Behind the Board with Music Producer Joel Little

Grammy-winning producer/songwriter Auckland-born Joel Little, 37, tells The Recording Academy’s website about his path of starting a band, a record label and a successful studio career.

A guitar player since the age of 13, Little’s road to a career in music started with Vans Warped Tour in 1998, when everything changed. He started taking the idea of forming a band seriously after seeing that show, and went on to form pop/punk outfit Goodnight Nurse in Auckland in 2001.

On the side, he started a label with his Goodnight Nurse bandmate, Sam McCarthy, and found some early success working behind-the-scenes on music. He set up a recording studio, and one of the first artists who came in to work there was Lorde. Little earned a Grammy for Song Of The Year and another nomination for Record Of The Year for his work on Lorde’s debut, Royals.

In the latest episode of’s regular video feature, Behind the Board, Little shows viewers around his current set-up, and talks about what works for him as a producer/songwriter.

For Little, it’s not about his ego or imposing his influence on the process.

“I shouldn’t be trying to force myself on the song,” he said. “I’m there to help [the artist] say what they want to say.”

He also recounts the best advice he’s ever received, talks about learning the ropes and setting up his studio without studying audio engineering at school.

Little co-wrote and co-produced Taylor Swift’s 2020 single, ‘Only the Young’, which featured in the Netflix documentary, Miss Americana.

Original article by Nate Hertweck,, April 2, 2020.

Tags: Goodnight Nurse  Joel Little  Lorde  Taylor Swift  

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