Bradley J Simons

Session Guitarist, Songwriter

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5 Reviews
Bradley J Simons on SoundBetter

From touring as a guitarist with Tupelo Honey and Makeshift Innocence (Forest Blakk) to earning 3 Juno nominations for production work with Shawnee Kish and Nuela Charles, I have almost two decades of experience in both the studio and the stage, giving a unique perspective toward making great music.

Hey! My name is Brad, I'm a musician, producer, and founder of Velveteen Music :)

I spent my early professional years as a gigging musician, touring Canada and the US playing with artists such as Tupelo Honey, Makeshift Innocence (Forest Blakk), Mapping The Escape, and Souljah Fyah. For the past 10 years, I've been focused on producing artists, and I founded the music production team Velveteen Music. Our team has a distribution deal through Believe Music, and we recently signed a publishing deal with Cymba Music Publishing.

I can do various aspects of music production, but my specialty is instruments and songwriting. My main instrument is the guitar, however, I am proficient on keys/synths, bass, background vocals, and drums.

I gravitate towards a modern electronic pop guitar sound, infused with licks inspired by John Mayer, Mateus Asato, and Ariel Posen when appropriate.

My guitars:

1. Suhr Classic Pro HSS
2. Gibson ES 335
3. Fender '62 Reissue Telecaster
4. Taylor Mini GS

Amps:

1. 65 Amps Soho
2. Fender Deluxe Reverb
3. Mesa Lonestar

Guitar Plugins:

1. Neural DSP
2. Universal Audio
3. Guitar Rig
4. Bias

We have an extensive gear selection at the studio, including an SSL console, PMC monitors, and outboard from Neve, UA, API, Hazelrigg/DW Fearn, Tubetech, and more.

Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.

Languages

  • English

5 Reviews

Endorse Bradley J Simons
  1. Review by Allan Cabral
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    Brad is a true production, guitar and songwriting wizard! I worked with Brad on my first track ever, and he translated my ideas, concepts and song structure into a beautiful and relatable final product, giving me the chance to claim my song as music that genuinely felt like me. He is a true listener and incredible in terms of finding creative solutions to solve challenges that may occur throughout the songwriting process. I was so pleased with his work that I decided to come back and produce 5 additional tracks. Any project that has him on board will 100% benefit from his wealth of knowledge!

  2. Review by Jordan Jones
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    by Jordan Jones

    Bradley is second to non when it comes to anything musical. He’s a beast when it comes to playing on pretty much anything. I’ve worked with him on multiple tracks and continue to work with him heavily. I highly recommend working with Bradley Simons on you next project! He’s kind, talented, easy to work with, and knows his shit!

  3. Review by Andrew Goodwin
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    by Andrew Goodwin

    Such an amazing player! Any genre from pop licks to shredding metal! He is the best of the best. He had an ear for things like I've never seen!

  4. Review by JUNYOR
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    by JUNYOR

    Hands down the best player I have ever had the pleasure of working with! He nails it first take every time and then gives you 12 amazing options. Plays basically everything and is an insane producer/engineer! He is kind and efficient! They don't make them like this anymore!

  5. Review by Brandon Unis
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    Brad is hands down the most musical person I’ve ever worked with. He’s got a way of coming up with parts that not only compliment the song, but enhance the emotions trying to be conveyed. All the while never stepping on the vocal - but actually supporting it! He’s amazing at taking direction, presenting options, respecting the vision but most importantly providing guidance based on his years of experience and musical prowess. Can’t recommend him highly enough!

Interview with Bradley J Simons

  1. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  2. A: I think we're at the point where guitar amp plugins are keeping up with real amps, so a big misconception is that those things are needed to get a great guitar tone. In my opinion, they sound different, but not better or worse.

  3. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  4. A: I think we're at the point where guitar amp plugins are keeping up with real amps, so a big misconception is that those things are needed to get a great guitar tone. In my opinion, they sound different, but not better or worse.

  5. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  6. A: New Shawnee Kish record, starting up the Jordan Jones EP, and just finished up the Kaeley Jade record.

  7. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  8. A: Brandon Unis, he's an unbelievable mixing engineer, producer, and songwriter. Has a gold record, multiple Juno nominations and is a go-to mixer for 604 Records in Canada.

  9. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  10. A: I am extremely lucky to be a part of Shawnee Kish's production team, and her first EP was something special. She's such a powerhouse of a singer and writer. I was a co-writer, co-producer, and got to play essentially all instruments on the record (almost all drums, all bass, guitars, keys, synths, percussion, and some bg's). We were invited to do a part of the record at National Music Center in Calgary, and ultimately we ended up being nominated for a Juno Award. I certainly will never forget that experience.

  11. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  12. A: I think both have a sound and a purpose, so for sure use both!

  13. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  14. A: I will continue working on the project until you're happy.

  15. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  16. A: Making music is always a blast, so no complaints there. But the best part is building relationships with like-minded people, getting inspired, and pushing each other to do better. Because music requires us to open up more than the average person, we can build strong friendships with what we do

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: What are your goals as an artist, musical inspirations, experience, etc? But also, what kinds of things do you do outside of music? What do you do for fun?

  19. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  20. A: Just try to find someone who intrinsically matches the sound/style you're looking for. Musicians are usually pretty versatile, but they do have a sound, just like any other artist. If it's the sound you're looking for, then they will naturally get you what you're looking for.

  21. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  22. A: I started on piano at age 5, picked up the guitar at 10, drums at 12, and so on. Took the first year of the MacEwan University Music program, and started touring immediately after. I started recording on the side of gigging and landed my first hired production in 2006. Been at it professionally for 16 years, both live and in the studio.

  23. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  24. A: Jacob Collier. To me, he's the pinnacle of musical intuition, knowledge, and ability

  25. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  26. A: Stratocaster, Apollo Twin, SM7, laptop, any MIDI controller.

  27. Q: How would you describe your style?

  28. A: My style as a producer, guitarist, and songwriter is generally to say the most with the least amount of notes/words. I try to only get technical when the moment calls for it, otherwise, it's the song and the emotion first.

  29. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  30. A: Where do I begin... for specialists, I absolutely love the groove and feel of the drummer Nate Smith, the expression of guitarists like Ariel Posen, and the extensive talent of Jacob Collier. From a songwriting perspective, I love older Kings of Leon (Come Around Sundown era), Daft Punk's overall sound and retro-futuristic vibe, Charlie Puth's hooky lyrics and melodies, Kacey Musgrave's retro vibes, and pop artists like Harry Styles, Sam Smith, and Dua Lipa. Specifically as a guitar player, I grew up on a lot of metal and shred guitar, from 80's Metallica, to Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. However these days my three favorite players are John Mayer, Mateus Asato, and Ariel Posen.

  31. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  32. A: If it sounds good, it sounds good. Although it's important to understand best practices, don't get caught up in following a set framework. Don't be afraid to take risks, that's how you come up with something unique.

  33. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  34. A: I typically work on pop music, however, that has become a pretty wide net lately. I love pop music that involves a mixture of real and synthetic instruments, retains the human emotion but adds a futuristic flavor.

  35. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  36. A: My ear training. Although I don't have perfect pitch, my relative pitch is strong from training as a young musician, but also years of gigging and being required to act on the fly.

  37. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  38. A: Because I've spent years behind the studio desk as an engineer, years on stage as a musician, and years creating as an artist, I have a unique perspective on the music creation process that allows me to approach it from many angles. I am able to translate the music theory into the building blocks of what is needed to capture the artist vision, no matter the genre

  39. Q: What's your typical work process?

  40. A: I like to start by gaining an understanding of the artist's vision for the song, the types of emotions, colors, and themes they want to convey, and then I translate that into chord progressions and melodies and find instruments and tones that match the vibe. Then we start experimenting until we find the sounds needed to match that vision

  41. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  42. A: Velveteen has an extensive equipment setup, including a 2500 SF facility equipped with an SSL Matrix 2 Console, PMC 6-2 Speakers, outboard from Neve, UA, API, Tubetech, Hazelrigg DW Fearn, and over 50 microphones from Neumann, AKG, Josephson, Sennheiser, Miktek and more.

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: I am typically involved in the construction of the song, building the instrumentation, co-writing lyrics and providing backup vocals, sometimes additional lead parts.

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Light Me Up by Shawnee Kish

I was the co-producer, drummer, bassist, guitarist, keyboard player, and background vocalist in this production

Terms Of Service

Unlimited revisions, I go until you are happy! On guitar, I can provide the DI, individual mics, tracks summed through additional gear, and even presets if using amp sim software.

Gear Highlights
  • Suhr Custom Classic Pro
  • Gibson ES 335
  • Fender 62 Telecaster
  • 65Amps Soho 2x12
  • Hazelrigg VNE & VLC
  • SSL Matrix2 Console
  • PMC 6-2 Monitors
  • API A2D
  • UA 6176
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