While the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled the careers and work activity of so many of his peers, Joey Moi has never been busier or more successful. The Nashville-based Canadian producer and songwriter explains that, with the lockdown, “we closed our office on Music Row and I moved my studio into my house to work from here. With all the artists off the road, they want to make music.
“That has put our record company [Big Loud Records] and our songwriters into overdrive, and we’ve been trying to get music out from everybody. Rarely are the artists as available as they are right now. Everybody is here, and they all want to cut records! They all get to be more involved in the recording and production process, and that has been fun. I have been kept super-busy.”
Since re-locating from B.C. to Music City a decade ago, the award-winning and platinum-plated Moi quickly transitioned from producing and writing for such hard rock acts as Nickelback, Theory Of A Deadman, Daughtry, Hinder, and My Darkest Days, to producing hits and becoming a music industry entrepreneur on the country side.
Right now, Moi is on a major roll. Back in August, he topped Billboard’s Hot 100 Producers all-genre chart with four production credits to his name. These comprised three hit tracks by rising star Morgan Wallen, including the record-setting smash, “7 Summers,” which Moi solely produced, plus Hardy’s “One Beer” co-produced with Derek Wells. As a producer, Moi has had 10 No. 1 Hot Country Songs, and in 2013, 2014, and 2016, he was ranked as Billboard’s No. 1 Hot Country Songs Producer of the Year.
After moving to Nashville, Moi quickly struck platinum, producing hit acts Florida Georgia Line and Jake Owen. Florida Georgia Line’s Moi-produced catalog has exceeded more than eight billion digital streams, selling over four million albums.
Moi then branched out on the industry side, helping to establish the Big Loud Records label in 2015. He partnered with Seth England, songwriter Craig Wiseman, and Canadian Kevin “Big Chief” Zaruk in what has become a very successful venture, with a new imprint, Big Loud Rock, now launched.
Moi loves being part of a label team. “This is what I dreamed about as a young producer/entrepreneur,” he says. “It’s the best-case scenario, as we get to sign the artists we fall in love with, then cut the songs and make the records we love. I get to be a part of building a strategy all the way through, and every artist is a passion project for us.
“If you’re a freelance producer, like I was for the first 15 years of my career, you don’t get to see how the sausage is made!” he laughs. “You don’t necessarily see the amount of work, commitment, and input of the marketing and promotion teams. I have learned so much in the last five years.”
The Big Loud Records roster includes Canadian MacKenzie Porter, while Moi continues his long and fruitful working relationship with Canadian country star Dallas Smith. ”Dallas is a day-one guy for me,” says Moi. “He was the first artist I ever recorded that got played on the radio. Nickelback came after that.”
Moi actually first went to Nashville as songwriter, after landing a publishing deal with Big Loud Shirt Publishing in 2010. “That early investment in songwriting definitely helped me as a producer and in helping an artist A&R their record, identifying great songs, as opposed to OK songs,” he says. “Unfortunately, writing has taken a back seat as my production deadlines have become more intense. I’m good for about one cut a year now.”
Moi remains a man in love with the process of making records and boosting careers. “The most fulfilling and exciting thing for me is making that first record and seeing that artist gain momentum,” he says. “That never gets old. If it does, it’s time to hang it up, go back to my boat in Vancouver and float around,” he adds.
Don’t look for that to happen any time soon.