The ins and outs of producing your first single from local artist perspective

By Charlie Fenton

23 May 2024

When recording your first ever single, a whole host of questions can run through your head. What type of studio should I book? How much is it going to cost? What the f**k do I even need to bring?

Here at Feedback, we’ve had the same thoughts. So we spoke to those who have done it themselves to find out the answers to all your queries.

There comes a stage in any musician’s career when you have to record your first song. For acoustic indie/country duo Jay Bramwell and Isaac Smith, Jay and Isaac, it was Disco Town. We caught up with front man Jay to find out what it was like recording and being in the studio for the first time. 

“It was fun, you know stepping foot into the studio, I mean we had no idea what to expect never having done anything like this before.” The lads had been doing rounds of their local scene in Wigan before they thought it was time with Disco Town, a song Jay wrote in his room in late 2022. 

The duo had been looking for somewhere to record but were “struggling” to find the right location. “We had been back and forth with a few producers but we weren’t feeling it, we were lucky we bumped into Liam at a gig we played,” said Jay. 

Liam Harrock is someone the lads knew well having been sound engineer at local independent venue, Indiependence, which they have played a couple of times. Jay said: “After a show we played in June Liam asked us if we would like some session time at a studio he almost finished building, we couldn’t say no.” 

Jay and Isaac were Liam’s first clients at Pier Music Studios.

The lads had three seven hour sessions with Liam, spanning 4 months due to timing issues. They cost £40 each. “Looking back it was such a bargain,” said Jay. After each of the three sessions Liam would send them a sample of what they had been working on that day with Jay explaining “it was really nice to hear progress after a hard days work.”

After the sessions and Liam producing the song, they then had to get it mastered. One of Liam’s contacts, Conah Tucker, also based in Wigan, took over the tune, which Jay said took two weeks and cost the pair £30. 

They finally got hold of the final take of the tune at the end of February, and set a release date of May 1 so they could “build up a bit of hype through some marketing.” 

Before they could release it they had to pay a £30 to third party distributor Distrokid to get it on all streaming platforms. Jay said: “We were all so new to this, we had no idea there was so much that went into songs just to get onto Spotify, an eye opening yet very enjoyable experience though.” 

Overall to produce Disco Town it cost Jay and Isaac £180. “I mean when you put it all together that’s quite expensive for the two of us, but splitting it by 4 if you are in a band would make it a lot cheaper. 

“Not only that but with distrokid it gives us unlimited access now to post other singles we want to produce onto spotify.” 

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You can stream Disco Town on Spotify here. 

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