I've lived music for over 25 years, starting as a touring musician and evolving into a producer. I found my absolute favourite part of it; engaging with great artists, and helping them to get to the place they want to be, with instrumentation, arrangement, recording and mixing. Trust me to help your songs and turn your vision into a reality.
People come to me because they've heard what I've done with others..."names" or not...all I care about is the quality!. I'm not the man for EVERY genre of music out there.. it would be a little suspect to claim equal skills and passion for all areas ...But if you're into great songwriting, band-based or acoustic, Country, pop, jazz, those are areas I'm very comfortable with, and really enjoy. I work from my own lovely studio in the Hertfordshire countryside (UK): whether a client visits or not, I always like her or him to know where all the work on their songs was done...it's just nice to know. My studio is a vibey converted brick barn, great for creativity but also acoustically designed for mixing. The skills I draw on are various; I cut my teeth as a touring keyboard player, a role which took me around the world for many years with some big names from past decades. You can assume from that that I can play piano, synths, hammond etc, and that I'm really good at finding sounds / creating textures. I have also toured and recorded as a bassist. Studio-wise, I am an experienced programmer, producer and mixer, and have a trusted network of great players / friends who can provide drums, brass, strings, vocals etc etc. You can use me to do / oversee the whole thing or just lay down one instrumental part..your choice entirely. Let's talk! I'm very into creativity + imagination.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
10 Reviews - 2 Repeat ClientsEndorse Phil Taylor
Working with Phil has been fantastic; from the start his focus was on what I wanted to achieve & getting under the skin of my musical influences to help me find the sounds I’ve been looking for.
His support has been invaluable, moving the production of my tracks to genuine next level; sourcing & recording musicians, providing guidance on techniques and always with a collaborative approach.
I’m looking forward future work with Phil, continuing to take advantage of his wealth of experience
Phil has been a huge help in the development of my recorded sound to this point. What he has provided me with has given me the chance to complete my first album, and I am sure we will work on future projects together.
We're half way through our work with Phil on an album of my songs, and it's been a very pleasant journey so far. Highly recommended!
I was on a deadline and Phil did 150% more than I expected! Not only did we have beautiful communication but we had what really counts.. musical communication where us being miles and miles apart were able to communicate what was needed for the song. He's got such a musical instinct and understanding of the Beatles that just totally enhanced the song and didn't make it corny or take away. Phil's a talented guy but also completely respectful and easy and enjoyable to work with!
Having worked with Phil many times over the last 8 years with a number of renown artists, I can fully endorse his thoroughly dynamic and musical production skills. His recently revamped studio in Hertfordshire is also a great attribute. GO PHIL !!
Just listen to my debut album, 'A Shake Of The Hand', produced by Phil Taylor, and you will witness the magic that he is capable of. His production was absolutely flawless and throughout the whole process, Phil was attentive, creative, patient and totally in sync with my vision. Phil is fantastic to work with and his studio is so welcoming and vibey. I loved every minute of making this album and I'm so grateful to Phil for his hard work, knowledge, skill, high standards and excellent musicianship.
I have known Phil Taylor for over 30 years and have worked with him extensively in every setting you can imagine. He is an extremely gifted musician with an original twist on anything that he does. His dedication to getting something right Is inexhaustible. He has a slightly surreal sense of humour but once you get used to that the music will speak for itself. Use Phil for either crazy harmonies with his vocals bass playing guitar playing and of course keyboards
I had the pleasure of working with Phil on the song ‘My Faith.’ It was one of those rare occasions a producer/songwriter successfully tapped into what I wanted from a song, so much so that it feels like I wrote it myself.
It was one of the easiest sessions I’ve had, to the point we ended up using the demo as the final. Everything just clicked; the quality was there from the beginning. That’s how Phil works, delivering musical brilliance in the most natural way.
It’s a blessing that I had the opportunity to make music with him & I would highly recommend him to anyone.
Phil and I have worked together over many years which was/is enjoyable/relaxed whilst being creative/productive. He really knows his stuff, gear, programming, recording, keyboards, bass and much more. He also drinks Rooiboss tea and can do a good Liverpool accent 😉
All I have to say is that Phil is the ‘Lord Of The Chords’ - an incredible multi instrumentalist, arranger, producer, songwriter and human.
Interview with Phil Taylor
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I am helping a songwriter / artist to develop his treasured demos into something he is truly proud of. Am also making my own album in amongst various one-off mixing and arrangement assignments.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: A bit of both in my studio...people do ask me to put certain things through an analog tape stage, but to be truthful I am finding that the capability of plug ins now renders this process unnecessary. I know having a reel to reel on show in the studio ticks certain people's boxes, but I only really trust what I hear, not what I see. Having said that, I do always end up favouring a "warmer" sound overall.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you take my demo and give me a record ? My answer: yes
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That's hard to answer truthfully. I don't really know (or care) what people who are unaware of our process think, and when people DO get involved in it they totally get it ... maybe people think you can definitely get a satisfactory end result within a set time? I don't believe the measure should be time, it should be quality, which is why I prioritise that.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was always making my own music from the outset, but my career path took me on the road as a touring keyboard player / bass player/ acoustic guitarist with a variety of household name artists. I have played gigs in every country it is possible to gig in, seen far too many hotels and airports, and consequently began transferring my weight back on to the production foot around 15 years ago, and have been in studio / home mode since then whilst keeping my gig muscles alive now and then when I'm asked to do short stints...it's a nice balance to have.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Paul McCartney, Beck, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Sam Fender, Laura Mvula
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Go for a walk....get some objectivity....listen to other music. Remember that the most important ears and hearts that need to be moved are non-musicians and non-producers....the listeners!!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a huge knowledge of pop and all its branches including jazz to my approach. This really helps the range of choices and inspirations we can discuss together and draw from. I know where the "bar" is, and therefore set very high standards across every aspect of a new song that comes to me. Every hit in the past has gone through a process of constant editing and redrafting before it emerged in its known form, and that is how I approach anything I produce. Musically I bring a very wide range of options to any artist, from the most intimate instrumentation, to full-on productions in all directions...whatever the song / artist needs. If required I am well qualified and happy to give feedback on lyrics too. It IS a job, yes, but I always treat it as fun.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am inspired by any producer who has the intelligence and wisdom to identify what it is that is unique about their artists, and then only work to enhance that, so names like Rick Rubin spring to mind. I don't need to be known for "my sound" . I'd be known for being a chameleon, able to change and adapt to each artist. Musicians I admire: Hard to compress into this box, because there are so so many, ranging from virtuosos like Jaco Pastorius and Herbie Hancock to great artist-musicians like Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell, and then to iconic studio players like Larry Carlton, and James Jamerson, and then all the great song players who made those great records what they are by playing simple but hooky parts.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: A complete production package. Stages of this are typically 1. Getting to know each other, the brief, 2. making initial sketches to establish we're on the same page. 3. building on those sketches / chats to create the full arrangement, however big or small, involving live instruments where needed. 4. reviewing / tweaking. 5. Mixing & mastering.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My first Soundbetter job, Finnish artist Leo Khirug. (Role: Producer, multi instrumentalist, mixer) has so far been a very musically rewarding experience. Outside this platform I have produced albums for Odette Adams and Lily Tonico, both of which I am very proud of.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I would recommend Steve Turner, a fabulous string arranger with an ever growing impressive client list...and he tours with Jeff Lynne's ELO too!. A great professional and nice guy. A young production team who share my name: The Taylor Twins: Check them out...extremely song-friendly and sympathetic producers with all the playing and production skills at their fingertips....create exciting and dynamic tracks!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will always go the extra mile.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Meeting interesting people in an area that is their greatest passion....it may not always be their paid profession, but it is always very close to their heart, so I know how special it is for them to be in this process with me. Working in music production is all about feeding and generating enthusiasm, which leads to great music.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are your inspirations? Have you been involved in studio recordings before, and if so can I hear them and discuss your thoughts on them? How do you feel about constructive criticism if I feel it is needed in order to push to a better end result?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Even if it's just one song, it is still a relationship out of which a great end result has to emerge, so put in the time to get to know the provider a little first. How do you feel your communication flows? Do they understand what you are doing and what you envisage? It's never time wasted developing that trust. If this initial stage feels tricky it may well be a sign that you need to continue your search elsewhere.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Musical gear? Some big acoustic screens to keep the sun off me :) I guess you want a more nerdy answer here? Would there be power?? I think it would have to be a keyboard, a guitar, a bass, a microphone, a laptop loaded with Logic etc...strange question which I wonder how other would answer...a specific piece of outboard gear??
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Thoughtful, creative, imaginative, enthusiastic, communicative, musical, flexible.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: To say "songs" may seem too broad an answer, but that is the truth. I am inspired by anything with a great feel and personality, and that can manifest in all kinds of music. I do not do Rap tracks, because I'd feel totally inauthentic in trying to channel such a specific cultural expression...I'd be a fake, and I don't get involved in EDM generally because, again, it is a very "tribal" genre that you either do 100% or not at all.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Creating uniquely tailored treatment of my clients' songs.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start by intently listening to the artist, get to know them and inspire their confidence in me, including sharing my own experiences in this process, then follow this with initial sketches. Then, depending on feedback, I go either in a straight line from the sketch or take a sharp left or right turn! On the odd occasion when I truly feel something could be better I will never hold back from constructively pointing this out, whilst giving them solutions at the same time. As described in box # 1 above, the process then goes into that mode of trying various things out with instruments or programming until that magic relationship is achieved which sounds like it was "always meant to be". That is the goal.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is in a brick barn on my property here in the county of Hertfordshire in England. I have daylight flooding in through large windows and have created a very homely, creatively inspiring space which does not shout "technology"! The gear is simply a means to an end, and should not dictate the feel of a place in my opinion. My system is Logic X Pro based, and I have an impressive array of Universal Audio emulations of all the classic outboard gear, plus more than enough processing and instrumental plug ins. My monitoring is Adam Audio and PMC. My microphone collection includes Neumans, Sontronics, Rode, Telefunken Sennheiser and BPM Studiotechnik. It's a friendly and welcoming place, with chickens wandering about outside, and private parking.