Producers, songwriter and A&Rs, those “ideas” men and women, studio hogs and shadow-dwelling hitmakers, are getting a much-deserved shout out for their efforts.
And Sarah Aarons is among them.
Los Angeles weekly Variety, which, along with The Hollywood Reporter, is the go-to trade title for professionals in the film and TV industries, is saluting “those who contributed in no small part to the soundtrack of the last year,” the behind-the-scenes types whose magic helped conjure the industry’s big lift.
Aarons, the Melbourne-raised, L.A.-based songwriter, waves the flag for Australia with a special nod for her work on “The Middle,” the record-breaking country-meets-EDM track produced by Zedd and featuring Grey and Maren Morris (the track recently set a new record for the longest stint atop Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, at 28 weeks).
Make no mistake, Aarons is on fire right now. The 24-year-old is working with the cream of the international music community, from Flume to Demi Lovato, Jessie Ware, Peking Duk and many more. She’s an APRA ambassador, she scooped the society’s breakthrough songwriter of the year award was recently tapped by LA Weekly as one of The 20 Hottest Songwriters in Pop Music Right Now.
Two years ago, Aarons took the bold move to relocate to California and mix it with the best. Fortune, it is said, favours the brave and Aarons hasn’t looked back. “It’s just such a small pool to pick from,” she says of the Australian songwriting market. “There are about five successful producers to pick from or something. So if you don’t like the style, you’re stuck.”
Variety’s second annual “Hitmakers” list pays tribute to those pros so often relegated to a credit in the sleeve notes and maybe a namecheck during an awards acceptance speech.
The trade mag isn’t alone in its praise for Aarons and other unsung industry heroes. As the record industry returns to growth and the music biz explores new frontiers, those unheralded characters are enjoying long overdue stints in the spotlight on both sides of the Atlantic and much closer to home. MBW’s annual A&R Awards took place last month in London, where accolades for songwriter of the year, producer of the year and others were handed out, while rival title Music Week also gives out prizes for the market’s unsung heroes. TIO celebrated the Australian industry’s finest at its first annual awards back in March.
Check out the Variety list here