What it takes to be Britain's best music producer

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image copyrightPA
image captionSteve Mac's 2017 writing credits include: Liam Payne - Strip that Down, Rita Ora - Your Song, Clean Bandit & Zara Larsson - Symphony and Pink - What About Us

The Brits have named Steve Mac as the best British Producer of 2017.

He'll pick up the award on 21 February after he co-write and produced the most streamed track of all time, Ed Sheeran's Shape of You.

Last year he also worked with Pink, Rita Ora and Zara Larsson and is off to a busy start this year.

We had a chat with him before he went to work on "another tune with Liam" (yes, Liam Payne) for some tips on how to become a Brit-winning producer.

Know your role in the studio

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image captionSteve says Ed Sheeran is a one take wonder in the studio

Steve explains: "A good producer can bring the best out of artists."

"The artists I work with are great and know what they want to do but I can hopefully bring the best out them, whether we're song-writing together or I'm just recording their vocals and producing the track."

He also says a producer should never feature on the final track.

"Nobody wants to hear that, he says.

"If you ask with any of the artists I've worked with and they'll tell you the same.

"I'm not necessarily the best singer in the world and that's why I stay behind the board!"

Keep an ear out for new talent

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Steve might have worked with some of the biggest names on the planet but he's also keen to spot new talent.

He's already worked with Tom Walker, who is on the long list for the BBC Sound of 2018.

Talking about producing his recent single Leave A Light On, Steve said: "I think he's got a massive future, he's great and I see big things for him."

Keep an ear out for new sounds too

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"I think music works in cycles," Steve says.

"We went through Britpop, we went through boy bands... I think things do move on.

"People enjoy a certain sound for a moment and we're going through that now, but I think that's all going to change again.

"What it's going to be I don't know but I'm excited."

There's a sound which Steve developed which he describes as "a marimba log drum" which has appeared on some Rita Ora tracks and as the main riff on Shape of You last year but he's keen to avoid having a signature sound.

"I try and move forward and not think of my sound but think of the artist's sound, hopefully they [his songs] don't all sound too similar."

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