Who Is Alex Greggs, Anyway?

The Canadian songwriter, record producer, and remixer has worked with some of the biggest names in pop and hip hop who made a name for himself early on in Toronto as a leading producer in the Canadian music scene, notably for Love Inc. The son of one-time RPM magazine reporter Nancy and agent/manager Michael, he moved to New York to work with ‘N Sync, and then to LA where he was frequently credited as Alex G, part of the electro-dancehall production team South Rakkas Crew, and also part of the pop-dance production team Doman & Gooding. His list of credits grew fast, as a writer, then as a mixer and producer.

Over the years his imprint has appeared on records by some of the biggest stars in pop music, including Michael Jackson, TLC, Lady Gaga, Duran Duran, Britney Spears, The Script, Ricky Martin, MIA, Justin Timberlake, Will.I.Am, Nelly Furtado, Beyoncé and Lilly Allen.

His TV and film writing credits include Space Cowboys (Clint Eastwood), Push (Chris Evans), Coca-Cola, MTV CribsTrailer Park Boys MovieMy Super Sweet 16, MTV, Chain Reaction (GSN)

He returned to Canada a couple of years ago, and made headlines this week when a plagiarism lawsuit he filed against Ariana Grande became public.

Greggs says he wrote, and holds the copyright on the 2012 tune, "Takes All Night" ... an EDM track for American fashion plate and singer Skye Stevens. In the suit, Greggs says Grande and her producer David Guetta duplicated the most memorable part of his song ... the chorus!

We reached out to Greggs by e-mail yesterday but failed to elicit a response, possibly because he was travelling or in the studio.

Below is a feature we ran on him that appeared in July 2014.

You are on a long trip and the person next to you asks what you do. How do you respond?

I try to avoid telling a stranger what I do as it usually ends up in a 3 hour conversation about ‘my cousin’s friend knows a guy that plays guitar….’ I love talking about music but only with someone that has some experience in the industry.

How does your public persona differ from the private you?

It’s pretty much the same, what you see is what you get. The main difference is the music I like to listen to and that influences me is a total 180 to the music I produce and write. I like classic rock big time, Queen, Zeppelin and some more of the cheesy (others would say) —bands like Styx, ABBA, Saga etc

Happiness for you is what?

Making tunes and making tunes. I love doing the business side of things in the morning but then its back to making tunes.

Your greatest sadness in life?

That they never made a Knight Rider movie…..but also when a great LP never gets the chance to be heard due to a poor single choice. Another would be finding a great talent and their management and/or label is holding them back.

Who are your heroes and or mentors?

Stevie Wonder, Jeff Lynne, Alan Parsons, Jimmy Iovine, Quincy Jones, David Foster, Rick Rubin, Malcom McLaren.

What is your most treasured possession?

My laptop, I can do anything with my MacBook Pro. Seriously, it’s my best friend and my worst enemy when it decides to crash.

What creature comforts or keepsakes do you like to have with you on the road?

I’m not very sentimental when it comes to what I need to work, but I do need a big monitor to work, a laptop screen is too small to accommodate the amount of plugins I use.

What is the most comical, outrageous or crazy thing that has happened to you on the road?

Back in 2000 while producing the NSYNC album fans would do anything to catch a glimpse of any of the band members that during a cigarette break outside the studio In Orlando a fan literately fell out of a tree that he had camped out in overnight, landing at my feet. 

Who are your favorite authors and musicians?

Besides the main - Lennon & McCartney, Bowie, Freddy Mercury, Stevie Wonder etc - I love random talent found on YouTube.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Whatever project I am currently working on is the best thing I have ever done! Ha-ha! I very rarely dislike what I’m working on; I have to love it or I just don’t do it. This is a very hard question to answer.

How do you listen to music and who is on your playlist?

The only place to listen to music is in the car for me, it’s really the only place that I can hear everything and not be distracted. I love long drives and where I get the most inspired. As for my playlists—I listen in one of 2 modes. MODE-1 Listening to my own music on the way home from the studio; nothing feels better that pounding a new tune after hours of working on it. After each session the artist and I usually will go for a ride and play our new wares over and over and over whilst telling each other “We are so fucking genius!”

MODE-2 is mix-tapes. I love downloading mix-tapes from mix cloud or getting them from DJs. It keeps me current on what’s bubbling up from the underground. I HATE listening to the radio. If it’s on the radio its already old and I have heard it 6 months ago. I tell anyone starting out in this business that getting inspired by what’s on the radio is the worst thing you can do. Whatever you are hearing was created a year earlier and making stuff that matches the radio will guarantee your stuff will be out of date by the time it comes out. Use it as a reference so you know what’s charting, but not for inspiration.

 

 

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