• The Hidden Brother: Nicky Graham and the Complexities of Songwriter / Producer Media Profiles

      Mason, Jim (2016-01)
      Bros were a successful late 1980s UK pop act that received significant media exposure. The group’s hits were credited to “The Brothers” on their record sleeves, a strategy suggesting - though not overtly stating - that they were written by the group members. The main creator of Bros’s musical works was actually Nicky Graham – a “hidden” writer and producer who received relatively little media attention at the height of the act’s fame. Graham was "hidden" from the public in a way which contrasted with "celebrity" producers of this era, such as Trevor Horn and Pete Waterman, and may have cost him the opportunity to gain his own fans in contrast with Horn and "celebrity" mix engineer, Tom Lord-Alge, as discussed by Hills (2014). Various popular music scholars have explored songwriting in relation to contested notions of authenticity (see Moore 2002; Cusic 2005). Drawing on ideas such as auteur theory and cultural capital, this paper discusses the results of a new interview with Graham, which was undertaken to focus specifically on the theme of "hidden" musicians. Using Graham as a case study, the paper explores how music audiences perceive the identities of “hidden” music makers and investigates precisely what factors guide the decision-making processes of a “hidden” writer/producer.