I am an aspiring sound engineer/producer from Hilo, HI offering mixing, mastering, and vocal recording/comping/tuning services.
Aloha my name is Evan and I go by the alias SØZEN. I currently live in Honolulu, HI and work out of an up-and-coming recording studio in the Honolulu/Kalihi area specializing in vocal recordings. I have been working with music starting from 2016 as a DJ/Producer, and moving into engineering work from 2020 onwards.
Please don't hesitate to contact me for commissions, previews of past work, a free quote, etc. I would love to chat on an individual basis with every client to work together on how to provide the best possible results. I offer discounted introduction rates for those who are new to working with me because looking for the right engineer can be difficult and costly; this way you can see if what I provide is to your liking and whether working with me is something we can establish moving forward.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
Interview with SØZEN
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I had the pleasure of working on my good friend's debut album, as the lead engineer for both mixing and mastering. It was the first big project I took on and although I have room to grow, it definitely taught me a lot and I'm proud of what I accomplished.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I'm not sure if he's on here but my friend Kawelo (@kawelomills on instagram) is a great engineer and taught me a lot of what I know.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Just working on music is a blessing. I'm trying to make this a sustainable lifestyle.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think some people who aren't that involved in music would think I produce the beats. Although I do sometimes, it's not as often as engineering.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I'm very approachable so just hit me up for any questions you have regarding my services. Just please be kind and no low-balling, I just won't respond. I try to respect everyone regardless of who you are, so I would expect the same treatment. Please read my terms of services as well.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been only recently engineering for less than a year, however I've been working with ableton since early 2016 making various DJ tools, beats, etc. I initially wanted to be a counselor but found more passion and motivation in this direction. I hope to be able to work on music for as long as I can.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: It's so early to determine to be honest, I'm not entirely sure. Just whatever direction I feel like going at the moment.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd love to learn from Derek Ali (MixedByAli), Mike Dean, other top engineers. There are so many game-changers in the industry that I'd love to work with it's hard to choose.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Kenny Beats hit the nail on this one: Don't Over Think Shit
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I started in the realm of electronic music but lately have been working more with hip hop, trap, rnb, and pop. I'm always open to learning and working with any genre.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I would say my strongest skill is listening and being understanding of an artist's vision and input. I tend to empathize a lot in my daily life in any case and I find that very useful in interpersonal interactions. It's easier for me to make mix decisions once I understand what an artist is trying to go for and establish open-communication.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Whatever I am able to bring; whether that be creative production ideas, both creative and objective mixing/mastering input, or even just my opinion (granted it's solicited). I want to bring the artist's vision to life or try to establish a direction if the artist is unsure and needs help. I work best when provided full decision-making freedom, however I try not to butt in or overwrite anyone else's input, especially the main artist.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For recording sessions I tend to let the clients lead the session in what they want, since they're paying for the time. If they are new to a studio (first timers) I try to suggest what they can do to make the time most efficient for them, but ultimately it's really just a case-by-case basis. Overall I'm just there to provide the best quality work I can, and make sure the client is happy with the overall session and results. For Mix/Master sessions I tend to work at home on my own because my iMac has better processing power than my laptop.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: At home I run a small setup on my iMac with two KRK Rokit 6s, running through a UA Apollo Twin MKII Duo with Beyerdynamic dt 880 Pro. When I book recordings at the studio I use a Sony C100 microphone and mix out of either Yamaha HS8s or Adam Audio A5Xs depending on the room I'm booked in. Most of my recordings take advantage of the UAD Neve 1073 Preamp Unison and Softube's CL-1B MKII compressor software via my Apollo Twin. I currently take an old Macbook Pro with me when I book recording sessions but have plans to upgrade to a better laptop in the future.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I tend to try and learn techniques from everyone I work with, and seeing my close friends grow alongside me has been the most inspiring thing to witness. The more work I receive allows me to grow further and further, and seeing the growth over time only fuels me more.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most commonly, I do vocal recordings with a quick mix during an hourly rate session at a up-and-coming studio in Honolulu, HI. The sessions usually run from 1-5 hours, and on average we have several bookings a week. I recently mixed and mastered my good friend Jordan Louie's debut album "Late Bloomer", which was also the first major project I set my eyes on as an engineer. From then on, several local aspiring artists have contacted me about recording/mix/mastering work which I am very grateful for.