or call (800) 755-7597

Issue #257

Weekly Newsletter

by Liya Swift

Student Successes

Recording Connection grad
London Elixir Paves Her Own Path to Success in Music.


Recording Connection grad & mentor London Elixir

London Elixir started Recording Connection for Hip Hop Production in 2016, when she was nearing the end of her last semester at Ohio State where she majored in Computer Science Engineering. Not one to waste time, London took advantage of our flexible scheduling and jumped into learning and doing work she already knew she loved—producing music.   Recording Connection mentor, producer Joey Gurwin (A$AP Ferg, Mac Miller, Flo Rida, Seun Kuti) of Oranjudio took London through the Hip Hop & Beat Making Program and gave her free reign when it came to sitting in on sessions and assisting wherever needed. Not surprisingly, London learned fast and got to producing and recording artists at Oranjudio during and after graduating. Remember that degree London was getting at Ohio State? With that bachelor’s degree, she landed a high-paying job as a software engineer. Nevertheless, she kept her ultimate career goal in her sights. Now, she’s living in Atlanta, thriving as a music producer/entrepreneur who’s working with an array of artists, both up-and-coming and acclaimed including: That Girl Lay Lay, Ms. Jade, Xtassy (of A&X), Dascha Polanco, Silento and more. While carving out her own path as a self-described female Calvin Harris who hand picks artists to feature over her own infectious, feel-good productions, London’s even authored a book about her journey (which we’re proud to be part of), so read on.   You knew music producing was in your bones, so why did you go to Ohio State?   “I went to school for Computer Science just because I had the full-ride and they didn’t offer music production as a major. So, I just wanted to take advantage of that so that I could get into a field that had a big demand. And then, I would take the money I was making in that career and pay to do music. That was my strategy.”   Awesome. So how did you find Recording Connection?   “I was getting ready to graduate from Ohio State, and I began looking for programs that had music production as majors, or just something more specific. I wanted something closer to a trade [school]. I had just finished a four-year institution. I didn’t want to do that sort of thing right away. And plus, I was about to start my full-time job as a software engineer. I saw the Recording Connection, and I had never seen anything like it. It was so flexible, it was so affordable, and it was something I could pay for myself…. I also liked the fact that they would pair you with studios because then I could get my hands-on experience, and I’m a hands-on person.”   Wow, talk about firing on all cylinders. So tell us about your first initial meeting, i.e. your interview with Joey Gurwin at Oranjudio, how was that experience?   “So, my mom and I went to the studio. It was only like five minutes from where I was living at the time, so kudos to you guys, you put that together very well. We walk into the studio and I’m just super excited. I see this big mixing board and this piano, and I’m just happy to be there. Joey was just really inviting and there was a co-owner of the studio there, his name’s Brandon, they just asked me what made me want to get into music, and what was I hoping to get out of the program, and gave me a little bit of an idea of what to expect, and that was pretty much it….I’m an energy person, I guess, so I just kind of go off of the vibes of people. They just had a really good vibe, the atmosphere was great, and that was it.”   So, no reservations, you were ready to go after that?   “Yeah, I was ready. That was it.”   So what was it like training with Joey?   “Joey 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.”   Were remote training sessions with a member of our Academic Department helpful to you?   “I got a lot of one-on-one time with [the Academic Facilitator Joel Arevalo]. I would let him see my screen and things like that. So, when I was working on music, I would share new beats…and he would give me tips…and show me how to do different transitions, how to master a track in Logic…. So, having that one-on-one time with my advisor was cool as well because I got to get feedback from him on a regular basis.”   So how’d you get from living in Columbus and working full time as a software engineer to living in Atlanta and having a thriving career in music?   “I was still working full time while I was at Recording Connection because, remember, I had graduated from Ohio State with my software engineering degree….So, I did that for three years after graduating….After I finished Recording Connection, I was able to stay at that same studio…and work with artists on my own…so, that’s what I did for the first…six months after I finished; I just stayed there, and tried to build up my clientele, and work with as many people as I could in my hometown.… So, about a year after [that], I moved to Atlanta, and I got into some studios down here, and began networking, making connections, and I wrote a book…”   How are you bringing in an income as a music producer and entrepreneur?   “Multiple revenue streams is super, super important. So, I’m a music producer first, so I have an online beat store where I do leases but I also work with artists individually, where I create custom instrumentals for them, for their specific projects. So, that’s the production side. I also do music production lessons… [and] engineer, record vocals, mixing, things like that…Then, I put out my own music as well. I’m not, like, a singer or a rapper, but I’m more a…Calvin Harris. So, streaming and merchandise, stuff like that, that’s another revenue stream.”   Please, tell us about your book. What’s it about?   “The name of the book is called “PTO,” which stands for Prayed Time Off, and it’s all about living in your true purpose….I feel like my passion was connected to my purpose because I was working this high-paying job, and even though I took that route knowing that I wanted to do music full time, it was a big decision to leave that to become an entrepreneur because I took a pay cut, you know? So, it’s quite a leap of faith when you take that jump because it’s not comfortable anymore, it’s not like what you’re used to, you’re not getting a check every two weeks…But you’re so free, and you get to do what you love for a living. It’s like this trade-off that you have to be willing to sacrifice for. So, for me, it becomes easy to do that when you are spiritual or you have something that you believe in that is driving you on so that you feel like the pressure is not on you…   It’s not a blueprint, it’s not a how-to guide, it’s just what happened for me and things that people could learn from my experience. So, for me, in my particular situation, I just felt like God was pulling me off of my job and into my purpose and I had to understand what needed to happen mentally for me to prepare for that. And although I was doing things I talk about, all the work I put in in the book as far as, you know, going to the Recording Connection, and saving up, and moving to Atlanta, and building clients…but if I didn’t have my faith, none of this would be possible. So, that’s why the book is written from that perspective as well.”   We’re happy to announce: London Elixir is now a Recording Connection mentor. Having gone the distance and put in the work on multiple levels, London is ready to pay it forward and mentor hardworking, dedicated individuals who are serious about building their careers in music.   Learn more about Recording Connection, and how you can start building a career you love.  
 *  *  *  *  *  

or call (800) 755-7597

Mentor News

Recording Connection mentor Mack Woodward:
How I Hired 18 Engineers During COVID-19.


Recording Connection mentor Mack Woodward

Grammy-certified Recording Connection mentor Mack Woodward is a music producer and mixing engineer (Beyoncé, Maroon 5, Fergie, Outkast, Jamie Foxx) who’s dedicated to teaching tomorrow’s engineers and producers the skillset and mindset it takes to build a lasting, fulfilling career in the industry. When it comes to mentoring students, Mack is less concerned with their level of experience and more interested on whether that student has a genuine love and interest in making music that sounds and feels great. We recently connected with Mack to learn how he got his start, why he chooses to mentor with us, and get some time-tested advice to share with you, so read on!   What got you into music producing in the first place?   “My dad was in a band in the ’60s called The Cherry Slush. So I grew up around music [with]…records being played in the house all the time. And I think that’s what really was the beginning of it….I was born in ’82. So, I mean, I was into all the popular music but my dad playing a lot of older stuff all the time, The Monkees, and The Beatles, Kingston Trio, and a lot of folk music, and stuff like that, so I kind of developed a pretty broad taste… And I went through phases like everybody does. You know, I wanted to do architecture or be an astronaut, but music was always the thing that I circled back around to, and that I always had a definitive, persistent interest in.   When I was 16 I decided that I wanted to do music for a living. I told my parents and they made a deal with me. They were like, ‘We’ll support that, but try one year of college.’ And so I ended up going to University of Florida in Gainesville and ended up having a blast…So I had a great time in Gainesville, but then a year in I told them ‘Yeah, I definitely want to go into music.’”   You recently hired not one, not two, but 18 Recording Connection graduates on professional mixing jobs. How did that come to be?   “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….So I have my personal mixing and I also have Mix Drip… and there’s always a lot of work coming. 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.”   Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, you’ve been mentoring students one-on-one remotely. Let’s say I’m having a problem with compression in Pro Tools, how would you be able to help me?   “They share the screen with me, and I control it…and it works great. I mean, I wish it was more complicated but it’s really not. It’s, like, it’s the easiest, most straightforward way. We can talk. We can hear each other while I’m doing it. So it’s essentially like they’re sitting right next to me. It’s the same thing, but I’m doing it on their session, which is kind of cool.”   So how is one-on-one mentorship with us different than say taking a MasterClass or watching YouTube tutorials?   “The YouTube videos and the MasterClasses are excellent. I still watch those. I can watch those things, and I’m 15 years in, and really take it and, like, have no problem applying it.   But I think especially for somebody starting out, the one-on-one is really cool because, for one, you can jump in and ask a question. You can cut me off and ask me a question and there’s your answer right there, and we can, obviously, have that communication…   I think the real draw of it is we do the one-on-one, but then, you know, if 20 minutes later you’re diving into it [and have a problem]…you can call me, like, ‘Hey, I’m trying it now. I’m stuck on this part. Can you go over that with me one more time?’”   Why do you choose to mentor for Recording Connection?   “I went to Full Sail, and it was a fantastic….I will say though that things really started sticking when I started getting into sessions consistently with about three or four engineers in town….I’d get put on these sessions as their assistant engineer, and they would start calling me back and requesting me to be the assistant, which was awesome.   But what I didn’t realize was happening was I was really getting to sit there and watch them work and watch how records were being made. Things really started clicking when I could sit with them and …eventually get up the courage to ask them questions, or build up the rapport with them to ask them questions after the session, and get tips from them, and that kind of thing…   So the fact that Recording Connection came around and was like, ‘Hey, do you want to do this?’ And it was like, ‘Oh yeah.’ Like immediately, yes, without a doubt, because I think it’s just the fast track to learning rather than, you know, learning and kind of getting into it three years after going into a different sort of school, and then doing an internship. If you can jump right in with a mentor, which a lot of times is the hardest thing to do, getting into a big, world-class facility and diving right in, that’s almost impossible until Recording Connection came up with this aspect of it.”   Want to learn how you can train with Mack Woodward or any of the other working music industry professionals who mentor with Recording Connection? Get started here.  
 *  *  *  *  *