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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Dec 2018 > NEIL DAVIDGE


Über producer and songwriter Neil Davidge sits down with MusicTech to discuss working on one of the defining albums of the last few decades, and how his compositional approach works for anything from blockbuster Hollywood films to million-selling video games


Neil Davidge is a songwriter, producer and composer who has worked with artists including David Bowie, Snoop Dogg and Unkle, and also scored music for games including Halo 4 and the films Push and Clash Of The Titans. However, he is perhaps best known as being one of the driving forces behind one of the most important bands of the 90s: Massive Attack. Despite all of these achievements, he is happy to face away from the limelight and focus on what he loves doing.

“I just wanted to be in the studio making music” he says. “I know some people do it for money, or success, but I’m really not driven by those things… I love writing music and that’s what I want to spend my time doing.”

With the trip-hop legends Massive Attack, the sound of their seminal album Mezzanine (celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year) was in no small way a product of Neil’s long hours in the studio with the group. Not only did Neil shape the recording’s unique, genre-bending sound from a production perspective, but he also was an integral part of the writing process, acting as a central point for the members to explore ideas with.

“I had a friend who once suggested it was more like Massive Attack were the producers and I was the artist.

It’s not accurate but I could see some sense to that from an outside perspective. I was normally the hands-on person and they were generally directing and overseeing. I would always be there putting the tracks together from the ground up”.

Neil went on to produce and co-produce two more of Massive Attack’s albums, 100th Window and Heligoland. Since 2004 he has been composing for film, TV and games with a host of notable titles under his belt, including Unleashed (2005), Push (2009), Clash Of The Titans (2010), Halo 4 (2012) and, more recently, the hit TV series Britannia (2018).

It’s a far cry from his early dabbling with music, where he was stretching the very definition of the word…

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