Denver is blessed with a host of talented musicians of all genres, and most of them record at the many great Colorado studios. That inevitably means that behind the scenes, talented producers, engineers and all sorts of studio technicians are working their magic without much fanfare. Here's a shout-out to ten talented local producers, ordered alphabetically.
1. Jared Atol, Unscene Productions
Denver-based Unscene Productions is the brainchild of local man and Wyoming native Jared Atol, who more recently started the record label (R)evolve to release an album by his friend and local artist Ben Parrish. Atol has also worked with Summers Baker, Kayla Marque and Aaron Summerfield.
2. Davey Boy
Hip-hop producer Davey Boy has been making a name for himself thanks to his beats for artists such as Adonis Fox, Trev Rich and ATLA. He essentially creates beats that artists can purchase and use, which isn’t an unusual way to create and do business nowadays. Influenced by Timbaland and Pharrell, Davey Boy is one beatmaster worth keeping an eye on.
3. Kevin Clock, Colorado Sound
Kevin Clock has been in the biz since 1977, the year that he founded Colorado Sound. And that company name is entirely appropriate: Clock has been instrumental in molding the musical identity of this region thanks to his work with the Lumineers, Elephant Revival, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Mollie O’Brien and the String Cheese Incident, among many others. Indeed, out-of-state artists from Eminem and Jackson Browne to Cypress Hill and REO Speedwagon clamor for Clock’s services. Recently, he's been recording remotely at Red Rocks for artists like Mumford & Sons and Amos Lee.
4. Ryan Conway, Conway Sound
University of Colorado grad Ryan Conway was, during his time at the school, one of the top students in both the recording arts, and scoring and arranging classical and jazz piano performances. This versatility has served him well since setting up his own studio, and Conway’s list of clients reads like a who’s who of the local R&B and hip-hop scenes. Trev Rich, New Profession, Eminence Ensemble, Turner Jackson, Motion Trap and Madison are just some of the great artists that he’s worked with. Meanwhile, Conway is equally as adept working with rock bands and EDM artists.
5. Evan Chavez, FTR Studios
Evan Chavez plays drums with local band the Jacob Cade Project, but since graduating with a bachelor of arts in sound recording technology in 2012, he’s worked with the likes of Andrew McMahon, 1000 Horses and Natalie Grant, plus local artists such as Whitfields, and Jonny 5 of the Flobots.
Read on for more of Denver's best producers.
6. Angie Dickinson Mickle, Avocado Productions at the Zephyr Room
Dickinson Mickle is the owner of Avocado Productions, a company she named based on the name she shares with actress Angie Dickinson, who previously starred in ads for the California Avocado Commission. The Broomfield-based Avocado Productions has most recently recorded work for Left Lane Highway, Chicago singer-songwriter Steve Francque, Eric Genius and Grant Sabin.
7. Tim Gerak, Mammoth Cave Studio
Located near the Oriental Theater, Mammoth Cave has churned out some stunning records over the years, generally from the alt/indie crowd, with bands including the Still Tide, Strange Americans, Shady Elders, Attic Wolves and Elephant Society. Gerak was a member of the Ohio post-rock band Six Parts Seven, but that band is on hiatus. He brought his studio to Denver and is a welcome addition to the local scene.
8. Joshua Olsen, Third and James Music
Olsen was a career musician, moving between great music cities like Seattle and Nashville before settling in Denver in 2014. He owns Third and James Music, and built a solid reputation locally thanks to stellar work with musicians such as Christian singer-songwriter Rebekah Lind and country band the Wyatts. Roscoe Wyatt of the latter band said, “Joshua has been able to help transform my sound and my direction with his years of experience.” Apparently, Olsen also makes his own whiskey and will pass it around while recording. That’s quite a selling point.
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9. Cheff Premier
Influenced by both Pharrell and Max Martin, Cheff Premier is striving to find his own sound, while maintaining an element of accessibility. Of Martin, Premier admits that the sheer number of hits that the pop guru has penned and produced is something he admires. Premier has a natural ear for melody, and it can be heard in his work.
10. Henry “Broz” Rowland, High Kite Productions
Broz is the owner and principal/director of High Kite Productions. He’s also an on-site record producer, executive producer, songwriter, composer, lyricist, audio/mastering engineer, music publisher, session musician and recording artist. In other words, Broz does everything. High Kite has produced records by the Rowland Brothers (obviously), the Dreamers, Max-E and, weirdly enough, Allen Ginsberg. That’s quite a CV.