What do Justin Bieber, Elton John and Dua Lipa have in common with Miley Cyrus, Metallica, Sam Smith and Stevie Wonder?
They have all collaborated with 31-year-old Grammy-winning producer Andrew Watt, who has become one of pop music’s most sought-after hitmakers in recent years.
A native of New York, Watt began touring with bands and making his own rock music while still in college. As he began to tour and play guitar for artists such as Cody Simpson and Bieber, Watt and Bieber began to write and create songs together. It was then that Watt decided to go from rock star to music producer.
Watt’s first smash hit was DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You” with Bieber.
“This song ended up being a really big song, and it was the first time I heard an arena full of people sing lyrics that I wrote about pain, my own pain and that it meant something to. them, and that was just that really amazing thing. And it changes you. You know, it changes what you think you can be, “Watt said.
Watt won the Grammy for Best Pop Music Producer earlier this year. Now, after landing another hit with Bieber on “Peaches,” the pop star’s Billboard chart, he books sessions with veteran performers through constant word-of-mouth for his talents. Watt first connected Ozzy Osbourne with Post Malone for Malone’s “Take What You Want”, then produced the heavy metal icon’s album in 2020. This led to working with Elton John, who was partnered with Stevie Wonder for the song “Finish Line”.
“These guys are masters at their craft – like masters, they wrote the book. And so every time I’m in the studio with them, I learn something and put it into the next thing that I do, and I watch it real carefully. And it’s like being a student, ”he said.
His personal recording studio is a castle-like house in Beverly Hills that belonged to Charlie Chaplin’s manager. The basement was once the screening room, but now serves as a fully functional, highly tuned recording studio with guitars, piano, drums, cool artwork, and a neon lighted sign that says “Disco.” “.
While working on “Finish Line,” Watt said Wonder FaceTime put it at 2:30 a.m. when he agreed to be a part of the song. Within minutes, Watt was at Wonder ready to create the new track. He says he was tired, but Wonder’s piano and harmonica energized like a double shot of espresso.
“I got to watch Stevie Wonder put on a harmonica track and how far he pushed himself, and how many times he went on a note to make sure he hit it right. And again, again, again, again, again. It’s almost athletic, ”he said. “It’s not something I allow myself to think too hard about because if I do, I’ll just start to cry.” It doesn’t make sense to me how I do it. But I am so grateful.
Watt says he pinches himself daily working closely with some of the biggest names in music, including Young Thug, Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, Metallica and Camila Cabello. He recently worked with his childhood icon Eddie Vedder on Vedder’s upcoming solo album “Earthling”. Watt, who learned to sing by listening to Vedder’s voice, has memories of listening to Pearl Jam when he was 7 years old.
“Having the chance to sit in the same room with him and talk about music is like an exam that I have studied all my life,” Watt said.
“He’s like a wild animal in the studio,” Watt added of Vedder’s powerful voice. “When he gets up at the microphone, it’s crazy. I’ve never seen someone give a voice so much emotion before. (It) makes you cry.
Watt has produced for artists ranging from Halsey to Slash, Florida Georgia Line to Smokey Robinson. He says he will continue to try his hand at different genres.
“Make a record with Justin Bieber and make a record with Eddie (Vedder) after that, it’s like, it’s a whole different kind of music. You are not bored, ”he said.