Liam Howe

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Liam Howe
Birth nameLiam Coverdale Howe
Born (1974-11-28) 28 November 1974 (age 45)
OriginHartlepool, England
GenresElectronica, trip hop, dance, indie pop
Occupation(s)Producer, mixer, programmer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist
InstrumentsSynthesizer, guitar, bass, programming, string arrangement
Years active1991–present
LabelsOne Little Indian, Tommy Boy
Associated actsSneaker Pimps, Marina and the Diamonds, FKA twigs

Liam Coverdale Howe (born 29 September 1974, Elwick, Hartlepool, England) is an English, London-based record producer, musician and songwriter. Since forming 90s cult band Sneaker Pimps in 1996, he has had much success producing the likes of Lana Del Rey, Marina and the Diamonds, FKA Twigs, Ellie Goulding, and Tom Vek.[1][2]


Musical beginnings[edit]

In 1992, he formed the dance act F.R.I.S.K. with fellow northerner and childhood friend Chris Corner, and released the white label The Soul of Indiscretion EP. The act was subsequently signed to Clean Up Records, a subsidiary of One Little Indian Records.[3]

Whilst studying fine art at Reading University, Howe formed the production company Line of Flight with Corner and other art students Joe Wilson and David Westlake. They released The World as a Cone EP under this title in 1993. Line of Flight produced many of the acts on Clean Up Records, and contributed numerous remixes to the 1990s dance scene.

Sneaker Pimps[edit]

Wanting a bigger audience, Howe and Corner began writing for a more song based project. Ian Pickering, a lifelong friend of Howe's joined the writing team as a lyricist. With an album of material written, singer Kelli Dayton (who had been introduced to Howe and Corner through Derek Birkett of One Little Indian) was invited to sing, and the band Sneaker Pimps was formed. The debut album Becoming X was recorded in Howe's father's house in Elwick; a small village on the outskirts of Hartlepool. Howe and Corner produced the record under the 'Line of Flight' umbrella, with contributions from producers Jim Abbiss and Flood.

Howe also played keyboards with Sneaker Pimps, throughout their worldwide promotion of their three albums to date.


Year Nominated work Award Result Ref.
ASCAP Songwriting Award "6 Underground" (with Corner and Pickering) ASCAP Songwriting Award Won [4]

Branching out[edit]

Through the success of Sneaker Pimps, Howe's writing and production skills gained international recognition with hits such as "6 Underground" and "Spin Spin Sugar", which led to collaborations with Marilyn Manson, Placebo, Echo & the Bunnymen, Natalie Imbruglia, Nerina Pallot, and Emilíana Torrini.

Howe and Wilson formed the band Ultrafox in 2001, with the German twins, Claudia and Connie Holzer. Ice Skating was released on User Friendly Records.

Although Howe, Corner and Pickering have written a fourth Sneaker Pimps album, it remains unrecorded. Corner relocated to Berlin with the success of his solo project IAMX, whilst Howe stayed in the UK to further his writing/production career. The pair have recently reunited, with Howe contributing synthesiser and recorder parts to the fifth IAMX album, The Unified Field.

Production and writing with other artists[edit]

Since Sneaker Pimps, Howe has written for, produced and developed a whole host of respected artists including Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Marina and the Diamonds, Tom Vek, Jessie Ware, Mikky Ekko, Adele, FKA Twigs, Say Lou Lou and Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile.

In 2008 and 2009, Howe worked extensively on the Marina and the Diamonds debut album The Family Jewels co-writing and/or producing the majority of tracks. The album entered the UK charts on its week of release at No. 5. He also worked with Diamandis on her follow-up album, Electra Heart. The album entered the UK charts on its week of release at No. 1.

In 2010 Howe produced CocknBullKid's debut album Adulthood on Island Records, including the co-writes 'Yellow' and 'The Hoarder' with Hannah Robinson, and 'Mexico' with Gonzales. Also in 2010 the track 'Little Dreams' was released on the Ellie Goulding reissue Bright Lights. The song was co-written and produced by Howe.

In the summer of 2010 Howe, along with others, produced Tom Vek's much anticipated second album Leisure Seizure.

In 2011 Howe wrote several songs with Lana Del Rey and other collaborators such as Guy Chambers for her debut album Born to Die. The track Lolita, written with Hannah Robinson features on the record. Also in 2011 Howe contributed to Marina and the Diamonds follow-up record, Electra Heart.

2012 saw collaborations with Foxes, Fallulah and old bandmate IAMX. Also Howe worked extensively with London Grammar on developing their debut album.

In 2013 Howe Co-produced FKA Twigs first and second EP and contributed to her debut LP. He was also behind tracks from VV Brown and Fallulah, and Dan Croll.

2014 saw contributions to Jessie Ware, Sampha, Kovacs, Sonia Stein, and Simonne Jones.

in 2015 Howe worked with Maxine Ashley, Jam City, Natalie Duncan, AlunaGeorge and the Kanye signed Kacy Hill.

2016 brought collaborations with TsarB, Rob Bravery, Kyla La Grange and Hannah Peel.

in 2017/18 Howe has been working with Lissie, Jessie Ware, Nilüfer Yanya, Aurora, and BEA1991.

The Sarasara LP 'Orgone' on One Little Indian was written and produced in collaboration with the artist (2019)

Collaborations with Conor O'Brien from the band Villagers, Gillian Maguire, Ben Romans, and Lees have occupied Howe in 2020. Along with much anticipated work for the new Sneaker Pimps album with fellow band mate Chris Corner. Ape Mink press has arisen as a new project but the nature of this is, as yet, undisclosed.


Howe's compositions have appeared in many films, most notably The Saint, Danny Boyle's A Life Less Ordinary and Alfonso Cuarón's Y tu mamá también.[5] In 2009, he composed the soundtrack to the Sundance multi award-winning film Obselidia, using an orchestra of obsolete instruments. Howe has directed music videos for both Sneaker Pimps, and the electronic act, Motor. As a visual artist, Howe has exhibited installations in galleries such as London's Institute of Contemporary Arts and the CCA Glasgow. 2015 saw the release of Howe's second major film score to Bleeding Heart [6] which starred Jessica Biel and Zosia Mamet and was directed by Diane Bell (director). The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on 16 April 2015. Diane Bell's 3rd Film "Of Dust and Bones" also has an original score composed by Howe.

Solo career / the future of Sneaker Pimps[edit]

There is speculation as to the name of the project, however earlier material went under the name 'The Zip'. The record is believed to be a 'producers' record, whereby he has invited collaborators to contribute performances. Collaborations with Alan Vega, Neneh Cherry, and Paul Buchanan are rumoured to exist.

Sneaker Pimps are currently finishing their fourth album. This will be due for release in 2020.


  1. ^ "Liam Howe | Credits". AllMusic.
  2. ^ "FKA Twigs - EP2".
  3. ^ "Amidio | Music alive".
  4. ^ "Liam Howe Bio at ASCAP".
  5. ^ "Liam Howe".
  6. ^ "Tribeca Review: 'Bleeding Heart' Starring Jessica Biel & Zosia Mamet".

External links[edit]