Fulltime songwriter, producer and mixer! Former musical director of SIGRID.
I'm a 30 year old dude from Norway. I have a bachelor in jazz-piano, composition and arranging. After graduating I spent 4 years on the road, touring the world as MD and keyboardist for the norwegian artist Sigrid.
I used Ableton Live to program her live-show and synthesizers which was used for performances at The Tonight show starring Jimmy Fallon, The late show with Stephen Colbert, James Corden's late late show amongst many others. Also at big festivals like Coachella, Glastonbury, Roskilde and all tours including an arena-tour as warm-up act for Maroon 5 in Europe.
I'm a mf in Ableton and use it for everything I do. Ranging from sound-design, via synth-programming to producing and mixing tracks for a wide variety of clients. I've done quite a bit of orchestral arranging. Amongst other things I did an orchestral arrangement for Sigrids performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert back in 2017 (link on my website).
I like music which has a "vibe". I believe in making music that touches people. It doesn't matter if it's analog or digitally created. People tend to forget that the broader audience don't care about how you got from A to B. They want to listen to music that makes them FEEL something. I can help you make that music :D
Send me a note through the contact button above.
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Interview with Martin Vinje
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I just produced a song for a guy who came to be with only lyrics. He needed a topline, chords everything. I made the production first and had a session with a couple of topliner-friends of mine and we wrote him a killin' tune that he absolutely loved!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Right now I'm working on a new project together with a singer called Live Foyn Friis. We make pop but with jazzy-harmonies and phrasing. Also writing in norwegian (my mother-tongue) for the first time which is both scary and fun at the same time.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Probably but since I haven't found a search function I haven't found them yet. Make contact if you know me!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: It's 2021. Really? It's like good wine. even the best winemakers can't taste the difference if the blend is right.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will do my absolute very best no matter what the task is. Art is a fantastic thing and needs to be treated with respect.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I get to do something I love every day. I'm very humble and grateful for the possibility to do that.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Well since I don't list prices (because every job is different) most customers ask about prices. I make sure I've understood what they want me to do. Then I estimate how long it will take me to do and we take it from there.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I'm only 70% magician so if you send me a your vocal that you recorded trough the plumbing in your house it's only so much i can do! :D
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Most important. What kind of music do you like? Do you have any songs examples that has the vibe you're looking for? Is their a deadline? and finally what's the budget? ;)
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Think trough what you want to achieve by hiring someone. We get much faster and easier from A to B if you have thought trough why you want to spend money on hiring someone else to help you with your music :)
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A MacBook, a closed headset (so all the birds on the island wouldn't ruin my mixes), my SM7B mic,my Apollo Twin interface and an LPK 25 keyboard.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started with a bachelor in jazz-piano at the Grieg Academy in the tiny town of Bergen in Norway. During my studies I also worked freelance as a jazz-pianist. After I graduated I started a bachelor in early music studies with harpsichord as the main instrument. I didn't want to play old music but the teacher in harpsichord was a fucking great musician and also interested in synthesizers so we found a lot of common ground :D After a couple of years I got asked to play in the band of the (at the time) totally unknown artist Sigrid. She had just got a record deal and a management so I thought why not. After her first song (Don't kill my vibe) became a massive hit her career exploded and we went from playing at venues for 100 people to warming up for Maroon 5 on the European leg of their stadium tour. After 4 years of traveling 200 days a year the touring-fatigue was getting REAL. So I resigned so I could work as a producer and songwriter which I am now doing. I always wanted a cat and now I got one! #lifegoals
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: A blend of electric and organic? Have a lot of session musician I like to send songs to just to get their ideas and layer stuff. I also really like lo-fi and blowing shit up with distortion. Soundtoys Deviloc Deluxe. Best plugin EVER
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I think it would probably be fun to work with Adele. She seems really fun to work with has a wonderful sense of humor and have managed to stay grounded even tough she's achieved huge success. Great vocalist that kept it real against the wave of the SUPERHARDAUTOTUNE-trend.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Use other people! Ask them for feedback on your song, track, lyric. The greatest and least expensive resource are you're friends and co-musicians.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Music where it's possible to blend acoustic and electric sounds together is what I find most interesting. That combination can be found in most of the music I work with, it being pop, rock or indie. Even on EDM songs, having a real drummer layering the beat can make a cool vibe making the track feel more "human".
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I started out with a bachelor in jazz-piano and have since that worked 4 years as the key-board player and musical director of the scandinavian pop-artist Sigrid. So I guess I would say keyboard-parts and finding cool harmonies.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A good overview, extreme attention to detail and the most important : The understanding that the music has to make you FEEL something. If you think a vibe and feeling will "come in the mix" you're doing it wrong. A good mixer can enhance an already existing vibe but it's the producers job to make sure the track has that something that intrigues people. By choosing fitting and interesting sounds, making sure the arrangement makes the song feel as good as it can possibly do and keeping the listener engaged from start to finish. If the arrangement is good it doesn't matter if it's a 2.30 pop-banger or a 8 minute long singer-songwriter epos.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Start the day with a coffee and some new music. After that I hit whatever I'm working on hard for a couple of hours, making sure to take breaks to avoid ear-fatigue. I stop when I get to the point where I'm not sure if it's getting better or worse. The next day, repeat!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a pretty decent room in a studio-collective in Oslo the tiny capital of the tiny country Norway. I work in Ableton as it is the DAW I find it easiest to be creative feel inspired within. I have a UAD interface a couple of good vocal microphones and a shit-ton of plugins!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I find people who work extremely hard in order to achieve their goals inspiring. No matter what they do. Work hard, play hard!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I try to vary my work as much as possible so I stay inspired. I write a lot of stuff with different top liners and lyricists but I also produce music for people who has either a melody or the lyrics ready already. Sometimes it can be great to help people just adding the final touches on a song that lacks that little extra something. Every job is different really! I mix some stuff too :)