I am a singer-songwriter with 17 years experience writing songs and have studied under grammy-award nominated songwriters. I am a multi-instrumentalist and producer specialising in writing, composing and recording.
I started my professional life as an actor. I did a 3 year course at Rose Bruford College in South-East London receiving a BA Hons in Actor-musicianship. It was there that I first started writing music. Over the next 7 or 8 years, I performed in a variety of touring productions working at some of the most prestigious theatres in the country.
Over the past 6 years, my focus has been shifting towards music and 4 years ago I decided to pursue it full-time. Since then, I have been refining my writing and production skills. In 2020 I had the honour of taking part in the Johnny Mercer Foundation songwriting course where I learnt from some of the best in the business. Over the past couple of years I have composed and recorded music for French documentary 'Montage Island' and Swedish dance show 'ÖGONBLICK'. I also have two self-produced albums, both of which have had tracks played on BBC radio. In 2021, I played for James Arthur to a sold out Wembley Arena and have had recent performances for Channel 4 and BAFTA.
At the moment, my focus is to write and record music for people. Whether that's jingles for products, music for film/TV or tracks for online placements. I'm a very proficient singer with a background of Soul, Blues and Pop and am also a very skilled guitarist and pianist.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
3 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Max Runham
Max was very lovely and pleasant to work with. Thank you, Max!
Well worth your time to stop and have a chat with Max. Absolutely fantastic at taking a lyric sheet with a few song references and melding them with his own amazing artistry to form a song you will love. Also, a really great guy which makes the whole process as easy as can be.
Beyond satisfied. Max was incredible; took my lyric sheets and a few reference songs and knocked it out of the park. Great communication. Great guy. Great song he made for me.
Interview with Max Runham
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Something I did very recently was writing a song that is going to be part of a TV series my friend is creating. To pitch the series, we wanted a song for the proof of concept video and I needed to write something from the perspective of the killer. The killer actually writes the songs as part of the plot so adopting that character while writing this song was really interesting and I felt it was one of the strongest pieces of work I'd done.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently helping with a vocal arrangement for a band in America who were big in the 80s. I'm writing material for some personal recording projects. And I'm playing lots of live gigs.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Chris Weeks.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. I'm not a purist and I'm not chasing the latest technology or trends. I believe in harnessing the best of what's come before us while also appreciating the huge leaps in tech. If you can find a way to make the most of both, you're golden.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To put my heart and soul into every project. I won't take something on if I don't feel passionate about it.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: That spark of a new idea and then seeing it all come to fruition. When you think back to that initial idea once something's finished, that's a really magical moment, knowing everything that went into getting you to the point.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: What's the best note? A: D
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I surely can't be doing it full time...
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: My main question is always 'What do you want the effect of this piece of music to be?'. Always best to start from the desired effect than a desired genre or reference artist.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Just talk to me. I might not be the right person for the job but let's talk and see if I am.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I'm assuming you mean music gear, not survival equipment... A PC with a DAW. MIDI keyboard. Interface. Guitar. Mic.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was an actor for a long time and have switched towards focusing on music over the past three or four years. I currently have plans to record a single and then my debut album after that. Up to now I've been doing a variety of production work... composing, songwriting, session recording, mixing and I'm playing live 3 or 4 times a week.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Funky, soulful, groovy and heartfelt.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Vulfpeck. They're a huge inspiration for me in terms of style but also the way they approach the industry. I've got a lot of time for those guys.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: If it's not well arranged, you won't be able to mix it. Write and arrange well and the production falls into place more naturally.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: A lot of what I make is based around groove. I enjoy making work that has an instant vibe to it and makes you move. I also like music that has a strange and distinct character. I often work with obscure sounds and samples that give my tracks a more definitive feel to them.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My voice. I've been singing since I was a child and continue to grow and develop as a singer every day. It's the thing that sets me apart from other musicians.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: My influences are bedded in old school soul and blues which brings a unique flavour to my music. And having trained as an actor, I always have an eye on storytelling and context. I feel that I'm particularly good at knowing what will work in a given situation.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Depending on the type of work, I usually start with lyrics and a core musical idea. Once the lyrics are fleshed out, I'll build up the arrangement and start to record. This varies depending on what the focus is though. Sometimes I'll find myself building the majority of the track up before I've touched the lyrical content... every project is different.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a condensed but powerful and effective studio setup. I use Rokit 5's with a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 interface and a Golden Age Vintage Pre-73 pre-amp for that old school tone and grit. I have a great selection of VST's and samples that cover everything I need sonically. I have a Fender Stratocaster custom player series and a Fender Blues Junior amp and also a fantastic selection of amp models in the box so I have a huge variety of guitar sounds available. I also have a beautiful Takamine acoustic guitar, an 8-string ukulele and a Fender Bass. Mic's wise, I have a Neumann TLM 102 and a Shure SM57 that cover most of what I need. I also have a Rode NT1-A as a backup condensor. Headphones - Beyerdynamic DT770 pro. This is all being run on a very high spec Carillon Audio PC.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Ray LaMontagne has always been a huge inspiration for me as a songwriter. More recently, I've fallen in love with Leon Bridges' work and I'm a huge fan of Ethan Johns and Ian Kirkpatrick as producers.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Writing songs from scratch and recording them. Often I'll work with vocalists who have parts of songs written and would like them fleshed out into full productions. I've also done work for clients who are looking for short pieces of music to accompany a product or to advertise their business.