I specialize in taking an artist's vision for a song and creating it into a reality. Whatever step you need help with in your creation process - whether it be melody/lyrics, the music behind the story, or simply adding the missing pieces to a musical puzzle you've already been working on, I will give it my all to help you create a song you love.
I've produced songs for clients all over the world in a variety of ways ranging from creating music behind an existing melody with lyrics - writing and creating the song top to bottom from scratch with the artist, or building a track based around a rough reference, voice memo or simple idea.
Having received a formal music education from Selkirk College (A Canadian affiliate school with Berklee School of Music) I double majored in both Music Production/Audio Engineering and Songwriting. Before school I cut my teeth as a guitar player and vocalist for a variety of different bands in different genres.
I now work full-time as a freelance producer, mix engineer, and top lining vocalist/songwriter in genres ranging from Modern Pop, Country Pop, R&B and rap to Alternative singer/songwriter and EDM.
In addition to my specialty working in cross fusion genres of pop/rnb/electronic, I also specialize in vocal production, mixing and tuning. With my background being a vocalist myself, I love working with all things vocal related.
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
3 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Gabriel Smith
Worked with gabe on 3 tracks this year and he really got the direction I was going in with each one. Amazing producer and was really good at incorporating different influences, references and sounds we discussed!
I have worked with Gabriel on an Edm track of mine, and we even got to perform the same song live once we finished! Flawless vocal performance! Does a great job of mixing and compressing his vocals, as well as sending separate, digestible, and organized stems. If you’re looking for a combination of top quality vocals and speedy delivery - look no further!
Been working with Gabe for over a year and a half and he is one of my go-to collaborators and producers here in Nashville. If you want to make absolute pop jams, he is your guy no question. Not only is Gabe super talented, he’s incredibly easy to work with, and makes making a music a fun and exciting experience. Bottom line: trust him with your musical babies and you won’t be disappointed.
Interview with Gabriel Smith
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I produced a record called "Blood In The Breeze" for an LA based Artist named Brandt Parks. Brandt wrote it to pitch for Sync for television. The song pretty much sounds like it was made to be the intro music for a murder mystery show like "True Blood" Or "True Detective". Brandt sent me his demo and it was just a simple acoustic guitar track along with his topline vocal melody and I had no idea where I was going to take it. I ended up sitting in a coffeeshop with my headphones on for about 10 hours where I finished the outline for the track.... at the end of that day I had totally reshaped the song into this beautiful, haunting, etherial kind of daydream of a song. I sampled and tweaked a ton of pedal steel along with a really creepy and dusty sounding organ. The summer before moving to Nashville I was living in Alaska where there is a nocturnal bird called a "Loon". A loon can be found around lakes at night and they make quite possibly the most terrifying bird noise known to man. It sounds like it's straight out of a horror movie track. So naturally In the song I used some voice memos I had taken of a loon screech I heard while I was at a lake in Alaska at 1AM. Never thought that would happen. Later in the production process I hired a friend of mine to put some live violin on the track - she told me the violin she used she had been gifted by her grandma and was around 80-90 years old and was basically an antique. I thought that was pretty cool. Overall I am super proud of this song because it was just so different from what I normally got to work on and I got to really push myself creatively. I feel like it's one of the most authentically cool and organic songs I've gotten to do.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Wrapping up some amazing records with a few different artists from all over. Currently very excited about a Pop Country record I'm doing with a London based artist as well as a topline I'm doing with a producer I work with in Minneapolis! Variety is so essential and keeps things interesting and moving forward.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Aron Rosing in Nashville is one of my favorite collaborators. We write together and have produced together on a number of different projects. Awesome musical taste and creativity.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! Because they're both awesome and have different flavors and vibes! It all depends.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will do my best to stay true to capturing your vision while also hopefully opening doors to a sonic world you might have never known you'd want to be a part of.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: You never know what opportunities might come up! Every song is different and there are infinite places you can take it. Every song is a new opportunity to try and learn something new and keep evolving and improving forever. and ever. and ever.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How do you like to work is generally the most common question. The short answer is I like to start by getting a good idea for what the artist/client is going for or any inspirations they might have for the song. Then I'll keep the client as involved as possible and send them a version pretty early on so as to get their feedback before we get to far in. Throughout the process I like to send them frequent updates and to get their feedback.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: There is an easy step by step process/formulaic process of how to write or produce a song. I feel like every time I take on a project I am starting from scratch with a blank slate.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are some of your influences with the project? What are some themes or lyrical/sonic ideas that you are envisioning? Tell me about your vision for this song. Pepsi or Coke? Are you a coffee drinker?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure you like the music on the portfolio of the provider you're hiring! Doesn't matter how big or extensive their credentials are if they don't have a style that will compliment what you're going after.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Aside from my MacBook, I would bring my Slate ML1, my UAD Apollo, my Shure SRH440 headphones, my Yamaha acoustic and one of those little baby AKAI minis. Sounds like a good time to me.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started off playing guitar when I was 14 years old. Fell in love with that and pretty much became obsessed with guitar until I was around 16 and started writing songs. I realized I sucked at singing so but couldn't find anyone else to sing my songs so I started singing and that became my new obsession! Got accepted to Berklee school of music for guitar performance at around 18 but couldn't afford the 200,000 tuition costs so I moved to Tucson, Arizona where I started fronting an indie rock band. During this time the drummer in our band helped us self - produce and mix a small EP which is where I first discovered the beautiful world of production. I had really struggled with being limited as a songwriter by just being able to sing and write on guitar or piano while I had all these giant ideas of how I wanted my music to sound, so when I discovered production I knew that would be my next step. At 19 I moved to Canada where I went to study music at Selkirk College In Nelson, British Colombia and 2 years later graduated with a double major in Music Production/Audio Engineering and Songwriting. Pretty much holed myself up for 2 years and did nothing but write and produce songs. At age 21, I moved to Nashville TN where I started to build my clientele base and work with as many artists as I could. About a year later I was at a point where I was getting enough work to quit my day job and it was off to the races. Now at 23 years old I've just been continuing to build my career and work with so many different artists all over the world from Nashville and LA to Stockholm and Glasgow. It's been a wild ride full of surprises that I wouldn't trade for anything!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I love music that just FEELS really warm and atmospheric. I tend to gravitate to a lot of organic vocal sounds that I'll sing myself and mess with as well as a lot of electric guitar stuff. Anything that feels big, and reverby and really open I really gravitate towards.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Honestly I get way more excited thinking about working with young and upcoming artists that are a similar level to where I'm at. I've always been big about working with people who are at a similar stage as you so you can grow together and create your own sound together.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't be afraid to try weird things and mess around! You'd be surprised what you might find that might just end up making the whole song or taking you off in a different direction.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Currently I've found a home in the pop/rnb/electronic/hiphop world that nowadays is such a hybrid/crossfusion of different genres. Since moving to Nashville I've been able to get into the pop country world and start incorporating some of these other genre aspects as well which has been SO much fun.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being able to bring a musicians/singers/songwriters background and skill set into a producer's world.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I'd say as a writer, my variety of different influences growing up (pop, metal, rap, rnb, edm, country) have helped me come up with creative and unique melodies that are just weird enough while still being poppy, fresh and ear catching. My background as a songwriter/singer and musician before I was a producer has helped give me a really intuitive sense for how I want dynamics to rise and fall over the course of a production as well as sensing when a track is missing little bits and pieces and knowing how to fill them. As a producer I would say a lot of the same - my background and experience doing many different genres have helped me mold my own sort of sound and "vibe" that I naturally gravitate towards.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It's always different depending on the song and what I'm being hired to do - but generally I have a conversation with the artist/client about what they're going for. Any songs or artists that inspire them...any lyrical ideas or themes, etc. After this phase I'll get together my initial first pass of the song (usually up to the end of the first chorus) to then send over to the artist/client to get their feedback. After we move on to this phase and we've touched on any revisions that might be needed I'll finish the whole song and send back for another round of feedback. This will continue until everyone is happy and checks off on the final version of the song!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a beautiful home studio in my house in East Nashville. Lots of open windows and natural light with a ton of plants that I've put all around the room. I've named it the "Jungle Room" hahaha! Lots of tan colored sound treatment on the walls add nicely to the vibe & lots of space for my mics and instruments that are an arms reach away when I need them!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: So many! Some of my favorites are Blackbear, Lauv, Andrew Watt, Andrew Goldstein, Louis Bell, Marc Bassy. Writers/Producers who have worked in a lot of different genres are the most inspiring to me as that is something that I would love to continue mirroring in my career.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most of what I do revolves around music production; creating the music (drums, guitars, keys, bass, samples, etc) behind the lyrics as well as contributing melody or lyrical ideas for the song being build around.