Before he became one of the music industry’s most-coveted producers, Butch Walker was a musician. As a glam rocker, a solo artist, the frontman for Marvelous 3 or playing with his band The Black Widows, Walker has accumulated a deep catalog of material that continues to inspire worldwide adoration. In the past two years, he has sold out a solo headlining tour of the United States and opened for Pink in a sold out tour of the stadiums of Europe. Taylor Swift heard Butch’s cover of her song “You Belong With Me” and was so excited by his re-tooling that she invited him to perform the song with her at the Grammy Awards ceremony (to see Walker’s creative process at work, check out this video and watch it blow up just before the three minute mark).

Imagine you’re an 18 year-old bloke born and raised in Sheffield, England. You’ve just finished high school, have no plans for university, and are trying to figure out what to do with your life. There aren’t many apparent options. Sheffield is a gray, aging steel town, and if you don’t think of something else you’re going to end up working in a factory. Or maybe not, because the local economy is shit and a lot of the steel mills are closing.

The one thing you have going for you is you’re an aspiring musician. One day you miss a bus and find yourself talking to another chap who’s in a band. He invites you to audition. You’re thrilled at the prospect of joining an actual band, and you want to play guitar, but it’s clear your skills aren’t quite up to the task. Or at least not playing an instrument. To your surprise the band asks you to become their lead singer, which at that point is the greatest moment of your life.