Go-to producer for Taylor Swift, Lorde and St. Vincent, Jack Antonoff has the rare ability to translate wild experimentation into record sales.
Over the past few years Jack Antonoff has enjoyed success on a galactic scale. Taylor Swift’s megahit album 1989 has sold over 10 million copies, and more recently, he’s been responsible for Lorde’s Melodrama and St. Vincent’s Masseduction. More impressive still is the fact that the New Jersey-born 33-year-old works mostly from his home studio in the Brooklyn Heights apartment he shares with his girlfriend Lena Dunham (creator and star of HBO series Girls).
Antonoff’s studio is very much his comfort zone, right down to the fact its walls feature the same wallpaper design he had in his childhood bedroom. “It’s, like, these tigers,” he laughs. “I just like to have shit around that reminds me of me. One thing I didn’t like about going to commercial studios is I’d be in a space where the walls didn’t know me. Whereas when you’re home, all your stuff keeps you in you.”
At the same time, Antonoff also likes to maintain a sense of creative intimacy in his studio. Typically, there will be no more than three people in the room at any time: Antonoff, whichever artist he’s working with, and his engineer Laura Sisk. “Sometimes I’ll have Laura working on something in another room while I’m in there with an artist, ‘cause it gets really small,” he explains. “I usually like to be the one to record someone’s vocals, but it’s different all the time. It’s whatever works.
“But Laura is sort of the unsung hero of all of this. She also really built the room. She’d been in studios with me forever and has worked on all my records, so really knows what needs to happen for me to be just able to think.”
Jack Antonoff started out as an artist himself, initially as the singer/songwriter of indie rock band Steel Train, then as guitarist in baroque pop band Fun, and now operating as a solo act under the name Bleachers. This has given him a strong personal perspective on the creative process which feeds into the way he uses his low-key...
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