Hey there I'm Dakota! I am a Top 5 Billboard Charting songwriter & producer working in Nashville for the past 12 years and am excited to hear your music! I have co-written many singles including the Platinum-Certified Hit "Old Country Soul" by Universal Music recording artists The Reklaws which reached #4 on Billboard and over 7 million streams.
I have also written songs for Tyler Hilton (One Tree Hill, Walk The Line), Tucker Beathard (Warner Music), James Barker Band (Universal Music), and many more. My songs have been featured on Pawn Stars, Discovery Channel, VH1, NFL, and the hit Showtime series Shameless.
I LOVE writing songs, from catchy melodies to great lyrics and everything in between. And because I've been doing this full-time for so long, my turn around time is quick without sacrificing quality.
I also do production with my good buddy Eric Torres, who co-produced and mixed Jimmie Allen's record "Mercury Lane" and Matt Stell's record "Everywhere But On" and was nominated for a Grammy for Jamey Johnson’s album “Guitar Song”. We use top tier studio musicians who have played on records for Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Janson, Jimmie Allen, Sam Hunt, Luke Bryan and many more. We do a lot of remote work for artists all over the world, so if you're looking for production, we're your team.
I look forward to hearing from you and making great music together!
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
11 Reviews - 4 Repeat ClientsEndorse Dakota Jay
Second time working with Dakota, and it's a home run every time.
He was able to totally understand the mood and vibe of the song and the kind of lyrics that I wanted.
Will definitely work with him again.
What a perfect team with Jay Dakota ! I would definitely recommend his service. Lots of understanding, talent, and excellent collaboration ! It was just perfect !
Absolutely amazing job with Jay. He pays attention to our expectations and he is very involved (sharing and exchanging) ideas.
I highly recommend his services.
Nice guy / very creative
Used my vision and made my song better !!
It's like Dakota can look into my mind. He knew exactly what I wanted and what changes should be made in the song to make it a hit song. I'm so proud of the result, would definitely work with him again!!
Excellent and fast work, would definitely work with Dakota again in the future !
Dakota is an amazing songwriter! He thinks outside of the box and delivers fresh powerful lyrics. He did a great job grasping the concept of my song and ensuring every line we wrote flowed, with meaning. Highly recommend working with this guy.
Great to work with. Keeps you in the loop every step of the way and makes sure your piece is exactly what you wanted. Worth every Penny
Dakota was great to work with. He was quick and responsive and allowed ideas to flow naturally without many preconceived notions. He was helpful in guiding the song from an idea to a finished product, adding his own material to things I had already come up with. The creative process flowed smoothly and I enjoyed the collaboration. Would definitely work with him again and would recommend him to anyone.
Dakota is wonderful to work with! He included me in every stage of the recording and production process, and created an environment in which I felt safe and confident in to explore my musical options. His playing and instrumentation choices always elevate the song without ever overshadowing the writing or singing, and his collaboration with Eric is second to none. We worked together on my first project and remotely on the second, and I can't wait to hear what we create next.
Dakota is one my favorite songwriters to work with. We consistently turn out great songs together and I always get great sounding recordings from his studio. If you’re wanting to write songs that sound fresh with lyrical ideas that haven’t been said before, then Dakota is the person you need to write with.
Interview with Dakota Jay
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 songwriting and guitar playing on The Reklaws Universal Music Gold Record “Freshman Year”. I wrote “Wish You Were Beer” (their biggest streaming non single song) and the hit single “Old Country Soul” which is Certified Platinum and reached #4 on Billboard.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Lots of artists projects, some indie and some major label and lots of co-writing.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Steve Rivers with East Town Sound is a great dude and super talented.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both, analog gear into digital for editing. There’s something magical you can only get from analog gear and there something magical about editing in digital to keep your creativity flowing.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise that I will put my heart into every song and do my very best to achieve whatever my client envisions for their art.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love creating and I love hanging out with creative people. It’s a lifestyle and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I feel like customers ask me about my process and that is one thing I’ve always strived to make the easiest and most efficient for my clients. These songs are their babies and I respect that and want them to feel 100% confident that they will be apart of the process and end up with exactly the song they envisioned.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People think the music biz is all fun and games but it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Long hours, late nights, and little thanks, but there’s no better feeling than hearing a song you wrote and produced on the radio.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I usually ask my clients who their inspirations are and if they have any references to songs they would like similar results in regards to songwriting and sonic production.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Keep your energy positive and upbeat and things will work out for you. Also, just be a good person to the people around you.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My Martin, my Tele, my PBass, my Neve channel and my Adam’s monitors.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I’ve been writing songs since I was 8, but consider the beginning of my professional songwriting career when I started working with David Ivory (The Roots, Atlantic Records) about 15 years ago.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is laid back and go with the flow, but also very attentive to detail. I want the people I work with to feel comfortable throwing out ideas and bringing their strengths to the table.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Taylor Swift, Eric Church, Dua Lipa.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Get the song right before you record it and take time to find the best and simplest parts when tracking that elevate the song and singer.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I work on all different kinds of Country music from pop to Americana, but have also had success in Pop and Hip-Hop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My ear for songwriting, dynamic production, and the sensibility for a hit song is my strongest skill.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: The most important thing I bring to a song is 15+ years of songwriting experience. To me this is the number one thing when recording music because of the song isn’t exactly where it needs to be, the rest won’t matter. Once a song is at its full potential, in my experience, production and mixing happen much more naturally and musically.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: The most important thing to me is achieving my client’s vision and that is in the front of my mind through out my entire process. I start by making sure the tempo, key, feel, and structure are all correct when I send the very first rough worktape to my clients and keep them involved in the creative process every step of the way by sending new versions as instruments are added. This way they are 100% apart of their project.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I currently record in a newly built studio in Nashville with a sound proof and sound treated recording booth. My preamps include Rupert Neve Shelford Channel (arguably the best sounding mic pre on the market) for my instrument tracking and the Aurora Audio GTQC for that rich vintage vocal sound. I use high end instruments including a 2003 Martin D35, 2009 American Special Fender Telecaster and PBass, and I record through impeccable Soyuz handmade microphones. For monitors I use pro Adam’s AX7’s and Universal Audio Apollo for my interface.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My biggest inspirations come from musicians who are not just very talented, but also have a next level work ethic. Some that come to mind are Max Martin, Taylor Swift, and Tom Petty. Great songwriters with stellar work ethics.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The two services I provide the most to clients are songwriting and production. I have put my 10,000 hours in on songwriting over the past 17 years and consider myself a master songsmith achieving Gold and Platinum certification. I also have been producing songs for 10 years and currently co-produce projects with my good friend Eric Torres, who has recently produced and mixed 3 #1 songs for Jimmie Allen and Matt Stell.