Meet Joel Little, the producer behind every track of Lorde’s debut album “Pure Heroine” — yes, including the Hot 100-topping “Royals,” which he also co-wrote. One might say he’s doing the Lorde’s work, but that joke has already been made (along with a lot of other Lorde puns; see below), via the tagline of Little’s official Tumblr.
But you could soon be hearing a lot more from Little, an Auckland, New Zealand-based musician who typically works out of the Golden Age studio, but lately has been embracing the globetrotting approach. While he chatted on the phone with Billboard, Little was taking a break from a London studio session with Sam Smith, the man responsible for the ethereal vocals on Disclosure’s “Latch.” Little talked about his work with Smith, future plans for recording with Lorde, his pop-punk backstory, and much more.
Bilboard: Tell me about your recent studio time with Sam Smith.
Joel Little: We’ve just been writing! He’s working on his album and I’ve always been a big fan of his voice and his songwriting so we found some time to get together. Whether or not the songs will make it on the album (I don’t know), but it’s been a good time.
We get into the room together and talk about what we’ve been listening to and what we feel like working on. I’ll just start by putting a beat together. Sometimes I have things, like starting points in songs prepared, and we’ll go through those, but if there’s nothing getting us particularly excited, I’ll just make something. We’ll play around with a few chords until he finds something to sing over the top and we’ll take it from there.