Q&A: The Producer Behind Elle King’s Grammy-Nominated ‘Ex’s and Oh’s’

Over the course of his multi-faceted career, songwriter and producer Dave Bassett has collaborated with a wide range of artists.

He has more than a dozen #1 hits to his name and is currently on top of the charts with Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” & Elle King’s “Ex’s & Oh’s,” for which Dave received a Grammys nomination in the category of Best Rock Song.

Galore chatted with Dave about about what it’s like to be a Grammys nominated artist. In the q+a below, he shares advice on how to make it in the industry.

How old were you when you wrote your first song?

I was 12. it was called “Electrocution.” Haha.

What was it about?

It was an instrumental! The first song I wrote with lyrics was called “Take It Or Leave It.” It was supposed to be about giving a girl an ultimatum on their relationship. Totally fictitious, made no sense really.

What’s your favorite thing to write songs about for yourself?

Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve written for myself. I can’t remember! That’s sad!

What’s your favorite thing to write songs about for another artist?

That is always the fun part, it’s getting the artists to reveal a personal emotion. If the lyric is true to the artist, it will be honest and the song will have so much more impact. However, I do particularly enjoy when the theme is uplifting in nature, like with Rachel Platten and “Fight Song.”

How did you get your start as a musician?

I started playing guitar when I was 12 and immediately started a band and started writing. However, it wasn’t until after I graduated college with a finance degree and started working in that field, that I realized I had made a wrong turn and needed to find my life’s passion. I got my high school band back together and we moved to LA and just started at the bottom like most bands.

How did you end up making the transition to working behind the scenes with mainstream/popular acts?

After 8 years, two bands, and not a ton of success I was given the opportunity to attend a songwriting retreat at a castle in France. That was the aha moment for me. Writing with different people every day in different styles and no boundaries was so liberating. I never looked back.

What’s your best piece of advice for someone who wants to work as a producer or songwriter?

To follow your inner voice, and to not chase the radio or feel the pressures of what’s popular at any given moment. The true pioneers are the ones who make music on their own terms. I still have trouble living by that at times, but I do preach it whole heartedly!


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