Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

January 19, 2013

Slate: How to make a Justin Bieber song

If you haven't yet heard the Justin Bieber song "Thought of You," it is only a matter of time. It's the ninth track on Bieber's third album, "Believe," and while it has yet to hit airwaves as a single, its earworm potential is undeniable. There's something joyous about the way all the sounds come in and start grooving together, a blend of sugary synths, handclaps and sirens. The song demonstrates the weird mix of euphoria and precision that now characterizes pop music: Every note sounds focus-group tested and groomed to perfection. You get the sense that the man behind the track is part composer, part gem cutter and part drill sergeant.

The man behind "Thought of You" is Ariel Rechtshaid. He is a 32-year-old music writer and producer who has worked with a notably diverse set of artists, including Usher, Cass McCombs, Snoop Dogg, We Are Scientists, Glasser and Theophilus London. He masterminded the 2005 platinum-selling ballad "Hey There Delilah" by the Plain White T's and is a veteran performer in his own right: He played guitar and sang for a ska-punk band called the Hippos in high school and later helped launch an indie rock outfit, Foreign Born.

As a producer, Rechtshaid isn't as well known as Max Martin, Dr. Luke or David Guetta (they're the kings of production, he's still a prince), but a string of wise partnerships, including an ongoing alliance with Philadelphia-based hit-maker Diplo, makes him an artist to watch. He lives in Los Angeles, where like many in the business, he uses the audio production software Pro Tools to compose, edit and mix sounds. But, he told me in an interview recently, he's also stocked his studio with more old-school technologies: guitars and synths, drum machines and analog recording equipment. "I'm big into playing and recording everything, then reviewing it, cutting out moments that feel good and bringing them together, just seeing what comes of it," he says.

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Night & Day
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  • NAD Jennings column art 072414 Trio of acts make their triumphant returns They say all good things come in threes so we will be looking at three shows coming to the region this weekend, including a supergroup trio, a band out of Denver and a guy that has Carolina on his mind.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD temptations 072414 art 1 Temptations set to play Riviera Theatre Even those who are young enough to not have grown up in the Temptations' heyday are still likely to be able to identify one of their hits. Even if they can't say that it was the Temptations who wrote the song, most people know at least some of the words to "My Girl."

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Early tickets for Buffalo Philharmonic concerts now available The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is offering a chance to lock in your favorite seats to six of the season's highlights.

    July 24, 2014

  • NAD Calleri review art 072414 CALLERI: Two new films highlight the merits of movie stars

    In the truly great classic "Sunset Boulevard," the character of Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star, says in reference to her former fame: "I am big, it's the pictures that got small."

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Artpark advance art 072114 3 Doors Down close out Wednesday series at Artpark Wednesday Night's 3 Doors Down concert is the final in the 2014 Coors Light Wednesday series, the younger counterpart to the popular Tuesday night series that continues through August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAD Artpark review art 071714 Megadeth brings the metal to fans at Artpark It was mega-loud and mega-fast at Artpark Tuesday night as soon as thrash metal pioneers Megadeth hit the stage for a 90-minute set. Dave Mustaine and crew performed to an enthusiastic albeit smaller than usual crowd mostly clad in black clothing.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sara Bareilles 1 SLIDESHOW: Sara Bareilles takes the Artpark stage

    Pop diva Sara Bareilles was so good that even an hour long rainstorm couldn't drive her fans away. 

    July 17, 2014 6 Photos

  • NAD Jennings column art 071714 JENNINGS: Aretha Franklin, Tom Cochrane coming to town this week This week's column will focus on three shows coming to the Niagara region this week, all artists I am very familiar with so this offering will be a bit more on the personal side than usual. Those three shows are, Tom Cochrane with Kim Mitchell, Aretha Franklin and Theory of a Deadman.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Philadelphia Story' takes its act up north Before there was "E!" there was "Philadelphia Story," the big romantic comedy (emphasis romantic) in the Shaw's Festival Theater.

    July 17, 2014

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