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WEEKLY NEWSLETTER September 12, 2016 by L. Swift and Jeff McQ


Rising music mogul: Recording Connection student
Guerry Magidson gets on the fast track in Atlanta

Guerry and mentor Flip Frazier

Guerry and mentor Flip Frazier

The music industry sometimes attracts people you wouldn’t expect. Take, for instance, Atlanta Recording Connection student Guerry Magidson, Jr., who eventually left a career in the white-collar sales world to pursue a career as a music producer.   “I used to be in sales, and it was too stressful,” he says. “Medical sales, continuing medical education, I worked for a medical device company before that, everything from NASA, to health insurance. And before that I worked in audio visual production sales…[But] my heart has always been in music.”   Guerry first began to change his course about five years ago, when he was asked to manage a local rapper and some other artists.   “It kind of put me in the role as a producer, but at the same time, as an executive producer,” he says, “because a lot of these artists I end up backing and putting my own money in and then making sure the final product was as is, and also helping out on the creative side. That’s what I really love.”   When Guerry made the decision to turn his passion for producing artists into a career, he knew he needed some more background in the studio.   “What I never wanted to be is an engineer,” he says. “I made that clear to everybody. But I have to know how to speak to an engineer in the right jargon and terms, and not just say, ‘Oh, something doesn’t sound right here.’”   Guerry knew about the Recording Connection’s on-the-job approach from a friend who had gone through the program, so he decided to see if the program could be tailored to fit his needs. “I called up the Recording Connection and told them what I was looking to do,” he says. “I wanted to go into the music production program, and they put me in.”   Soon, Guerry found himself apprenticing with Recording Connection mentor Flip Frazier at East Atlanta Records. As Flip became aware of Guerry’s passion for producing artists, he offered an interesting course of action. Guerry recalls the conversation:   “He told me, ‘Guerry, every time I speak with you are talking about not just school,’ Guerry relates. ‘You are talking about business, and you’ve always got some artist you are trying to pull in and bring in with us to record…I have more confidence in you and your abilities than you even probably know about yourself.’ And so he says, ‘Why don’t we just start now? You do need to do the school. At the same time, I will help you to bring these people in and I will help you record…We’ll start recording and bring them in. You can watch me and I will help you on the engineering side of things.’”   Serendipitously around that time, Guerry reestablished a connection he’d previously made with an artist known as Fre$h Boi, an up-and-coming rapper in the Atlanta scene who had recently parted ways with his label. Guerry saw this as his opportunity to jump in with both feet as a producer.  
Guerry Magidson, Jr. with artist Fre$h Boi

Guerry Magidson, Jr. with artist Fre$h Boi

“I decided, all right, if I am going to be doing something, then I am going to do it with him,” he says, “and I am going to build my company, which is G Mansion Music, and I am going to do my best to go ahead and get him signed and just do his whole project, his whole LP.”   As Guerry went forward with the project, Flip was as good as his word, playing a key role in engineering the project, along with Master’s program student Demitrius Milton, who also apprentices with Flip. On the business/distribution side, Guerry forged a key friendship with talent magnate and A&R expert Lawton “Agent” Bouhaire, who has facilitated successful placements with major artists and labels, and who helped Guerry’s label become an affiliate with Empire Distribution. As a result, the first single from Fre$h Boi’s new upcoming project was just released nationally on Labor Day weekend!   As for Guerry, he’s just getting started.   “I am almost up to seven artists that’ll be under G Mansion Music,” he says. “Some of them will be directly from us and doing the distribution. We have some investors that are interested into taking us to a consultant’s people at Warner Brothers and Sony for big record deals. And then the rest of them, I am not backing financially, but we will go ahead and let them come in, and make new demos and we will shop them.”   Now well on the path to being a rising music mogul, Guerry credits his mentor and the Recording Connection for helping to guide him toward his passions.   “Flip is…the best mentor I could ever imagine,” he says. “He said, ‘I see you being executive producer, so I am going to network you with them, and you just keep doing what you are doing because you’re doing one hell of a job.’…I see the big picture ahead of me, and it’s within reach right now. It’s never been more palpable than now to make that my career.”   
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Recording Connection mentor Doug Boulware:
Rewarding the hustle

Doug Boulware (standing) and head engineer <br class= Recording Connection mentor Doug Boulware has had a unique relationship with RRFC over the years, in that he actually started out working in our corporate offices in Los Angeles. From there, he eventually landed a position as an audio engineer with one of our mentors, Donny Baker at ES Audio, where he soon began taking on his own apprentices. These days, Doug is the VP of Operations at The Abstract Recording Studios, an up-and-coming L.A. recording studio with lots of opportunities for student growth.   Suffice it to say we’ve had a bird’s-eye view of Doug’s path toward a successful career—a career which Doug himself credits to the “hustle.”   “That’s literally what I’ve built my career on,” he says. “It is kind of a hustle mentality… I never had a staff position. It was never like, ‘Oh, I’m just kind of trying to get a job at a studio.’ I would go out to shows and I would hand out business cards that I made on my computer…I started doing stuff for free for people and hip-hop guys around my neighborhood and people I went to high school with… Very rarely did someone ever say to me, ‘How long have you been doing this?’ It wasn’t a question that came up a lot, once they saw how excited I was about their music and how energetic I was about doing it…”   Eventually, the stakes became higher for Doug, and once again, he hustled to meet the challenge. “I’d meet people who’d say, ‘I actually have a budget and I’m looking for a studio,’” he says. “There was a disconnect between the music I was making in my basement and the stuff I was hearing on the radio. So what I did was I went to bigger studios…and I said, ‘Okay, I get that you don’t have a job, but if I bring you a client, can I hang out in the session and just kind of soak everything up?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, of course.’”   Doug’s “hustle approach” eventually found common ground when he went to work with the Recording Connection. “That’s what I was so attracted to about the Recording Connection,” he says. “It literally solves that problem that I kind of had to bump my head up against the wall several times to kind of figure out, like, ‘How do I get in the room with these guys?’”   Once Doug made the transition from the corporate office to the recording studio, his passion for student success found a whole new outlet. Instead of simply helping our students connect with mentors across the country, he had become a mentor himself! As such, Doug is able to recognize the hustle mentality when he sees it in his students, and reward it with opportunities.   “If I see a student,” he says, “and they’re like doing this kind of stuff, they’re watching videos on their own and they’re learning music theory on their own, to me, I am automatically drawn to that, and I will go and take an active role and say, “Okay, how is it going?” and ask questions and kind of see how they’re picking up on those type of things, because…I know that it’s something that I can use.”   A perfect case in point is Recording Connection graduate Andrew Flores, whom Doug first encountered at ES Audio, and whose dedication and hard work eventually landed him in a full-time position when Doug helped launch The Abstract Recording Studios. Doug recalls what first impressed him about Andrew:   “First of all, the guy was there constantly,” he says. “The thing that he had going for him was he would literally go home and he would spend four to six hours at home making music every day…He was constantly bringing these tracks in, and…I’d give him tips and pointers here and there.”  
Synth Rack in The Abstract LA

Synth Rack in The Abstract LA

When The Abstract opened up, Doug remembered Andrew and brought him in at the ground level, assisting one of his engineers. “Within the first three months the engineer that was working for Mark had to bail out,” says Doug. “So Andrew slid into that position, and it wasn’t long before he was a paid employee of the studio…Now he’s on my payroll, he’s a great employee, and now he’s kind of indispensable.”   That’s not even the best part.   “We were doing an album for a band called Dire Docks, who is my head engineer’s band,” Doug says. “[Andrew] happened to bring this song in, and we were like, ‘Wow.” It was just leagues above where what I had heard from him before. And so we ended up using that song, or a version of it, I should say, on that album.   Doug has since paid Andrew for the use of at least three more of his songs on recordings, and in fact he’s made it an open opportunity for other apprentices who come in.   “For me, to have a catalog of tracks is like super crucial,” he says, “and I always make that offer to every student. Like if you have tracks and they’re good, I will use them and I will pay you for them. And that can happen pretty much immediately if the track is somewhere in the neighborhood of where I need it to be.”   Nowadays at the new studio, Doug continues to hustle, and it’s already paying off in a big way, in the form of more notable clients.   “We started working with IGA, which is Interscope Geffen, and A&M,” he says. “We’ve done some production projects with them. I had a couple of their producers in, which is awesome. Scoop DeVille’s been in, who does tracks for everyone…he’s worked with Eminem, Busta Rhymes, keys on the track on the first Kendrick Lamar album. He’s become a friend and part of the family here at the studio….Bruce Bang, he’s a big producer in Houston. He does work with a really well known rapper named Paul Wall…The clients have just been getting bigger and bigger, which is good.”   This progress, of course, eventually turns into more opportunities for his Recording Connection students, particularly those who share his hustle mentality.   “What I’m talking about is really not something that you can…you know I can’t teach you that,” he says. “I can explain it to you, and I can try to encourage it from students but it’s something that you just have to kind of have. I won’t say that’s something you can’t learn. If you motivate yourself to be that way, you absolutely can do that, but the motivation has to kind of originate from you.”   
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A Day in the Life of Our Students

   Noah Cook Sometimes (many times) improvisation is the name of the game. Film Connection apprentice Noah Cook (Dallas, TX) found this out first hand on a recent shoot. “We were recording the second episode of a web series we are working on, and we didn’t have the boom pole for our sound recorder. The cable we had to go from our shotgun mic to the recorder was crazy short, so Josyln (a fellow student) was right behind me, which made it almost impossible to pan the camera. We cut, and walked out of those doors, to figure out what we needed to do to make it work. I grabbed the mic, and wedged it up, above the camera, and snatched the recorder out of her hand, opened the door with my foot and got into position.”   
David Nance

David Nance

Film Connection student David Nance (Seattle, WA) recently came to L.A. to attend Hollyshorts where he received some positive feedback on his fledgling project! “Part of the festival was a short film conference, and I learned quite a bit on what it takes to submit a short to a festival, and it still is a major launching platform for new filmmakers…But the highlight was the first reading of my screenplay! It was only 15 pages, but it was the first set-up sequence featuring all the major characters, so it let me know if I was moving in the right direction with this…I was ready to receive the most brutal criticism, but they loved it! At the end, I was exchanging information with the actors as casting potentials. So we’ll see and I might be back soon to hold auditions! Many things are taking shape, so more to follow.”   
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