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Music Production: The Creative Process with Malay

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Grammy®-winning producer Malay, the man behind the genre-bending, atmospheric sound of chart-topping records from Lorde, Frank Ocean, Sam Smith, Zayn and John Legend, reveals his approach to the creative process behind music production, in this rare look at his workflow, start to finish.

From adlibs to basslines, Malay shares how he turns every element into a hook and how drawing inspiration from unexpected sources can help you find a one-of-a-kind sound that’s uniquely yours.

  • 00:29 Developing small ideas into powerful themes that help bring the artist’s vision to life
  • 02:12 Discovering, dissecting, and reconstructing melodies and vocal hooks
  • 07:50 The lost artform of the bassline you can sing
  • 09:18 Using drums & percussion for a surprising vibe; Referencing traditional influences in non-traditional ways
  • 14:30 Playing with adlibs to create ear candy “effects”; Using space to create powerful vocals
  • 22:22 Malay’s Lead Vocal Chain for raw, honest vocals that preserve the spirit of the artist’s original vision; Adding emotion-driven automation to effects for a human feel
  • 27:00 Drawing from unexpected inspirations can help you find a new sound that hits in the same way as your inspirations without sounding like everyone else

Song used in this video: “Gemini Amor”
Performed by Yoandri
Written by Malay and Yoandri
Produced by Malay

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