If there’s anyone who demonstrates the kind of commitment and dedication it takes to make it in the music industry, it’s recent Recording Connection graduate Bruce Fugett.
A lifelong musician, Bruce is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who has mastered guitar, banjo, keyboard and cello. Seeing the potential in the Seattle music scene (which he calls a “breeding ground of creativity”), he relocated to Seattle from southern Ohio just to become part of the scene. And since enrolling in the Recording Connection to apprentice with Mark Naron at Fastback Studios, he’s wasted no time in making the most of his new-found on-the-job experience and industry connections. Now recently graduated from the program, Bruce has partnered with another Recording Connection grad to start their own music production company, is producing yet another Recording Connection graduate in the studio (a hip-hop artist named Blak Pope, and is paving his own way as an up-and-coming music producer and artist.
- BACKSTAGE ASSISTANT FOR LARGE MUSIC VENUE – Los Angeles, CA
- RADIO BOARD OPERATER NEEDED, IHEARTMEDIA STATION – Springfield, MO
- JOB OPENING: MUSIC CURATOR FOR REVOLT TV! – Los Angeles, CA
- FULL-TIME ASSISTANT NEEDED (FILM/TV) – New York, NY
- WANTED: FULL-TIME SOUND DESIGNER – Houston, TX
- FILM CREW NEEDED FOR 3-DAY SHOOT – North Hollywood, CA
- HIRING AUDIO ENGINEER FOR LIVE MUSIC VENUE – Philadelphia, PA
- COMMERCIAL WRITER/PRODUCER NEEDED – Chicago, IL
- OPENING FOR F/T SOUND DESIGNER (VIDEO GAME SOUND) – Seattle, WA
- FREELANCE VIDEO EDITOR NEEDED – Los Angeles, CA
Bruce recently checked in with us to talk about his experiences with the Recording Connection, what he’s doing now, and give his advice for other up-and-comers breaking into the industry.
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RRF: Tell us about your experiences apprenticing with Mark Naron at Fastback. Any good memories or experiences you can share?
Learning from Mark Naron at Fastback Studios here in Seattle has been a true blessing. Not only has he shown me the fundamentals of recording and music production, but he has also taught me many valuable lessons about people and the music industry.
One of my favorite things about being at Fastback Studios is something that we call the “Fastback Sessions.” Once a month, we bring a band into the studio to record a few songs, but we also bring about 15-20 guests into the live room to watch the performance. Best of all, we film the entire thing and release the video and audio online for free.
RRF: What’s your area of focus? Live sound, audio engineering, music production or a medley of all three? What are you doing with the skills you’ve gained?
My main area of focus is music production and audio engineering. Being a lifelong musician, I do a fair amount of recording my own music, but I also have created a music production company called Cosmic Wave Productions with another Recording Connection graduate, Carlos Baca. We are still in the early stages of development, but we have big plans on what we ultimately want to do with this company.
RRF: Did Recording Connection help get you on the path you want to be on? If so, how?
Yes, The Recording Connection definitely helped me, in more ways than one. Firstly, it helped me develop the knowledge and tools that I need to create great music. Secondly, it got me into a real studio! I didn’t have to sit in a classroom, and I got the hands-on experience that I needed to help me learn what I wanted to learn. And lastly, the Recording Connection has allowed me to come into contact with so many amazing people. Almost every artist and producer that I collaborate and work with has been the direct result of enrolling in the program, so I’m incredibly thankful for that.
RRF: What projects are you working on now? What projects have you recently wrapped?
Currently I’m working on producing a few songs for hip-hop artist Blak Pope
, as well as a few songs with Spanish hip-hop artist Nelson Guzman. And of course, I am always recording my own music, which is usually a mixture of Electronic/Rock/Chillwave. My most recent project was a music video for a song that I made called “Moments (ft Cakoir)” which is available to watch on YouTube and available for download on iTunes.
RRF: Did you have misconceptions about the way the industry works when you started your apprenticeship?
I think the main misconception that I had when I started was that “making music is hard.” What I have realized is that even though there may be challenges that one faces when making music, with the right tools and supportive people, anything is possible.
RRF: What do you think it takes to make it now that you’re more well-versed and have built some experience?
I think the main thing that it takes to make it is dedication. Being a success in this industry is not something that comes overnight for most people, and it requires a lot of hard work and perseverance.
RRF: Have your dreams and goals changed or become more refined since you went through the Recording Connection program?
Yes, my dreams have changed—and by changed, I mean to say that they have expanded. I used to dream about being a successful musician, but now I dream of being a successful musician and music producer. One thing that I have learned is that this industry is all about the friendships and the connections that you make along the way.
RRF: Have any advice for newbies who are just starting out?
My advice for anyone starting out in this field is to remember to have fun. I find that the more I get caught up in the “business” side of the music industry, the less fulfilled I ultimately feel. When I remember that the reason I started on this path was that music is one of the things in life that brings me great joy, not only do I feel more fulfilled, but I actually have more fun and feel more creative and productive, which in turn, makes me more successful.
You can check out Mark Naron’s Fastback Sessions on YouTube here.
Also, be sure to check out Bruce’s recent work in the “Apprentice Media” section below!