Billy Aukstik is a Brooklyn-based trumpet player, producer, engineer, songwriter and vocalist. He has toured the world with Daptone Records recording artists Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Antibalas and also toured with artists such as Mark Ronson. He has over 10 years of studio experience and now works out of Hive Mind Recording.
Born in Chicago and now based in New York City, Billy Aukstik has played trumpet onstage and in the studio with a number of world-renowned acts. After attending New York University’s Jazz Studies program, Billy hit the road full-time, performing at festivals and venues around the world with Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, The Budos Band, The Menahan Street Band, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Antibalas, The Sugarman 3, Mark Ronson and more. He has also appeared onstage with artists such as Erykah Badu, The Impressions, Mavis Staples, Bilal, CeeLo Green, The Roots, Chaka Khan and more. In the studio, Billy has performed on recordings by The Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, Ghostface Killah, The Menahan Street Band, Mac Miller, El Michels Affair, The Dap-Kings, BADBADNOTGOOD, EMEFE, Michael Rault and Curtis Harding, to name a few.
In 2015, Billy founded his own record label, Dala Records, and has since produced and engineered debut releases from John Fatum, The Rad Trads, Michael Harlen, Patrick Sargent, Camellia Hartman, Billy the Kid, Emily Rault, Steve Garvin, Bobby Harden, Mel & Kim, Kyle Lacy, The Hook Brothers, Sweet Megg and more. Music from the Dala catalog has been featured in television shows such as NBC’s Chicago Fire and Whiskey Cavalier on CBS.
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Interview with Billy Aukstik
Q: Analog or digital and why?
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Soul/R&B, Pop, Singer-Songwriter, Afrobeat.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I co-own and operate a professional analog-centric recording studio called Hive Mind Recording based in Brooklyn, New York along with my partners Vince Chiarito and Mike Buckley. We specialize in analog productions and typically use our Otari MX70 16-track tape machine for recording sessions. We have many pieces of outboard gear used for tracking and mixing sessions along with a number of vintage instruments.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Charles Bradley, The Dap-Kings, Mark Ronson, Tame Impala, Emmit Rhodes, Brian Wilson, The Beatles, George Martin.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Trumpet overdubs, horn arrangements, song mixing, song-writing, live band recording.