My name’s Drew Mantia, owner and operator of Feel Good Music Recordings, and I produce & mix Feel Good Music. If you make soulful music that makes people smile or has the emotional depth to make them cry, I want to be your guy. R&B, Lyrical Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, Pop, Jazz, House, Gospel/Worship, Reggae
I mix singles and albums that I produce and am available to mix your already produced and recorded project as well. I get my best mixing results working mostly unattended but I still gather and value feedback from the artist throughout the process. I have years of experience mixing for artists remotely online as well and that has become a great option in COVID times. I can even give you consulting on recording yourself at home so you can send quality tracks in for mix. I mix in-the-box in the latest version of Pro Tools.
I can help you, the singer/songwriter, rapper or band create your songs from the ground up or turn a song you’ve written into a fully realized record. This can be as hands off as selling you a beat or a full-service experience where we write the material together in-studio (or via video call) and see it all the way through to a mastered final product. I use electric and acoustic guitars, basses, and a Pearl drum kit with Soultone Cymbals in combination with VSTs in Pro Tools and sample chopping via Maschine to create hybrid live/digital productions. I also have access to a network of fantastic session musicians on most any instrument when needed.
Contact me through the green button above and let's get to work.
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Interview with Drew Mantia
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: produced and mixed a single by ProbCause called “LSD” featuring Chance the Rapper. The track got a lot of attention and defined my production sound for years to come. I found a hybrid of Hip Hop, R&B and Dance with the track that I still use today.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Projects producing, recording & mixing singer/songwriters and doing remote mixes. Supplying sync music libraries with tracks. Posting a video everyday to social media @drewmantia
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. The speed, flexibility and ability to keep every take are essentials these days. I do think it’s still important to be knowledgeable of analog workflow. I learned on analog and bring that mindset to the digital realm.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Feel good vibes above all. A creative, open-minded working environment. Pleasant, professional communication. Quality work delivered on time and as requested.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: A good session puts me in a flow state - full presence engaging with the current moment, losing track of time. I also like capturing those moments in an emotional time capsule to be shared, which is what a recording is to me.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: They often ask how to promote their music when it’s finished. I tell them to start a daily social media presence right away and to study music marketing for free via YouTube and library books.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: “Let’s collab" = free work
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Do you have previously released work or demos I can hear? What are some records that capture the vibe you’re going for? What’s your writing style - slow and methodical? Off-the-cuff?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: No matter how talented or skilled someone is, if they offer you a poor attitude and/or poor communication that’s not the person for you. Your best production/engineering teammates and collaborators in general are at the intersection of most skill and most interest in working with you. A provider that’s skilled but disinterested or one that’s highly interested but not skilled are outside your sweet spot.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: They would be instruments: drums, bass, guitar, keys and a portable recorder to capture the sounds.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been in pursuit of music and audio for 20 years and have been professional for 10. On the first day I brought home my beginner acoustic guitar, I recorded myself making noise with it on cassette tape. In those 20+ years since, writing and performing music has been inextricably tied to recording and mixing it for me. As I grew in the skills of creating my own recordings and showed my work to other musicians, particularly my fellow Webster University music students, they began offering to hire me for their recordings. By 2011 I was engineering and producing recordings as a full-time freelancer. After doing some work in my hometown of St. Louis and Kansas City, I made a successful move to Chicago in 2012 where I began work with artists that would receive millions of plays and views, sell thousands of albums and perform slots at large festivals. I worked in Chicago (and worldwide, remotely) until 2019 when I moved back to St. Louis and found a renewed passion for my craft in my hometown. I have still been working closely with Chicago artists, taken up work with STL locals, and more than ever I am doing remote mixing, mastering, selling beats and custom production online. In 2021, I opened Feel Good Music Recordings based in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis, MO. Throughout my music career I’ve been told many times “you make that feel good music!” I was so pleased that I was having that effect on people that I made feel good vibes the cornerstone of what I do. I have a production album series called “Feel Good Music” and when the opportunity came to take over someone else’s already built out studio space, it was a no-brainer what I would call it.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I produce & mix Feel Good Music. If you make soulful music that makes people smile or has the emotional depth to make them cry, I want to be your guy. R&B, Lyrical Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, Pop, Jazz, House, Gospel/Worship, Reggae. Live instrumentation, beats or (my favorite) a hybrid of both. Danceable drums, funky bass lines & guitars, soulful keys. My mixing style combines classic techniques with modern ones.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Snoh Allegra. She’s about those feels! I believe her vocals and writing would gel with my production and attitude.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Write the bassline first. If you take the time to craft a killer bassline, the rest of the song will fall into place.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I’m heavily into R&B currently. I have been a Hip Hop specialist in the past and also work a lot with Dance and Funk. I have 20 years of experience with both live instruments and beats.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Getting in sync with artists. Whether in-person or remotely, my clients report a sense of understanding and connection that we share. People often tell me I just said what they were thinking, that I intuitively know what they want to hear on the record.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A positive attitude, first and foremost. Vibe is everything. That extends to in-person sessions, remote communication, business relations, etc. I create a safe space for the artist to express themselves and make efforts to not throw that off in any part of the process. Sonically I bring a combination of new school and old school- the warmth and intimacy of an old record with the polish and techniques of something brand new.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start by communicating with the client about expectations and request reference recordings for the sounds they want to achieve. It’s important to me to know what the mission is. Once I have that clear understanding I have little issue translating the client’s ideas remotely or in-person. I offer a round of revisions and only in rate exceptions is that not enough to square everything away.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a studio called Feel Good Music Recordings located in St. Louis, MO. It’s an in-the-box (computer-based) recording and production setup with drums, bass, guitar, keys and vocoder on the ready. I always focus on the vibe first and foremost.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Timbaland, John Mayer, Nile Rogers, Michael Jackson, Pino Paladino. Miguel, Kimbra, Nao, Kanye West, Raphael Saddiq. John Williams, 70s R&B, 90’s R&B, Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My most common work scenarios are remote mixing and mastering, beat sales and full-package production from the ground up: co-writing, production, recording, comping, editing, post-production, mixing, mastering.