Canadian record producer and songwriter Stint — mostly known for producing the likes of Gallant, MØ, Demi Lovato, NAO, Zara Larsson and more — recently sat down for a chat with Headliner to discuss how he’s been keeping himself busy during quarantine, why Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor has served as a massive influence, and how he uses oeksound’s soothe2 plugin on vocals.
“It’s a bright and sunny morning here and I’m sipping coffee, so I’m happy as a clam,” says Stint with a grin as he joins Headliner from his studio in L.A.
Originally from Victoria in British Columbia, and born Ajay Bhattacharyya, Stint first started producing records in 2013, eventually moving to the West Coast around three years ago with his now wife.
Like many since the start of the pandemic, Stint has been doing a lot more sessions over Zoom, and has in fact found himself collaborating a lot more with other producers, trading files and ideas and making beats to send out to artists.
“It took a lot of getting used to, I think mainly because most of my luck in getting songs placed with artists came from developing a relationship with them, and collaborating with them in the room,” he admits. “I’m a people pleaser, so if I’m in the room with someone I’ll bend over backwards and won’t stop stressing until I feel like they’re happy.
“So sending things out to people is a lot harder for me, because I just feel like I’m shooting in the dark, and that was really challenging.”
Despite this sentiment, he’s experienced some silver lining instances that have come up with certain artists he’s collaborated with in the past, one of which being with singer-songwriter, producer and internet sensation Joji:
“We ended up finishing some stuff together recently over text - I haven’t spoken to him in person for something like two years which I find crazy. We were just sending each other notes and files back and forth.”
Stint was obsessed with geek culture from a young age, and always dreamed of being a comic book artist until one of his friends got a guitar for their birthday. Then the brother of said friend got a drum set, and after spending some time “noodling around” in the basement, Stint had discovered his passion, and was hooked from that point onwards.
However after finding little fortune as a drummer in a number of bands, he realised that he could no longer rely on other people for his success. He decided to join a sound design program at a nearby film school in Vancouver, and immerse himself in the complex world of video game sound design.