MUSIC IS MY PASSION!
I was born and raised in the culturally and musically diverse city of Oakland, CA, to a very big, fat, loving, Greek family. And as a result, music, song and dance, and good food were a constant in my life. I know that my creativity and artistic spirit are nourished at my cultural roots.
Throughout my life, my surroundings, relationships and experiences, and personality have been the heart part of my artistic expression. I am quiet by nature, however even though we are all different on the outside we all have similar powerful feelings on the inside. At the age of 12, I started playing guitar. My hunger for expressing myself eventually led me to song writing.
As I mature as a songwriter I realize how my quiet personality has shaped my writing and life as a whole. The key facets of my personality range from introverted and empathic to perfectionist and innovative. These characteristics sculpt my artistic identity and define me as a musician.
While many musicians find comfort in constantly surrounding themselves with their peers I prefer sitting alone writing lyrics in my head. Similarly, while some musicians write large and complex pieces, I prefer a minimalistic approach as this allows me to create with a much more intimate and emotional feeling to them.
I have become a songwriter, producer, and bass player dedicated to innovation; this helps me to push my craft forward. I strive to always think outside the box with the goal of creating something different and unique. Not only different and unique, but also true to who I am and what I wish to express.
During my first year of high school I formed a band, “Fever Charm” with three amazing musicians who were also my closest friends. We have been playing together now for nearly 5 years and have toured parts of the west and east coasts. The recent highlight was being invited and flown to London to play at the festival, “KerPunk.” The experience was nothing short of amazing.
While performing live and playing music in general will always be part of my life, I have a different kind of passion for music production and engineering that ‘speaks to me’ and I want to make my life career. Ever since I got my first recording software and interface at the age of 15, I have been consumed by recording and producing music. I knew producing music will always be a part of my life so I decided to apply to Berklee College of Music where I could learn everything I needed to take my skills to the next level.
At the start I recorded my own music. As I upgraded my gear I started recording other artists as well. I founded the recording studio, “Golden Room”, where I have recorded a diverse list of artists and genres from techno to folk and everything in between. I assembled the studio piece by piece and because I am mostly self-taught, I have often had to figure things out myself. This has given me the ability to both problem solve as well as develop a more concrete, hands on understanding of all my necessary tools.
A sense of intimacy and minimalism that stems from my own introverted and timid personality can also be heard in my production and mixing styles. I just recently engineered and produced an EP where I wanted this to come through a lot so I made the guitar sound dark and distant while the vocals were smooth and intimate. Sounds, like feelings require a context, a color and a light touch.
As a producer my sense of humor, perfectionism, and my ability to work well with others really shines through. My sense of humor is very important to me because I find having a sense of humor and being able to laugh at myself can either make or break a situation, especially in the recording studio where in addition to long hours, there is often great amounts of pressure on the musicians.
Once during a late night session when all the musicians were just about entirely emotionally and physically drained I was able to bring them back to life by getting them laughing and re-energized. The ability to work well with others in a situation like this can make or break an artistic idea or the session as a whole.
My ability to work well with other artists both in and out of the studio is a personal trait that is a critical ingredient of a successful artistic outcome. This skill has influenced all of my work as an engineer and producer and a lot of my work as a songwriter. My ability to work well with others helped me to facilitate a great artistic outcome when I recently engineered and produced an album for a Berklee peer. I worked with two drummers, a bassist, two guitarists, two piano players, a singer, a trumpet player, and even a string quartet!
My keen sense of perfectionism is a strong trait that also shapes my artistic identity. I have always been a perfectionist and it has helped me as an engineer in that I always put in all of my effort with everything I work on, often times working through the night to achieve the exact sound I want on behalf of the musicians that I work with.
Of all the personality traits that influence my artistic expression and identity, the one that embodies my work the most is my constant reach to be innovative and to create something different and unique. I strive to always think outside the box and make it my goal to always be doing something that no one else has done before. This influences and sometimes defines my work.
While recording an album over summer I used radical recording methods such as running vocals through vintage guitar amps. Innovation is the most prominent personality trait that forms my production and engineering. This along with my quiet personality makes it easier for others to bring their vision forward. My sense of humor creates an open and easy environment that makes it easy for the entire team to interact with ease; to work together, bringing out the best in all. And in the end, my perfectionism ensures that it really is the best that it could be.
I always knew that music had to always be a part of my life, so I dreamed of coming to Berklee College of Music where I could learn everything I needed to take my skills to the next level. I am in my sixth semester at Berklee and I have learned so much already. I am even more excited and positive about the future to come as I continue to develop my skills, my art and myself to the making of music.