What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
Classically trained starting at age 9 on piano, got into jazz and composition at age 15, produced my first artists at 16, went to Berklee College Of Music at 19, graduated in 3 years with honors, and moved to New York to pursue music production. First real production exposure was in 2006 with Murder Inc, working briefly under Seven Aurelius. I then collaborated with Roc Nation producer Deputy sometime in 2008, then ventured out on my own shortly after that. Produced artists independently until I met Kat Dahlia in 2012, who got signed to Epic/Sony a few months after my contribution to her development. I got signed to Sony ATV Publishing in 2013 through Stellar Songs (other publishing label mates being Sam Smith, Charli XCX, Emeli Sande and more), and have been working and getting placements ever since. Worked with new artist Macy Maloy in 2014, who got signed to Warner Music shortly after, due to the music we created together. Worked with new artist, Polly A, who got signed to Adam Levine's 222 Records/Interscope Records Imprint as a result of the work we did together in 2015, EP and album to follow in the next few months. So as a full time career, since 2012, but overall, I start counting from 2006.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
For now, I would say it would be the song "Don't Stop" on the Boyz II Men "Collide" album that came out in October 2014. I've been listening to Boyz II Men for years, so when the opportunity came to work with them, I was beyond honored. I produced the song, along with my 2 talented producers signed to me, The Page Brothers, as well as played instruments, edited the final Pro Tools session and supervised the mix process. It was an amazing experience.
What are you working on at the moment?
Just finishing a few albums on Interscope and Warner Music, as well as Sony. I'll elaborate once the projects are finished!
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
I am new to SoundBetter, so hopefully, I will in the near future.
Analog or digital and why?
Both, because they both have their place. I love the warmth of analog, but the precision and control that the digital domain provides.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
You will never have met anyone that will work harder or care more about your success that me.
What do you like most about your job?
The challenge of waking up every day and deciding what it is I want to do. Even if it is hard work, it's the freedom to do what I love to do that is most fulfilling about my career path in music.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
How long will it take for me to get signed? I tell them to stop focusing on getting signed, and start focusing on making the best music they are capable of making. The right opportunities will begin to present themselves once this happens.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That it is not hard work.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
I ask them what they see for themselves, their plans and goals for their musical journey. I want to know if this is just a hobby for them, or if it is a true calling/career path. I also want to know what their expectations are, if they are realistic, ie how long they expect it to take to achieve their creative goals, how many songs they think it takes to be ready for a deal, or even to just release a quality EP or album that would move the needle for their career.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Know what you are looking for, and ask as many questions as possible before you start working with someone of my caliber. If you don't know what you want, it doesn't matter how great the producer is. You have to be good at articulating your needs, so that I can best serve those needs with the right production.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Laptop, Universal Audio Apollo, Neumann U87 Mic, Tubetech CL1b, Neve 1073 Mic Pre.
How would you describe your style?
Very eclectic, but also very current, never afraid to try new sounds, and challenge the status quo. A fusion of sorts, a melting pot of urban with electronic vibes, mixed with timeless and classic instrumentation, retro-futuristic. Ultimately, I look to channel the vibe of the artist in the music, so that the music truly reflects the personality of the artist, while my sound provides a structure and a foundation for the artist to fully express themselves.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
The Weeknd. He is a creatively diverse artist, and I believe he really has a clear sense of self expression. I believe we could write hits together!
Can you share one music production tip?
Always be open to learn something new in the creative process. The minute you close yourself off to learning something new, you limit your ability to grow creatively.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Pop music. As varied as the top 40 chart is, such is the scope of my abilities.
What's your strongest skill?
Intuitiveness. Figuring out what is most needed to serve the song and the artist.
What do you bring to a song?
I bring the stage on which the artist can be the star. I bring freedom of expression to the artist so they can reach the highest level of creativity for that song or that project. I bring flexibility, making sure the artist does not feel limited to one approach, and knows that there is a fine balance between experimentation and structure in songwriting and production.
What's your typical work process?
Whatever the song calls for. I try to vary the approach to make sure the sound does not have a cookie-cutter feel to it. Every artist is different, so every approach should be tailor-made to that artist or whatever the song calls for.
Tell us about your studio setup.
I have a music production studio in the Upper West Side of New York City. I mainly work in Pro Tools, filled with plug ins and software synths. Waves Mercury, Universal Audio Plug Ins, and many more high end in-the-box plug in solutions. I use the Dangerous monitoring system, Neumann U87 mic, Universal Audio 2192 Converter as well as the Universal Audio Apollo Quad Thunderbolt system. Dynaudio BM6's for monitoring, Avantones for cross referencing mixes, other assorted outboard gear for summing.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre, Pharrell, Henry Mancini, Paul Epworth, Prince, Dilla, John Williams, Kanye West, Timbaland...people who are great at what they do will always be a source of inspiration to me.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I am a music producer and artist developer with a passion for bringing out the best in the artists I work with. I understand that a producer has to have a vision for the end product, has to listen to the artist, and has to find the most natural way to convey the personality of the artist through the music created.