David Hadzis

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A music industry professional since 1985, David Hadzis has worked with many world-renowned artists, musicians and producers (such as Charles Aznavour...

"The saviour of the homeland of music."

Thomas Ceyhan

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"The saviour of the homeland of music."

A music industry professional since 1985, David Hadzis has worked with many world-renowned artists, musicians and producers (such as Charles Aznavour, Petula Clark, Michel Colombier, Siedah Garrett, Paul Jackson Jr., Esther Ofarim, Bernard Estardy, St Germain, Andy Williams, and many more), as a songwriter, record producer, sound engineer, and executive producer.

With over 25 years experience in preserving, enhancing and spotlighting recorded music heritage, David Hadzis has also, since the early 90’s, produced or taken part in a wide number of reissues or compilations released around the world.

David is also the founder and manager of Arthanor Productions, an independent Geneva-based company that offers project management services and is equipped with a studio providing recording and mastering services.

How did you start producing and what gave you the motivation to stay with it?

I must have been about 14 when I started in the music industry. It was – and still is – my passion. I started as a composer, then I was a recording artist for a while. During that time, I happened to work in some legendary studios and was already aware of technology. So, most of the time, I would interact with the sound engineer. I never thought I would get to the technical and producing side. Eventually, rescuing over a hundred of Petula Clark master tapes when I was 17 pushed me to learn mixing old 3, 4, 8 or 16 analog masters – and with these tapes, I learned from some of the best musicians and engineers. A few years later, I had my own recording studio and started producing for local artists as well as for the legendary Petula Clark (her again!). The late Michel Colombier mentored me on producing when we recorded a bunch of songs in Los Angeles, and so, every now and then, I am the resident producer at the studio. As for mastering, this came naturally too. It seemed logical since I work a lot in reissues, which involve tape transfers and audio restoration. Overtime I have become what you might call a “Swiss Army Knife”!

What other producers, songwriters and/or artists do you see as your primary inspirations?

Anyone who works with his heart. I still need to be moved by the music!  But inspiration comes very organically.

How do you approach the sensitive task of discussing changes and rearrangements with artists?

It’s very organic. I never leave the artist loose his/her control on the production, since, after all, he/she will have to live with that production afterwards. I just share with them what I hear in my head. I use the studio as a “laboratory”. I test different things until we both agree on them.

What is the one thing every song must have for it to be solid?

A good melody, good chord changes and good lyrics. If you can make the song “happen” even with just a piano or a guitar, then it’s a great song. I wish there were more good songs around…

What other producers, songwriters and/or artists do you see as your primary inspirations?

Again, inspiration comes very organically, and I’m not sure I can put names on the ideas that come to my mind in a given situation.

Can you describe, briefly, how the two of you work together on a musical project?

I’m on my own!  First, I try to find the right tempo (which is crucial), and then come the instruments one by one, then a vocal, maybe backing vocals, then mix, then mix recalls, then mastering. And all this with lots of editing!

What is the first thing you listen for when listening to a new recording?

How fresh it is, how it was done… and I get sick every time I spot autotune to which I’m allergic if used outside the context where it should be used!

David

Do you have a favorite musical project that you've worked on?

Quite a few, and they’re all very different. For example, I loved restoring and mastering Petula Clark’s legendary 1974 concert at the Royal Albert Hall. I also loved working on French Legend Nicole Croisille’s legendary recordings. I love working with a Swiss garage-funk band called Kind & Kinky Zoo and give them a “dirty” sound with lots of effects which I call “a mix within a mix”. I loved restoring and mastering old jazz albums from the original tapes.

How did you build contacts and/or clients?

I think the fact that I was working with Petula Clark helped. Charles Aznavour recorded with me thanks to that. Clients often come to me to solve a problem!

Is there an artist you want to work with that you have not yet had the opportunity to work with?

Plenty.

Do you have advice for young people who want to become a music producers?

Work from the heart. And don’t try to copy what is already there. It’s useless.

What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?

Before Covid19, I used to love travelling. Just to meet other people and create bonds with other cultures… Visiting Rio de Janeiro was a revelation for me.

If there was one word you could use to explain your experience so far while working as a music producer, what would it be?

One word is tough. I’d say that I’ve always done my best.

Have you ever embarrassed yourself? If so, how did you overcome the incident?

Of course, I have! Communication is the key to solve any problem.

Where there any past times you indure the most and why?

The most difficult thing for me was to work with artists who have big egos without having done anything yet. And I’ve had quite a few in the early days of the studio.

There are times in a career when life isn’t going your way, how do you keep your mind on your work without losing focus?

It’s a tough question. I just do my best to shut down my problems while I’m working. And I enjoy working with artists around me. This helps me a lot.

Have there ever been a time where you haven’t gotten your work done on time? If so, how did you deal with it?

I have a taste for perfection (although it rarely comes true), so yes, it has happened. But in the end, it paid and the artist was happy with the result.

What goals did you have set before you started your career?

To be happy. If I wanted to be rich, I would have chosen another line of work.

What is your favorite product from Babelson Audio? and how you can describe them?

I haven’t been a Babelson Audio user for a very long time, but right from the start, my favorite product was the BBCMP-I-LA multiband compressor and harmonic enhancer, and the way it makes everything sound more natural and organic, yet punchier!

Productions

Amanda Lear

More (Post-production & Mastering)

Petula Clark

A Valentine’s Day at the Royal Albert Hall (Full project management, tape transfers, audio restoration, mastering)

Kind & Kinky Zoo feat. Rickey Calloway

Hot Love (Mixing & Mastering)

Placebo – Live 1971 at the Montreux Jazz Festival

Tape transfers, Audio restoration & Mastering

Nicole Croisille

ll était une fois…Nicole (Full project management, tape transfers, audio restoration, mastering)

Sidney Bechet en Suisse

ll était une fois…Nicole (Full project management, tape transfers, audio restoration, mastering)

Charles Aznavour & Englebert Humperdinck

She (Recording & Editing)

Henri Renaud

Trio et Octette (Tape transfers, Audio restoration & Mastering)

Saint-Germain

Tourist (Mastering)

Catherine Ferry

Le meilleur des années Balavoine (Tape transfers & Mastering)

Georges Arvanitas Quintet

Soul Jazz (Tape transfers, Audio restoration & Mastering)

Esther Ofarim in Geneva

(Tape transfers, Audio restoration & Mastering)

Slide Hampton

The Fabulous Slide Hampton Quartet (Tape transfers, Audio restoration & Mastering)

Roger Guérin & Benny Golson

(Tape transfers, Audio restoration & Mastering)

Phil Woods and his European Rhythm Machine

Alive and Well in Paris (Tape transfers, Audio restoration & Mastering)

Bruna Giraldi

Best Of Deluxe (Tape transfers, Audio restoration & Mastering)

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THOMAS CEYHAN
THOMAS CEYHAN

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