Wells at Rocket Carousel Studio, Los Angeles
|Origin||Peterborough, Ontario, Canada|
|Associated acts||Katy Perry Adele The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
Greg Wells is a Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer based in Los Angeles. Wells has songs on over 125 million albums sold and streaming numbers in the billions. He has produced and written with Adele, Dua Lipa, The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Rufus Wainwright, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Twenty One Pilots, Kid Cudi, Deftones, Creeper Lagoon, Mayer Hawthorne, Theophilus London, Weezer, OneRepublic, Ariana Grande, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Pharrell Williams, the All-American Rejects, Otep, Aerosmith, Burt Bacharach, Grace VanderWaal, Miley Cyrus, Celine Dion, Crash Test Dummies, Elton John, Jars of Clay, and the Count Basie Orchestra.
A multi-instrumentalist, Wells is featured as a drummer in Modern Drummer, as a pianist in Keyboard, as a synth programmer in Electronic Musician, as a songwriter in American Songwriter and Billboard, and as a producer, mix engineer, and music maker on the cover of Mix with Ryan Tedder in the May 2017 edition.
Wells grew up in the town of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, the son of United Church of Canada minister Dr. Reverend Bill Wells. At age 11, he developed Perthes' disease and was in a wheelchair unable to walk for two years. Wells attended Adam Scott CVI, learned to play several instruments, and joined many musical ensembles in his hometown from the local orchestra to club bands to being a church organist/choir director, as well as DJ-ing dances and running a weekly radio show on Trent University Radio CFFF-FM. He studied classical piano, drums, pipe organ, orchestral percussion and music theory at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music and attended the Humber College Jazz Music Program in Toronto on drums, piano, and guitar.
After moving from Peterborough to Toronto at age 17, Wells worked as a live and studio musician with Canadian musicians Rob McConnell and Kim Mitchell. He joined Kim Mitchell's band at age 19. Wells recorded keyboards and backing vocals on Mitchell's Rockland, toured Canada several times with the band, and won the award for Best Keyboardist at the 1990 Toronto Music Awards.
Wells was awarded a Canada Council arts grant to study in Los Angeles with Clare Fischer, composer and string arranger for Prince. He traveled to Los Angeles at age 21 with the intention of returning to Canada, but Fischer began recommending Wells as a pianist. Wells joined k.d. lang's band soon afterward, performing with her on the 1993 Grammy Awards where she won Best Pop Female Vocal.
Working with the support of music manager Miles Copeland and music publisher Barbara Vander Linde at Rondor Music, Wells started producing records and writing songs. His first recorded song as a songwriter was with Aerosmith on Nine Lives, which was followed by "The Reason" on Celine Dion's album, Let's Talk About Love. Wells also produced works for Rufus Wainwright and Otep. Songwriter Kara DioGuardi started collaborating with Wells in 2003. Wells then produced, mixed and played most of the instruments on Mika's debut album Life In Cartoon Motion.
In 2007, Wells produced both Timbaland's and OneRepublic's version of the song, "Apologize". Wells has written and produced on most of Katy Perry's albums, including "Cozy Little Christmas" in 2018, which reached number 1 on the AC chart in the US.
Wells has designed best selling music software, creating the "El Rey" compressor plugin with Acustica Audio and Studio DMI, and a signature series of plugins with Waves Audio.
The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, produced and mixed by Wells, was the biggest selling worldwide album of 2018.
Wells, Ryan Tedder and Nina Woodford co-wrote (with Wells producing and mixing) the 2019 Special Olympics theme song "Right Where I'm Supposed To Be", executive produced by Quincy Jones. The song was performed by Ryan Tedder, Avril Lavigne, Luis Fonsi, Hussain Al Jassmi, Assala Nasri and Tamer Hosny live at the opening ceremonies in Abu Dhabi.
Wells donates three annual music scholarships to the Humber College Music Program where he attended in Toronto. Wells also gives away a new drum kit from his Instagram and Twitter account every 3 months to people around the globe who want drums but don't own any, and partners with Roland Corporation to give away a keyboard every three months.
Wells has received three Grammy nominations for his work with Katy Perry, Mika, and winning the Grammy for the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman. Wells received the Pensado Giant Award at the 2017 Pensado Awards for achievements in the field of record-making. In June 2015, Wells was awarded an honorary degree from his alma mater music college, Humber College in Toronto. Wells was nominated as producer of the year in 2000 and 2019 at the Canadian Juno Awards.
Wells is married to Swedish songwriter Nina Woodford. He has five children. He works out of his studio in Los Angeles.
Songwriting and production credits
- The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – produced and mixed, #1 in the US album sales chart for three weeks, #1 in the UK album sales chart for 28 weeks, #1 album on iTunes in 77 countries, with Wells produced worldwide hit "This Is Me" winning a 2018 Golden Globe and nominated and performed on the 2018 Academy Awards. The album was the biggest selling album of 2018 worldwide.
- Adele – "One and Only" on Adele's worldwide #1 Grammy-winning Album of the Year, 21. 35 million units sold.
- Twenty One Pilots – produced and mixed Twenty One Pilots 2x platinum album Vessel.
- Keith Urban – produced and co-wrote #1 hit Wasted Time
- Katy Perry – produced, mixed, and co-wrote #1 hit Cozy Little Christmas on US AC chart Dec 2018; performed "By the Grace of God", co-written and produced by Wells, at the 2015 Grammy Awards; produced her #1 US single "Waking Up in Vegas"; produced and co-wrote with Perry "Ur So Gay", and produced and co-wrote "Not Like the Movies" performed live by Katy and Wells at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
- OneRepublic – produced both versions of worldwide #1 hit "Apologize", both the Timbaland remix released first and the OneRepublic original version.
- Mika – produced, mixed, and played electric guitar, drums and bass guitar on Mika's chart-topping debut single "Grace Kelly" from the album Life in Cartoon Motion which stayed at #1 for seven weeks in the UK.
- James H. Marsh (1999). The Canadian Encyclopedia. The Canadian Encyclopedia. pp. 583–. ISBN 978-0-7710-2099-5.
- Larry LeBlanc (February 27, 1999). "Dummies Hand In their Latest Set". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 18–21. ISSN 0006-2510.
- "Features: Greg Wells". Modern Drummer, Stephen Belans, July 2016.
- "Musician returns to church that seeded career". Peterborough Examiner, By Jessica Nyznik, March 7, 2016
- "Peterborough’s music pedigree a secret no more". My Kawartha, Dec 12, 2014 by Paul Rellinger.
- Larry LeBlanc (February 27, 1999). "Dummies Hand In their Latest Set". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 18–21la. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Jo Berry (March 31, 2011). Katy Perry: California Gurl. Orion Publishing Group. pp. 29–. ISBN 978-1-4091-3362-9.
- Larry LeBlanc (February 12, 2000). "Morissette leads Canada's Juno nomination list". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 45–. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Belmont and Belcourt Biographies (March 2012). Adele: An Unauthorized Biography. Price World Publishing. pp. 16–. ISBN 978-1-61984-065-2.
- Billboard.com delivers Music Chart Coverage- Find Digital Music Charts Archived May 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine