I write and produce R&B and Pop music. One third of the NYC trio The Rooks.
I specialize in writing and producing a wide spectrum of R&B and Pop music for projects ranging from commercial synchs to artist's albums. I have also worked heavily in creating music for fitness (see work sample). Whatever the project is, my goal is to elevate your project to the next level.
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Interview with Spencer H
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: After doing this at an amateur level for 5-6 years, I started doing this professionally about two years ago.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I usually work on R&B and pop music, but I've also worked in indie, folk, singer-songwriter, funk, and jazz.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Songwriting is my strongest skill.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: For every song I make, I try to find that one element that is going to stand out. Something unique that will give the listener a reason to come back and listen again. Sometimes that means creating a new sound that I've never heard before, sometimes it's a vocal harmony, sometimes it's just a catchy phrase. In this musical landscape with more content being pumped out from bedrooms and professional recording studios all over the world, it's so critical to be able to make your mark in a unique way. That's what I try to do - give the listener something to latch onto.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Typically if somebody asks me to write something for them, I'll start with a small idea like a melody or instrument part and then build around it. I think it's important to find your key component and then shape the song around that. Usually it takes me about a day to get a full demo written and produced and in good enough shape where I feel like I can present it to somebody as a clearly articulated thought.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a studio set up in my home in a sound-treated room and enough space to record vocals and other acoustic instruments, but not big enough for drums. I run Logic and Pro Tools through my iMac with an Apollo twin quad interface, and listen back on a pair of Focal Alpha 65 studio monitors. Instruments: Tenor, Alto, and Soprano saxophones (I am a saxophonist) Upright piano Nord Electro 5 Emperor Joe Pass electric guitar Crafter acoustic guitar Fender P-Bass Percussion instruments (shakers, tambourine, etc.) Novation 49 Launchkey midi controller
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: My all-time favorites are Prince and Stevie Wonder, but in terms of current professionals - I'm really inspired by the work I see coming from Blake Mills, like John Legend's most recent album. There's a lot of sparseness there - he manages to make small things sound absolutely huge.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I am most accustomed to creating tracks top to bottom - writing the melody and words, and then shaping the arrangement around it. I also have experience creating arrangements of songs for people with a melody and chords already written. Whatever it is - I try to put some sort of unique element into each song, whether it's a particular sound that I've never heard before, or some sort of phrase that gets stuck in your head.