How did you get started? Tell us your story.
My name is Evan Melville. I am an audio engineer, producer and entrepreneur from Greensboro, North Carolina. I have always loved music and imagined myself in the music industry. In 2005, while searching for a career path, I decided to start a record label. I didn’t know where to start so google told me I needed a studio. Eventually that led to me making beats and recording other people frequently. In 2008, I started Phanum Records. I didn’t know what I was doing; I just knew I had to be doing something. With the couple of artists I was working with, we released mixtapes and did shows at local venues. I fell in love with the art and power of producing and engineering. I started to realize that I needed a plan and more knowledge. In 2010, I started classes at Guilford Tech in Highpoint, NC in the recording engineering program. I finished in 2014 and moved to Atlanta. Still making beats as well as developing artists that I took interest in, I began interning at Patchwerk Recording Studios in July of 2014. Now we’re here.
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.)?
At first I was self taught, I went to school as well but most of my professional training had come from watching experienced engineers at Patchwerk. Also working with different artist and making mistakes has molded me and my technique. Actually doing, making mistakes, experimenting and watching others are the best learning techniques for me.
What are some credits and achievements that you have? Who have you worked with? Who have you collaborated with?
There’s been so many people it’s hard to name. Every experience and collaboration has added to my career. Check out my credits list at Patchwerk.com for “big names."
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?
My biggest influences were my high school band director, Mr. Charles Lebo Butler, Pharrell Williams, The Dream and Tricky Stewart, Quincy Jones, Kanye West, Teddy Riley, Justice League and Michael Jackson. Those people made me fall in love with the architecture and the arrangement of music. I’m listening to a lot of funk and big band jazz on my leisure these days such as The Black Byrd’s, Gerald Wilson’s Orchestra and Slave to name a few, also the Ohio Players. I recommend “Skin Tight” by the Ohio Players and “Slide” by Slave. Right now, Big Rage, an artist I’m working with now, is on my playlist, he is really hard!
What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered or faced in this industry?
My ego. In the middle of me interning, my car got repossessed and I had to do runs on a bicycle. I got hit by a car during my internship and broke my Femur. How would you describe your sound and style?
I can’t describe my sound, it changes from artist to artist. It also changes based on how I’m feeling. I’m working on having a consistent sound now.
What are some of your goals this year?
I recently started a label, Legendary Rookies, so my goal is to gain a following for my label and artists. Another goal of mine this year is to be more open to meet new people. I need to build a team.
Who are the top 3 artists, producers, engineers, videographers, or others you would want to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?
Before I die, I want to be In a Missy Elliot music video. Also I want to play “Love Put Me On The Corner” by the Isley Brothers on the piano accompanying Ronald Isley at the Grammys ceremony one day before he passes. Other than that I’ve never had the desire to meet or work with a big artist. I take more interest in artists that are just starting out and serious.
What is your creative process like?
It varies from project to project, artist to artist. What’s your favorite go-to order?
Whiting and wings with fried mushrooms instead of fries at JJs Fish and Chicken.