Having recently reached the coveted number one spot on Billboard’s Top 100 Chart with Jason Aldean’s ‘Try That In A Small Town’, as well as a number one on the Country Radio chart with Jelly Roll’s ‘Need a Favor’, Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum-selling mixing engineer Jeff Braun (Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, Jelly Roll, The Band CAMINO, Nelly) shares his unique insight into the key components necessary to turn a great song into a number-one selling hit – from the original song, to the production, to marketing and everything in between.
#TilYouMakeIt is a collection of stories chronicling those moments and capturing wisdom from the game’s most esteemed producers, mixers and engineers.
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I feel like I’m lucky ’cause I hear all these songs before everybody else does. Sometimes it’s like a year before, like we’re mixing something and it comes out a year later and then it’s like, Okay. That one feels big. That one feels special.
A number one song takes a lot of things to make it work. The song has to be there. I mean, it all starts with a song. There’s a lot of stuff that can be production driven. Maybe the song is being supported by the production more than. The song is actually very strong. You know, a good test is like, can you play it on a piano and just sing it, or a guitar vocal, and if it still feels like a hit, like.
That it needs to have that. So the song itself has to be great. And then the production should enhance and support the emotion coming from the song. And then we hopefully stay out of the way. And what we do, and we just add ideas, delay throws, spins, effects moments that like amplify and sweeten.
And then it’s the business side, the radio team, promotion management, coming up with cool marketing ideas, and then just getting that snowball to really take off.
It’s a lot of stages that have to click for a song to really work. Anytime a session comes in from Jordan Schmidt, Dan Huff, Josh Kerr, all these guys, it’s gonna sound great and it’s gonna be a great song.