Winston also produced Wanting, the first Chinese artist to be signed to Nettwerk Music Group. Their collaboration, her debut album, Everything in the World, went multi- platinum and won numerous awards, including Album of the Year at the Chinese version of the Grammy Awards. Soon after, Wanting received 15 Best New Artist Awards across Asia and performed to 700 million people during Mainland China’s televised New Year’s Gala (CCTV) in 2012.
Dedicated to helping diverse artists navigate a tough industry, Winston is an artist’s producer. A songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and former recording artist signed to Aquarius Records, Winston grew up in the Canadian music scene – whether playing small towns as the teenage frontman of his first band or as a touring musician playing hockey arenas.
A vocal supporter of arts funding and education, Winston sits on the Board of Directors for Music BC, a non-profit industry association dedicated to the growth and sustainability of British Columbia’s music community. He’s also served as a producer/mentor for the Peak Performance Project’s Boot Camp, an artist development program with career-changing cash prizes for top performers sponsored by Vancouver radio station, The Peak 102.7 FM.
Always searching for the best new sounds for his various projects, Winston splits his time between some of Vancouver’s top commercial studios and his private studio in the woods on Bowen Island. Below is our interview with Winston:
- How did you get your start as a creator in the industry?
I’ve been writing songs and making records for 28 years now. I started by playing in numerous bands and touring the country many times. Around 2005 I was producing records for other groups and singer-songwriters. This inevitably led to lots of co-writes and opportunities to help build artists’ careers from the ground up.
- How did you learn your craft – was it “formal” or “informal” music education?
I was taught guitar by my parents at a young age and took a handful of piano lessons. I always learned by ear and gave up on the theory side of things. When it came to producing, I just watched the producers I was working with from all my early years in bands. A lot! I skipped going to audio school and learned everything by trial and error.
- What is your fondest musical memory or favourite piece of music you’ve written?
A few years ago I had one of my songs cut by an artist from Hong Kong. It was really interesting to hear my lyrics re-written in Cantonese and hear how the producers interpreted the sound and vibe of the tune. So cool!
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