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Songwriter and Producer HARV (Justin Bieber, Post Malone) Catalogs the Making a Pop Song from Scratch in New Video


Los Angeles, CA – June 26, 2024 – Six-time Grammy nominated producer HARV (https://sorum.tv/harv/) has established himself as a multi-talented force in the music industry, capable of playing numerous instruments and quickly assembling pop hits with ease. His contributions to the careers of artists like Justin Bieber, Post Malone, and Skrillex have cemented his reputation as a top-tier producer, songwriter, and musical director. Most recently he launched a solo career. In his latest video — presented by AEA Ribbon Mics (https://aearibbonmics.com/) and directed by Tom Edwards — viewers can watch him craft his latest single “Can You?” in real-time, witnessing the conception of a song as a fly on the wall.

“Superproducers” like HARV are an unseen force in popular music. This thimbleful of talented individuals craft some of the highest-charting hits worldwide. Instead of taking center stage as performers, they’re working as musical directors (HARV has been Justin Bieber’s MD for the past several years), producers, or songwriters on spec. While this group shares a collective exclusivity, each person’s workflow and songwriting process often differs dramatically from one to the next.

Engineer Mark Parfitt — who has recorded or mixed artists like Justin Bieber, SZA, and Snoop Dogg — originally conceptualized the idea of documenting this process, which few in the world have witnessed firsthand. Mark shared his concept with Tom Edwards, creative director and owner of MixBus Marketing (https://mixbusmarketing.com), which provides content creation and marketing strategy for audio manufacturers. “Mark and I were working on some content for PMC Speakers when he mentioned the idea of making some kind of video where people can see how a pop song is created. There’s a popular sentiment that these songs are written by a huge room of writers, which might be true in some cases, but there are also a group of insanely talented people who are churning out songs like ‘pop song vending machines.’ He thought it would be really cool to show how this process works. And he mentioned that his friend and collaborator HARV would be the perfect person to showcase it.”

“HARV makes amazing music and does it so effortlessly,” Mark says. “People will probably watch this video and think he came in with something prepared, but no. Every session is like this. He’s always ‘on’ and ready to make a hit. And he lights up the room doing it. Just always radiating happiness.”

The concept was to place HARV in a large room and surround him with instruments, and then let him do his thing. The iconic One on One Recording in North Hollywood was the perfect location. “Mark is good friends with one of the owners, Mathias Sorum,” Tom says. “They’d just renovated Studio A, which has a huge, circular live room with lots of wood and a great natural sound. I decided to put all the instruments in a big circle and then set a camera on a dolly to follow HARV around the room with a wide shot. Then we got closer with handhelds and also set up some cameras in the control room with Mark. The studio has a bunch of antique furniture and lighting, which made it so easy to get a creative feel. And our friends at AIAIAI (https://aiaiai.audio/) set us up with a pair of their wireless headphones so he could move around freely.”

When HARV enters the room and gets to work, it becomes clear that the relationship between producer and recording engineer is closely intertwined. The viewer sees HARV begin pulling the threads of a melody and directing Mark in the control room, who’s following along and riffing with HARV while snapping around Pro Tools at lightning speed. Mark had carefully mic’ed each source ahead of time, testing and adjusting positions to taste. “We ran the whole session with AEA ribbon mics,” Mark says. “I think ribbons are hugely underutilized in pop production and I wanted to show how they can shine on all kinds of things where people usually reach for a condenser or dynamic. For example, we used the KU5A on snare, which is a supercardioid ribbon. It grabs a lot of the smack and does a great job reducing bleed. We used the new N13 on electric guitar, which naturally has a smoother response than your standard go-to dynamics. A couple of R88’s, one in front of the kit and one on the piano, which are about the closest you can get to the sound of actually standing in front of an instrument. And of course I was running most of them either through AEA’s RPQ preamps or my DW Fearn and Hazelrigg gear, which is my go-to for pretty much everything at the moment.”

The video has served as a springboard for a series now in development, called “Create.” In the upcoming series, viewers will be a fly-on-the-wall as other songwriters and producers behind the world’s biggest artists show their process in real-time. Directed by Tom Edwards and executive produced by HARV and Mark Parfitt, this series is expected to launch in late 2024.


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