The Language of Creativity Podcast

The Secret To Making Hit Records – Joe Solo (Record Producer) Ep. 20

July 10, 2021

Would you like to know a little secret about making great records? Who doesn’t want to know a great secret!

The origin story goes that Joe Solo discovered Macy Gray while she was working in a Beverly Hills diner and he decided to develop her career, vowing to work “however long it takes” until they made it big - a promise that took nearly 15 years to fulfill. Since then Joe has worked with the likes of Fergie,, Erykah Badu, Shinedown, and Shiny Toy Guns and labels such as Atlantic, Epic, Universal, Sony, BMG, and Warner Brothers. A producer, songwriter and composer, Joe started out as a guitarist but his life trajectory was permanently altered when instead of a new guitar pedal his dad bought him a Tascam Portastudio for his birthday.

Joe and Steve talk shop discussing the psychology of producing, the tricks they use to capture great takes, managing (and eliciting) a performer’s emotion, and delivering constructive feedback. They talk about how the studio can be an instrument, and how certain sounds were achieved on classic records (like Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”). Joe talks about the importance of listening to new music, and he and Steve touch on helping an artist find their own authenticity. Steve also gets Joe to share about his love of Hans Zimmer’s music and the movie Interstellar (by his favorite director Christopher Nolan)… and we get to hear about that one time that Steve was on the set of Inception while the train was driving down the middle of a downtown street! Joe says “Composing exists in film to command a certain emotional response from the audience, it will always be the job of the music in a film to serve the story.”

Joe has also helped many many independent musicians through his workshops and classes, and if there were one piece of advice he could give to every artist he meets it would be: “Never ever quit.”

Guest: Joe Solo


Christy Nava – Soul Contracts EP
(Produced by Joe Solo and Steven Leavitt)
Listen on all-platforms!

Episode References

Hans Zimmer

Night Fever-BeeGees

Hells Bells-AC/DC


Infected Mushroom

Us and Them-Pink Floyd

Phase cancellation 

Red light syndrome

Lyor Cohen


Universal Basic Income

The Wall

Blurred Lines lawsuit



World of Hans Zimmer

2001: A Space Odyssey 

Gladiator movie soundtrack


Neverland Ranch

National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)

Intro/Outro Music:
Nothing Wrong by Lobate Scarp

Tags: songwriting, perfection, Michael Jackson, plug-ins, automation, Prince, phase cancellation, audio engineer, wavelengths, EQ, hertz, frequency, reverb, tracking, retracking, recording artist, emotion, magic, coaching, songwriting, guitarist, broadcast professional, experience, education, proactive listening, mixing board, AI generated music, emote, vibe, Lior Cohen, Def Jam, the human element, UBI, film and television licensing, Pink Floyd, The Wall, Us And Them, music publishing, Christopher Nolan, autotune, Macy Gray, Fergie, Shiny Toy Guns

The Language of Creativity’s host Steven Leavitt enjoys discussing the ins and outs of all aspects of creating, creativity, and life with his fellow creators, artists, inventors, designers, and producers. Along the way he gains perspective and multiplies his understanding of our universal potential for creating, living, and learning.



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