Kaity Rae is a Writer/Producer from London. Her most recent credits include two co-writes on the number 3 album 'Good Years' by The Shires, and working closely with pop artist BETSIE GØLD as her main collaborator, producing all of her so far 6 released singles. Kaity is a passionate advocate for women in music and has a Tiktok following of over 40k, where she uses the platform to inspire women to get into production by uploading short tutorials and song remixes.
How did you get into music production and did you always want to be a music producer?
I definitely fell into music production almost accidently! Back when I had an artist project, I wouldn't touch studio equipment or have much interest in how everything worked/how my producer would take a song from a demo on my phone to the finished product. That definitely changed when I decided to take a long break from being an artist and started writing for others. I asked every artist friend I had to come over to my writing studio at home and co-write for their projects and within around six months, I started to have a few cuts here and there with independent artists. I had also begun to make small demos in those writing sessions and pretty quickly got super into music production, eventually getting first credit as a producer with pop artist BETSIE GØLD. If anyone had asked me even 3 years ago if I thought I would be pursuing a career as a producer, I would have honestly laughed in their face. Funny how fast things change!
Did you encounter any specific obstacles when you first started?
Confidence in myself as a producer was (and still is from time to time) a huge issue for me! I think self doubt is something every creative struggles with, but especially being a woman venturing into the world of music production you often feel like you really have to prove over and over that you're good enough to be there. I remember describing myself as a writer who 'dabbles in production' to a friend and she stopped me and said 'um, excuse me you're a Writer/Producer', and then made me change my instagram bio/website to say that too haha!
I was shocked to discover that only 2% of professional music producers are women. What are your thoughts about that?
It really is shocking. There's a really interesting study done by Vick Bain (former CEO of the BASCA) called 'Counting the Music Industry' which I would highly recommend taking a look at - the research done revealed that there's a lack of representation and a huge gender gap throughout the entire music industry. Since reading her work and being lucky enough to appear on a panel as Alumni at an event Vick held at my University (The Institute Of Contemporary Music Performance), I think that knowing how much work needs to be done to really get women on an equal footing and balance out the industry has fueled my desire to become successful in audio and be an advocate for others wanting to do so. Representation is SO important!
Do you have any tips for other women wanting to get into music production?
Find other women who produce! There's no network you can find that will be as supportive and encouraging as a group of other women in audio. If you're not sure where to find us, there's tons of Facebook groups about, and Instagram pages dedicated to women in production. Try @sheisthemusic @musicproductionforwomen @prodbyher to name a few. Once we can organise social events and meet-ups again, you should also get yourself down to those. Even if you're like me and HATE networking, it's never as bad as you build it up to be in your head - I've met quite a few friends and also made some really useful connections at networking events!
What part of the music production process do you find the hardest, and how do you tackle that?
Organising my files and making sure everything is backed up! I had a few times where I lost files when I was still pretty new to production as technology can be super unreliable and I wasn't organised enough with back-ups. I now have all my stuff syncing automatically to my drop box, and then I also back up on a hard drive after every session. I've also run into issues when sometimes I'll want to access earlier versions of the project - you can revert your projects but I've found that when I'm producing for someone I'll save a 'copy as' onto my hard drive with the date, and then if we want to look at a previous version of the track it's super easy to find. Then after the song is sent to mix you can just go ahead and get rid of all the versions you've got and just keep the final one!
What’s the most fun part for you?
Oh that's a hard question because I genuinely love the whole writing/recording process - but I probably have the most fun when myself and the artist are doing backing vocals/extra vocal shouts and trying to make percussion out of weird things around the studio! I think somewhere there's a video of me that BETSIE GØLD took where I'm standing facing the wall in the corner of the room with a coat over my head shouting backing vocals for a song she's got coming out later this year.. We wanted to try it out to see if it would make me sound really far away (and it worked).
Do you have a particular process for recording and mixing?
Recording a song usually takes around 2-3 days for me. Before we start I get the artist to send me some of their reference tracks and we chat loads about their direction and how they want the final product to sound. Day 1 in the studio we get all the basics down so the main synth sounds chords/beat/a guide vocal/bass and anything else they want to make up the main body of their song. Day 2 is then usually vocals day where we do all the Vocals and backing vocals, edit and choose the best takes. Then the final day we add any spicy extras we've thought of, do any changes and then listen to it loads and loads of times in the following days to check that everything is sounding just as the artist imagined before I get everything ready to send to mix.
I don't mix as I'm super focused on the creative side of producing, but I send most of my songs off to my very talented friend/mix engineer Gareth Gwyn who I would highly recommend! Mixing is a whole other skill in itself that I'm still learning loads about, and I always think it's good to get another pair of ears involved.
Do you write lyrics or sing yourself?
I do! I love to co write with artists for their project and be involved with adding backing vocals. I don't write or sing music for myself very often and a lot of the time if I do it's just for fun (or for a Tiktok..!).
If you had to choose one released track that you are most proud of your production, what is it?
Why did you pick that one?
I just love how it came out - Betsie and I actually wrote it on a Friday the 13th after I had jokingly suggested it, and then we both realised it was probably a good idea! I love doing super upbeat production with tons of vocals so I think I picked this one just because of how much fun it was to record!
What’s your next project?
I'm currently working with a few super talented artists - Betsie and I have a few more songs coming out this year that we're just finishing up, and I've also just had a song released with Lleo and another one coming in a few months. I'm excited to get back to writing with people in real life as I'm opening up my studio again in August (with tons of hand sanitizer and social distancing!) so I think I'm going to be super focused on that for a while.
How can we hire you?
I have a page on my website about working with me (linked below) - fill out the form at the bottom and I'll get back to you on email asap!