When reflecting upon Peterborough natives who have been heralded on a wider and grander stage for their achievements, Greg Wells is truly in select company.
An alumnus of Edmison Heights Public School and Adam Scott Collegiate, Wells is today a highly-respected, and world renowned record producer, songwriter, musician and audio engineer with song credits on more than 130 million albums sold. At his Rocket Carousel Studio in Los Angeles, Wells has produced and written with numerous popular music icons ranging from Adele and Taylor Swift, to Celine Dion and Elton John.
Wells has garnered six Grammy Award nominations along the way, winning the coveted statue in 2018 for best compilation soundtrack for visual media for the 2017 film The Greatest Showman and again this year for his work on Michael Bublé’s album Higher.
Wells headed to Los Angeles at age 21 with the intent of returning to Canada. However Clare Fischer, the composer and string arranger for Prince, was soon recommending him as a pianist. Wells joined k.d. lang’s band soon after, performing with her on stage at the 1993 Grammy Awards.
While the City of Angels is now his home, Wells has never forgotten his Peterborough roots. His commitment to the health, and furtherance of the local music scene has remained consistent and noteworthy.
Clear evidence of this was his co-founding of the Don Skuce Memorial Music Collective, a fitting tribute to the late owner of Ed’s Music that sees local songwriters given the chance to have their submitted songs mixed and produced by him at his studio free of charge – an expense well beyond their means. In 2018, at the memorial service for Don Skuce, Wells performed as part of the send-off for his friend.
In addition, Wells paid the airfare for Peterborough music legend Bobby Watson to fly to Los Angeles where he recorded, and produced his new CD free of charge. Back in Peterborough, when Watson released the CD at the Historic Red Dog, Wells was again on hand, performing alongside him.
His numerous professional achievements and philanthropy aside, Wells remains an unabashedly proud ambassador of the rich musical heritage that has been, and remains, very much a key element of Peterborough’s DNA.
The soundtrack, of a City…