Will Snyder
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Will Snyder

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Jazz

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Will Snyder @ Daufuskie Island Rum Company

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, United States

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, United States

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"Will Snyder talks upcoming release in 2017"

Will Snyder Talks Upcoming Album Release in 2017

Jacqueline Cassell November 7, 2016 All Posts, Rising Artists
For Pop/ Folk / Jazz Artist, Will Snyder, music is no stranger. After studying music through high school in 2002 at Idyllwild Arts with Marshall Hawkins, he then attended Berklee College of Music to continue music studies where he went on to win the Bass Department Achievement award and the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship Award in 2006. After college he signed with Marble Mountain Records for his original music, which at the time could be described as pop/ folk/jazz, where he was able to develop his skills as an artist, singer and producer through various studios such as Avatar Studios in NYC,NY and Mix One in Boston, MA as well as Marble Mountain Records studio in Boston and Orlando, FL.

In June 2014, he released his first single Love Me, which was widely spun in London after being remixed by remix team, 7th Heaven. After years of developing and honing his studio chops and musicianship, he began to be sought after as a producer for other artists. In October 2014, jazz guitarist/ composer Graham Dechter sought his insight as a producer on his record Takin’ it There which went on to be the #1 jazz record spun in the country for two weeks in a row.

From 2014 to 2016 he has released two full length records, 2028 mixed by Grammy winners Mick Guzauski, Miles Walker and Will Hensley, and My Condition mixed by Will Hensley. He is scheduled to start production on his next record in late 2016 which is being produced by songwriter and singer, Angie Aparo. We caught up with Will Snyder to talk about some of his most recent releases, including

When did you first get involved with music? When did you know it was something you wanted to pursue? I first got involved with music when I was 15. I was playing hockey at a school in Massachusetts, and I wasn’t particularly good, so I became distracted and started hanging out with the music teacher’s kids and they were both talented musicians. I started playing bass and piano and I became obsessed with it. From then on every decision I made was in some way to try and further my life with music

Along the way of your music career, you have received awards, studied under pretigious instructors, and written and produced with award winning producers. Out of all of these accomplishments, which means the most to you? The one that means the most is the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship at Berklee. I was truly honored to be the first recipient of the award and I got it through hard work and after years of trying to impress professors, so it really meant a lot to me. The #1 was great too. I woke up to a text of my friend saying “we’re # 1!”. That kind of validates the struggle and the doubt you get as an artist and musician from yourself and others.

You’re currently working on your upcoming record, set to release in 2017. Can you give us a little glimpse of what the writing and production process has been like? Production wise we’ve been trying to keep it as simple as possible, even going so far as to limit which instruments we use and how many tracks. Before making the record we spent a lot of time trying to figure out what we wanted the core or the essence of the record to be, which came down to voice and a Wurlitzer style sound. Keep it as simple as possible and let the songs speak for themselves. We also spent some time trying to find a good key in the low mid range register where my voice has a lot of richness. So the production has been a minimalist approach, which is always a fun artistic choice to make. It limits your options so you just have to make the right one.

What has it been like working with singer/songwriter, Angie Aparo? Working with Angie has been a truly enlightening experience. Every so often you come across extraordinary talents and he certainly is one of them. He’s helped me tremendously both with songwriting and singing. He’s an excellent singer so even as a friend when we go out to drink I pick his brain about all that stuff. It’s been invaluable to my growth. Since he’s producing my vocal, his comments and direction for my voice has helped shaped me as an artist, and of course writing songs with him has also helped me grow as well.

How will it differ from your previous works? The process has been different than I’ve been accustomed to. This next record is entirely written by Angie Aparo, and also produced by him, which gives the record a very different sound compared to stuff I’ve released before. I’m taking a bit of a backseat production wise but I’m gonna take a stab at mixing the songs, which is a lot of fun for me. I’ve always had someone mix my stuff, but mixing has always been a bit of a hobby for me so it’ll be a blast. The process has been so different that it’s exciting and fresh. It gets easy to fall into the same techniques and routines, and Angie is an amazing songwriter and musician so it’s been a pleasure and a privledge. - Entertwine.net


"Will Snyder"

April 2013
Will Snyder
Author: Michael Paskevich | Photographer: Krisztian Lonyai
Will Snyder settles in over a cup of coffee and starts to chart an emerging career in music that, at the
formative age of 27, is still very much in progress. And it’s off to a most convincing launch, if earning coproducing
credits on the country’s number one jazz album and stepping up to share his skills with local
luminaries are worthy indicators. Last night, he played piano supporting award­winning Jazz Corner chief
Bob Masteller, dean of Hilton Head’s formidable traditional jazz scene, and Snyder’s also got his own
steady gig going the next evening at an organic Italian restaurant at Coligny Plaza.
“There’s so much world­class talent here, even if it’s still kind of an underground thing,” said Snyder, an
outgoing guy who, over the course of a single­cup interview, reels off no shortage of names of friends,
teachers and fellow musicians as keys to his expanding impact. “I’m humbled by them; honestly I can’t
take any credit for all the great music that’s been going on around here.”
The Chicago­born Snyder describes himself as a standard­issue “stubborn kid” who picked up a bass guitar
at the age of 15 then refused to listen to anything but jam band Phish despite the entreaties of family that
he consider broadening his musical horizons. “I was totally obsessed,” he laughed. “I had something like
300 Phish bootlegs, followed them live whenever I could and walked around hearing nothing but Mike
Gordon’s bass lines in my head. I really had a case of tunnel vision.”
His parents, Bob and Ann, retired to Hilton Head Island, and Snyder’s enrollment at the Idyllwild Arts
Academy in the high desert above Palm Springs, California started erasing his musical myopia. “All I could
do then was esoteric clamp bass”—he mimes thumping thumb and finger pops—“and my instructor,
Marshal Hawkins who played bass with Miles Davis, told me some things I’ll never forget… like how Phish
got their sound by listening to a million different things and that maybe I should think about hearing
something new.”
He smiles as he recalls growing obsessed once again, this time to the classic jazz trio sounds of pianist
Oscar Peterson and bassist Ray Brown, often sharing his enthrallment with high school buddy and budding
musician, Graham Dechter, who will figure in further down the road. “We would listen to this amazing oldschool
swing stuff all day long, and it proved to me how everything can change almost overnight.”
Indeed, after rejections from lesser­known music schools, Snyder scored a slot at the prestigious Berklee
School of Music and spent summers playing bass with Zach and Whitley Deputy’s Funky Hayride and the
likes of Trevor Hall at island clubs. There were back­at­school gigs in Boston, essential “hustles” renting
sound equipment and such and the start of work on a solo project that languished more than once. There
was also a six­month cruise sailing South America, playing sets five times a day that honed his straightahead
jazz skills before Snyder settled full­time on Hilton Head circa 2010 and was immediately deluged
with all the work he could handle.
He played bass exclusively with whatever ensemble needed him, continued work on his solo effort and
began teaching local youngsters with an outspoken candor he heard from his instructors at music school. “I
learned from my own teachers not to hold back (criticism),” he says, “and that’s how I approach things
with my students. I won’t dumb it down, and even if it doesn’t make sense right now, maybe it will
eventually come to them like it did for me.”
Likewise, the young man familiar locally as a great bass player, has switched gears over the past year,
turning what he terms “a long side affair” with keyboards into a public avocation that remains the heart of
his oft­delayed solo album. Then old/young friend Dechter, who was a violin player when they met before
finding his stride as guitarist for the Clayton­Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and on singer Michael Buble’s
“Christmas” album/TV special, surfaced one day by phone and asked Snyder to fly to Los Angeles.
“He said, ‘I’m having trouble finishing this, so I thought I’d call a guy who’s also having trouble getting
things done,’” Snyder said with an easy smile. The result was “Takin’ It There,” an acclaimed recording
that debuted at number one last year and continues to linger near the top of the jazz charts. Snyder
shares production and mixing credits on an album that’s sparked his desire to finish a debut he began
years ago.
“I’ve done my own album probably four times, and it didn’t feel right … it just wasn’t there yet.” His “Life
Could Be Grand” project includes an electronic soul­groove sample track (“San Francisco”), mixed but not
yet mastered, that finds Snyder singing easily amid a soft wash of synthesizers. He sounds ready to take
things to the next level and has been drawing label interest. “It’s almost finished and I feel like I’m getting
more comfortable. It will be done soon, and I’m so glad I waited.” Assisting on production are Atlanta­ based Kyle Patrick (former lead singer of the Click Five) and Atlanta­based mixer Miles Walker who’s
worked with Rihanna among others.
Meanwhile, Snyder plies his skills at island venues despite offers of touring Asia (with Kyle Patrick) and all
the request work he can handle. He plays piano in deep­roots duets with rotating bass players such as
Dave Keller every Wednesday through Saturday (6:30­10:30 p.m.) at Vine restaurant when not working
on his own project or producing tracks with the likes of Cranford and Sons.
“It’s all about new techniques and approaches,” he said. “I’m still learning. - CH2


"Career Advice from Will Snyder"

By Caleb Hsu
Being able to perform well is no longer the only thing you need to sustain a career in the music industry. After graduating Berklee as a performance major, Will Snyder went on to co-produce Graham Detcher’s (guitarist for Michael Bublé) album, Takin’ It There, which was number one in jazz albums for two weeks in the U.S. Will talks about utilizing skills other than performing to get gigs post graduation and how to stay active as a current day musician.
Berklee Groove: What was your major at Berklee and the most valuable thing you took away from it?
Will Snyder: My major at Berklee was Bass Performance and I completed my credits in 2006 but stayed longer to take additional harmony and arranging courses – courses that turned out to be the some of the most valuable courses I took at Berklee. Of course it’s hard to say, since you have to go through all the preliminary courses (i.e. four semesters of Ear Training & Harmony) to be able to understand some of the courses I took, but the ones in particular that I’m referring to are Reharmonization Techniques taught by Randy Felts, and Chord Scales for Arranging taught by Jackson Schultz.
The course Randy taught, accompanied by his fantastic book, opened my mind and ears to all kinds of techniques. He simplified the concepts in such a way that once the core concepts were learned, I became so overflowing with ideas and excitement that I would sit at the piano and arrange songs right out of the Real Book using those very techniques. One of the greatest techniques I learned from the class, one that really opens up a whole new world of reharmonization, is based on the relationship the melody note has with the harmony. The course Jackson taught was so valuable because it got me playing the soli parts on piano, which are reminiscent of George Shearing and a lot of musicians take note of that and have called me for gigs when they want something like that. It’s one of the coolest classes taught at Berklee; Jackson is an amazing and supportive teacher.
That’s just the ‘music’ part of arranging. The actual performance stuff came from the unbelievable bass department at Berklee. The bass department is the most supportive group of the most incredible players who know how to push students in the right direction and get incredible results. One professor in particular, Danny Morris, had an incredible vibe, passion, energy and super hip style of muted bass that was highly emulated by so many of the students, myself included. Whit Browne is another, with his enormous experience and knowledge of jazz and honest opinions. Lastly, Anthony Vitti was the most outwardly honest teacher I ever had who helped me develop technique and significantly build my chops up.
BG: Describe the transition from being in college to actual work in the real world with high-profile artists.
WS: The transition from college life to work life can be a challenge. It took some getting used to figuring out what to do. I ended up playing bass on a cruise ship for a while and then hopped on another one after that. There are three pieces of advice I can give on this matter:
Do all you can. Unless your plan is to master one instrument and make a name for yourself exclusively focusing on just that, which is super admirable, then you should learn as many skills as possible. Play bass one night, play piano another, teach kids the next day, and figure out how to use Pro Tools and Logic so you can record your friend the day after that. Fill your schedule with as much as possible and eventually you’ll be the one handing gigs over to people because you are all booked up. I front a jazz band four days a week and it’s helped my musicianship tremendously.
Help as many people as you can in the business. What goes around comes around. Clubs will call me looking for bands or acts because someone backed out or they forgot to book, and I’ve gone way out of my way to try and help them out several times. Call all your contacts and try to help them out; this goes a very long way. If not, just to be a nice person. You’re setting yourself up for people to want to help you back. Plus, it’s a good way to make friends and meet new people.
When beginning to work with high-profile artists, stand up for yourself and what you know you deserve (i.e. credit, money or whatever it happens to be), even if it means confrontation. While this can be very harrowing and uncomfortable at first, and it really is, it’s the only way to move forward. The artist or person you’re working with may get upset or frustrated and wonder why you are not ‘just happy to have this opportunity’. They’ll storm out of the room, call their manager, and you’ll call yours to make sure you didn’t make a giant mistake. Both managers will calm everyone down and a mutual respect happens. Those artists will see you have confidence, gain confidence in you, and in turn want you on the next project.
BG: What do you look for in an album – any key features?
WS: I think it’s important to understand that every album is different and it really depends on the genre. What I would look for in a jazz record is most likely different than in a pop record. For example, in a pop record I’m honestly listening for cool production and engineering tricks that people are using, or other cool transitional effects or interesting drum sounds. The mixes are fantastic on a lot of pop records, so I’m listening to them and enjoying their high fidelity. In a jazz record, depending on what kind of jazz it is, I’m listening for cool arrangement ideas mostly. After I’ve listened for that, I’ll focus in on the soloists and what they have to say. For me, it’s all about the arrangement. I’d rather hear the best arrangement I’ve ever heard than the best solo I’ve ever heard.
BG: In your own words, what makes Takin’ It There unique?
WS: Takin’ It There is unique because it’s a young talent – Graham Dechter – playing a style of music that I just don’t hear most people playing (i.e. hard swing, reminiscent of Oscar Peterson arrangements with guitar). It takes an incredible skill level, yet the actual skill hardly ever calls attention to itself. Instead, it just makes your body move and groove. It’s unique to me because hardly anyone out there is touching this style of music with the same focus, dedication, or passion that Graham has for the music, as well as the other players on the record – Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton and Tamir Hendlemann.
BG: How do you define a modern producer?
WS: To me, two of the most important qualities for a modern producer are a love and understanding for technology, along with a complete respect for the mix and how very important it is. I love technology. It doesn’t matter what style of music, people are always looking for high fidelity these days. My younger sister liked a song she heard somewhere, so she bought it on iTunes and we were listening in the car. When I asked her why she didn’t buy the original cut from 30 years ago, she said the more recent version had better sound quality. The younger generation coming up is used to hearing big kicks with a lot of snap, crystal clear vocals and very deep bass, and don’t have any patience for sounds that are irritating or not beefy enough. It’s important to take note of the younger generation because they’re the future and market for many styles of music.
I remember working with a rap artist and he said, “Everyone wants that ‘good’ sound.” Everyone knows right away what’s a good sound. So for me, being a good producer means understanding what makes a good mix – both musically speaking and engineering wise. My advice: learn Pro Tools! Mix your friends’ songs and study engineering. There are so many technological devices available today to make music sound better. The more you know about mixing, the more cool techniques you can do while tracking instruments so the mix engineer can take it into the stratosphere and come up with mixes that are just unbelievable. Many people don’t know the difference between a bad song and a bad mix, so that’s something to keep in mind. Get the mix right or you risk your beautiful music being snubbed.
BG: What are your future projects/goals?
WS: I’ve got a couple things coming up. I will be mixing Angie Aparo’s next record in a bit. He wrote the song “Cry,” which was the winning song of The Voice this season. Coming up in March, Graham and I are getting together to come up with music ideas for his next record – Party Time – which is gonna be a blast! I’m also in the process of finishing my pop record, Life Could be Grand, with one of my favorite musicians and producers, Kyle Patrick (former singer of the band The Click Five who is now developing a successful solo career along with his video “Go for Gold” which will hopefully be released in the next few months). - Berklee Groove


"Will Snyder's Lonely Afternoon Gives Us High Octane Performance"

"Will Snyder dazzles, perplexes and scintillates with his high-octane performance; his highly individual lyrical style and smoothly layered musical arrangement transform this song into a four minute detour into the mind and heart of a very talented singer-songwriter. Add to it, Will Snyder’s captivating vibrato voice and the formula becomes hypnotic. No – addictive, that is the word that best describes this song. He is a sublime songwriter and your ears will just thrill at his singing and his energy. Will gives us the highest quality music – and this is exciting, heartfelt, exhilarating music.” - Independent Music News 24


"Will Snyder will Thrill Your Ears"

"This is simply delightful music that is a breath of fresh air into the contemporary music scene. Will Snyder is not only a unique composer, singer and musician but he is a great story-teller as is evident in this song and throughout his album, may I add.
Moreover, I think Will’s music transcends strict genre limitations. His melodies and rhythms are so immaculately and elegantly smooth they would appeal to just about anybody I can think of. Will Snyder is able to lift the mind and spirit with the perfect match of lyric to music!” - Jamsphere


Discography

Will Snyder - My Condition 10 song LP rel. 2016 BMI

Will Snyder - 2028 10 song LP rel. 2014 BMI

Will Snyder - Love Me (7th Heaven Remix) [Radio Edit] rel. 2014 BMI

Will Snyder - Love Me (7th Heaven Remix) [Club Mix] rel. 2014 BMI


Photos

Bio


For Pop/ Folk / Jazz Artist, Will Snyder, music is no stranger. After studying music through high school in 2002 at Idyllwild Arts with Marshall Hawkins, he then attended Berklee College of Music to continue music studies where he went on to win the Bass Department Achievement award and the Wes Wehmiller Scholarship Award in 2006. After college he signed with Marble Mountain Records for his original music, which at the time could be described as pop/ folk/jazz, where he was able to develop his skills as an artist, singer and producer through various studios such as Avatar Studios in NYC,NY and Mix One in Boston, MA as well as Marble Mountain Records studio in Boston and Orlando, FL.

In June 2014, he released his first single Love Me, which was widely spun in London after being remixed by remix team, 7th Heaven. After years of developing and honing his studio chops and musicianship, he began to be sought after as a producer for other artists. In October 2014, jazz guitarist/ composer Graham Dechter sought his insight as a producer on his record Takin’ it There which went on to be the #1 jazz record spun in the country for two weeks in a row.


From 2014 to 2016 he has released two full length records, 2028 mixed by Grammy winners Mick Guzauski, Miles Walker and Will Hensley, and My Condition mixed by Will Hensley. He is working on his 3rd record, which is being produced by Grammy winning songwriter Angie Aparo.


Band Members