Rhiannon Mair is on the way up. This hard working producer, engineer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and label owner has made quite a name for herself over the past few years working with an array of artists out of her nicely kitted out studio. The results she has been getting are seriously impressive, as is her attitude to the music business in general. Which might explain why she was recently appointed an MPG Director. Kudos.
Being adept in any audio discipline is hard enough, but at the same time, to have a chance of making waves in the industry, you kind of need to be master of all. I ask Rhiannon if that’s a fair analysis.
“Yeah, that’s definitely how I’ve found it,” she says. “If you can do different things, sometimes you have to; and from a studio point of view, it’s quite handy being able to drum on a track, or help with some writing, play some guitar - things like that. It all ties together, really. There are so many aspects of making a record that goes beyond just being in a studio.”
Agreed. Many of the cool acts Rhiannon has and is continuing to work with are solo artists, and being the quality musician she is tends to be particularly beneficial in the studio.
“I think maybe that’s why I work with a lot of singer-songwriters, as they come to you with a song – unlike a band, where the song is complete, or at least fully arranged – and a lot of the time, a singer-songwriter can’t really hear how a drum part or bass part would go,” she explains. “So I guess as a multi-instrumentalist, that’s where my strengths kind of come in, because I can hear that and play it. It’s my USP. But there is no right or wrong way; it just depends on what the artist or band is looking for in a producer.”
Conversation turns to the recent 2019 MPG Awards, where Rhiannon was herself a nominee. The fact the votes come from her peers, she admits is a pretty epic thing in itself; and since then, she has joined the MPG board of directors - arguably, an even greater achievement.
“It’s an amazing compliment, especially as engineering is something I have very much learned on jobs. I didn’t work in a studio, and shadow engineers. Everything I have learned about it I’ve learned from university, and work experience; and picking it up on jobs, and watching engineers.
“As a producer, I end up engineering on tracks, and that’s simply because of budgets. Where there are bigger budgets, I have been lucky enough to work with other engineers - and that’s just great, as you can focus more on the producing.”