Love Harder is the solo alias of record producer, songwriter and artist Will Simms. He’s worked with the likes of the Pussycat Dolls, The Vamps and Stylo G, as well as with Aitana and Ana Guerra for their triple-platinum track Lo Malo. Under this guise, which started in 2019, the London-based producer – who has his eyes set on a new studio in LA – makes euphoric, trance-inspired EDM.
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With proudly-owned Moog One and UDO Super 6 synths serving as “part of the furniture” at home, Will gives us the lowdown on how he splits the workload between there and the studio. We also hear about the retro inspiration behind his new track, Get to Know Me.
We love your new track Get to Know Me. How did you make it?
When I was around 18, one of my favourite tunes was a trance tune called Greece 2000 by Three Drives. It was on loop on this weird pirate dance TV channel in France I used to be glued to.
During the pandemic I got the Moog One and thought, ‘What if I tried to make a version of it?’ Originally I did, at 126bpm, but then my wife came down and said, “Why don’t you slow it down so it’s more chilled and deep?” So I did and it felt much better.
Then I brought it to the studio and played it during a session with Amber Van Day and that’s when we wrote the top line. Amber’s vocals are always dope.
Do you work differently as Love Harder than as Will Simms?
Definitely! Will Simms can be more pop and even a little crazier when it comes to production and songwriting. I am still trying to figure out my way of working on Love Harder and my sound for the project.
Tell us a bit about the studio.
My studio is in Shoreditch in the same building as my publishers, which is lucky. I’ve been here for about 10 years now. It’s a fairly simple set-up, as I’m used to working on my laptop anywhere really, but there is a sheep-on-wheels called Lester and a few fun bits around to keep the vibes light.
I work anywhere – I travel a lot but Shoreditch is my main base. Also, I have my second set-up at home where I keep the Moog One and the UDO Super 6, because I love to have them at home as part of the furniture.
How do you use your studio?
I use the space for sessions and vocal recordings. It’s a cool area and people like to come to Shoreditch to work. The room is a good size, so I can have a few people in at the same time. Otherwise, I prefer to finish the records at home. I like my personal space and chill time when I work on finishing something, so both spaces work out perfectly for me.
What atmosphere do you try and create in the studio?
I love talking with people and trying to create an environment with little pressure. Fun, with a little bit of ‘Let’s see what the fuck we are going to come up with today if we use this sound’.
I can be creative anywhere but sometimes being able to turn the speakers loud does excite me and sparks a different kind of creativity.
Which DAW do you use?
What’s your favourite piece of gear?
What synth or effect can be heard most on Get to Know Me?
Definitely the Moog One for the pluck and some little atmospheric bits, and a lot of Xfer Serum for the rest.
We love how you incorporate Three Drive’s Greece 2000 riff into Get to Know Me.
That’s how I started the record, even before I had the top line. I just love that song. I even figured out that the original was pitched up to 458Hz. It’s meant to be the frequency that opens the third eye, which is why the original from Three Drives felt so amazing. But I decided to have mine mixed at 440Hz as I could only do it with pitch-shifter and it was messing with the sound.
What’s been the biggest investment in your studio? Was it worth it?
Definitely the Moog One and yes, it was so worth it.
What’s next on your shopping list?
Next on the list are Yamaha NS10 monitors, if I can find some good working ones. I blew mine and need to get some new ones ASAP – I can’t live without them.
What’s your dream piece of gear?
Honestly, I think I have some good bits but, of course, I would love to have a real piano in the studio and maybe a Solid State Logic Origin desk.
How did you go about getting the acoustics right in the studio?
Right now, I just bought a bunch of things from GIK Acoustics and tried to do the best I could with my friend Kiris. It’s really not that thought about. But when I move to LA, in my next studio it will be a big priority.
What’s your top piece of production advice?
Don’t be afraid to try shit out. Honestly, the crazier the better. You don’t know what you could land on. Just be as creative as your mind will let you.
What is the one piece of advice you would give someone starting out building a studio?
Get a good vocal set-up if you are into writing and recording songs. For the rest, find the bits that make you happy and obviously learn a DAW to the max.
Listen to Get to Know Me by Love Harder.
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