only independent song in the top 20, and we got to tour with it all over California.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm making the transition from relying on other people to produce my songs to just doing it on my own and hiring a mixer/masterer.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Ron Geffen. GREAT producer, and he's crazy fast. He once sent me a master in the time it took me to drive home from his studio. Tell him I sent you!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. Who wants to be sitting around cutting tape all day?
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will always do what I said I would do. I will get your project done in the amount of time I said I would. Guaranteed.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I'm a lifelong computer nerd. I love sitting in my studio and making my recordings and productions PERFECT.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I've had a lot of producers ask me how I am able to phase myself on a double. I guess I'm really really consistent! lol
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That just because I'm a trained singer, that I'm not a musician. I have years of ongoing music theory study, piano study, and thousands of hours of classes and experience in production.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Is there a strict deadline? I might ask for a key change if it's too low or high for me. If it's not listed, I'll ask what BPM it's in.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I have RBF, but I'm friendly, promise!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Neumann u87, Neve 1073, my computer, and my Korg Grandstage. Don't need a fifth. ;)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started singing somewhere around birth, started taking piano and voice lessons around 8, got really into production at about 17, and I've been doing it ever since.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Pop leaning.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: The Monsters and Strangerz. They're the best in the industry.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: After you time all of your vocals perfectly, move the whole vocal 2 or 3 milliseconds to the right. It'll make the whole vocal feel more relaxed.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Dance, Indie Dance, Indie, and Pop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: In-studio vocals.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Years of in-studio experience, as well as on massive stages. I've charted as a songwriter and recording artist on Billboard 4 times, 2 of those times getting into the top 10. I've worked with Grammy nominees and winners and Mainstream Top 40 artists.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Once I have received the demo, I listen to it a few times with the lyrics in front of me, start learning it, breaking down the lyrics to understand what the song is about and how it should be sung, and then I start recording as soon as I can.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run Logic Pro X for recording purposes. I record into the industry standard Neumann u87 into a Neve 1073.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: About 60% of the artists on any given New Music Friday playlist. As far as specific artists, I love the style of Camila Cabello's voice, the writing style of Julia Michaels, and the production style of Selena Gomez.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I record final vocals for producers and songwriters at my home studio.