The A&R Awards: Producer of The Year - Mark Ralph

The A&R Awards: Producer of The Year - Mark Ralph

4th 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 Mark Ralph who has produced some of the biggest chart smashes in recent years, working with an impressive roster of artists.

Be sure to read back on our previous profiles which include:
- Fred Again..
- P2J
- Dan Carey
- Lostboy
Mark Ralph is an award-winning British record producer, mixer and Ivor Novello-nominated songwriter. Spanning a wide range of genres, he is known for his contributions to records from artists including Years & Years, Jax Jones, Clean Bandit, Aitch, Georgia, Sub Focus, Rudimental, Plan B, The Snuts, Gryffin, Zara Larsson, George Fitzgerald, Tom Walker, Eats Everything, A1 x J1, DJ Regard, Sam Ryder, Jess Glynne, Becky Hill, Rag'n'Bone Man and more.

Ralph has 11 Number 1 records under his belt across the UK Single and Album Charts, and was the inaugural recipient of the Producer of the Year award at the 2016 A&R Awards, for which he has been nominated a total of four times, most recently in 2022.

1. How did you get started? And what project elevated your career?
My first job in music was as a session guitarist and the job that kicked it off for me was filling in for Nile Rodgers on We Are Family by Sister Sledge (the re-release!), in my teens - it inspired me to skip university and try music, and I’ve been lucky enough to have carved a career in it ever since. Many projects have been stepping stones along the way, from getting signed to Polydor as an artist to making albums with Hot Chip, Hot Natured & Franz Ferdinand to writing and producing with Jax Jones, Years & Years, Clean Bandit, Georgia, Becky Hill, Tom Walker and many other diverse and inspiring artists. I feel it’s been a steady building process, rather than there having been a single moment of elevation.

2. What would your advice be to anyone starting out?
Stick to your convictions, through thick and thin, but also be inventive in how you utilise all of your talents, and also diversify as much as possible.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! And don’t be afraid of a challenge - I often remember one source of musical inspiration, Conny Plank’s motto “And now we learn by doing!”, it hung on a plaque on the wall in his studio!

3. What are you top five bits of gear or software?
- SSL E-Series Console
- My custom built Conny Plank console
- Roland Jupiter 8
- All of my Waves sofware
- My 1979 Black with maple-necked Telecaster, which was given to me by my Dad at the age of 8!

4. How do you approach collaboration?
Most of my musical life is a collaboration. Coming from a background of being in a band, every project that I collaborate on with others feels, to me like joining a band temporarily.

It should be inspirational, fun and full of happy, accidental occurrences, which is what happens when human beings get together and create.

5. What does it mean to you to be a finalist in the Producer of the Year

It is a fantastic privilege, everyone else nominated this year is stellar and I’m proud to have been nominated alongside them.
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