Ian is an internationally recognized songwriter and producer. Working on a global scale with artists and global brands he
Ian Smith is an internationally recognized songwriter and producer. He has worked on numerous projects, in Canada and abroad, with songs published by Peer Music (L.A. and Spain), Audio Freaks (U.K.), Elements (Finland), and Scandinavian Songs (Sweden).
Smith’s songwriting credits include collaborations with Simon Wilcox (Nick Jonas, Britney Spears), Tim Laws (Gabrielle), Rob Wells (Katy Perry), Todd Clark (Keith Urban), and Stephen Kozmeniuk (Kendrick Lamar, Dua Lipa). He has also produced artists ranging from American Idol finalist Casey Abrams, to Canadian synth-pop group Trust (Arts & Crafts Records).
Songwriting and record production are Smith’s core talents. Growing up in Kitchener, Ontario, he formed his first group, The Miniatures, in the early 1990s. They quickly established themselves as the top independent rock band on the local scene through Smith’s prodigious original output and their ambitious live shows.
In 2001, he was introduced to Dan Achen, guitarist for Canadian rockers Junkhouse, who had opened Catherine North Studio in a converted church in Hamilton, Ontario. Achen immediately noted Smith’s raw talent and began helping him develop his production and songwriting skills. The Miniatures signed with Maple music Recordings (Universal) and released their debut album, Coma Kid, in 2003.
During his first tour of England, Smith met Scott Shields, then the principle member of Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros. The pair formed a close bond and—along with Achen, and began working on material for the next Miniatures album, Dead Flowers, released in 2006.
By 2008, Smith was eager to expand his musical range and formed a new trio called Spirits with Brad Germain, lead vocalist of The Marble Index, and Miniatures drummer Nick Skalkos. Incorporating more electro-pop influences, Spirits produced their 2009 self-titled album for Sonic Unyon Records, and embarked on a run of high-profile shows with Pixies, Happy Mondays, and Psychedelic Furs.
Sadly, with Dan Achen’s untimely passing in 2010, Smith lost his closest ally and mentor. However, it motivated him to embrace becoming a full-time songwriter and producer. He built success with Achen’s former Junkhouse band mate Tom Wilson on his solo album, Dog Years.
Through other longstanding relationships, Smith got involved in a host of other varied projects, such as The Hippy Mafia (a British/Canadian band spearheaded by Happy Mondays drummer Gaz Whelan) as well as collaborating with Marc Costanzo of the band Len. He eventually forged a long-term association with Toronto-based publisher Cymba Music, which opened many new doors.
Smith’s experience as an indie rock artist served him well as he has transitioned into the pop world. His ability to draw from a wide sonic palette, while maintaining a melodic foundation, led to collaborations with several major-label signed Spanish artists including Paula Rojo on her debut single in English, “Good To Be Bad.” Smith’s range also encompassed Swedish alt-pop outfit Violet Days, Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ryan O’Shaughnessy, and rising Canadian folk-pop artist Jonathan Roy.
But whether he is co-writing with an established hit maker or producing an up-and-coming new artist at his home studio, there is an unmistakable sound to everything Ian Smith does, one that’s rooted in an insatiable quest to create music able to stand the test of time.