Daniel James Smith

Song Finisher/ Music Producer

13 Reviews (12 Verified)
Daniel James Smith on SoundBetter

I have produced tracks for Universal Music Group & Iamsound Records with millions of streams. We can work remotely from my studio in Calabasas, CA. I specialize in turning your demos into sick productions. Mixes $200, three revisions included. I'll make your demo a finished song for $250. Most jobs complete in under a week. Hmu w any questions!

English born, LA based writer/producer Daniel James Smith (T.O.L.D.) has collaborated with everyone from Rodaidh McDonald (The XX, King Krule), Tom Biller (Kanye West, Warpaint), Peter Katis (The National, Interpol) and RedOne (Lady Gaga, JLo). He has composed music for national TV commercials from brands such as Michael Kors and Caribbean Cruises, as well as for feature films.

"finds unexpected balances between lightness and darkness." - New York Times

"Not since Blur has horn-assisted melancholy sounded quite so marvelous." - Noisey

"Smith makes music about himself that resonates with those who are just as lost as he feels at times, and in this day in age, we all get pretty lost regularly." Paste Magazine

Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.


Discogs verified credits for T.O.L.D.
  • T.O.L.D.
  • T.O.L.D.
  • T.O.L.D.

13 Reviews - 3 Repeat Clients

Endorse Daniel James Smith
  1. Review by Marco S.

    Amazing producer! Smart and fast.. Gentle and nice person! You can feel his passion for music and production and he help the artist during all the steps!

  2. Review by Marco
    by Marco

    Daniel is super! Perfect.. Always gentle and fast answer.. Great producer in all details! From the first track I had the pleasure to work with him to my new EP.. We finished in a short time and can't wait to work with him again!

  3. Review by Marco S.

    SUPER composer and singer!

  4. Review by Marco S.

    Amazing! Fast and professional !! We did something incredible in a short time.

  5. Review by Em
    by Em

    Daniel was beyond.. I knew he would.. but the instincts him and his partner Krystall had were on point.. brought the vision to life even more and stacked their vocals to create a choir effect.. so beautiful and was so happy to have them a part of it.. it made the song what it was.

  6. Review by Akiva D.

    I was so happy that I chose to work with this very talented producer I have to say that I am very pleased The work that he has done to my song was awesome thank you Daniel .

  7. Review by François O.

    Working with Daniel was above our expectations. It was our first time using SoundBetter and the collaboration went so smoothly with him. Communication was five-star. He is very talented, attentive and professional. We sure will work together again!

  8. Review by michael w.

    A quote from Sarah text “How talented is this chap, I genuinely cannot thank you enough, my dad is elated.

  9. Review by michael w.

    The Order Of Life & Death
    Working Daniel was very pleasant, nothing was too much trouble.
    Got the Job done.
    What else can you say.

  10. Review by Onix P.

    A complete professional with the ability and cool, slick style to match. I was nothing but completely satisfied, and I cannot wait to work with him again.

  11. Review by Livia T.

    Excellent to work with . Responded very quickly and was always open to my ideas and how I wanted it to sound . Will definitely be working with again !!

  12. Review by Ája S.

    I'm really satisfied with the work and I'd surely recommend to work with him - a patient, professional person who will give your song just the right vibe!

  13. Review by Rosa Haze

    First time using SoundBetter, and I'm really glad I chose to work with Daniel! He's really amazing. Really patient, great communication, and delivers you what you're asking for!

Interview with Daniel James Smith

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: I recently collabarated with Lil B on a song. I made this beat one night and freestyled some vocals, using the first take of everything. I was playing with a new keyboard, a DX7 so it had a super retro vibe. I made three tracks that night so I kind of forgot about it. A few weeks later I listened and it made me feel really excited, but it was missing something. The song was called 'that's not enough' and it wanted to be better. I sent it off to Lil B and he wrote a verse, sent it back. It was perfect!

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: I'm working on 3 different albums right now. One indie pop record, one hip hop album, and one alt-country record which is completely new for me!

  5. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  6. A: I love a mixture of both. Digital allows total freedom of expression, but Analogue forces you to engage the natural world. Analoge almost always brings life into a digital mix. It's yin & yang baby!

  7. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  8. A: I promise to make you a product that lifts your spirits and inspires you to keep making more.

  9. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  10. A: I like building worlds. One of my favourite things to do after I finish a song is to lay down with headphones and close my eyes. I enter the world of the song. It's such a trippy feeling, that this world didn't exist before and now it does.

  11. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  12. A: How did you know what I was thinking? Because I had the same thought.

  13. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  14. A: That it's hard. It's the most fun thing, and when I'm doing it right, the most natural and easy. That's why I started doing it in the first place! It just feels good.

  15. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  16. A: What songs are you playing right now? What are your three fav artists of all time? Can you think of a song that improves your mood just by listening to it?

  17. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  18. A: Don't be afraid to follow your intuition, that's where the magic is. The goal is to bring the 'youness' out of you and put it in the song.

  19. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  20. A: 1. An acoustic guitar 2. A laptop with my fav synths and plugins 3. A solar power generator 4. A Shure SM7B Microphone with XLR cable 5. A UAD Audio Interface

  21. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  22. A: I started releasing music at the age of 14. By the age of 19 I signed to Universal Music Group, one of the largest record deals of the year. After 5 years I decided that the major label dynamic wasn't working for me. It was set up to make them far more money than it made me, and I was doing all the work. I moved to Los Angeles and signed with an indie label. I have always produced and written music at the same time. I guess I was an early adopter of modern music technology.

  23. Q: How would you describe your style?

  24. A: Dark experimental pop.

  25. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  26. A: I would love to work with somebody like Travis Scott, somebody who could jump on the track and instantly approach it with a playful spirit, not be afraid to freestyle from the top of their head.

  27. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  28. A: If it makes you self-conscious, it will probably make other people feel like you're directly speaking to them. Vulnerability is a super power.

  29. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  30. A: I usually work in left-leaning pop music, something grounded with great hooks, whilst pushing the boundaries. Also bedroom-pop, dark wave, and chill dance music.

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: My strongest skill is building songs. I play a little bit of everything, but my specialty is guitars, bass & synths. If I was in a comic book, I would say my superpower is creating immersive worlds of sound, or vibe-creation.

  33. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  34. A: Every song is different, but I like to bring a sense of wonder and adventure, I always want the experience of listening to a song to be a mood lifter. You enter the experience in one state of mind and by the time it's over you feel better, clearer, happier. I have a bunch of techniques I use to achieve this but it's mostly just playing around, having fun, and being adventurous.

  35. Q: What's your typical work process?

  36. A: I tend to work at night time, and have to get the vibe right before starting. I'm a bit proponent of vibe, and believe that how you feel at the time will be directly transferred into the song you are making. I have a bunch of tools to help create vibe but the two big ones right now are trail running and meditation.

  37. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  38. A: I have a full studio set up here on a ranch. We use UAD interfaces and a wide range of microphones. I mix mostly in the box but love playing with our wide selection of analogue synthesisers, guitars, basses and drum machines. We recently brought in a full drum kit too. I mix on Genelec monitors.

  39. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  40. A: I like the approach of people like Kevin Parker from Tame Impala, and Damon Albarn from The Gorillaz/ Blur. People who aren't afraid to do everything, writing and playing all the parts themselves to make sure the project is exactly how they hear it in their head, also leaving room for play and experimentation.

  41. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  42. A: Full song production is where I really shine, either taking your idea to the finish line or coming up with something completely new, and building it into something fresh, vibrant, and exciting.

Lucifer's Eyes by T.O.L.D.

I was the Producer in this production

Terms Of Service

Music is the world to me, therefore you will receive my full attention on all projects. Typical turn around varies with depth of attention required. I will give each project the focus it requires.

Gear Highlights
  • Neve 1073 preamps
  • Neumann Microphones
  • Genelec Monitors with Sub
  • SSL/Universal Audio Inputs
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