The A&R Awards: Producer of The Year - Kid Harpoon

The A&R Awards: Producer of The Year - Kid Harpoon

3rd November 2022
The A&R Awards returns for a sixth occasion and, once again, Abbey Road Studios is the headline sponsor as well as sponsor of the Producer of the Year award. The importance of these awards is emphasised by Abbey Road’s Managing Director Isabel Garvey who says “We've seen some extraordinary talent pass through our doors over the last year. So we are thrilled to celebrate the achievements of the A&R community by continuing our association with the MBW A&R Awards."

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to spotlight the 10 nominees for the Producer of the Year award and speak to them about how they got started, their favourite gear and their advice for anyone starting out.

Read on to find out more about the amazing British producer Kid Harpoon.

Be sure to read back on our previous profiles which include:
- Fred Again..
- P2J
- Dan Carey
- Lostboy
Born in Chatham England, Thomas Hull has risen to global recognition as Kid Harpoon, a highly sought after and award-winning producer, songwriter and musician. His career began at local venues in his hometown in early 2006, followed by the eventual release of several albums of his own music which garnered much critical acclaim. Shortly thereafter, Kid Harpoon embarked on a Producer journey putting his talents to work with other artists to make their musical visions come to life. A multi-hyphenate who can do it all – producer, songwriter, instrumentalist, the list goes on – his diverse skill set has caught the eyes and ears of the industry.
Now, his credits include Harry Styles, Florence and the Machine, Shawn Mendes and Maggie Rogers, including co-writing Harry Styles’ #1 hit single Watermelon Sugar and being a vital contributor to the staggering multi-platinum, chart-topping hit album Harry’s House. With Grammys and BRIT Awards to line his shelves, Kid Harpoon remains uniquely humbly – never one to list off his impressive credentials -- but a name that is widely regarded as one of the preeminent forces in pop music today. He can be found on Spotify HERE and Instagram HERE.
1. How did you get started? And what project elevated your career?

I first started as an artist myself on the London indie scene – lots of touring and playing various shows and hanging out with musicians and friends. During that time, I met Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, and we would hang out a lot, drink and make music together. It was before she really had management or anything going on, so it was really fun.

A year or two later, she’d blown up into a mega star and we talked about doing some writing for her second record, Ceremonials. I managed to get some time with her and wrote a song called Never Let Me Go which we finished with Paul Epworth, who was producing the album. The song became a single, and I ended up with three songs on that album. Following that and some good advice from Paul, I decided to focus on writing and production more and haven’t really looked back since. I love being on this side of the glass now.

2. What would your advice be to anyone starting out?

Trust your instincts. Often it’s the hardest thing to do, but you have to constantly remember that no one has the “correct” answer to anything. This goes for everything. You have to make so many decisions – and not just about music – that your own gut instincts become really important to making your own path. That doesn’t mean ignore everyone around you blindly – you still have to listen – but take in everything around you and move forward without regret.

3. How do you approach collaboration?
For me, it can be a very sensitive balance, and one I have to be careful with. Sometimes I need to have time alone or with only the artist to really maximize what we’re trying to achieve, and other times having a ton of ideas being thrown in the mix is really inspiring. I try to be very aware of how and when to be collaborative within my own process. Also, once you find great working relationships, its worth investing in them as much as you can. For example, I work with Tyler Johnson on all the Harry Styles music and the two of us have a really unique working relationship that we have developed over the past few years. We constantly talk about it, and reevaluate and support each other as that relationship changes too.
I guess the real answer is that every situation requires a different approach, and being open but trusting your instincts is key to making that work.

4. What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the Producer of the Year category?

I’m so honored. I’m a huge fan of all the other nominees, so its a real privilege to be named along with them all. My development from songwriter to producer has been gradual, so it’s nice to get some recognition on that front too.
Music Week’s ‘Songwriter of the Year’ 2020
One of Variety’s Hitmakers of 2020

Awards for Songs Kid Harpoon Produced:
2020 American Music Awards Favorite Pop/Rock Album: Fine Line
2020 Global Awards Best Song: Lights Up
2021 Brit Awards British Single of the Year: Watermelon Sugar
2021 GAFFA Awards International Hit of the Year: Watermelon Sugar
2021 iHeart Radio Music Awards Best Lyrics: Adore You
2021 Juno Awards International Album of the Year: Fine Line
2021 MTV Millennial Awards Global Hit of the Year: Golden
2021 Ivor Novello Awards PRS for Music Most Performed Work: Adore You
2021 Grammy for Best Pop Solo Watermelon Sugar
2021 SOCAN Awards Pop Music Awards: Wonder

Chart Sales/Success:
- As It Was by Harry Styles is the fastest song to 500 million streams on Spotify

- Light On by Maggie Rogers reached number 1 on the US Adult alternative songs

- Wonder debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 200

- Harry’s House was the fastest selling album in the UK in 2022

- Simultaneously Harry’s House was the number one album while As It Was was the number one track in US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Belgium

- In the US, Harry’s House had the largest first week of 2022 for any album

- Harry’s House sold 182,000 vinyls in the US within 3 days of release, setting a new record

- In the UK, Harry’s House 36,000 vinyl sales makes it the best-selling vinyl this century

- As It Was was the US number one single for eight weeks, with three additional songs also in the top 10, and every song on the album in the top 30

- As It Was topped the Hot 100 chart (US) for 15 consecutive weeks, the 4th longest reign in the chart’s history and the longest reign by a British artist.

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