top of page
Zab Spencer_Profile Photo_March 2023.jpg
About

Zab Spencer

I am a music producer and audio engineer who produces music for TV and film. I also run a full mixing and mastering service at Zab Spencer Music studios in London. Over my 30+ years of experience, I worked with multi-platinum Sony Music artist Andrew Roachford as the band's (Roachford) programmer, backing vocalist and studio assistant for 10 years - I received platinum and gold discs for my work. I later became tour manager to international World Music artists Nitin Sawhney and Natacha Atlas and have toured The UK, Europe, Canada, Australia and USA throughout my carrer. I've composed music for a major pop production company in Los Angeles and created sound design and trailer cues for major Hollywood films and global video gaming advertising campaigns. Background: Music has always been a central part of my life. After moving to London, my first professional studio experience was at Beatles producer Sir George Martin’s Air Studios in London’s Oxford Circus, whilst working with CBS Records’ pop/rock band Roachford - the UK’s first "Black British" pop/rock band signed to a major label (1988). At that time, Lucian Grange (CEO of Universal Music Group) was the band’s A&R of publishing at PolyGram Music Publishing and Rob Stringer (CEO of Sony Music Entertainment) was a marketing manager at CBS working with the band’s first self-titled album “Roachford”. I became the band’s keyboard and drum technician and sang on several recordings on their 1991 released 2nd album “Get Ready”. By then, Sony purchased CBS and the band was on the Columbia UK label. I toured as a backline technician and worked during the writing and recording of the 1994 released album “Permanent Shade of Blue”, programming all the keyboards and drums. During the recording stage, I worked with producer Gil Norton at the iconic Rockfield Residential Studios in Wales, where Queen recorded “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I learned many production techniques first hand from Gil who went on to produce the Foo Fighters first album “The Colour and The Shape”. Roachford’s “Permanent Shade of Blue” album became their most successful release and I received Gold and Platinum discs from Columbia Music for my work on the album. We toured the world and I sang backing vocals (off stage) to support the on stage band members on several songs throughout the many tours, until the band parted ways with Sony Music after 12 years - ending as Columbia’s most successful UK signing. I became stage manager at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London and worked with Brazillian percussionist Airto Moreira, Jazz icons Ron Carter and Abbey Lincoln, African legends Miriam Makeba and Papa Wemba. I later became tour manager for British Asian artist/composer Nitin Sawhney, promoting his 1999 release “Beyond Skin” - a mix of Drum n Bass, Flamenco and traditional Indian classical music. We toured the UK supporting Sting's "Brand New Day" tour and independently toured Europe into 2000. We even did a show in my home town Port-Of-Spain in Trinidad and Tobago (World Beat 1999) which was an amazing experience. In 2001, I worked as a Music Officer at London Arts, a regional government funded organisation set up to support the arts in London. It was my first industry “office job”. London Arts was absorbed into the Arts Council of England as their London regional office. While there, I monitored a portfolio of music organisations with large government budgets; assessed grant applications; forged corporate links with music industry umbrella bodies; advised on business and artistic practice; represented the Arts Council of England at international music networking events. I devised training and development programs to support UK musicians and music businesses and increased ethnic and music genre diversity of organisations funded by the Council. After five years, I left to continue my creative path. I started writing music again and went to Los Angeles, right before the writer’s strike, composing music to pitch for major artists. I sent a CD of a few of my original productions to Harvey Mason Jr.. Two days later I got a call from his Head of Publishing David “Touch” Wright. Touch accepted 7 of my instrumentals - this was an encouraging achievement for me at the time. I continued to compose music, focusing on film and television synchronisation while tour managing World Music artist Natacha Atlas during her US and Canadian tours. In 2011, Natacha Atlas released “Mounqaliba-Rising: The Remixes” on which I remixed one track, “Taalet: Zab Spencer Radio Edit Mix”. For almost two months since release, DJ Garth Trinidad at KCRW LA played it on every one of his weeknight shows as his featured track from the album. I recorded, wrote and composed several theatrical trailers and “Angel’s Mercy Trailer Cue” which featured Natacha Atlas on vocals, was licensed for a major online campaign for the cult video game “Dark Souls 2”. Elements of my sound design was also licensed for the NBC TV promo campaign of the movie “Split”. That same year, I focused on my passion for mixing and interned at Larrabee Studios in North Hollywood where Dave Pensado, Manny Marroquin and Jaycen Joshua were resident at the time. My goal was to become self sufficient as a writer and composer and to support independent artists, especially since artist development became all but non-existent at major labels or publishing companies. I’ve since mixed over 100 songs from artists in the Reggae, Calypso, Dancehall, Folk, Jazz, Spoken Word, Rap, R&B, Dance and Pop genres, with many more scheduled for future release. I have learned hands on from some of the very best in the music industry and I keep learning everyday. Music remains the central part of my life and I am truly thankful to have a 30+ years wealth of knowledge and experience that continues to grow. I am now a Grammy voting member (class of 2023) and an advocate for our music artform and business infrastructure. My leading aim, is to use my experiences to help develop and expand the diverse reach of music, and artists of Caribbean diasporas.

Zab Spencer_Grammy New Member Class 2023_FB_LinkedIn_Twitter Post.jpg

Grammy Voting Member

zab_web-logo_stamp.png
bottom of page