Let's Eat With GRAMMY Camp

Author: 
Nicole A. Powell, Student Journalist

Meal times provide some of the best opportunities for GRAMMY Campers to sit down with Campers and gain more insight into their interests and backgrounds. For instance, at lunch on Tuesday (July 17) we interviewed Michael Jackson, Heather Rivas, and Tanner Grandstaff; who were all eager to eat, but also to share more information about how they got started in their tracks, what they hope to gain from their experience at GRAMMY Camp, and their plans post-GRAMMY Camp.

Appetizers with Michael Jackson:

NP: What is your career track?

MJ: Audio and Video Engineering

NP: What got you interested in audio and video engineering?

MJ: My daddy did it, and being able to see him do it as a little kid had me wanting to do it.

NP: What do you want to do with your career?

MJ: Basically engineer. A lot of people that I know are very talented but they don't have anyone to make their music sound good, so to make a long time career and be able to connect with different people and learn more about it. That's the whole process of why I'm here, to learn more about it.

NP: Who are some of your favorite artists?

MJ: Kanye West is my number one, Jay-Z is my number two, Nas is my number three, Lupe Fiasco is my number four, Common is my number five and Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar.

NP: What do you like about these artists and how have they have influenced you?

MJ: They're different, their style is like a style that's never really been done before. They take a song that they've heard in the past and they make it new, like Kanye West's music goes to another level, it's never the same style he never does an album twice, so that's why I like most of my artists, because they try to better themselves as an artist and its never the same.

NP: What do you hope to gain by this GRAMMY Camp experience?

MJ: Learning how to engineer professionally. I know it the street way if you will, but I want to learn how to do it professionally because when you have your home studio it's nothing like being in a professional studio.

Main Course with Heather Rivas:

NP: What track are you in?

HR: I'm in Electronic Music Production

NP: What got you interested in that sort of field?

HR: I thought I wanted to be a music producer. So I thought that this would be the right place to come, especially because I know you can make tons of connections, that's really the importance of it to me. I also knew that I needed to know the software that is called like the "industry standard," it's Pro Tools, and so I knew I needed to learn that. That's why I'm here for Electronic Music Production and I love making beats.

NP: What producers have influenced you to pursue your field?

HR: Jason Goldman, he's a producer, his record company is Spicy G. He wasn't really an inspiration as a record producer, he was an inspiration to come to this camp and kind of go for it, so those are my inspirations. I'm inspired by a lot of jazz artists and that's mostly it.

NP: Could you be specific on who those jazz artists are?

HR: Yeah, Herbie Hancock, who is a piano player and I play jazz piano as well. Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, of course Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, all those main guys. All those people have influenced me to go into music.

NP: What about their style do you most look up to or admire?

HR: Well, Horace Silver's style was extremely different at the time that he started becoming popular in the bop era. He would accompany in a different way, and when I would listen to his records I thought the way he voiced his chords, they sounded really crunchy. I always wondered and thought "that sounds so cool," you don't really hear that as much with like other pianists at that time in that era. So that's what really inspired me, he had a different sound and he can play really groovy.

NP: What do you plan to make of your career in Electronic Music Production?

HR: I hope to make my way up through internships and get a job somewhere. I hope that some studios recognize me as a vital source that they can use and kind of work my way up into producing. I would love to become an A&R person, which basically scouts out talent.

NP: What do you hope to gain from your experience at GRAMMY Camp?

HR: I hope to gain lots of connections, and I hope to further better my knowledge in the software that I don't know how to use. I hope to gain a better technique at what I'm doing.

Desert with Tanner Grandstaff:

NP: What track are you in?

TG: Electronic Music Production, EMP

NP: What got you interested in this field?

TG: I got interested in Electronic Music Production after doing a national fashion competition with my high school, called "Walk the Walk," by the fashion company Hurley. It was a surf/skate apparel event at the US Open of surfing. I created the music and sliced up popular songs for a five minute show, and ever since then I've been wanting to make music on my own. I've learned guitar, drums, and piano -- mainly self-taught. I use reason software and Pro Tools. This is my second time at GRAMMY Camp and I just want to keep learning.

NP: So, who would you say has inspired you in regards to musical artists?

TG: One of the most inspirational musical artists that I've ever heard is Jack White. I grew up in high school listening to his records from The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, all of his bands and his independent projects with older R&B musicians. He went on to make his own record label in Nashville, Third Man Records, and his style has always been inspirational and influential to me.

NP: What do you hope to gain from your experience at GRAMMY Camp?

TG: I just graduated and I hope to be a Music Industry major at Cal Poly Pomona. I just want to keep learning about industry standard softwares, information in the industry, and have internships. I want to maybe have my own studio someday, maybe be a producer for other artists for myself, that's the main goal.

In the Spotlight

Kevin Burke

Attended GRAMMY Camp New York 2011, 2012; GRAMMY In The Schools Media Team 2012

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