Friday, November 13, 2009

The Life of an Intern: Question of the Day


This is a question I've been asking myself lately.  The two major routes I've been thinking about is continuing on the Internship Road or Making a Road Myself.

At first I had chose this route because it makes you stand out.  Not a lot of people are willing to work more than 40 hours per week and not get paid anything.  It shows how hungry you are.

It made since to me because if you're having a hard time reaching certain people, majority of the time they are more willing to talk to their interns.

I thought since its hard getting in "the door", the easiest way was to intern.

Most studio internships are for people who want to be engineers.  After being an intern the next step was to be an assistant engineer.  I always considered myself a producer first then an engineer.  Because most of the material I was mixing was something of my own.

After interning at Silent Sound I felt I still needed to learn more.  But I wanted to learn more from the production side; therefore I thought it would be a good idea if I could intern under a producer...easier said then done.

This is the road that most people decide to take.  I shied away from this road because its so crowded.  I've never wanted to be one of the thousand CD's on an A&R's desk that have a good chance of ending up in the trash.

The only thing is though...all of my favorite producers started from making their own road.

There are many advantages of this route.  Its just a gamble...and I hate to gamble.  I believe in the work I do...don't get it twisted.

I've read so many books on the business of music.  But none of them have gave any examples of how certain people made it in the game.

I have heard tones of stories about how Producer/Songwriter so-and-so got their big break.  But it always involves a little something that looks similar to luck.  Its all about the people you know.

I don't have one.  For now I'll continue to make music and continue to send out my resume.

Diddy (ft. Dirty Money) - Love Come Down

I love this song & video.  It feels like the old Bad Boy.  I'm feelN the whole Dirty Money movement.  Gotta pick up that Last Train to Paris when it drops.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Life of an Intern: Quote of the Day

Knowing is not enough; we must aply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~ 

Movie Review: PRECIOUS

This is one of the best movies I've ever seen.  Me and my girlfriend Lamura tried 2 go see it on here bday (Nov 7) but it was sold out at Atlantic Station. But we found another theater the next day.  I'm not one 2 jump on a ban wagon or believe in the hype.  We saw the preview a little while ago.

Precious is one of those movies like Pursuit of Happiness. After seeing the film it makes me appreciate everything. I try not to complain, but now I have no reason at all to complain.  The girl Precious goes threw some much in her life.  I didn't want the movie to end.  Its a must see for everyone.

Mo'Nique gives the performance of a life time.  If she doesn't win an Oscar something is wrong.  She was scareN the hell out of me in that

I know we gonna purchase the DVD when I comes to Block Buster...maybe even before it hits the 4 for $20 rack.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Life of an Intern: Question of the Day


Today I was on Twitter and I saw that one of my possible future employers was online. 

I've sent his company my resume' and I've made follow-up calls.  People from Silent Sound have been trying to contact him to put in a good word for me.  I've met him before.  And I've also met a few of his employees. 

I don't have his personal phone number.  I was tempted to write him on Twitter, but I stopped...
I questioned... "Is a Twitter message professional?" Or any other social networks at that.

They are there for networking, but is it actually the way to go?  I'm pretty sure he has received a billion Twitter messages saying...  "Yo...I'm the next So and So!"  I don't want to be put in that category.
I wouldn't holla at him like that...but I don't know what to do. 

I decided not to send him a message.  Hopefully one day soon I'll receive a call from him...


Intern Tip 103: PERSISTENCE

One of the easiest ways of being notice is to be PERSISTENT.

This goes for during an internship and afterward. But there is a very thin line between being persistent and being annoying.  I still find it hard to remain on top of some things.  I always feel that I am crossing that thin line, even before I get close.

While I was interning it was pretty easy to be persistent because once I figured what people liked
I continued to do it.  I knew a certain engineer who liked bottled water.  So after every session I would give him a bottle of water for his ride home.  It was little things like that which made me stand out.

But now that I'm out looking for employment it feels like the thin line gets closer.  I make sure to call and check up on places where I've sent my resume'.  But how many calls is too many?

Its easy for outside people looking in to say...
"I would call EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY until I got what I wanted".
 But I know how annoying it could be to hear the same guy on the line saying...
"Have you had a chance to review my resume?".

Sometimes we can get so anxious that we over do it.  While other times we worry about how we are perceived by others.  Nothing will change if you just stay in your room with the headphones on.


The Life of an Intern: Quote of the Day

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot;
But make it hot by striking.

~William B. Sprague~ 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Intern Tip 102: DETAIL

DETAIL is one of the most important thing in a recording studio.

I'm already a little OCD, so I naturally pay attention to detail.
One night @ Silent Sound I was cleaning up so I had to straiten the magazines up.  Kory told me it was the best organization of the magazines he had seen.  Its just little things like that.  I made sure that the controllers to the game systems were cleaned.  I noticed the likes and dislikes of clients and staff members.  I wrote everything down.  I made sure that the tea pitcher was always full.  Coffee ready in the morning for when Dave came in.

I wouldn't do anything to kiss ass, just whatever was expected and then some.

Its hard to standout as an intern, so you gotta make sure you take care of all the small DETAILS.

Michael Jackson - THIS IS IT (movie)

I saw Michael Jackson's This Is It movie last night.  I was touched.  The main thing that kept going through my mind was how excited everyone was.  It looked like the show would've been one of the best ever. 

MJ vocals sounded great. Dude's falsetto was always crazy.  He was still dancing.

So much work went into the show.  I know so much money went into making the show.

I had chills watching the movie.


$10 Tuesday: Amerie - In Love & War AND Ryan Leslie - Transition

Usually I only buy one album per week.  But I had to pick up both of these.  I've been waiting for Amerie's album for a few years now.  And Ryan Leslie's first album is still getting played in the car.

Had 2 make a few congrats calls (Miles Walker & Sam Thomas).

Two highly anticipated albums from two talented artist.


Last week I spent the majority of my time in my home studio refining some skills.

I'm not a singer, but I love to make R&B music.  I never sang in a church or school.  It feels like the songs I've been writing have been missing something...and I figured it was harmony.  I recently bought a book on vocal harmony. I've been studying the harmonies of songs written by The Dream.  Dude is mad talented. I know he has a team of people like Tricky Stewart and Kuk Harrell.  To sit in on one of their sessions would be crazy.

I also been trying 2 get my mixing skills up.  For me its so much easier mixing Hip-Hop vocals then R&B vocals.  Hip-Hop is straight forward.  To me, R&B music always has more going on.  I notice that there are always 1,000+ rappers coming out.  Most aren't any good. There are mad people fakeN like they can rap.  But R& matter how much Autotune you can't fake singing.

I always compare my music to the music I like.  The only vocals I record are mainly reference vocals for songs I wanna sell. I know that don't have to be the best of the best, but they need to be close to it.  The music industry is a competition.  Whenever I decided to send music to potential clients, I'm pretty sure that they are getting music from thousands of more people.  I'm not only competing with other up-and-coming producers, but also the Timbalands, Pharrells, Maestros, and Ryan Leslies. I've gotta make my songs stand out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I gotta get this DJ Hero game, so I guess that means I gotta get a Nintendo Wii first...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SAW 6 (review)

I've liked all the SAW movies that came out. SAW four & five were a little disappointing.
I think they were basically building up the plot. Becase...
SAW 6 was crazy as hell!!!!!
I loved it.
One of the best since the first one.
The lady who one Scream Queens was in the movie. She had a small role, but she killed it.
I'm not sure if there will be a SAW 7, but...ya never know.
I'm already waiting for the DVD to come out.
Good stuff 


One of the sickest videos I seen in a little while. I like how they used the effects, but also kept it clean with the white background.  They didn't over do it.


The last time I said I had never heard of Melanie Fiona, so I did my research. Girl is mad talented. I will get her album when it drops in stores.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

SAW 6 Comes Out 2morrow

I've been a fan of the SAW movies since the very first one.
Me and my girlfriend Lamura try 2 see SAW the first day it comes out
so we don't have 2 hear our friends talk about it.
Last year when I was interning @ Silent Sound in ATL,
I made the 8 hour drive back 2 WV 2 go see the movie with Lamura.
We gotta make sure 2 get our tickets early because I know this movie usually sales out.
I'll write a little review about it after we go see it.

The Life of an Intern...Quote of the Day

What rhymes with tired...

~Sean Combs~

Chobbe Boyz!!!!

Chobbe Boyz is a group of rap artist from Okeechobee, Florida.
I met one of the members, Curt B, when I was attending Marshall University.
Not only did we share the same interest in music, but we had the same drive.
Curt's cousin Dallas is a rapper/producer.
This dude is one of the most dedicated guys I know (besides myself).
Dallas just got a placement on Trick Daddy's new alum.
I've been working on this mixtape with the Chobbe Boyz.
Sometimes when I get off track, these cats help me get re-motivated.
They've been working hard for a minute...success will soon follow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Intern Tip 101: DO YOUR RESEARCH

I made sure to know the credits and some background info on every producer, engineer, songwriter, or any client we had while I was interning.  If I was picking up food for someone I wanted to know who he/she was.  Its so easy to start a conversation by saying, "Congratulations for your work with____ ".  It works every time.

This Was My Ish

The Life of an Intern: Quote of the Day

I've been, working this grave shift
And I ain't made sh*t
I wish I could, buy me a spaceship
And fly
Past the sky

~Kanye West~

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Life of an Intern: Quote of the Day

I find that this new generation of go getters doesn't really wanna start at the bottom. They wanna start in the middle, at the very least. But the last time I checked, the definition of "start" was to have a beginning. That's the time in your life when you'll do ANYthing to make it in the business, from driving all night to get to a music convention, to answering phones at a studio and picking up take-out for the engineers.

~Jermaine Dupri~


Yesterday I had a conversation with one my friends (he's an up and coming rap artist) about why some producers charge $100,000 (and up) for one beat.

His argument was:  A beat can be hot no matter who produced it. So why are labels paying crazy money to a famous producer when they can get Joe Blow to make a similar beat?

I gave him my explanation...


When I was interning @ Silent Sound Studios, Assistant Engineer Kory Aaron told me that the most   important thing in the music busy is YOUR NAME.
      -No matter where you go your name follows you.


Sometimes the only thing that separates one producer from the other is their CREDITS
     -If you wikipedia any producer and scroll up to the top of their CREDITS you will see a list of 
          projects that were not huge hits. There may only be a few credits for the 1st couple of years. But  
          scroll down until you find that big hit. The list will become longer and the producer will have 
          more placements per year.


Its not just about getting placements on any Joe Blow's album. You need that HIT RECORD.
     -Even if you get a placement on an album that did okay, you don't want the track that no one likes.

     -I personally avoid making beats that will be the "I Miss My Dog" or "Life Is Hard" of the album.
     -I want the song that gets played in the clubs, on the radio, commercials, etc.

     -The key is to make a song that can be the lead single or a HIT RECORD.


Releasing music is always a big GAMBLE.
     -No one can tell if a record will blow up or not
     -Record labels figure that since Famous Producer has had some hit records then it would be a 
         smarter move to go with him.
     -Its all about that hit record and Famous Producer has made some; therefore its a better GAMBLE


The $500,000 is a PRODUCER ADVANCE meaning...
     -The producer will not receive a royalty check until the PRODUCER ADVANCE is recouped.
     -Famous Producer says to the Record Label: "Since I'm making you a hit record that will make 
         you a ton of $ I want $500,000 up front".
     -Most of the time the album didn't make enough money to recoup the PRODUCER ADVANCE so
         Famous Producer may not see a royalty check for that album.


Its all based on the needs and likes from the consumer and the MARKET.
    -Why does a Cadillac Escalade cost more than a Dodge Durango?
    -Why does a Louis Vuitton t-shirt cost more than a Wal-Mart t-shirt?
    -Answer = MARKET
    -Every producers' dream is to sell that one beat for $100,000, but what's wrong with selling ten        
        beats for $10,000 per track?
    -There is nothing wrong with being the owner of Wal-Mart or Dodge.



Jermaine Dupri has always been one of my favorite producers.
I have followed his career since I was wearing my pants backwards.
I've read his book Young, Rich, and Dangerous.
Recently he has been blogging on Twitter and YouTube.
He also has his own blog site (Global 14).
I just watched an interview of him talking about music business and the internet.
I have never met him personally, but I've learned much from him.

Check out his interview

Saturday, October 17, 2009

6AM ---- NO SLEEP!!

Its 6AM right now & I'm still up.  I've been mixing these vocals for this singer from West Virginia.  Its a little weird sometimes mixing another person's material.  I've always considered myself a producer 1st b/c I only started engineering b/c I didn't know anyone in my area who could engineer the songs I was making. & plus it was cheaper 4 me 2 learn how 2 do it myself.  I basically try & do everything by myself, even though it can have its downsides. I'm very O.C.D when it comes 2 music (& a lot of other so it may take me a little while 2 mix a record.  Just a day or so tho. I think I need 2 lay it down b/c I feel like I'm rambling about nothing....but n the words of Puff -----

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Just saw this video of Lil Jon & Swizz Beatz recording vocals.  These dudes gotta b some of the most energized people in the music industry. I know the engineer had 2 have the knobs turned all the way


I never heard of this singer b4...but when I saw this I thought she was creative. I think she should come out with a DVD that shows her going 2 different areas singing with the street talent.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


THE NEW WATER CAR... I'm not a huge fun on luxury cars, probably b/c I can't afford, but this is sick


Just went 2 Best Buy 2 pickup Mario's new album.
Its crazy b/c 2yrs ago I would buy a CD & not personally know anyone who worked on the album.
Now I do, so whenever I buy an album I make sure 2 call & congratulate the people I know.
Hopefully one day I'll be on the opposite end of the line receiving a congratulations call.


Amerie's highly anticipated album In Love & War is scheduled 2 b released Nov 3...
Check her out n the studio mastering the album


FROM STUDIO INTERN TO... is a blog about the journey I am taking trying to make it in the music industry.  Of course I will talk about music, but I will also write about fashion and art. Sometimes I may post something that happened in my past if it pertains to me becoming Another Step Closer. I've got a few ideas about things I want 2 write about, but most will be off the top of the dome. I'm just trying 2 make the transition FROM STUDIO INTERN TO...

Lyfe Jennings

I received a call a couple of weeks ago saying that platinum selling singer/songwriter Lyfe Jennings
needed help moving his studio 2 new location.
After the job was completed I gave him my resume' and an instrumental CD I produced.
This guy is very talented.  His accomplishments show me what hard work can get you.

Derrick Selby

I met engineer extraordinaire Derrick Selby (DJ Toomp's personal engineer)while I was interning @ Silent Sound Studios.
  Since then he has been introducing me to many of ATL's elite producers & engineers.
The majority of the people I speak about on this blog were introduced 2 me from him.
Dude is extremely talented & I'm grateful for his help.


Just 2 catch up 2 speed...
A few weeks ago I had the chance 2 track vocals for Grammy Award winning producer Maestro (Lil Wayne-The Carter 3)
 At the end of the session I gave him my resume' & he was surprised & impressed.
The next day he got on Twitter & gave me mad props.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Dream

This happened a few weeks ago, but..
I ran into The Dream & his wife Christina Milian @ a store (won't say which one).
Reminded him that I had met him when he was working on Jamie Foxx's album.
Told him I was looking for an entry level position with Red Zone Ent.

Sam Thomas

 Today I helped recording engineer Sam Thomas (Mary J. Blidge, Keyshia Cole, Trey Songz, etc) with a project that we tried 2 get working weeks ago...ANOTHER CONTACT = ANOTHER STEP CLOSER

My 1st Blog

This is my 1st Blog...not exactly sure wut i wanna talk about... but i have a few ideas...