A talent behind many talents.
Originally from Lyon, France - Alawn has produced and mixed records for a range of upcoming and established artist and producers, including Flo Rida, Snoop Dogg, Jacob Latimore, Carl Thomas, Gucci Mane, and Paul Wall, Tyron Hapi and Liam Ferrari to name a few. Producing for others, the talented rising star has been commissioned on projects with Universal Music, Hollywood Records, MTV, Dreamworks, Warner Chappell, and Sony ATV, alongside co-writing and producing records with Grammy Winners, The Jackie Boyz and social media stars across the world.
Alawn, thank you so much for being with us today. You have been rockin' lately. Tell us more about your collaborations.
I have just released the first single from my upcoming EP ‘Gold’, called Wrong Love in collaboration with the amazing singer/songwriter Dyson. It was signed by Enhanced Music, Teamwork Records (Universal Australia) and Disco:Wax (Sony) which is really exciting for me.
While I’m getting my next record ready and shooting a cool new music video, I’ve also been producing for some great artists including Liam Ferrari, Nathalie Paris, and Rachel Costanzo to name a few.
Your style is fresh, groovy, and has lots of cool electronic influences. How do you find the inspiration for your tracks?
Inspiration usually comes when I least expect it! It’s not something you can force. With that being said, I find my inspiration from people around me, movies, and more importantly from my travels. I’m fortunate to be able to travel a lot and every time I bring back a piece of each culture, country and place and then try to incorporate that inspiration into my songs. I also love creating in different, unique and unconventional environments, such as a coffee shop and on the train… one of the tracks from my EP was made a few months back in the plane on my way back from Tokyo.
You have lots of collaborations under your belt. How did you get started in the business?
I started at a really young age by doing some film scores for Warner Chappell France when I was 17. I then signed a record and publishing deal with Universal France when I was 18 which allowed me to start producing for different artists, start performing more regularly and also learn about the industry.
I decided to make the big move to America 4 years ago and work as a recording engineer in a studio here in Houston, Texas. After a couple years I realised that I had to go back to focusing on being an artist and producer/DJ - this is when I found my amazing team at The Hello Group. Since we signed together, I have been working non-stop on developing my artist project through releasing singles and remixes while producing for so many cool projects and artists/social media stars from all over the world.
Which Acustica plugins have you been using lately? Do you have any favorites?
I absolutely love the Diamond EQ, especially on my master bus. El Rey is also one of my favourite compressors. I love that it gives a certain depth and colour even without any compression. I also love Taupe, it sounds so magical on synths and FX returns.
On a more technical note, what is your approach to mixing?
As I travel so much, I mix everything ITB. That way I can work on the go and recall any session and make tweaks from anywhere. The Acustica plugins allow me to get that “analog sound”, depth and clarity in my mixes, all in the box. With that being said, I usually start with calibrating my ears by referencing some tracks on Spotify - I do a lot of back and forth even during mixing. I then start with the loudest part of the song, usually the chorus or drop, starting with the drums and bass. Once I have a good balance with these, I start setting up my master EQ, compressor and limiter and mix everything else into it. Next would be getting the vocals to sit right on top of what I already have then add each other element one by one.
Where do you usually start? Beat, bass line, melody, lyrics...tell us more about your creative workflow?
I’m all about melodies, so most of the time I start playing on the piano or just going through sounds until I find something that really grabs me and build from there. I am also continually receiving demos and top-lines from great songwriters. When that happens, I create the production directly around the vocals, which I love and find really inspiring because it allows me to see the bigger picture and get a feel for where the song is going.
Do you have a typical vocal processing chain?
Every song is different, but I definitely have my go-to’s. I usually start by cleaning out all of the unwanted frequencies with an EQ, before going into the initial compressor (recently I have been loving El Rey). I then de-ess and do some additional EQ’ing, and smooth out the vocals even more with a second compressor with a slower attack and release. I am also a big fan of parallel compression on vocals to make them really cut through, especially in busy mixes. Automation is always a great way to make sure they always sit right.
Do you have any other production tips you'd like to share with our community (sidechaining, master bus treatment, etc.)?
I have been experimenting with digital clipping on my mixes lately (Lift has an amazing clipper that I often use). With the current loudness war going on, everybody wants their track to be louder than the other and so it’s not surprising to see EDM or trap songs mastered all the way to -3 RMS, while a few years ago it was common to see them at -7/-8 RMS. Clipping after limiting allows me to get more volume and push my mixes louder without compromising any sonic integrity.