My happy place: Vince Harder - songwriter, musician and producer

For Vince Harder, his studio is the place where he feels free.
For Vince Harder, his studio is the place where he feels free.

My happy place is my recording studio in Sydney. Whether I am working on music for myself or for other artists, it is where my creativity comes to life. I feel free.

My studio is black and maroon. We have a constant supply of water in a little bar fridge, a football table and an Xbox to help get the creative and competitive juices flowing.

We have a vocal booth that my fiancee, Abby, and I made when I was on tour in Melbourne. It has some of the awards I have won and plaques of gold singles I have worked on.

My first experience in a recording studio was about 15 years ago, recording my own vocals at the old Parachute Music Studios in Onehunga. I was so intrigued with how everything worked. I started collecting recording equipment when I could and set up various home recording spaces.

Depending on what stage the songwriting process is at, when I'm in the studio I can go into "producer" mode.

It becomes my sole focus for that little while.

When I am working with an artist, I push them hard to make sure they are giving 100 per cent.

I've been called a perfectionist before and although I don't think that is totally true, that part of my personality shows itself when I am recording.

One of the best moments I've spent in my studio was earlier this year when we put together Song for Everyone, a single for the For Everyone Charitable Foundation.

It was written by me and two other writers (John Hume from Evermore and Liz Webber), and features a huge line-up of Kiwi artists. Stan Walker helped me demo the vocals and it just went from there.

After all the preparation, individual recording, producing and mixing, it was such a great feeling to hear the end product.

When I have opportunities to write for something like Song for Everyone, it makes me even more grateful that I have my studio as I would not be able to achieve the things I have without it.

The track Song for Everyone will be released on iTunes on Wednesday. See foreveryone.org.nz and www.vinceharder.com

- as told to Bronwyn Sell

- Herald on Sunday

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