Grammy Award nominated Producer Pete Smith

21 April, 2016

Pete Smith has spent the last 30 years at the forefront of the music industry, working with such big name artists as The Police, Sheryl Crow, Duran Duran and Stevie Wonder.

We recently welcomed the Grammy Award-nominated producer to our London college for a very special BIMM Masterclass.

It’s not every day you get to sit down with a music industry veteran like Pete Smith, so naturally our BIMM London students were eager and full of questions for the highly successful producer.

Pete spoke candidly about his celebrated career, from starting out as an engineer at London’s iconic Utopia Studios to his later work on Sting’s Grammy-nominated debut solo album ‘The Dream of the Blue Turtles’ – the producer later won a Grammy for the live version of the album.

During his time at Utopia, Pete worked on seminal works from a whole host of iconic artists, including Spandau Ballet, Van Morrison, Central Line, Orange Juice, Alex Harvey, Light of the World and many more.

But ultimately, it was his work with The Police on their ‘Live in Atlanta‘ concert film that really kicked things off for him. The video – filmed during the Synchronicity tour – later culminated in a close working relationship with Sting, one that would continue long after the band’s split.

Eager to learn, our BIMM London students held on to Pete’s every word. The producer gave a great insight into the changing state of the music industry, as well as his own techniques when working in the studio.

“There’s always a certain amount of bluff. Never be frightened of any form of experimentation. Go back and try again,”

Pete still continues to work as a producer, most recently lending his talents to works by Randy Crawford, Sasha and Danish musicians Anna Faroe and Dicte.

The Masterclass proved to be entertaining and interactive. Pete answered as many questions from our students as possible and showed clips from his previous work, including the videos for The Boomtown Rats’ 1979 hit ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ and Re-Flex’s ‘The Politics of Dancing’.

After the Masterclass, we caught up with Pete and two students to get their thoughts on the event.

Pete Smith, said:

“At BIMM you’re in the best place in the world, this is where you learn and this is where you get inspired.”

Keziah Hodgson – BA Creative Musicianship Year 2, said:

“I thought the masterclass was fantastic. Pete was a great story teller and very engaging, and it was very good, everyone loved it!”

Echoing her comments was Manola Martini, Music Production student at BIMM London, added:

“It was very inspiring. What Pete was saying kind of revolves around the idea that music should be linked to human emotions and being in the moment. Sometimes there’s a little bit of luck going on, and you just have to catch it!”

Pete’s passion and experience really struck a chord with our BIMM London students, who also learned some valuable lessons about the production process and the music industry as a whole.

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