How did you get started? Tell us everything!
I've always been drawn to music at an early age. I grew up in Oakland, Ca, and was the youngest of two children. I started playing drums in the church and developed a love for performing there. I eventually went on to go to Oakland School for the Arts and continued to hone my skills and learn more about music in a global sense. I performed with Oakland Symphony, for festivals for theater musicals fundraiser Galas. I learned so much about the discipline and dedication that my craft required. This was where I discovered the importance of art as a positive outlet especially in my community that was, at the time, plagued with violence.
I've seen music transform people's life trajectory for the better and I knew from then I wanted to help give voices to those whose artistry could touch and inspire many. I was later accepted into the Berklee College of Music's program of Music and Production Engineering. This was a turning point in my life and had such an impact on me. It gave me a foundation I have built off pertaining to the dynamics of the business, working with different personalities, or the complex skill set that comes with audio. While my background and education have helped provide me with a strong network and foundation in my field, there is also a significant amount of sacrifice and discipline. Moving to Atlanta I had to stand out and gain momentum. I started at a variety of great studios and eventually found my home at the legendary Patchwerk Recording studios where I interned for a little over a year before moving up to staff engineer. There I've been able to work for a host of artists including Gucci Mane, Tyler Perry, and George Clinton and a host of others.
What is your experience in the music industry? Do you have any formal training or schooling? If not, are you self-taught and how did you learn your craft? What is your learning style? What are your favorite educational resources (ex. college, YouTube, etc.)?
I studied music from high school through college intensively. I am a hands-on learner. I love to research and read on whatever I'm trying to do but nothing will stick without an application for me. So, I'll take one section and apply several times until it sticks before I move on. These days YouTube has a lot of resources, but articles, books, manuals, and books written by engineers are helpful.
What are some credits and achievements that you have? Who have you worked with? Who have you collaborated with?
I've been lucky to work with a list of people that inspired me musically growing up. George Clinton, Missy, Gucci Mane, Ludacris as well as newer artists like Lil Baby, Big Krit, Jacquees, etc.
Who are your biggest influences growing up and why? Who do you like to listen to now and why? Who’s on your playlist right now?
I've listened to and performed so many types of music before becoming an engineer. From gospel, classical, jazz, R&B, and hip hop I have always just latched on to whatever felt good. Whether it be Parliament, Tupac, Timbaland, Earth Wind & Fire, Sting, Stevie Wonder. Now I'm still the same way. Whatever feels good
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered or faced in this industry?
The industry has had so many technological advances in the past few decades that have made things easier but also complicate or sully the process. I think it's affected the overall perception of the worth of the engineer, as bedroom recordings are becoming more prominent. The ceiling for quality and what people want to pay for quality has lowered the ceiling.
How would you describe your sound and style?
Musical, intentional, and emotional.
What are some of your goals this year?
Build my knowledge of newer digital protocols that can be used in studio but mostly used in broadcast and live sound. I'd also like to build up my business to fulfill the audio needs of commercial, corporate and individual clients.
Who are the top 3 artists, producers, engineers, videographers, or others you would want to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?
Artists: Kendrick Lamar, Lianne La Haves, Rihanna
Producers: Dr. Dre, Rick Rubin, Quincy
Engineers: Tony Maserati, Tom Coyne, Guru.
What is your creative process like?
It all depends on what role I am in. I just allow the creative process to flow freely but making sure to clear roadblocks in the production, technical, and vibe arena. But depending on the client, I may be hands-on and collaborative to reach the best performance and sonic end result possible by giving a lot vocal production or arrangement insight or I'm most facilitating the work coming in and working in the audio domain making sure it’s clean and the sonic portrait is being painted that the artists and producer envision.
What’s your favorite go-to order?
If I’m in the session, whatever is quick clean and not going to make me feel terrible. Usually, chicken sandwich.