Producing the debut EP for an artist means pulling double duty: You don’t just want them to be heard – you want them to be discovered.

 

Finnish artist Peppina came to NYC to record her debut EP “Follow Your Gravity”.

That was the mission for Peppina, a singer/songwriter whose music, lyrics and voice have been attracting attention across the globe, from her native Finland clear to LA. Meanwhile, the production team entrusted with recording her premiere release, Follow Your Gravity, was on the job in NYC, ensuring that Peppina’s unique sound would get captured correctly.

Collaborating with Jeff FranzelJimmy Landry and Michael Spivack, Peppina was also joined in the studio by the elite session drummer Shawn Pelton (Sheryl Crow, “Saturday Night Live”). The five beguiling pop songs that resulted are already getting notice since the EP’s late February release, and at the core of every track is Peppina’s voice, a striking instrument that’s as expressive as it is beautiful – all the better for broadcasting the unique stories she spins with each verse and chorus.

Tracking vocals for the project was key, and Landry, as a former A&R/in-house producer for Elektra and Capitol Records, was the perfect person to be on point for the job. In this “Vocal Focus”, you’ll learn from Landry the bevy of best practices that went into the sessions – from the x-factor in the signal path to pstudio psychology.

The Voice: Peppina had a ton of rough ideas and rough song demos for me to go through and listen. The first thing I noticed was the actual unique characteristic of her voice. The voice of an artist is so important these days more than ever – with technology it’s easier to get recorded so there are more artists singing.

With Peppina, I instantly noticed that her Finnish accent was working in her favor; and combined with the smooth tone of her innate vocal chords, I was instantly hearing — and picturing — how this could come across in a real-deal recording with great songs.

I had worked with international artists in the past where their accents were not beneficial to them, at least in the American market, and the road of “accent coaching” when cutting vocals is a slippery slope. Peppina’s accent sounds very intriguing in song, and I think this is a beneficial characteristic.