Dec 04, 2017
Dr. Shiver Breaks Down "Brave Love"
On a roll in 2017, Dr. Shiver is back again, flexing his production muscles and delivering a crossover radio hit in “Brave Love.” Already supported by the likes of Nicky Romero, Timmy Trumpet, Sam Feldt, and Chuckie, “Brave Love” features the outstanding vocals of Jmi Sissoko and showcases another side to Dr. Shiver’s studio talent. Our interview provided a great avenue for him to take us inside his mind when it comes to working with vocals in his productions. He furthered shared some exciting remix news for the track and highlighted his blossoming relationship with Nicky Romero and the Protocol Recordings team.
What was the initial inspiration and sketch like for “Brave Love”? Can you take us through the production process?
“Brave Love” is a track I wrote about one year ago. I was in the studio with my brother Dre Meltz – he is an excellent songwriter, so we spent a few hours in the piano booth. I found the chord progression and the melody of the vocal. He contributed in writing the melody as well as writing, in my opinion, some outstanding lyrics. Once everything was written, we did a rough recording of the track. It was just piano and voice.
At that point I started to work on arrangement and sound design. I played a virtual guitar line, called my friend Luke Morse into the studio here, who played me some sick guitar lines based on what I had previously written with the synthesizers. After getting the guitars done, I worked on the pure sound design of the track: bass, leads, various layers and drums. Only when the production was done I started to talk with Jmi to have this recorded.
How’d you then connect with Jmi?
Solberjum, a dear friend who is also one of our greatest artists here at Art&Music Recordings had introduced us before. Jmi came here from Paris and in one day we recorded the whole thing. At this point the track was basically there. I just adjusted a few elements in the drop leads layer, finalized mix and master and, boom, the track was done!
For you, what’s one of the best characteristics of Jmi’s voice?
I love his tone since it is very warm, but at the same time powerful. To have an idea of how great this singer is, you just need to know that, in this track, Jmi only used half of his vocal extension.
Do you see this as a track that could make its way into your club sets? If so, are you playing the original, an edit, as a mashup, etc.?
Honestly I see this track fitting only in some warm-up sets. I have mostly done it for radio and Spotify.
However, we are running a huge remix competition on WAVO [check it out here!] now so hopefully we will have some great remixes with a nice club appeal AND I can give you some exciting news – we will soon be releasing a smashing house remix of this track made by Solberjum!
Who are some other artists in dance music whose work doing crossover tracks you are really inspired by?
I get my inspiration from all kinds of art and music. There is not a specific crossover artist in the dance music scene that I take as a reference. I never take that approach because if you are stuck on one artist only, you risk creating something that has already been done.
My inspiration comes really from anybody: from Mozart to Ray Charles, from Stevie Wonder to Michael Jackson, from Axwelll /\ Ingrosso to David Guetta, from Alicia Keys to Ludovico Einaudi. Music is so various and inspiring. I love the idea of having my music impacted by different artists and styles so as to create something brand new that can at the same time represent me.
Can you compare and contrast the way you approach a production when using a male vs. a female vocal?
Honestly, no rules. There is a saying that goes, “a piano sound is more appropriate to a girl while a guitar to a man.” But it all depends on the characteristics of the voice as well as the arrangement, the sound design, the melodies. So really there are no rules.
I will say when it comes to a vocal crossover/radio track, I always start from piano and voice. This is, in my opinion, the only way to create if you have something strong in your hand. When it comes to “vocal” you must be very careful and very aware of the fact that a vocal can make the difference both in a very good way as well as in a very bad one. There is no space for an average vocal – a decent vocal will just make your track worse instead of better. So, it is smarter to do an instrumental track if you do not have a really good vocal. For this reason I always start from piano and voice: if the vocal is working with such a “poor” arrangement, then you are sure that with a great one it will simply be perfect!
You recently visited the Protocol HQ and Protocol Radio Studio, so can you talk some more about your growing relationship with the Protocol team?
I am very pleased about what is happening with the guys from Protocol. They are giving me a lot of space and freedom. Nicky himself is proving to be a very nice person as well as showing that he really cares about me. When I was at their studios I had a nice talk with him and the rest of team and we ran a very cool listening session where I played them a few new tracks… The reaction was really nice and now we are trying to identify which track could be the best follow up for “Something.”
We have also discussed a lot regarding a live/unplugged version of “Something” I’ve been working on. This version is, for all of us, stronger than the original and will be released on December 21st!
2017 has been a massive year for you and the Art&Music team. Can you share a little about your vision for 2018? What are two goals that you hope to achieve?
2018 is going to be a crazy year for us. There is so much cooking at the moment that I barely find time to sleep five hours a night.
We have a bunch of fresh new tracks ready to be released. New music from David Allen, Solberjum and myself is on the way and we have also recently signed a new talented Italian guy from Rome that has released recently on Revealed. And make sure you are ready because soon you will also hear an atomic bomb from Black Code.
Then we are also going to have a few Art&Music branded events in 2018 and there are different collabs coming up very soon. Stay tuned!
Dr. Shiver feat. Jmi Sissoko - “Brave Love” is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD today!
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