blog category created 17 November 2020 written by Taka George
Working with Tarek was great. We first met him at Tramlines Festival when he was playing in his band Spring King and then a few months later we reached out to him in regards to working on some songs with us. We initially went in to record 2 tracks, but after some really enjoyable and succesful sessions we went back to record a 5 track ep with him. There was a real relaxed vibe working with Tarek and he introduced us to some really cool, interesting ideas that allowed us to develop our songs even further. His mixing and production style really opened doors for us at BBC Radio 1. He managed to capture the raw energy and character of the songs, but also keep the radio friendly element to the tracks. This led to consistent plays on Jack Saunders BBC R1 show. Tarek’s easily one of the nicest guys we’ve met in the music industry, and an absolute wizard in the production world.
We approached Tarek to work on two separate tracks for Neon Waltz as we needed a producer who would not only oversee the recording, but also provide guidance and suggestions on what the compositions required to ensure they reached their full potential. His professionalism and control of the process produced the desired result for all involved. It’s always been a joy to have Tarek navigate. He has an innate ability to figure out what it is you’re after without you even really knowing yourself. Never has our faith & trust been gained so quickly.
Tarek has been relentless, putting the venom, fire and passion from his old band Spring King into producing absolute monsters for new artists including Calva Louise and Dream Nails. We’ve played so much from Tarek. The guy has got the magic touch, and he’s done exactly the same thing with the debut album from Dream Nails. He’s clearly been working hard at his craft over the years, and we are always interested to hear any new music he’s worked on. He’s building an incredible track record for breaking through new bands, and carrying that momentum forward with every artist he is producing. There’s a knack to capturing fresh energy whilst also delivering solid radio worthy sounds and Tarek gets it.
Tarek recently worked with two of our bands (Kagoule and more recently Dream Nails) on studio albums, and the quality of his product, and relationships built with our acts, has been absolutely on point on both occasions. His commitment to quality and pride in his craft has been sublime and we would heartily recommend Tarek to any of our artists looking for a top producer in future. In the case of Dream Nails, after an exhaustive process of looking at different options, we felt Tarek was 100% the person for the job – his input undoubtedly took a promising band to the next stage, helping us level up across the board, generating stacks of radio play, huge amounts of quality press, as well as being able to sign the band to Dine Alone in North America, which has aided the campaign hugely. In an industry stacked with producers, Tarek stands out as someone who has the ability to change band’s career path for the better, and do it because he cares and believes in what he’s creating.
From a radio plugging perspective, Tarek has been ever developing in his ideas, with a very unique sonic stamp. He’s innovative and exciting, with a lot of upcoming bands being given the opportunity to hit their first plays on air because of the work they have done with him. Numerous radio DJ’s recognise TarekÕs skills – Jack Saunders and Steve Lamacq amongst a few who are championing Tarek as a breaking through producer in the industry. Tarek’s punchy sonics mixed with his understanding towards DSP’s helped Dream Nails transcend the realms of DIY punk and into a wider audience, who have now signed to Dine Alone and Alcopop. Some singles even being released by Tom Morello via Firebrand. It’s safe to say Tarek has truly grown into his own over the years, finding a very exciting pocket in the industry in which he can help artists reach new grounds. I wholeheartedly believe in Tarek as a producer and think his work in particular this year has been noticed more than ever by the industry.
Tarek never stops. By early 2019 he had received the PRS ‘Hitmaker’ grant and set up a recording studio in Liverpool so he could continue his incredible work that has helped steer the career paths of many artists. His passion for production is evident. In the past 12 months he has been notably working with Dream Nails on their debut album which has received glowing reviews, and love from DSP’s and radio. Their sound has clearly evolved and there is a clear shift in their sonics before and after their work with him. His work with Calva Louise was an important moment. They had recently left their previous label and were looking to self release an EP. Tarek saw their mental and financial predicament and worked tirelessly to help create something that would signify a change in their sound and a new Calva Louise, with single ‘Belicoso’ spearheading their journey forwards. They are now signed to a subsidiary of 300Ent. I am truly excited for what Tarek does next in his career.
Tarek Musa is fully deserving of MPG Awards recognition as an outstanding producer. And increased recognition over the last 12 months means I am very pleased to nominate him for the Breakthrough Producer of the Year category. A gifted producer and experienced writer and collaborator, Musa is a recipient of PRS Foundation’s Hitmaker (formerly Writer Producer) Fund which recognises exceptional talent at crucial career tipping points. Our grant enabled him to cement his reputation as one of the UK’s most important Alternative/Indie/Pop producers, working with the likes of SHEAFS, Calva Louise, Neon Waltz, The Manatees and most impressively producing Dream Nail’s exceptional debut album. It’s always a great sign when producers we support are paired with artists on the up who also apply for PRS Foundation funding. It’s further proof of Musa’s passion for developing exciting, diverse talent sonically, and we know from the artists’ perspective that he plays a transformative role.