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Last year Gregg Penny worked on Harry Styles' Grammy-nominated album Fine Line mixed in Sony's 360 Reality Audio. A longtime pioneer in the immersive audio space (nominated for a Grammy for best surround sound album for Elton John’s “Honky Château” in 2005), Greg now works from his 3000-sqft studio out of an industrial park in beautiful Ojai, Calif.
The son of famous pop singer Sue Thompson and musician
/ songwriter / producer Hank Penny, Greg was raised in an artistic
atmosphere in Hollywood, California. He got his first exposure to
recording studios while attending his parents sessions in Nashville
and Los Angeles. Its not unusual that his dreams were about creating
pop music. Growing up as he did, in Las Vegas, Nevada was surreal
indeed...however, it gave Greg the dreamtime to explore the wonders
of record production in his humble 4 track recording studio / laboratory.
He dreamed that maybe someday, he would make records like his idol,
Beatles producer George Martin.
to the present and we find Greg's dreams did come true. He not only
grew up to produce successful pop records, but produced for and
became close friends with, many of his childhood idols. Sir George
Martin being one of them.
production successes led him to work with one of the greatest living
vocalists: k.d. lang. The results of this collaboration were the
albums: “Absolute Torch and Twang” and “Ingenue”. Both were giant
sellers, Grammy winners, and defined k.d. as an artiste without
boundaries. Greg's achievements with k.d. lang brought him to the
attention of someone who was already a friend, Elton John. Greg
and Elton had met when they were 15 and 24 respectively and though
Elton was already a megastar, he encouraged Greg to follow his dreams.
It was only
fitting that the first recording that Elton asked Greg to produce
would be a duet with k.d. lang. "Teardrops" from Elton's
"Duets" LP became a favorite of fans of both artists.
On this session Greg worked with another one of his idols, Producer
/ Arranger Arif Mardin. Who wrote the string arrangement for "Teardrops".
for "Teardrops" went so well, Elton asked Greg to continue
work on "Duets" and...to produce his next studio LP "Made
This was where
Greg's dreams really did come true. Producing his hero and friend,
Elton John, collaborating with Bernie Taupin, recording Elton's
fantastic band, watching the genius of arranger Paul Buckmaster,
working at AIR Studios in London, and finally meeting and working
with his idol, Sir George Martin who wrote the string and horn arrangement
for the song "Latitudes".
England" was both an artistic and commercial success. Today their long working relationship continues and
Greg has also
produced albums by: Martini Ranch, Marc Anthony Thompson (Chocolate
Genius), Nathalie Archangel, Maura O’connell, Sun 60, Marc Jordan,
Eddi Reader, Cher, Ryan Downe, and Paul Young (see discography)
in addition to engineering and mixing two albums by Rickie Lee Jones.
Her album “Flying Cowboys” gave Greg the opportunity to work with
yet another one of his heroes, Walter Becker of Steely Dan.
His band Poperetta
is the result of fooling around in the studio, which is one of Greg's
favorite things to do. Poking at ,and playing with, various instruments
and gadgets until it all takes the shape of a record.
Not a bad dream
has remixed in 5.1 some of Elton John's vast catalogue at Sphere
Studios, London. Greg is founding member
of Tokyo Project13, an anime TV series surrounding fictitious good/evil
characters with rich musical content. He is the president of Flower Records,
producing records by Twin Trip and Poperetta.
copyright 2004 studioexpresso