A laid-back collaborator who puts equal emphasis on creative fun and sonic precision.
For over two decades I've specialized in writing and producing music in multiple genres for recording artists affiliated with major labels (Sony, BMG, EMI, Interscope, Universal, 4AD, Atlantic, S-Curve, True North).
Wearing a variety of hats in the audio production world keeps things fresh, fun and interesting. I often get involved in vocal production (including coaching, tuning and voiceover editing), mixing tracks and remixing for the club, sound design for art installations and contemporary dance, as well as contributing to music libraries for jingles and video games.
Honours include a Juno award for R&B production, a SOCAN Number One Song award as a songwriter, a Billboard Hot Plate for remixing and a Dora nomination for theatre composition.
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10 ReviewsEndorse Gavin Bradley
Gavin is seriously the best. He produced my song exactly the way I wanted!! I was so skeptical to hire someone online but I can 100% say that it was the best decision. He honored my vision the entire time, was so responsive, and SO fast!! He is so creative, talented, and his piano skills are unreal. I’d recommend him to anyone and everyone. Thank you so much, Gavin, for everything you did, I am so grateful I found you!!!
I have worked with Gavin as a singer, songwriter, and remixer and he always delivers music that is creative, emotional and brilliant. His songwriting skills are world class and his lyrical sense is always honest and heartfelt. He is easy to work with, ,technically adept at production and works well across genres. Honestly one of the best songwriters I have worked with.
I am a Toronto based independent choreographer. I have had a number of commissions and also a self produced show in last 2 years. I have collaborated with Gavin Bradley on 7 of the works. He is now my 'go to' person. Meticulous at sound editing and a wonderful collaborator. He is open, reliable, willing and honest. I very much trust him. I get such positive feedback on the sound scores we create. He is resourceful- I was creating in another city and we did all of our work through Skype! Such a formidable artist with huge integrity, a big heart and an incredible ear!
I write for theatre and television and I’ve had the privilege of working with Gavin for about ten years. He created and produced the music for my first play, Secrets of a Black Boy, and it was an amazing experience! Gavin did such an awesome job with the music that we were nominated for Dora award! He is super talented, pushes the envelope in terms of creativity and is very collaborative. From the beginning, Gavin has always been professional and great with deadlines, which are so important in this industry. I hope to have the opportunity to work with him again on a future film/tv project.
I’ve been working with Gavin since the start of my music career; he played a huge part in being able to establish myself professionally as an artist. Gavin helped me to develop my sound and understand fundamentals of the music industry from day one. Gavin has worked on all of my releases, and produced my most popular songs which have been featured on outlets like Noisey and The Source. Gavin is versatile and enhances whatever he works on, whether its as a songwriter, producer, or engineer. He’s easy to work with collaboratively and is a trustworthy, genuine, and cool person!!!
I’m a producer and composer for film, TV and AAA video games. Gavin has mixed pop records I produced and co-wrote. I was drawn to his work because of what I identified as a unique and rare talent for mixing and editing vocals. His skill gave the tracks a “high end polish” I was struggling to achieve on my own. When we listened to his “quick” masters against a high end UK mastering house I often used, his masters beat them. He’s incredibly underrated and most of all I think I learned more tools and techniques that have helped me be a better record-maker since working with him. Full co-sign.
I write scores for TV, Film and Games and Gavin has been assisting me on and off for the last three years. It took only two days of interning before I insisted on paying him as he was clearly a asset. He's helped me as a music editor, tackled cue sheets, set up Protools sessions, and bounced out stems. He has a versatile skill set, knows his way around a studio, is extremely musical, is a great hang, and is one of the only people I've ever trusted with my projects. Gavin is the dude!
I’ve been collaborating on house music with Gavin for over 20 years. He is excellent at helping flesh out ideas, creating keyboard parts, tweaking sounds & helping me create proper musical pieces within the confines of house. In 20 years we’ve had countless releases on established labels and even garnered commercial radio airplay. He’s incredible at what he does and I trust his instinct & knowledge 100%.
Gavin composed kick-ass musical scores for my feature-length documentary and trailer. He is a consummate professional and an absolute joy to work with. He's thoughtful, responsive, a good listener and communicator and brings a broad range of musical sensibilities to his work. He was able to masterfully translate my thoughts and directions into musical language. He has a very strong and professional work ethic, delivering on time and within budget. His approach to his work is comprehensive and he inspires trust and confidence. I have absolutely no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending him!
Gavin has been invaluable to my music career. His knowledge, creativity and ability to collaborate is unmatched. I would never hesitate to bring him in on any project I’m working on, purely because I know with him, it will make the project better.
Interview with Gavin Bradley
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Sometimes those who are new to the recording process can be self-conscious about having a limited vocabulary when discussing music. I encourage people to describe their vision to me in different ways. As we find common ground, I will fill in the vocabulary until we're speaking the same language. As experienced musicians know, a significant amount of studio time is spent putting in the experimentation necessary to find that spark of inspiration. And when it shows up, you stop noticing time passing at all.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: My clients can be labels sending in established artists, DJs/indie musicians taking their first steps in the studio, or other creatives from the film and television, theatre, dance and advertising worlds. I will ask questions to determine whether you are looking for creative or technical assistance from me (or a combination of the two), whether you have settled on your genre/sound and what your long- and short-term goals are.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was told I needed to wait until after my fourth birthday to be permitted to sit at my grandmother's piano, and also to put records on my parents' stereo. So I knew from a very early age what I wanted to do. I took years of classical piano and jazz saxophone, and began recording bands on a 4-track in high school. I studied film in University—because I have a love for it, and knew that I would at some point write music for it—but immediately after the program I knocked on doors of studios in Toronto and became an assistant engineer. I quickly expanded into songwriting and production, and within a few years I was working with artists signed to Sony Music, BMG and EMI both in Toronto and Los Angeles. I've been freelancing in music for over 25 years.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: There are often questions about process and how clients can prepare for sessions. In situations where a collaborator would like some time in between sessions to come back with fresh ears, I'm open to working once or twice a week with each of us coming back with new lyrical ideas, sonic references or a list of specific changes to production. For projects on deadline or those situations where a song takes on a life of its own, we can also plan for an unbroken creative flow over a period of days.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: First: I'm a dog with a bone when it comes to getting the details right in a piece of music. Second: I will move your project and career forward.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A Technics 1200 turntable and Moog synth. A Neumann U87 condenser mic, Avalon 737 preamp and a Mac running Pro Tools.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I like to fuse electronic and organic elements in interesting ways. That is something today's music calls for, but I've been doing it for a very long time.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I'm good at identifying what's creating the emotional pull in a piece of music and bringing that out. I'm also good at finding out what's special about an artist and amplifying that by writing and producing songs that showcase those strengths.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: If I'm writing with someone, we'll talk about what style of song they're thinking of and what they want to say. Often I'll put together one or more ideas to jump off of before we sit down together. We'll experiment with sounds, words and melodies and if we run out of ideas we'll take rough versions away to think about for a few days. Gradually we hone in on what the song wants to be. On a more technical job like editing for film, I get the files and instructions and get to work, sending iterations to the client for feedback.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: It's super simple now. I've gone minimalist so that everything will fit in my sound-treated den at home, because these days all you really need is a good microphone, a good pair of monitors and a fast computer. I use a lot of different software, but tend to bring everything into Pro Tools by the end of a project. I've opted for the classic monitoring system I learned on—Yamaha NS-10Ms with a matched subwoofer. I've got a few analog keyboards and effects units I keep around...and of course a Technics 1200 turntable for sampling.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: When shopping for the right audio professional it's important to understand that a producer can come to this work from a technical, creative or business background—and as a result the constellation of skills they offer will differ. Do you have a recording that you need altered? Are you a new artist wanting to write songs and find your sound? Have you already written your songs and want them to be produced professionally? Are you looking to a producer to connect you with record labels? Asking many questions in an initial consultation with help you identify your own expectations and determine the right audio professional for your project. And above all, make sure you vibe!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love the moment that a track really falls into place. That's a lift like no other. I love helping people express their feelings through lyrics and melody, and strategizing with them as they build a career.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Recently I have been writing and recording songs for EPs by a number of indie artists as well as editing music for CBC television shows and creating soundscapes for two choreographers.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'm going to say Frank Ocean. Sometimes I like making atmospheric beats that are a little bit sideways. I think we'd have fun putting something together.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When writing with singers, it's important to be be tuned in to how they need to record. Some singers' first takes of individual lines have the most feeling. Others turn in a performance when the song is fully written and they're confident that they've internalized it. Record everything, and commit to those moments that gave you goosebumps.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: There's stuff that excites me in almost every genre of music. I work fairly equally in electronic genres like pop, trap and house as well as organic genres like jazz and rock. Having composed for film, you develop that type of range.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I have love and respect for the production aesthetic of so many people, across many genres. From the versatile pop of Finneas to the urban beats of Noah '40" Shebib, house music producer MK to film composer Thomas Newman.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: On a creative level, I'm hired by recording artists/labels to co-write and produce music for release, or by filmmakers and choreographers to write music for their pieces. I also do an array of technical work like editing and tuning vocals, mixing songs or preparing backing tracks for live shows.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Some songs take shape over weeks or even months, but others arrive almost complete in an hour or two. 'Calling To Say (Merry Christmas),' a song I co-wrote and produced for Serena Ryder, is one that happened quickly and felt almost effortless. It ended up a staple at Canadian radio every holiday season and I love hearing it on the radio. I think we made something classic.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! Sometimes together. Digital is powerful and convenient. Analog's imperfections bring atmosphere.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Empathy—as it applies to our working relationship, as well as the ability to relate to the songs themselves.