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Issue #261

Weekly Newsletter

by Liya Swift

X
Special Feature | Student Successes
 

IN 2020…

  

Recording Connection graduate Ramy Morales

Recording Connection graduate Ramy Morales Went 5x Platinum, Got Signed with Sony/ATV!

  We caught up with Recording Connection grad Ramy Morales (Lil Baby, Yo Gotti, Gunna, Tyla Yahweh) who’s now got 5 platinum tracks under his belt, a deal with Sony/ATV, and lot more music and beats dropping in 2021! We connected with Ramy and his former mentor, Ricky Rich, to learn more about how Ramy’s passion, dedication, and instinctive wisdom to stay true to his calling led to him working and collaborating with today’s hottest artists and a deal with Sony/ATV!   “I did Travis Scott, ‘Yosemite,’ I did ‘Put a Date On It,’ that’s Yo Gotti and Lil Baby… On the Drip Harder album, which is Lil Baby’s album, I had one on there. I work a lot with Don Toliver…I produced, like four [songs] on his first…his album mix tape …   I’ll be up here every day around noon. Pull up around noon every day and then by the time you know it, it’s 3, 4 in the morning and it’s like…go get some sleep. It’s a lifestyle in a sense. You got to be…because it’s a lot of ups, a lot of downs. But if you want it and you’re hungry enough, you can do it. You just got to keep pushing.”   Get the full scoop and watch our interview with Ramy and Ricky!   

Film Connection graduate Angelica Smiley Turned Her Life Story into a TV Pilot.

 

Film Connection graduate Angelica Smiley

  When Angelica Smiley joined Film Connection she already had her Associate’s Degree in Entertainment Management from Bay State College in Boston, and she had industry experience, working as a producer’s assistant on The Equalizer and a number of other television and commercial productions.   Nevertheless, when she made the crucial decision to invest in herself and become a writer/director/producer capable of producing the projects she believes in, she reached out to us. Film Connection’s mentors were able to meet Angelica on her level and help her elevate her screenwriting and filmmaking knowledge in record time, thanks to our direct, one-on-one approach.   During “shelter in place” Angelica used her newfound writing skills to write and develop a TV pilot that’s based on challenges she faced growing up. She says screenwriting mentor Rick Dahl (Red Rock West, The Midnight Game) played a key role in the process:   “He challenged me in ways that I don’t think I would have had the mental capacity to do outside of his help. And him being able to listen to my actual, real story and him sharing some of his life stories, it really gave me a boost and a great direction of how I should write. And, the fact that he gave me so many great compliments really boosted my self-esteem too in the process. And I was just like, ‘Wow, I guess I am strong. And I guess my writing ability can be strong too.’ So, he enforced a lot in me. I’m really appreciative of him…’”   Learn more about Angelica’s journey.     

Radio Connection grad Regash “Ray” Dosky got Trained & Hired in Radio During COVID-19!

Radio Connection graduate Regash Dosky

  Despite having a successful career in technology, Regash “Ray” Dosky just couldn’t give up on his dream of working in sports radio. He reached out to Radio Connection and was mentored, remotely, with lifelong radio pro, Craig Larson, Chief Operations Officer of GOW Media.   Training with Craig enabled Ray to get the firsthand insight, critique, and advice he’d wanted to obtain in order to make himself an asset in the sports radio arena.   Craig introduced Ray to producer/operations manager Adam Johnson at WNSR. That connection resulted in Ray getting hired as a producer for a number of the station’s radio shows. Now, he’s loving working the production side of things and ad-libbing on-air, while he perfects his own radio persona and builds his experience and expertise!   “I think if you sign with Radio Connection it would be a great decision, if you’re serious about radio. Radio Connection does a great job of lining you up and getting you ready for that next move, whether you want to get into radio or you want to start your own podcast, YouTube [channel] whatever you want to do.   They have a lot of great resources, a lot of educational tools, they mentor you with some of the very best in the industry, you can’t go wrong. I mean, if you’re going to go at it, go at it 100%, don’t try to half-step it cause you’ll get as much as you give.”   to get our story on Regash “Ray” Dosky when it publishes.   

Recording Connection graduate Isaac Wolfe Got Promoted to Vice President at Record Plant!

 
Isaac Wolfe, image of, in-studio, Record Plant, Hollywood, CA

Recording Connection graduate Isaac Wolfe, Vice President, Record Plant.

After not one, not two, but three years working as a runner at the world-renowned Record Plant (Ariana Grande, Cardi B, Lil Nas X, Khalid), Recording Connection graduate, Isaac Wolfe, got promoted to assistant engineer. After that, he assumed more of an operational role which ultimately led him into the position he’s held for the last year and a half—vice president of Record Plant, the top tier, world-renowned recording studio complex, located in the heart of Hollywood, CA.   How Isaac did it has everything to do with perseverance, being of service to the music making process, and being a good-hearted and kind person to all:   “Be kind to people who have less power than you. I think that in Los Angeles, you meet a lot of people who quickly gauge whether or not…you know, kind of where they stand in the hierarchy of power in the room, and start behaving differently towards different people based on that assessment. And I think that that’s ultimately one of the most dangerous and ugly behaviors of this industry. …If you can interact with all the people that you meet on that same base level, who knows where somebody is going to go in life, and what connection, and what value they might bring to you?   And I also think that it applies to when you’re speaking to people who have more power than you. If they feel like you’re treating them the same as everybody else in the room, they’re going to be a little bit more willing to hear what you have to say, than if you carry all of this weight and anxiety and excitement with each statement you make towards them.” Read the exclusive with Isaac.     

CASA graduate Rachel Ulansey

CASA graduate Rachel Ulansey Got Trained & Hired in Culinary in Months!

  Already possessing her bachelor’s degree in business, Rachel Ulansey enrolled in CASA after life experiences and travels to different countries underscored just how passionate she was about food. That passion, along with the right timing, and Rachel’s appetite for learning and consistently pushing herself resulted in her being offered a cook position the very same upscale restaurant where she trained—Pasta|Bar, a Scratch Restaurant concept in Los Angeles. Even when COVID-19 hit, Rachel made it a point to keep the restaurant’s ongoings in her sights, offering to lend a hand wherever she could:   “So, I started working [as an extern] at Scratch|Bar before everything closed [due to COVID-19], and I was doing all of the prep work with that staff. Then we closed and I noticed on social media that they started doing take-out menus. So I contacted Gavin [CASA mentor and Director of Food & Beverage at Scratch Restaurants]… I asked him if I could come back and help out with the take-out menu, and he said, ‘Of course, come in tomorrow and we’ll get you started on something.’…   Then, when they came up with the concept for Pasta|Bar, I was put with that team and they just basically gave me a list of things to do, which was anything from picking herbs to cutting and doing a bunch of knife work, and then doing a lot of extra stuff that they needed done. And they really involved me in the main process of creating the pasta…   Once I got to that point, I was talking to the Chef [telling him] that I was almost done with my hours, he basically told me that he thinks I’ve been very beneficial to the process of them opening and that they wanted me to stay and take me on as a cook…I was really, really lucky to be able to be in that position.”   Learn more about Rachel Ulansey’s CASA experiences.     

Film Connection graduate Maurício Costa

Film Connection grad Maurício Costa Had His Mentor Sign-On as Producer of His Film.

  Maurício Costa was already an experienced filmmaker with two Brazilian documentary films under his belt when he enrolled in Film Connection for Film Production & Editing. As a pro, he recognized the value of what we offered, so he opted to invest in furthering his career acquiring more of the skills, knowledge, and connections he’d need to succeed.   Upon graduating the program, Maurício’s former mentor producer/writer/director Richard Brandes (Penny Dreadful, Jeepers Creepers 3, Devil In The Flesh 1&2, Lifetime) agreed to produce Maurício’s forthcoming documentary “Dear Brown People,” pending funding. Furthermore, the graduate’s fictional screenplay—of the same name—was a quarterfinalist in the 2020 ScreenCraft Drama Competition, an awesome feat for any screenwriter let alone one for whom English is not their first language:   “I think that Richard is very helpful. He’s a great guy to make you understand the processes and understand what you really need to do to reach your goals. And he’s very supportive… My case was [not] standard, you know. My idea was to study more…to know people, but I was not, for example, looking for a job exactly. I’m trying to produce my movie, so it’s a little bit different. …I think that the best way to pass through the program is [to] follow and understand the guidance of your mentor. You know, these guys are the guys who really and truly understand the industry. And sometimes, when we are young, we don’t hear people, you know? We don’t follow guidance. We don’t take advice. And I think that my best advice is [to] tell people to follow the advice of more experienced people.” Find out more about Maurício’s projects, his one-on-one training with mentor Richard Brandes, and his time in Film Connection.   

Recording Connection grad London Elixir Forged Her Own Path to Success as a “Music Entrepreneur.”

Recording Connection graduate London Elixir

  London Elixir has never let hard work scare her away. She enrolled in Recording Connection for Hip Hop & Beat Making, training with mentor/producer Joey Gurwin (A$AP Ferg, Mac Miller, Flo Rida, Seun Kuti), while also earning her degree in Computer Science Engineering at Ohio State. Post-graduation, London nabbed a high-paying job as a software engineer while she stayed active at growing her career in music.   Now, the self-described “music entrepreneur” is thriving in Atlanta where she’s producing artists, producing custom instrumentals, selling original beats, audio engineering, and she’s even authored a book comprised of key moments from leaving her nine-to-five job to become a full-time entrepreneur. She’s worked with a range of artists and clients (That Girl Lay Lay, Ms. Jade, Xtassy of A&X, Dascha Polanco, Silento), her song “IDGAFunk” was one of 25 winners of Music.com’s 500 Artists Wanted Competition. The prize? A Sony remix of her song into their new 360 Reality Audio format! In 2020, London also created the new musical group 4Melodia which just released its holiday EP. She also recently released the music video for her song “Watchu Wanna Do.” The knowledge, insight, and confidence that comes from firsthand experience enabled London to go far, fast!   The knowledge, insight, and confidence that comes from firsthand experience enabled London to go far, fast!   “Joey [my mentor] was awesome. The studio was open to me whenever I needed it. If they had recording sessions, I could go in and sit in on the sessions and come and help them set up the mics or, you know, get the Pro Tools prepared, things like that. And that really helped me because it allowed me to realize what goes on in a usual studio session, how the artists feel, how that affects what they’re going to record, and how to record different types of instruments.”   Learn more about London’s experiences in Recording Connection for Beat Making & Hip Hop Production and hear her insights in our Straight Talk video series!   

Recording Connection grad Joe Dancsak Worked the TDE Lockout!

 

Recording Connection graduate Joe Dancsak

Shortly after graduating from Recording Connection for Advanced Audio & Music Production, Joe Dancsak was given a rare opportunity—to track artists at the Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) lockout in Los Angeles. During the 11-day stint, Joe recorded rapper REASON on the killer track “Trapped In” (feat. Ab-Soul and Boogie), tracked Zacari and record on vodocer, the ubiquitous composer/producer/artist Amaire Johnson at Ultrium Recording Studios.   That’s not all. Joe has used his time spent self-isolating well, considering he’s got nearly everything he needs in his home studio. Joe licensed his songs “Flow So Cold” (ft. L-1) to the movie The Sleepover on Netflix, and “Get It” to MTV reality show Siesta Key. Joe’s vocal production work through Soundbetter also saw a boost, leading to him working with clients from 12 different countries (so far).   If you’re wondering how Joe was able to record TDE artists right before COVID-19 hit the United States, turns out, the opportunity came from RRFC HQ which got word of it from graduate Taylor Crommie (featured in our Best of 2019 issue):   “Gervais [Recording Connection’s Career Advisor] called me and asked if I wanted to go there and work. They were looking for engineers….The next day, Gervais sent me the email from TDE that had what they wanted you to put in the email. And so I attached my resume, which Gervais and Victor [had already] helped me put together …[and sent] all my links to my vocal production stuff, Instagram, SoundCloud, all the typical sites where you host your work.   Rory Behr [from TDE] called me about two hours later and said, ‘Can you come in tomorrow?’ And I said, ‘I have to wrap a client up, can I come in Sunday? I got to finish a client on Saturday.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, sure, no problem.’ And Sunday, I started.”   Read our interview with Joe Dancsak.   

Recording Connection mentor Mack Woodward Hired 18 grads During COVID-19

 

Recording Connection mentor Mack Woodward

Grammy-winner Mack Woodward is a music producer and mixing engineer (Beyoncé, Maroon 5, Fergie, Outkast, Jamie Foxx) who’s also seriously dedicated to helping tomorrow’s engineers and producers get a foothold in the industry. When Mack started getting flooded with mixing work, he got not one, not two, but 18 Recording Connection graduates going as remote mixing assistants on commercial songs, slated for release. He’s glad he was able to help so many of our grads:   “It’s really just that I’m thankfully working a lot. It’s fifteen years in, and the work is coming in, and there’s just always something to do….I’m thankful to be drowning in it. They’re helping me so it’s just kind of a cool win-win. …How cool is that? That I can supply that to people. [With me] coming from cleaning toilets and doing food runs and making coffee [when starting out] to being able to help the next generation up, give them a job essentially. It’s incredible.”   Want to learn more about RRFC students and their many successes? Get that plus real industry advice from our mentors when you to the RRFC newsletter!     
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