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by Liya Swift
Over the past few years 2012 Recording Connection graduate of the Audio Engineering & Music Production Program, Morning Estrada (Los Angeles, CA) has engineered for numerous players in hip hop, pop, and R&B. That work includes Camila Cabello’s album single “Never Be the Same” (Camila), Jessie J’s 2018 release R.O.S.E. (produced by Grammy-award-winning producer Camper), and tracks for Nelly, 50 Cent, Tech N9NE, Linzi Jai, Marsha Ambrosius, Noah Cyrus, Trinidad James, Mr. Porter, and more. Morning also engineered extensively on Aminé’s album Good for You, including the songs “Heebie Jeebies featuring Kehlani,” which he both mixed and recorded, and the Gold-certified track “Spice Girl” (recorded). Again, Morning was in the engineer’s seat for the artist’s latest release, the album OnePointFive. We caught up with the booming audio engineer just as he was packing to catch a flight and join Aminè on the European leg of the TourPointFive tour. So you’re going on tour with Aminé throughout much of Europe? “Yeah, for the next month. We’re leaving tomorrow, going to London and then straight to Norway for our first tour date, and I’m going through Norway, Sweden, Germany, Brussels, Belgium or something like that, London, Paris, the U.K., Ireland, and Amsterdam…We have a double-decker bus and we’re staying at a bunch of beautiful hotels as we travel around Europe and the UK. I’m actually living my dreams but it’s even better.” Prior to Aminé asking you to join him on the European leg of his tour, you worked with him in Hawaii. Is that correct? “We did a week in Hawaii and worked out of the studio where Kanye West did 808s & Heartbreaks and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. A buddy connected us with him. So we had a studio, and every day we went on an activity. So we did something like zip lining one day, we went to go see Jurassic Park, where they filmed the movie, another day. We also did a helicopter ride around the island. Every day we did something new. Then after we did the activity, we would go have dinner and then go to the studio and work all night, and then wake up super early in the morning, go do the next activity, and go back to the studio. So we were super inspired, of course, and a little loopy…… We ended up coming back after a week in Hawaii with five new songs just with a different sound than our previous work.” Rather than coming back to the U.S. after the tour, you’re flying straight to Spain to work with Rosalía. How did that come about? “I had worked on the Camila Cabello album (Camila) and the executive producer on that is Frank Dukes. So Frank referred me to Rosalía. She listened to some of my work and wants to collaborate on a few ideas. She’s looking for a specific sound and being that I’m an engineer, she wants my assistance translating that sound through the speakers. She had reached out to me thru instagram. It was out of nowhere. I was kind of in shock because I’m a fan, of course, and she just won two Latin Grammys. Aminé had put me onto her. And we’re both big fans of her album that just came out (El Mal Querer)… Yeah, so when she messaged me, I said ‘This is not real. Why is she messaging me right now?’ I thought Aminé was playing a joke on me. So we met last month in L.A. and things are going really well with her.” Follow Morning on Instagram @mixedbymorning.
Wow! You have a lot going on and it’s happening superfast. How are you feeling? “I’m in shock, you know. It’s all new to me…It finally sunk in last night with my girlfriend that I’m going to be gone for like a month or so, and I don’t have to go out and look for work or actually try to fill up my schedule… I’m thinking every day is a workday, workday, workday, and I’m actually going to leave tomorrow and actually see the world a little bit and be working on the road but it’s all scheduled for the month already. It really just frees me up so that all I have to worry about is the music.” What’s your advice to Recording Connection students and people who are on their path, striving to make it in the industry? “I graduated in 2012. Don’t get bummed out if things don’t happen right away. There are a lot of hours spent at the studio learning the craft. Then there’s the networking, meeting the right people, building up your résumé. It’s not an overnight success. It’s many, many hours and years put into this, and you only really truly get what you put in. Whatever you’re willing to put into this career path you’ve chosen, what you put in is what you’re going to get out of it.” Learn more about Morning Estrada’s journey. View Recording Connection’s programs.