He’s not be a household name, but Louis Bell, who has worked with Post Malone, Camila Cabello and Halsey, may well be the hottest songwriter and producer in the world right now.
Bell consistently tops Billboard’s weekly #Hot100Producers chart and has just been named the biggest hit songwriter in the world by industry website Music Business Worldwide.
The site crunched a lot of data and found that Bell, who co-wrote four Top 10 hits in the first half of the year, was top dog thanks to his role in penning Post Malone’s Sunflower and Wow, along with the Jonas Brothers’ Sucker and Halsey’s Without Me. (Other previous hits include Camila Cabello’s Havana).
And in case that wasn’t enough, Bell was also recently named Songwriter of The Year at the 2019 ASCAP Pop Awards.
Of Post Malone, he said: “The first time I ever heard his voice I was like ‘how old is this guy, 35?. He has so much soul and pain in his voice’. Then I found out he was 19 years old. I thought: ‘I have to work with him’.
“He never just sings. He always finds a way to have an interesting lyric or take on things.”
In our quest to find out more about who this guy is, and the secret of his success, we came across an interview he gave tech/audio website Pensado’s Place (watch it HERE). It’s worth a watch as Bell has lots of interesting things to say about how he gets the best out of singers in the studio. Here’s a rundown of what we learnt.
The vocal is key to any record
A singer himself, Bell says it’s important that an artist understands their voice inside out and has “natural attack”.
“A clear artist is like a nice pool with no waves and we can see right to the bottom. If things aren’t right, you get distortion.”
The best take is often the first one
“With Post Malone, I’ll record 15 minutes straight and that’s it. Every song we’ve ever done together has been a 15-minute take chopped up into a song. It always comes from that first take. If he [Post Malone] has to go back in, he feels like maybe it’s not that great.”
“I always end up using a Sony C800. Anytime I’m recording somebody the C800 always gives me what I’m looking for.” (Be warned this baby is not cheap. You’ll get very little change from ten grand.)
He likes to write on the move
Whenever Bell gets an idea for a lyric or melody, he saves it on his phone.
“I like to pull out my phone and record an idea right away. If you walk around you might tap into something interesting, I’ve written a lot of melodies on the way to Coffee Bean, just walking down the street.”
He likes artists who are decisive
“Once I get in the room and notice that an artist is decisive, it’s like love at first sight.”