Grammy Award winning Canadian musician, songwriter and producer Greg Wells coming to Nelson.

In his distinguished career, Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer Greg Wells has worked with a who’s who of talent from Taylor Swift to Twenty One Pilots to Keith Urban.

In the first week of February, the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program will welcome the Los Angeles-based Wells to the Tenth Street Campus in Nelson for an artist-in-residence visit that includes a songwriting masterclass open to the public on February 6.

“Greg is a true Canadian gem in the music industry, a really amazing writer and producer,” says Contemporary Music & Technology Program Instructor Laura Landsberg. “We are fortunate that he is making the trip to the West Kootenay for three days to help mentor our students and open up his knowledge to the greater community.”

Born in Ontario, Wells is a respected multi-instrumentalist who first worked with Kim Mitchell as a studio musician when he was 17 and then joined the Canadian rocker’s band on keyboards just after his 19th birthday. He moved over to k.d. lang’s band shortly afterward and performed on her 1993 Grammy Awards winning album Ingénue.

Since those early days, Wells began to focus more on writing and producing where he has worked with a laundry list of superstars from all genres that include Adele, Dua Lipa, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Elton John, P!nk, Ariana Grande, Weezer, OneRepublic, Celine Dion, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Aerosmith, Crash Test Dummies, Kid Kudi, Quincy Jones and Deftones. Wells produced and mixed The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack that was the best selling worldwide album in 2018 and captured a 2019 Grammy Award.

“In the 30-year history of our program we have brought in an impressive list of terrific talents who have taken part in student workshops and public performances for the community,” says Landsberg, who has been teaching at Selkirk College since 2004. “Greg will be one of the most memorable. He has so much to offer our students in terms of his industry experience and expertise. This will be a truly remarkable opportunity for all of our students.”

Wells arrives to Nelson on February 5 where he will lead workshops for students. Those sessions will last the next two days, with a community masterclass event planned for February 6 at the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on the Tenth Street Campus. For the masterclass, Wells will focus on songwriting and some of the techniques used on his library of work that includes 125 million albums sold and streaming numbers in the billions. He will be joined on the intimate stage by members of the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program faculty.

“You have to jump into the pool with the artist and quickly assess what’s happening,” Wells says of his approach. “For me, the goal is to shine the best light on the artist themselves and help them be as true to themselves as possible. I’m more the basketball coach than the player.”

Tickets for the February 6 masterclass are available at the Selkirk College Tenth Street Campus main office and are in limited supply. The cost is $20 and the doors open for this public event at 6:30 pm. For further information please contact Laura Landsberg at 250-505-2445.

– Bob Hall