Iain McKinna has been a freelance professional session guitarist, bass player, drummer, composer, singer, arranger, audio engineer, musical director and Edinburgh-based music producer for nearly 40 years, working in all areas of the music business. He started his recording career at Edinburgh’s Southside Studios in 1976 working with Punk and New Wave bands, The Scars, TV21, The Valves and Freeze.
He formed the band Flying Colours in 1981 with Jamie Campbell and was signed to Simon Cowell and Ellis Rich’s Publishing Company E&S music and performed regularly at London’s Embassy Club as well as a UK tour supporting Level 42. After that he worked as a sound engineer and session musician at Edinburgh’s Planet Studios & Palladium Studios.
Live musician, songwriter and recording engineer
After many years as a gigging musician and recording engineer Iain went on to work for most of the major record labels at Edinburgh’s Sonic Studios in the mid to 80s through to 1992 when he started Offbeat.
In broadcasting Iain has worked on “live” shows, pre-recorded specials, series background music and documentaries. Film credits include “Man Dancin’”, “The Story Of Film”. “First Light Movies” etc. In theatre audio production he has worked for several years with the Edinburgh Kings Theatre and the “Songs Of Sister Act” with MD Rich Anderson.
As a professional songwriter and collaborator he has co-written two number 1 hits in Germany, Japan & Australia and two top ten World music hits with productions for World Music Network artist Talitha MacKenzie. He also writes for other artists, most recently achieving a no1 on icompositions.com, Celtic Music Radio & Broadjam UK. His song “Living The Dream” won best song award for the Music In Scotland Trust.
As a recording engineer at Offbeat he has worked on many recordings for major and independent record labels, including three albums for Universal Records. Two albums from the Spirit Of The Glen series reached no1 in the Classic FM charts and one achieved a Classical Brit Award for best album in 2009.
As a gigging musician, he has performed with The Talitha Mackenzie band and Pipedreams at the famous Melk Weg (Milky Way), three consecutive years at T In the Park, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Barrowlands, Brampton Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Beijing Festival, Terschelling Island Holland, The Waterfront Toronto, Womad UK and Womex, Berlin. He has also toured in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and in many Festivals throughout the UK.
As a freelance record and music producer Iain’s work ranges in style from Pop, Rock, Blues and Soul through to Classical, Jazz and World music. You can see and hear many examples of Iain’s work by visiting the Offbeat Projects section of this site. His most recent production was for the WW1 Remembrance album Lest We Forget for Sir Chris Evans. Working with singers including Steve Balsamo, Ruth Notman and musicians including violinist Seonaid Aitken and Pink Floyd’s Drummer Nick Mason. he is currently working on the third Imaginary Creatures album with lyricist David Scott, working with musicians like Guitarists Keith More and Blue Oyster Cults Joe Bouchard, Drummer Ted McKenna and many other special guests.
He has collaborated on music production projects with many well known singers and songwriters from Scotland, the wider UK and abroad, and brings his experience as a musician and session player to many of the recordings he works on, making him a popular choice of producer for solo artists and singer/songwriters. After many years working as a professional in the music industry, he is well connected to a wide range of great session musicians worldwide.
As well as working with many labels, Iain has produced recordings for BBC TV – BBC Radio1, Channel 4, More 4, STV, Film 4, BBC Radio 4, Loftus productions + BBC World Service.