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Studio Sessions | Lou Val shares lessons he’s learned from Drake’s closest producers and artists

Lou Val is one of Toronto’s newest rising R&B talents. Even Drake’s best friend and engineer Noah “40” Shebib is a fan.

Drake Getty Images

For “Studios Sessions,” we delve into the stories behind the long hours in the studio and all that goes into making an album by talking with artists, producers, engineers, photographers, and more who are intimately connected to the recording process with some of the biggest artists in the world. These are the stories that rarely leave the booth.

Lou Val is one of Toronto’s newest rising R&B talents. Even Drake’s best friend and engineer Noah “40” Shebib is a fan. “I’ve been blessed to be able to use his studios and get advice from him whenever he has the time to pop in to see how I’m doing at the studio. He’ll drop his gems which are always valuable,” Val told REVOLT.

In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” the artist shares what it’s like making music with DVSN and Majid Jordan, and how the producer of Drake’s “What’s Next” helped shape his music. Read below!

What is the typical creative process when making music with Majid Jordan?

We write together before the sessions. During the session, we either add more or build on what we’ve already written. We’re always getting inspired. Back then, when we used to write a lot, we used to get inspired a lot by memories, situations, stories, movies, and other people’s music we loved. It was more of a natural process, which is how I usually work with artists.

What parts of certain songs of theirs did you contribute to?

They inspired me more than anything. I learned songwriting from Maj. If there was ever any influence, it would be in a way where we both found that inspiration together.

Lou Val (left), Jordan Ulman (right)
Lou Val in the studio with Majid Jordan’s Jordan Ulman
Shore Fire Media

How did you connect with DVSN?

Daniel [Daley] from DVSN and I had been chopping it up for a while. My manager had a lot of connections with OVO Sound. They’ve always been family to me. Oliver [El-Khatib] and 40 have always been very open with supporting me creatively. The sample on [“Keep It Going”] was a couple of years old. When I finally heard what they did with that song was mind-blowing. It was amazing to see something that could be that old and still be turned into a unique sound.

How has 40 helped you creatively?

I’ve been blessed to be able to use his studios and get advice from him whenever he has the time to pop in to see how I’m doing at the studio. He’ll drop his gems which are always valuable.

Any advice you remember him giving you?

It was the typical “never give up” advice, but when it comes from him, I’m not going to take that as just someone telling me not to give up because 40 is a very influential person and he’s a very creative person, as well. When he tells you you have to put in more work than everyone else to make it, then you have to take that as the best advice. He would tell me to believe in my craft.

You also worked with Maneesh Bidaye, who produced Drake’s “What’s Next,” “Charged Up,” and a bunch of songs on Views. What was it like making “Eternal Sunshine” with him?

Whenever I work with Maneesh, we always go back to the classics. I love working with him because he shares the same niche taste for music that I do. That vintage sound of “Eternal Sunshine” came because he and I have been talking about making a song like that for a long time. Being able to work on a song like “Eternal Sunshine” and it coming out the way it came out was the greatest feeling. It stemmed from listening to a lot of old music.

How long did it take to complete the song?

The song went through a lot of phases like every song does. It may have been a year of going through different sounds, different additions, and people were also trying to test their versions of it.

What advice did Maneesh give you in the studio?

He’d tell me, “This is a good song because it’s you.” He gives you that confidence to be yourself. He doesn’t really tell you you need to do this because this works for this person. He just says, “This is you and I’ll find a way to amplify your sound.” That’s what makes him the best at what he does. He doesn’t try to change an artist. That’s how he’s always been with me. Even if there’s something to change within my process, he’s always made sure it’s constructive criticism.

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