At only 23 years old, Finlay Dow-Smith who works under the alias Starsmith, is currently one of England’s hottest producers and song writers. He has already worked with the likes of Ellie Goulding, Robyn, and Marina & The Diamonds. His talents also include transforming songs by Lady Gaga, Passion Pit, and many others into catchy remixes. Recently Starsmith has transitioned to composing original content such as Lesson One and Champion, a move that has alot of music fans excited, ourselves included.
We chatted with Finlay find out a little more about his journey from an university music student to England’s most sought after producer.
So can you tell us a little about your background and your progression to where you are now in the music industry?
I’ve studied music since I was a kid, I went to early music classes from the age of about 3, Learnt to play the piano and saxophone when I was younger and then carried that through school and then onto University where I studied Music. I met Ellie over Myspace when I was in the final year of my degree and thats when I started to write and produce tracks, as well as starting to do some bootleg remixes.
You are best known for being a producer, remixer, and songwriter for other artists, but we hear you are working on a solo album. We are fans of Lesson One and Champion, are you going to be releasing more solo music soon?
Yeah, I’ve got my next single finished and it’s hopefully gonna be out at the beginning of 2012. Then I’m hoping to follow that with a new single every few months and maybe end up with a collection of songs in 18 months time that could resemble an album; or maybe not. I haven’t got any final product planned!
You’ve worked closely with Ellie Goulding, producing and writing many tracks on her debut album. How’d you hook with her and what’s that been like?
We met on Myspace when Ellie heard one of my early bootleg remixes. I invited her to my house when she’d sent me a couple of acoustic demos, and we recorded Starry Eyed and started work on what would later become her debut album. It was incredible working on that album, we both really put everything we had into it. Blood, sweat, tears. The final few months of that album took up so much of our time, thats when everything really came together.
Lady Gaga, Passion Pit, and Penguin Prison are just a few artists whose songs you’ve remixed. Can you tell us a little about your creative process when remixing tracks?
I like to just work with the a cappella most of the time, unless there is a really strong instrumental lead line somewhere in the song that I can use. I’ve never really approached my remixes with wanting to hear them in the club. Actually quite the opposite. I’d much rather have people wanting to listen to them on their iPod or at home. I guess my remixes have quite a strong pop sensibility and stick to pop structures (ie. verses and chorsuses as apposed to breakdowns and huge instrumental drops).
What other electro-pop artists are you currently listening to and admire?
I’ve got a few really good albums over the last couple of weeks, including ones from Little Dragon, SBTRKT, M83, Foster the People.
You’ve played shows in the UK and recently in the US. Any chance of playing down in South America at some point?
I’d love to! I’ve never been to South America but everyone seems to have a great time when they go there to play. Who knows, maybe in the near future!